Account Based Relationships (ABR). Let me know if I can help you and be on the lookout for the next installment.
Building Marketing Technologies
"Our primary reason for being is to support our customers with the best, most current technology to engage your customers and prospects and make you successful in the process."
ABM Benchmark Study Provides Guidance for 2021
Account Based Relationships (ABR). Let me know if I can help you and be on the lookout for the next installment.
Building Trust Through Account Based Relationship Marketing
I created one of my Simple Videos to accent the point about using ShareDirect as the primary communications tool for this type of effort. It’s very brief, about 2 1/2 minutes.
We have taken this one step further. ABM is a strategy but the objective is achieving ABR, Account Based Relationships that puts the emphasis on the customer. ABM to ABR is the real strength that ShareDirect brings to the forefront. View my video and how this leads to building Trust and a stronger and more valuable customer(s).
Please contact me if we can provide you any information or guidance on how we can help you with this timely technology and its application to ABM strategy.
View my related videos and articles below on the power of building Trust with customers
Trust: A Rare Commodity in Business
The “Why” and “How” to Building Customer Trust
- Trust is a competitive edge. Trust is the second most important brand attribute, Trust has a strong positive correlation with loyalty, engagement and advocacy.
- Trust is Primal. What fuels such a belief? The consistency and quality of our interactions with people. When we interact with a brand in person, it's easier to establish that belief.
- Trust Is Omnichannel. Everything your brand does must be oriented around cultivating trust. Quality and consistency of content and customer engagement matters.
And he says what I have been saying:
You can't build Trust with a company, organization or entity. We build Trust with people who are in that company or organization. And I contend that we should not ask for Trust but should earn it with our deeds and words.
We talk a lot about building Trust through our technology, ShareDirect. You are communicating through your Trusted Advisors or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). And you provide help and understanding through Personalized content and a Human approach. ShareDirect is the “How” to building that trust virtually and with scale.
Building TRUST through HUMAN Interaction
Three featured articles highlighting the connection between personalization and building human relationships
There are at least two core points that run through all three of these reports:
- The HUMAN element is not to be denied or you are losing ground fast.
- The other is TRUST gained by compassion (which is HUMAN), transparency, communication and HUMAN interaction.
Again, ShareDirect is the only scalable technology that can truly help address these and other current need unmet needs. Let us hear from you.
Personalization Goes Nowhere Without Trust by Sharon Florentine
- Personalization Delivers Great Trust
- Be Transparent and Open
- Data for Value to Customers
4 Ways to Ensure Brand Trust During Turbulent Times by Janelle Estes
- Consistency Is Key
- Show Compassion
- Keep Lines of Communication Open
- Optimize Your Digital Channels
When Customer Experience Needs a Human vs. a Machine by Allen J. Porter
- Automation vs. Human Interaction-Not a Binary Relationship
Your Solution to the HUMAN Connection
The Human Connection with ShareDirect
Some key points:
- 75% of customers prefer to interact with a real person.
- Customers engage with Humans not companies.
- To make your company sound more Human you must first be a Human.
- Always try to add a face.
All of this builds the image of company representatives being their trusted advisors. Some of this article is built around the use of social media, primarily LinkedIn, to make that Human connection. But you don’t have to go there as ShareDirect is designed and programmed to be Your Solution to the HUMAN Connection. Give your customers what they need and desire; someone who can engage, help and understand them.
A Video Message from Reid
Your Customers are Humans!
I look forward to answering any questions or hearing your thoughts and comments.
View my related article below on the necessity to focus on the Human Experience (HX)
Building Your Business With More Human Experience
Excellent report with data highlighting the coming trend toward HX over CX
The coming trend toward HX over CXWe have been hearing over the last couple of years about the importance of Customer Experience (CX) over just Customer Service (CS). Now we're taking the next step, Human Experience (HX).
|Customer Experience (CX)||Human Experience (HX)|
Download the Report
The report drills into several verticals: Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods and Retail, Travel and Tourism, and Business-to-Business.
Let me know your thoughts on this shift and we can discuss how ShareDirect is built around empowering marketing through Human Experience (HX).
Today and in the foreseeable future HX determines the ultimate brand value.
Human experience can elevate brands from transaction experience to brand culture experience, resulting in stronger trust and better customer relationships.
Helen Lo, Head of Strategic Planning, We Marketing Group, Worldwide Partners, China
Through it all, marketing and sales teams must incorporate a level of selflessness and empathy in their messages and approaches to connect in a human, authentic, and personalized way. As customers navigate life through this crisis, positioning your company as a true partner is critical. Dialing back product promotions and leading with a common understanding of our shared experiences during this time can be invaluable.
Alison Fetterman, Director of Strategy, Godfrey Worldwide Partners, U.S.
Source: Worldwide Partners
Deliver Exceptional, Personalized Experiences
3 Customer-Centric Steps to Building a Strong Offense
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Deliver Exceptional, Personalized Experiences
Their findings are built around a laser focus on your customers and new value proposition that will create an "increasing share of wallet, gaining higher margins and building market share."
I invite you to check out my video above and access the article. Please let us know how we can help you with our ShareDirect technology and our help for your business.
2020 Trends in Personalization
Why the Time Is Right for Personalization
Why the Time Is Right for PersonalizationAttached is my latest video from a study that was just published from CMSWire, 2020 Trends in Personalization, which is based on very current data from B2B and B2C marketers. This is an easy and quick read but well worth the effort. You can click here to see the article.
Other than the key statistics you'll see in my short (just over 2 minutes) video you’ll discover several other key results that answer many questions we hear regularly about digital personalization.
The results now, though, are still impressive. Among the benefits marketers reported this year were:
- A lift in business results (97%). This is much higher than in previous studies. Last year, 90% reported improvements, and 87% did in 2018. Plus, this year, nearly one in four marketers (24%) said they achieved a lift that’s higher than 20%.
- Improved customer experiences (64%).
- Increased conversion rates (63%).
- Increased visitor engagement (55%).
Tips for Success in Today's Environment
The subject matter of this video is from an Envestnet/Yodlee report dealing with the financial sector. I adapted the first 5 points for almost any type of company or organization then offered a good summation that you might use for your own business.
I’ll let you decide what you think and would welcome your thoughts and comments. We would love to show you how our ShareDirect technology can help you transform your communications in a very affordable way.
How to Change Anyone’s Mind
Instead of pushing, try removing the barriers
Use Chemistry not Physics to change people's mindsI'd like to share a fantastic article with you called "How to Change Anyone’s Mind" by Jonah Berger. Berger is a Wharton School marketing professor who has a book coming out in a couple of weeks with this title.
Berger says that when trying to change minds in sales, marketing and all facets of our existence we default to some form of pushing which is a physical approach or physics. He says the more successful avenue would be to add a catalyst which looks to chemistry.
There are 5 barriers to change that can be overcome:
- Reduce Reactance: Since people have an “innate anti-persuasion radar.” You can highlight what they would recommend to others versus what they are doing.
- Ease Endowment: People are over-attached to the status quo so show them the costs of inaction.
- Shrink Distance: People have a “zone of acceptance”. Look to “gradual shifts of acceptance as stepping stones.”
- Alliviate Uncertainty: Change involves risk so lower the barrier to trial so they can experience it.
- Find Corroborating Evidence: For transition problems or change look to offer other users as references.
TRUST is the Ultimate Goal
Harvard Business Review Article: Begin with Trust
They break it down to the TRUST TRIANGLE:
This new research interconnects with all of the previous research we've shared here from Gartner which tells us that customers want you to know them and help them in a variety of ways (Tailored engagement). Then we have the article from Keith Weed in Marketing Week we shared a few days back. The second point he provided was the need to place Business Effectiveness over Efficiency.
Building Customer TRUST During Difficult Times
Compelling article on trust in advertising/marketing from Marketing Week
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Trust in Advertising (and Marketing) is Imperative with your Customers
This is a terrific and very timely article written by Keith Weed, President of the Advertising Federation in Great Britain for Marketing Week. This is about what I call the Big "T" word, i.e. TRUST. I will summarize here and nearly everything should be in quotation marks but you might want to click on this short op-ed piece. I'm substituting marketing rather than just advertising since it should include all aspects of outreach and communications.
The five key measures all advertisers (marketers) must undertake are:
- Make your advertising (marketing) welcome in people's lives
- Place business effectiveness above efficiency
- Achieve full visibility of where your advertising (marketing) goes
- Ensure every impact and exposure matters
- Deploy the necessary resources to track, measure and manage this program
The author concludes:
We've been discussing this TRUST concept for some time now and how ShareDirect is custom built to help you help your customers and prospects. And it's far less expensive than most of the other activities you might be conducting.
