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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Brief History of Consumer Engagement: Part 3

A four-part series chronicling the origins of today’s permission marketing landscape

Click here to see part 1, part 2. 

As seen in part 1 and part 2, the relationship between company and consumer has progressed from a one to one geographic model to a one to many major media interruption model to a many to many multi-platform interaction model.

We now live in an opt-in world full of perpetually connected consumers who expect to be understood as individuals and whose behavior blurs the lines between sales, marketing, support and service. Not surprisingly, companies are pivoting quickly to embrace the future of customer engagement by delivering superior customer experiences. The key to this transition is preference management.

A recent Oracle survey of more than 1,300 senior executives found that 97 percent agree that customer experience is critical to success and 93 percent have made it a top-three priority over the next two years. Yet fewer than 40 percent have customer experience initiatives in progress and just 20 percent of those that do would describe them as sophisticated.1 Why? Respondents pointed to siloed systems and fragmented customer data as one of the primary obstacles to advanced customer experience initiatives. When organizations can’t effectively share or collectively interpret full-spectrum customer data, they can’t implement customer experience programming with confidence.

The more complex the organization, the bigger the role that preference management plays. Preference management is about building and enhancing customer engagement:  letting the customer control the relationship by choosing the desired communication channels, the products or services of interest, and even the frequency of contact. It’s also about personalization and one-to-one communications that are relevant to the recipient. Although organizations may have CRMs, marketing automation and campaign management systems, chances are that none of these provide a complete, unified view of a customer’s preferences.

In order to engage consumers in the modern era, companies must embrace the interactive nature of the discourse. That means listening to and learning from consumers at every point of interaction.  

Eric Tejeda is the Director of Product Marketing for PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Eric supports the organization’s growth objectives by productizing and launching innovative new products and services that fill critical needs in the marketplace. 

With 25 years of experience, Eric firmly believes that permission-based marketing and preference management is a mega trend and the path to success for marketers today. 

Follow me on Twitter: @EricTejeda | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Tejeda

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