As marketers, we can get overly focused on the latest tactics & consumer trends, and occasionally pause to reflect on how things have changed in our industry. But when we look around, it’s important to note how these changes are perceived on the consumer end of the spectrum. We see Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc as developing channels, much as we moved to eCRM, SEM & digitial media previously. But to our audience, the distinction around where they’re being messaged is less opaque. A brand message is a brand message, even when it comes in a direct channel, or a social channel, etc. Increasingly, in fact, the message may be embedded in the use of the product.
For example, content providers such as Netflix, iTunes, Hulu+, etc are “marketing” to you when they provide guides to relevant content, but they’re also delivering a key element of their service. How much less valuable would Amazon be if it didn’t know me & provide useful suggestions?
This merger of marketing & brand experience has a distinct effect, from a consumer point of view. It sets an expectation of a relationship, driven by data – specifically, the preference, usage history & promotional response history of each individual consumer. My relationship with my banking institution is different than yours, and the offers & messaging they put in front of me colors my opinion of what kind of business they are. A brand message that doesn’t recognize that relationship in this day & age has a much harder time building the brand.
At Direct Partners, we refer to this merger as Customer Experience Management. The ability to fuse marketing communications with brand experience, whether that means marketing on the device itself, carrying a single message across multiple touchpoints, or just ensuring that all contacts are powered by rich data systems that maximize points of relevant data to the consumer whenever possible.
If you’d like to hear more about our approach to Customer Experience Management, please contact us.