Great marketing starts with a great customer experience. Think back to the corner store, where the shopkeeper not only knew your name, but knew what you liked. While the experience was great, the customer lacked choice and the marketer lacked scale. This lead to the big box stores; the marketer got their scale, and the customer got their choice, but it was at the expense of the individual customer relationship. Because of the scale, the marketers changed from individual conversations with customers, to a broadcast to the masses campaign approach.
The problem is that a campaign centric strategy actually puts the customer experience last. Think about it:
- The campaign dictates what the message will be.
- The campaign dictates what channels will be used.
- The campaign dictates the timing.
- Only at the end of the process does the campaign dictate the audience.
Forrester says that marketers spend almost 80% of the interactive marketing budgets on mass acquisition vehicles. That means very little is being spent on actually building a relationship, and focusing on the customer experience.
Instead, with the old mindset, the marketer is focusing not on the customer, but on maximizing campaign conversions. They’ll run these campaigns, and if they’re lucky, 3% will convert. For the other 97%, your best case is that they ignored it. Your worst case is that they were actually annoyed by it.
Since no relationship has been establish, that 3% that actually converted will they go back to the mass market bucket, and you have to start all over for the re-conversion.
Is that a great customer experience?
According to The Wall Street Journal, since 2007, email open rates are down 34%. And click-through rates have dropped 28%.
Success is now defined by the individual customer experience, and customer relationship. Customers of companies that deliver individualized experiences say they are 1) more likely to buy from that company, 2) more likely to maintain a relationship with that company, and 3) will spend more with that company.
Building lasting relationships makes good business sense. In fact, repeat shoppers convert at much higher rates, and yield more revenue per purchase.