Engaging customers online


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Presentation for Marketing Network July 2005

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  • When I was a salesman, my boss told me that people bought products or services from their ‘friends’. I have yet to meet a salesman that I could call a friend – not whilst they were trying to get my money, anyway! Trust is the basis for building loyalty which in turn will increase interaction – it is up to you to turn this interaction into profit. As a personal example – I am an Apple McIntosh user at home, but have to suffer PC’s at work. Think about the customer loyalty Apple has – most Apple users can be identified by two main attributes – they are fiercely loyal to the brand, and they are poor, because the loyalty costs so much! I have used Michael Porter’s value chain model to demonstrate the trust-focused value chain, culminating in ‘trust’ in a brand, product or service. It is no fluke that trust occupies the same space that ‘profit’ does in Porter’s model, indeed I could have extended it with another field to the right called profit. Being trustworthy is profitable.
  • It is worth repeating the quote from my sales manager – it is important in generating trust and developing a good relationship. The relationship should also be open, honest and trusting – if you trust your customers, they are more likely to trust you. It could, however, be that the customer doesn’t want a relationship with you – that, unfortunately, is life, you have to encourage the customer to want to interact with you, to opt-in and build a relationship. It will start with trust! LISTEN! Use your two ears and one mouth in proportion. Let the customer tell you what they want instead of you telling them what they should have. Finally, customers should be encouraged to interact. At O 2 , we are looking at incentivising the opt-in process, giving the customers an immediate, tangible benefit from receiving information from us. More of this in a moment. Over time, the benefits will be seeing in terms of the customer receiving more relevant and exciting offers. If you demonstrate trust, the customer is more likely to follow.
  • Marketing is regarded as an art – so why not be creative about encouraging your customers to opt-in and to interact with you? Encouragement to opt-in does not mean the same a trusting the brand. The research carried out within O 2 indicates has shown that customer are quite savvy about data privacy issues and what brand attributes they should and shouldn’t trust. Our research has shown that if we ask for details about mobile phones, customers are happy to respond. If, however, we ask for a full postal address, but are not due to post them anything, they become sceptical. This relates back to the issue of ‘relevancy’! By keeping within the safety of the RFM boundaries, we can infer ‘trustworthiness’. Marketing is constantly challenging rules and trying to get the competitive edge over others in the marketplace. The creative approach we are used to taking can increase opt-in and increase the interaction of the customers – don’t be afraid of using new ideas (but check for the legality of your approach). Trust is a two-way process and we must feel confident that our customers are being trustworthy toward us, giving us correct information and interacting with us honestly. But, ethical marketing will ensure that the company does everything possible to encourage honesty and trustworthiness by exhibiting it, itself. This may take some time, so don’t get despondent.
  • Being trustworthy is profitable, and provides you with a competitive advantage
  • But everyone else is trying the same thing. Are you more trustworthy than your competitor? Do you employ better people? …
  • I did some sales training many years ago, and the one thing that sticks in my memory about it is that customers relate better to dialogues. When talking to customers though, you should address them foremost – you are not interested in me – you want to know ‘What’s in it for me’!! Am I right?
  • Customers see your brand as a single entity, with a single personality and character, and react to it in the same way they would to the character of a trusted sales person. * Every touch point with a customer is an opportunity to exchange information and build on the profile of that customer, * also building a trustworthy character within the segment or market as a whole! * Every touch point should deliver some information. Outbound marketing campaigns should be devised in such a way as to make them interactive, as much as is possible. Remember the final ‘A’ in the AIDA model – ACTION – get the customers to do some action that you can record. * Finally, make your interactions cumulative, building on one another. Do this to learn titbits of information about the customer each time, and build a consistent and strong image of the brand or product to the customer.
  • competitive advantage is therefore achievable
  • Engaging customers online

