On the way to RampUp on the Road Columbus, I read an article in Southwest’s inflight magazine about how the California Symphony handled its acquisition and retention problem—sound familiar?
Under executive director Aubrey Bergauer, the symphony got smarter about its marketing strategy: “… first-timers, for example, get a letter on their seats with a discount for their next concert. They won’t find a hard sell for a donation or automatically be signed up for the newsletter or receive a plea to become a season ticket holder.” In short, they didn’t come on too strong.
We’ve all experienced marketing overload, which erodes hard-earned trust and loyalty. We approached RampUp on the Road Columbus through this lens, starting with the keynote presentation from Forrester VP and Principal Analyst, Joanna O’Connell.
Insight 1: “Privacy and relevancy are seen as being at odds. The reason for this is we let it happen.” – Joanna O’Connell
Ouch, right? But true. As marketers, our objectives may seem fairly innocuous and neutral: I need more insights and better personalization, and to automate what I need and let customers know that I stand for something.
The way the customer perceives what you are doing may be completely different. Where we need to get to—quickly—as marketers is to view our efforts through a consumer-first lens. Know when something feels creepy or overreaching, and do something about it.
Insight 2: Get buy-in and do the work.
A common theme across fireside chats with Ryan Watson, VP, Head of Media Platforms and Marketing AI for Kraft Heinz and Jesse Laskaris, former Head of Data and Marketing Technology for Samsung, was getting buy-in from stakeholders and subteams within marketing and ensuring them that there is little to no sweat equity for them.
“If the goal for people internally is for them to do something differently, make it as easy as possible,” Ryan shared. For new projects that go well, share results with the folks you originally spoke with so they can start to incorporate new workstreams with their teams and add it to their KPIs.
Insight 3: Involve the whole team in the customer journey.
While we may quibble about which team “owns” the customer journey, the truth is that everyone in a company does. This means that everyone has the opportunity and responsibility to make customer experiences better.
Katie Minister, Director of Brand Engagement at CoverMyMeds, shared that the customer operations team came to her wanting to get more involved in feeding back to marketing what they were hearing and identifying and elevating brand ambassadors. This not only takes pressure off of the marketing team to be the sole bearers of the brand message, but also empowers a fast-growing company to be more nimble in understanding every step of the customer journey.
Bonus insight: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a homegrown treasure with unique flavors like goat cheese with red cherries and Bangkok peanut.
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