Use new rules of customer engagement to your advantage

Posted on October 26, 2010


customer engagementWhat does marketing success mean? Getting customers, engaging customers and keeping customers. A FutureM Conference session, “Harnessing New Methods of Customer Engagement,” addressed this. The panelists were some heavy hitters from successful companies, so it was great to hear their perspectives.

The panelists:

John Meyer – CEO of Axciom. Axciom is a global interactive marketing company that provides a range of information services geared toward enterprise data management and retrieval.

Scott McDonald – SVP Research, Conde Nast. Conde Nast is a worldwide magazine publishing company.

Don Scales – CEO of iCrossing. iCrossing is a global digital marketing agency, it is now part of Hearst Corporation.

Matt Britton – CEO of Mister Youth. Mister Youth is a New York-base agency offering word of mouth and experiential marketing.

Jerry Doyle – CEO, Prospectiv. Prospectiv is an online marketing service provider for advertisers and publishers.

Highlights from the panel discussion:

1. What part do data analytics play in the new model of customer engagment?

John(Axciom) – We now have more robust customer profiles. We used to just have demographic data, but that’s been expanded to include transactional and behavioral data as well.

Matt(Mr. Youth) – Marketing has shifted from a rental model, e.g. buying ad space, to an ownership model, e.g. Facebook Fan Page.

Jerry(Prospectiv) – We have moved beyond lead generation and we’re now able to start, build and maintain relationships with customers. It’s enabled us to have multiple touch points and to reach our exact target audience.

2. What role does search play?

Scott(Conde Nast) – Consumers have the power now. They search online for what they want and they don’t rely on marketing messages to tell them what they “should” want. Content becomes increasingly more important. All brands need to become publishers. This isn’t easy.

3. What role does Social Media play?

John(Axciom) – We now process 3 billion pieces of data per day. We use this data to find other people who fit a particular target audience profile.

Scott(Conde Nast) – Social Media is a medium, a communication tool and a stress releaser. Consumer generated interaction (in Social Media) generates a much deeper engagement.

Jerry(iProspectiv) – We have found that customers who are both on email and on Twitter have a 20-30% higher lifetime value. They’re much more engaged than other customers.

4. What about Mobile platforms?

Don(iCrossing) – When will mobile really come to the forefront? We’ve been hearing about it for the past ten years.

Matt(Mr. Youth) – Smartphones are not yet at a 50% adoption rate. However, two thirds of the world has a mobile phone.(My note: I’m very surprised by the low smartphone adoption rate since it seems everyone has a one when I look around me. Although, I’m at tech events, so they are early adopters of technology and not a representative sample of the general population.)

5. What advice on customer engagement can you give the audience?

John(Axciom) – Look at macrotrends. The world is now multi-channel and multi-discipline, it’s not just marketing. Brand and direct marketing are merging.

Scott(Conde Nast) – Stay alert. There’s lots of changes and lots of activity going on around you.

Don(iCrossing) – The old model of brand/agency/consumer is gone. Brands are reaching out directly to consumers. Know your customers.

Matt(Mr. Youth) – People are trying to become brands. Brands need to become people.

Jerry(Prospectiv) – The environment is a lot more complicated now and it’s even more important to know your customers.

My biggest take aways from this session:

  • know your customer
  • be ever alert to the constantly changing environment.