See my related post on The Big "T" Word
Forrester: Predictions 2020
On the Precipice of Far-Reaching Change
Human beings are social animals driven to make decisions based on their need for affiliation and the wider impact of their choices. Today's customers live in tumultuous times. Disinformation campaigns, social isolation, wealth inequality, climate change, and political unrest surround them. As a result, they want to align their purchases with their values. Consumers appreciate experiences that spark delight. They love experiences that spark hope.
In 2020, the top CMOs will be responsible for all that surrounds the customer. They'll recognize that the best mechanism to drive growth is a strategically planned ecosystem that delivers value to customers throughout their lifecycle. To establish a successful ecosystem, CMOs will thread the needle between employee experience, customer experience, brand purpose, creative, and technology, imbuing all these crucial areas with customer obsession.
The sheer complexity of CX has proved daunting, even as CX's importance grows increasingly apparent. Firms that have made the least headway will cut their programs in frustration. Meanwhile, companies that have started realizing the benefits of CX will double down, simultaneously shoring up their fundamentals and innovating.
Establish a New Level of Emotional Loyalty with your Customer
A Fantastic Study from the CMO Council
This expansive report has much more in it than can be represented here. But I tried to pull out a few quotes that will provide some real world context.
Loyalty, by definition, is a bond – a faithful allegiance or connection to a person, cause, government or even organization. Yet for some organizations looking to develop customer relationships rooted in loyalty to their brand, the definition is closer to a scheme or program that ties the connection of loyalty to the accrual of points, perks and privileges. It is, for some, another campaign and, perhaps, another excuse to get lost in performance and efficiency metrics and lose sight of the customer. Far too often, loyalty is a tactic to drive relationships instead of being the foundation of the relationship itself.
Yet the reality is that today’s consumer is making their transactional decisions around a new set of attributes. While product and price are still key elements, attributes centered around shared values, a common mindset and the foundational relationship that has been built between the brand and buyer over time are all increasingly critical factors. Customers actually want to "like" – if not "love" – the brands they do business with… they want to see themselves, from their realities to their aspirations, embedded in each purchase.
- Find opportunities to upsell & cross-sell
- Deepen relationships through dynamic experiences
- Unify view of experiences to gain better understanding of customers
- Engage at a cadence that secures trust
- Shift thinking away from campaigns and towards long-term engagement
To be sure, this next phase of engagement will include an organization-wide mindset shift... it will demand CMOs to serve as cultural change agents. It will ask organizations to think and feel differently about their customers… and to take specific and intentional steps to actually lean in with emotion and not just schemes, promotions or gimmicks.
Take a very good look at this study from the CMO Council.
The Pathway to Syzygy for Marketing and Sales
Strategic Alignment for Customer Success
Syzygy... Pronounced: siz-uh-jeeIt's a word that astronomers would most likely be familiar with, and possibly even poets. Syzygy is an alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet so it actually describes the perfect alignment of three celestial bodies.
But it can also reference an alignment in other things and that could include a company or organization, their communications and their customers, members, or others in their ecosystem.
We all realize there is no such thing as perfect alignment in Sales, Marketing, Customer Success organizations, Account Management, IT and other areas of any organization. Connecting data points, customer behavior information, budgets, staffing talents all go into where you are and how far you can go.
As goals are often aspirational it pays to start small and work your way up. One great way to begin is by achieving strategic alignment through Personalized Engagement to help achieve Customer Success.
The Syzygy you could be achieving:
Are Brands Missing the Point of Personalization?
Maximize Impact by Rethinking Personalization
Gathering and analyzing consumer data to deliver a tailored interaction between the brand and the consumer.
I'll mention here several more general points from the study about the importance of personalization in marketing and sales.
- 55% of budgets are continuing to increase for Personalized Customer Engagement, some dramatic, some by a smaller percentage.
- Consumers expect and appreciate brands that personalize messaging and communications to them, but there are limits.
There are a range of well-defined benefits to personalization:
- Relevant messages that capture attention
- Growing and magnifying the relationship
- Driving purchase decisions
I highly recommend that this 30 minutes of your time will be well spend if you are interested in this subject. Next week I'll describe how to best optimize your Personalized Engagement program with ShareDirect and otherwise. The following week I'll bring up the "what not to do."
