06/08/2014

By Bhavesh Vaghela, CMO, ResponseTap

The two golden objectives of any brand manager or marketer are to acquire new customers and retain existing ones; this is the ‘bread and butter’ of any marketing role. In the modern day, many brands are becoming increasingly more focussed on digital as a way of supporting the customer journey – but in many ways, it’s not helping. The implementation of new marketing tactics increases innovation within the sector, encouraging business to stay relevant – but it’s not all about online only. Here are five common mistakes marketers are seen to make:

Not all clicks are equal: A staggering 65% of businesses think that a phone call is an important part of your customer journey; understanding at what point this becomes critical – and what drives the call. For example, if a customer finds your website through paid search, then visits your site through the brand – or recent history – before converting on the phone, should you attribute this to the first or last click? Misattribution will lead you to look back at your conversions and be mislead on the analysis you have in front of you. By making this data set more complete and accurate, attribution can subsequently be associated with first click and every subsequent click, no matter whether the customer goes offline or not.

Voice is a relationship milestone: Some consumers never reach out to a brand during the buying process. It’s something a customer will do when they are ready, and in their own way. It’s more likely for the consumer to talk to someone and ask questions – and even finalise the purchase – on the phone if the purchase is of significant value. For example, you may be a travel company. The customer will use different devices and visit a number of sites before calling on the phone. During that process, marketers are able to build a digital footprint, securing information on preferences of the customer. Through gaining this knowledge, why not use the profile information to deliver a seamless experience for your customer? Why not, for example, route the call straight to an agent specialised in the part of the world that the customer is interested in visiting? These simple changes will lead to a happier customer experience. Also, you can even get rid of the dreaded “press one for x, press two for y” automated answer service. The phone call is still a critical aspect of your marketing strategy, in order to deliver an experience worthy of your brand.

Offline vs. Online: As has been said above, we as marketers tend to force how we want our customers to interact with us – all in the name of ‘better self-service’ and ‘efficiency’. And while the digital journey may start and end online, the customer journey may not necessarily be the same. In fact, considering just online can put forward a negative brand image. When a customer is considering a purchase, 54% of people want the reassurance of some human interaction before deciding. A massive 64% of people get frustrated when they are only able to interact with a company online. So, consider the overall customer journey and don’t be in the dark to offline innovations.

Not doing anything with the data you have: As we’ve established above, marketers know their customers very well – all the data gathered along the digital journey can be put to good use. But how do we implement this for future reference? Well, we should typically be focussed on driving efficiencies in our online customer journey. We know the customer journey is offline as well as online, so by incorporating a broad set of data, we can understand what drives offline activity too. Once we have enough of it, this data can be turned into insights that help us improve the experience given to customers.

Marketers and their high horses: By accepting the view that the customer journey is also offline, we as marketing professionals need to understand all parts of the business impact consumer experience. A big issue for marketing is that many businesses operate in silos. While 39% of businesses say their call centre or customer service team has a primary responsibility for tracking phone calls, 59% say they are not integrated with these teams at all. Whether a company may realise it or not, sales are happening over the phone. Marketers are getting increasingly limited exposure and ownership of the outcome. If the primary role of marketers and marketing managers is to acquire and retain customers, they need to connect with other parts of the business – namely their contact and CRM centres.