February 19, 2013
In 1993, Don Peppers and Dr. Martha Rogers wrote a book that charted a bold course for the future of marketers and dubbed the emerging trend "one-to-one marketing". In short, the theory postulated that the winners of the digital age would be companies and brands that engaged their customers on a personal basis creating systems to profile their customers' needs and wants and then developing strategies and tactics to deliver personalized messages and offers to those customers. Where has this insistence for personalization gone? Why aren't all websites tailoring the browsing experience to their customer? The answer is fairly straightforward-- It takes a lot of effort and a new type of specialist: the Customer Engagement Marketer.
In 2013, your organization needs to be hiring and developing this talent and here's what they will do:
• The Customer Engagement Marketer will develop an overarching strategy behind personalizing the web experience for each and every one of your customers. They will need access to the most updated product positioning and service offerings.
• He or she will define your top customer profiles and develop personas that will be used to educate and inform marketers across your business. If these segments are already identified, they will need to be applied and associated to all online registrations and user profiles.
• By establishing clear sales goals and target metrics to qualify success within each profile/persona, your Customer Engagement Marketer is defining a new metric, engagement. These are not just clicks, downloads or sign-ups, but shares, feedback, and other metrics that describe a level of engagement.
• An important responsibility is to leverage the analytics and knowledge of customers to develop messaging and offers tailored to those profiles/personas. These messages will be tested, tweaked and ranked by their effectiveness.
• A Customer Engagement Marketer will leverage your content management software to deliver personalized offers and messaging to those target audiences. If you aren't doing it now, this role will find out how to do it. Even if that personalization is only upon log-in, the website's responsiveness is one of their chief concerns. Ideally, content will be personalized to any visitor, registered or not. This is both the goal and the primary method towards engagement.
• By capitalizing on your best customer segments, the Customer Engagement Marketer focuses a company's energies on the greatest return. Later this effort can be magnified by incorporating a rewards system and lead scoring into your digital marketing platform.
• A primary concern of the Customer Engagement Marketer will be to educate and train marketers and content managers on all the tools necessary for goal-tracking, A-B testing and website personalization.
• Of course, they will tie social media into all campaigns, hopefully merging customer data with information specific to a social profile. Social media itself should be measured and personalized just like the website to inform future value propositions and actionable intelligence about your customers beyond just garnering Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
• The Customer Engagement Marketer can revolutionize your business by efficiently creating one-to-one relationships. Surveys, polls, social media, website registrations, click tracking; all of this is real market feedback that will focus your marketing efforts in the most cost effective manner, but the influence of the Customer Engagement Marketer shouldn't be constrained to campaigns; product development and branding can be adjusted as well. If there's a particularly involved group within your user community, they may want tools, forums, or specialized blogs to address their concerns.
When looking for the right person to fill the customer engagement role keep these things in mind-- the ideal candidate will be:
• Excited by new technologies
• Not afraid to try new things
• Empathetic, sociable and likeable, but also very straightforward. This role requires a lot of focus or else messaging will be watered down or generic.
• A brand ambassador who wants to make your company better one customer at a time.
• A customer advocate. This person will not suffer fools gladly if that means the customer experience is negatively affected.
• A capable manager comfortable with leading an integrated team of designers, developers and customer service representatives.
• Able to get in the weeds, but never lose sight of the overall vision. Present them with a particular challenge such as two customer databases that don't talk to each other. Ask them how they would address the challenge. If they provide you with steps they'd take, that is a good sign. If they push this challenge back onto technology, you may want to keep shopping.
• Interested in how your customers feel not just what they do. A good measure of this is to listen to how they talk to and about your customers. If they use stories or quote real feedback as justifications for new approaches, that's great. Data is good, but knowledge is much better.
• Very visible. If possible you'll create a reporting function in their role that gets to the CEO and CMO. There is a risk that while they might discover a lot of great insights it may never get to the right audience. Make sure they understand that they will be judged not just on analysis but action.
At Roundedcube, we develop the systems and architecture that put tools directly into the hands of digital marketers and content managers. Whether using the Digital Marketing Suite in Sitecore CMS, creating custom Google analytics, or integrating social media and community software like Telligent into your CMS, we empower your marketers to become customer engagement specialists for a one-to-one future. Interested? Read more about engagement marketing in Aaron Branson's blog post on Engagement Automation using Sitecore's DMS.
Read Jason's previous post from the series: Two Roles Your Organization Needs in 2013 Part 1: The Content Czar
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