Customer Experience (Success), Personalized Engagement, Relationship Management
Personalized Engagement is at the core
Learn From The Leaders
How do Customer Experience Leading firms create such positive, memorable impressions on the people they serve? It doesn’t happen by accident. They all embrace some basic tenets when shaping their customer experience – principles that can very likely be applied to your own organization:
They aim for more than customer satisfaction.
Satisfied customers defect all the time. And customers who are merely satisfied are far less likely to drive business growth through referrals, repeat purchases and reduced price sensitivity. Maximizing the return on customer experience investments requires shaping interactions that cultivate loyalty, not just satisfaction.
They nail the basics, and then deliver pleasant surprises.
To achieve excellence, the Leaders execute on the basics exceptionally well, minimizing common customer frustrations and annoyances. They then focus on “nice to have” elements and other pleasant surprises, all of which help to create memorable peaks in the experience that strengthen customer engagement.
They understand that great experiences are intentional and emotional.
The Leading companies leave nothing to chance. They understand the universe of touchpoints that comprise their customer experience and they manage each of them very intentionally – choreographing the interaction so it not only addresses customers’ rational expectations, but also stirs their emotions in a positive way.
They shape customer impressions through cognitive science.
The Leading companies manage both the reality and the perception of their customer experience. They understand how the human mind interprets experiences and forms memories, and they use that knowledge of cognitive science to create more positive and loyalty-enhancing customer impressions.
They recognize the link between the customer and employee experience.
Happy, engaged employees help create happy, loyal customers (who, in turn, help create more happy, engaged employees!). The value of this virtuous cycle cannot be overstated, and it’s why the most successful companies address both the customer and the employee sides of this equation.
Building Digital Relationships Through Personalization
Bi-Directional Personalization is key to improved customer engagement
Get Ready for the Future of Personalization
The Bottom Line: Get Started Now!
The first step is to determine which use cases to focus on (converting new customers, increasing spend of loyal customers, etc.) and put an agile team on each of them to rapidly test and learn which offers and interactions best deliver. This hands-on approach quickly helps people develop real experience and expertise. Even as teams move quickly, however, it’s important to keep one eye on the end state so that you can effectively plan in order to make better decisions about people, technology, and investment.
Read about these key points:
How to turn the future into reality?
- Investing in technology and customer data
- How to utilize talent
- Being agile
- Protecting privacy
- Getting started and take the first step
Three major shifts over the next five years will make personalization more personal:
- Physical spaces will be ‘digitized’
- Empathy will scale
- Brands will use ecosystems to personalize journeys end-to-end
The Big “T” Word
In this new digital world customer TRUST is even more important and can be achieved
This may one of the most important communications I have shared in the last year of my use of our ShareDirect platform. Throughout my career and personal life I have never liked using the word “TRUST” when discussing my relationship with others. I’m sure you’ve heard people in regular conversation say, “Trust me,” as they try to make a particular point. In almost every instance I automatically assume the opposite. Why is that? Asking for TRUST should be unnecessary if you have passed the “Trust You” test already.
However as I look at this from a customer point of view the ultimate goal of any good business is and ought to be gaining customer TRUST.In my humble view there are three components of building customer TRUST:
- There must be a realization that TRUST is only earned through deeds and attitude. It is not demanded or required or asked for. Although it is said that “Trust is a two way street,” it is more important to have earned it from your customer first.
- Along with the correct corporate attitude the foundation of building customer TRUST is demonstrating you know and understand each customer and you want to help them. We have made this point before from the Gartner research.
Click here for that study.
- Personalized Engagement with each customer is the key to building TRUST in a meaningful way. Communications should be from someone who is a Subject Matter Expert who can be a Trusted Advisor.
I made some purchases for my dog at PetSmart over the last year. I joined their loyalty program and received blind emails for the past year that focus on cat food. Needless to say I have stopped going in there.
The End-Result of all of this is building long term trusting relationships creates recurring revenue and much more profitable growth.
See the chart here.
If you have any thoughts on this subject respond and let me know. I will post them on my follow-up communication.
Show me the metrics
Introduction to the reporting, dashboards and Engagement Score provided within ShareDirect
- Are your customer-facing reps able to personally engage with their customers between visits or meetings?
