Have you started doing Continuous Engagement with your Buyers?
Every company works diligently throughout the year to accomplish ONE objective: Increased sales and revenue.
However, what differentiates the successful companies from the not-so successful ones is the approach that they take towards achieving the goal.
So if company A takes route 1 and company B takes route 2. Who maximizes its value faster depends on the quality and potentiality of the route taken.
And it is precisely at this point that most companies falter. With every expert proclaiming some new theory of sales and revenue – companies are bombarded with excessive tips and advices. Confused and panicky at the same time – they take the wrong route.
For example: in a survey, when a group of 100 entrepreneurs were asked - which was their companies’ biggest asset?
-> More than 90 percent of them said products and services
-> Remaining companies said employees.
While there is no doubt that product/services or even the people are the USPs of any organization – the biggest valuable asset are no one but the CUSTOMERS.
Marketo states – The most successful companies succeed for the simple reason that they prioritize their customers over everything – be it their people, processes or even their product and service offerings. And this is what we need to do as well.
Especially in today’s Digital Era where competition is so stiff and customers so informed – companies cannot afford but to become customer-centric. Or else the margin of survival (forget success) is too thin.
And it’s not just we but even greater research bodies like Forrester and Gartner who advocate Customer Lifecycle Management as the key to growth and value.
The formula of Customer Lifecycle Management
Till now what we learnt is that in this digital era, customers are the most valuable asset of any company and the companies who successfully engage the customers from the start to the last become the real champions. But how should companies go about it? And who plays the biggest role in engaging the customers throughout the buying cycle? Find out next-
Today’s buyers: More empowered than ever
The internet gives buyers instant “information gratification”. Right from knowing the total number of elephants in the African Jungles to the total number of products a company has – the internet shows all. Plus, social media channels encourage the buyers to share and compare all these information from practically any location.
What does this imply?
Buyers already have an unambiguous perception and knowledge of the company when they come face to face with the actual sales representatives. They just want to draw the last conclusion to decide whether or not to make the action (purchase).
All of which means that the role of the Marketers increases 100 times more.
Marketers need to engage the informed customers, persuade them and pull them through the sales funnel. Functioning as the stewards of the customer journey, it’s their task to build a strong bond with customers wherever and whenever possible.
And to do this productively, marketers need to master the Continuous Engagement Marketing Strategy – that enables them present a unified experience to customers across devices.
What is Continuous Engagement?
Marketo states - As evident from the term itself, continuous engagement is about building multiple and meaningful interactions with the buyers across different levels. Here the marketers do not promote any particular product or service. Neither do they indulge in on-off campaigns which often intercept the customers.
Continuous Engagement marketing strategy emphasizes upon interacting with buyers continuously over a time. In short – it’s an unremitting process.
Example: Starting a conversation with a customer on one channel and then continuing that conversation even when the customer moves to other channels as well. The catch here is that when the customers move to other channels, the interaction should look like a natural continuation of the previous conversation.
Contrary to the traditional email blasts, the idea here is to create targeted campaigns. Referring to cloud CRM solution that stores all the data of the buyers, marketers find out:
• Who the buyers are?
• What they do?
• What is their preferred channel of communication?
• What are their buying patterns?
Based on these insights, they deliver personalized communications and contents to the buyers. This is why you can say that continuous engagement requires both: creative vision as well as hard data. And because of which, the result of such marketing campaigns are faster than the conventional marketing programs.
Today, Marketing is about being multi-channel i.e. to meet customers wherever they are and provide an integrated customer experience across every single platform.
Continuous Engagement precisely helps the marketers in accomplishing this objective of multi-channel marketing. It enables them shift from siloed communications and create a consistent experience for the customers – one that presents a unified message across dissimilar channels.
Most importantly, it allows the marketers to spend a considerable amount of time with the buyers. As and when they spend more time with the buyers across channels - the more they come to know about them and the deeper the relationships grow.
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub