As the era of push marketing comes to a close, businesses are seeking ways to increase their touch points with consumers. Each touch point, whether it is in customer service or sales, offers an opportunity to build a relationship and showed be viewed as a marketing tool. Yet, many businesses have been slow to embrace touch points as marketing opportunities.
A recent report in McKinsey Quarterly encourages business leaders to think outside the box and remove the strict functionality from each customer touch point and focus instead on engagement. “Marketing must pervade the entire organization” and the right attitude must be apparent through touch points ranging from “an e‑mail, a blog post, or an online review.”
Writing for McKinsey, analysts Tom French, Laura LaBerge and Paul Magill encourage merchants to methodically review their business processes and approach this problem in logical steps.
First, design a customer engagement strategy. Merchants must remember it’s not just the marketing that attracts business, it’s also the experience of using the product or service. When the experience exceeds expectations, customers are retained and they encourage their friends and family to try the business. Next, build a customer engagement platform. Often, members of the marketing team need to work with other staffers to ‘build skills.’ Merchants have also found that they need content teams to ‘socialize the brand’ and intensify the customer experience. Finally, senior team members must operate and renew their engagement models. Constant monitoring allows the organization to quickly change what isn’t working and to respond immediately to customers.
As the role of marketing becomes more important and evolves throughout the organization, businesses which adapt quickly will be rewarded by consumers who increasingly expect to play a bigger role in the purchase process.[Source: French, Tom et al. We’re All Marketers Now – McKinsey. McKinseyQuarterly.com. July 2011. Web. 4 Aug. 2011]