Hi – I am back from vacation, the kids are off to school and I’m ready to blog. My thanks to Peter Kim for keeping the fire burning while I was away.
I wanted to pick on a comment that was made to a prior post. Specifically, “old style campaign thinking will not adequately support the real time needs-based marketing.” I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. The very term “campaign” conjures up the image of a bullhorn – marketers shouting out what they want their audience to hear. With the control and choice that consumers have today, marketing must be more flexible -- more agile.
Many of us have been talking about this for years, but the time has come. Firms must shift communications strategies away from one size fits all push marketing – to one that is responsive to individual customer behaviors. These strategies go beyond traditional outbound channels like direct mail and telemarketing – they focus on customer interactions. Firms I work with in the financial, telecommunications, and travel industries are blending marketing into customer centers, Web sites, branches, and even ATM's. In fact, in a study we published last fall, more than 58% of marketers we surveyed said their firm already targets marketing offers in one or more inbound channels. Another 27% said they planned to in the next year.
But, I believe the strategy will fail if we approach customer interactions with the traditional campaign mindset – let’s tell customers what we want him to hear – rather than view each interaction as an opportunity to deepen the emotional bond with the customer, build trust, and, only possibly, deepen the financial relationship.
So, I ask, is it time to blow up that age old term, “campaign”? My take (she hedges…)? Traditional campaigns still serve a purpose, but they’re no longer the most important tool in the marketer toolbox. Thoughts?