In the past, marketers had the job of using a handful of channels to create brand awareness and offers to engage customers on a broad level until a sales team could come in and take control of individual accounts, or until a customer visited a local store. Sales teams or store employees were then responsible for delivering a personalized experience and for building the relationship.
Not any more.
With the social and economic changes driven by digital technology, marketing has a much larger and more complex role, extending throughout the duration of customers’ interactions with a brand. These interactions can happen in forums that are “owned” by the brand, for example on a company website, or on online communities, where the brand has little control. So, it now falls to marketers to negotiate overwhelming amounts of data, channels and influences to inform and build relationships that will impact the bottom line.
These responsibilities may seem daunting, but because of this landscape, marketers stand to gain a more strategic role within their organizations. For marketers to be successful, they will need to embrace an increased role in shaping the overall experience of the customer, including how they conduct business transactions, how they engage with support and service functions, and how the company drives loyalty.
Social and Mobile Rewrite Rules of Marketing Game
The traditional customer journey has fundamentally changed. Through the pervasive use of smartphones and tablets, consumers engage with brands on their own terms, expecting immediate access to information and services, and expecting these interactions to be personalized. Social media and mobile applications have had the greatest impact on driving this expectation.
As each individual is used to building his or her own social networks and determining their own app settings, consumers now expect the connections they have with brands to also feel personal. The challenge for marketers is to create a digital dialogue with the consumer, utilizing every interaction with the brand as a conversation touch point. At each interaction, marketers need to demonstrate that the brand knows the person as well as the person knows the brand.