- What elements of Customer Engagement are having the most positive effect?
- Are there periods of natural advancement or decline in Customer Engagement?
- What triggers do you have that there may be a threat or opportunity hidden with some customers?
Federated Dashboards and Reporting
- Each site representative has a dashboard with individual engagement metrics for their engagement site - all aggregated to an overall corporate dashboard.
- Corporate dashboard with full control and full metrics from each engagement site. Manage and direct content from a console and access full analytics.
- Provides exclusive Customer Engagement Score composed of key metrics, custom weighted for each customer and each site representative.
ShareDirect Engagement Score
- Proprietary algorithm that determines Engagement trend over time
- Simple at-a-glance rating of customer engagement success
- Visibility and ranking of customer-facing representatives
- Based on over a dozen unique Engagement measurement vectors
- Weighting and scoring of Engagement vectors is unique to each customer
- Guide for further analysis and consultation on areas of opportunity and threats and Engagement to ROI calculation
Will your company and your customer-facing reps get credit for building customer relationships?
There is very little written in marketing or especially martech literature about “Getting Credit.” I'm not referring to financial credit such as credit cards, credit score or getting a loan from a bank although you could make the case there could be some similar processes. This is about the customer recognizing your efforts to serve them with your key customer-facing representatives and the branded promise you make to those customers.
“Getting Credit” is about making sure the customer understands who you are and what you stand for and how it applies to them.
I learned this while my brand marketing firm was working with a major restaurant chain in the 1990s that was undergoing a major transformation from a budget steakhouse to a large buffet concept with a bakery built in. I was fortunate to work with a brilliant CMO who understood the need for customers to see the process and result, in some cases the smell and the activity it took to achieve freshly baked yeast rolls, cookies, buns, etc.
Operationally the bakery was placed in the middle of the dining area. You could see the yeast rolls being placed in the ovens and when they came out the aroma was intoxicating. They had a brass bell that they would ring when those rolls would come out of the oven and storms of people would chase up to the bakery fighting for those hot rolls that smelled so good. This CMO knew how this worked. He made sure that as much of the kitchen as reasonable, especially the grilling and other visual activities, would be exposed to the dining room and their customers would respond appropriately. All that work on behalf of each customer he referred to as “Getting Credit.”
I have taken this idea to many other industries in my career over the past two decades and now have introduced it into marketing technology as one of the end benefits of our ShareDirect platform. All too often communications from a company to their customers bypass their customer-facing representatives, sales people, account managers, etc. They lose the opportunity to give credit to those front-line people who are supposed to be the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) on their accounts. They lose that opportunity to personally engage their customers in a meaningful and optimal way. They lose the opportunity to “Get Credit” for what might otherwise be an effective message.
With ShareDirect we are offering the only automated personalized engagement technology. You may have the best, most compelling message built around your caring and interest in serving your customer but it could easily fly completely over your customers' heads unless you provide a mechanism for you to receive “credit” for your noble works.
That CMO taught me a game-changing marketing concept. He is now retired, living in Colorado and remains a friend and frequent advisor. He probably didn't realize how we would eventually apply this through technology.
The Marketing Technology Stack
Personalization Tools are part of the "Core Foundation" of the Martech Stack
How sturdy is your marketing technology foundation?The article, Martech Spending Continuing to Rise, is not a surprise as nearly half of the BtB Martech budgets are increasing for 2019. From marketing automation to email, customer experience and social media marketing there is no doubt that the projections of doubling over the next 4 years might be conservative. And further, Gartner reports that a quarter of all marketing budgets are dedicated to Martech.
In my view the big news is found on the chart of the Martech Stack:
Personalization Tools are part of the "Core Foundation" of the Martech Stack. The ShareDirect Personalized Engagement Platform is the first really unique technology that allows Bi-Directional Personalization and machine learning to provide content and metrics that truly address each individual customer's needs and interests.
As I have said before this platform is a "Core Foundation" to any marketing plan. I refer to it as a marketing and sales imperative.
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Learn more about ShareDirect
What is ShareDirect?ShareDirect is a SaaS platform that provides personal engagement sites for customer-facing personnel.
The engagement sites can be managed at a group level or individually - and, each site is personalized for the representative and for each visitor - we call this bi-directional personalization.
ShareDirect also provides easy, intuitive email tools for outreach to new and existing prospects.