Transforming Your Marketing into a Valued Customer Service

All too often marketing is intrusive and inconvenient for customers. As a result, legislation like the Do Not Call (DNC) registry, the CAN SPAM act of 2003, and the U.S. HIPAA and Graham, Leach, Bliley laws has appeared to protect consumers' privacy. In addition, new technologies like call blockers and spam filters abound. For marketers the net result of these efforts has been a decrease in response rates, reduced opportunities to engage prospective buyers, and renewed interest in nondirect forms of marketing. Marketing as a service To meet the challenges posed by the privacy movement, marketers must stop inundating people with untargeted messages and focus instead on making their communications more valuable to their clientele. Customers appreciate messages about products and services they need when these messages are delivered at the appropriate time. For example, a message about investment options after you have paid off your mortgage is useful, and a reminder about your wife's birthday with suggestions about accessories that match her latest purchase could be a godsend. Achieving right-time marketing
Right-time marketing is a customer-centric approach to marketing that requires a fundamental shift in how companies view marketing and the customer experience. It involves analyzing each customer interaction to determine the appropriate message and effect on the customer relationship, and is where the enterprise marketing management solutions with sophisticated segmentation and modeling capabilities are an invaluable tool. Additionally, companies must begin to take a cross-channel view of the world if they wish to capitalize on Right-time marketing. Because a significant portion of a customer's interactions with your brand are in service and sales channels, companies must take full advantage of each one of these interactions to cross-sell, upsell, and to retain or improve loyalty. Key issues marketers must address To transform your marketing communications into a valued service for your customers, you must:
  • Integrate messaging across channels: Audit all customer communication touch points and evaluate whether communications contribute to or detract from the brand and customer experience. Customer communications should be viewed holistically and optimized across all contacts based on global contact constraints and the potential value of the message.
  • Develop integrated customer dialogues: Planned outbound, event-triggered, and real-time inbound interactions must be coordinated across touch points to create a dialog with the customer which is based on a segment and value-based strategy. These dialogs should not be viewed independently but as a series of linked opportunities that add value to the customer experience.
  • Implement repeatable process: Right-time marketing requires a move from ad hoc processes to easily repeatable processes that are both visible and easily measurable. This increases marketing velocity and ensures that the right customers get the right messages in a timely fashion. When marketers address these key issues and implement right-time marketing, marketing communications cease to be intrusive or inconvenient and instead become a service that customers value, leading to increased response rates and higher revenues and ROI. About the Author Todd Piett is a senior segment manager for interactive real-time channels at Unica Corporation. He is responsible for developing go-to-market strategies, identifying product requirements, and prioritizing solution development for Unica's Affinium Suite of enterprise marketing management software. He can be reached at
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