    1. 1. Engaging customers online Building trusting relationships with your customers and partners online Thom Poole July 2005
    2. 2. What’s happening? <ul><li>The basics </li></ul><ul><li>What are we trying to do? </li></ul><ul><li>Where to start? </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Attract & retain online customers </li></ul><ul><li>Where next? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why I’m here <ul><li>Web & e-marketing trailblazer since 1992 </li></ul><ul><li>Taught e-marketing for 7 years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e-Commerce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web design for marketers (and the terrified!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CRM </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Written papers on ‘Data Privacy’ , ‘The Marketing Art of the Opt-in’ and ‘Trust in Business and Marketing’ </li></ul><ul><li>Written a book on ‘ethical e-marketing’ called ‘Play It By Trust’ </li></ul><ul><li>Lately Head of Portal Customer Interaction at O 2 – focus on customer centricity and ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Consultant & business mentor for e-marketing strategy and implementation </li></ul>
    4. 4. The basics 1
    5. 5. Where are you now? <ul><li>How do you currently do business? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do you do business with? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you promote your business? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you control that? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What frequencies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your costs? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do you generate sales leads? </li></ul><ul><li>What sales channels do you use? </li></ul><ul><li>What scope do you have for expansion? </li></ul>
    6. 6. The World Wide Web (www) <ul><li>Global reach </li></ul><ul><li>Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24/7/365 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newsgroups </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. How can it help? <ul><li>Brochureware </li></ul><ul><li>Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Support </li></ul><ul><li>Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment </li></ul><ul><li>Information/News </li></ul>
    8. 8. The Internet as a business tool <ul><li>Early view: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Internet is a great medium for information, but I don’t know how anyone can make any money from it” (Poole 1992) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An ideal source of competitor, supplier & marketing information </li></ul><ul><li>An ideal communications medium, with a healthy mix of push and pull marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Has expanded the boundaries of all businesses and trades </li></ul><ul><li>Has increased the speed at which we do business </li></ul><ul><li>The origins of the Internet are as a military & academic tool </li></ul>
    9. 9. Who uses the web? <ul><li>Broadband </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3.2 million broadband connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12% of home have broadband </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DSL is available to 85% of UK homes & businesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>UK households with home access to the Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Q2 2004, 52% of households in the UK (12.8 million) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Q2 1998, only 2.2 million </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internet access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>59% of UK homes have a PC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>52% of homes (around 12.8 million) have Internet access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>68% of small businesses have Internet access </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. More statistics <ul><li>Continental Research reports 13.8 million people in the UK are ‘online savvy’ and have either make online purchases or have conducted some sort of transaction online. Specifically, they find: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5.8 million (22%) have bought airline tickets online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5.2 million (20%) have conducted an online banking transaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3.1 million (12%) have brought groceries online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>40% of Internet users in the UK are online seven days a week, with 10% claiming to spend at least 25 hours surfing the web </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why go online? <ul><li>“ When I took office, only high-energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web … now even my cat has its own page.” </li></ul>Bill Clinton, announcement of the Next Generation Internet Initiative, 1996
    12. 12. Online market benefits <ul><li>Loyalty Online customers are promiscuous - but look at Amazon’s or Google’s loyalty ratings? </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Interaction offers opportunities to educate your customers and to learn from them </li></ul><ul><li>Control Direct selling rather than through 3rd parties, e.g. Airlines </li></ul><ul><li>Speed to market A global market, open 24/7/365 </li></ul><ul><li>Lower costs “An average offline retailer requires three purchases to break-even on the acquisition of each new customer” - Kate Delhagen, Shop.org 2000 Also, servicing, distribution and support costs are considerably lower than any other medium </li></ul>
    13. 13. Definition of marketing <ul><li>We learn everything we can about a customer, the marketplace, our competitors, the technology, etc., and we exploit this … </li></ul><ul><li>… to provide our customers with the products they want, they think they want, or we can persuade them they want. </li></ul><ul><li>This must all be delivered to the customer when it is most convenient to them, not us. e-CRM allows us to deliver this knowledge in a consistent, timely manner. </li></ul>Marketing is about exploitation.
    14. 14. What are we trying to do? 2
    15. 15. Give ‘em what they want <ul><li>Matching needs and benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships where relationship are appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>Give customers the feeling of being in control </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation </li></ul>
    16. 16. Service culture <ul><li>Good service breeds loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Good service doesn’t mean just resolution of problems </li></ul><ul><li>Service is not just customer care - it is everything you do with the customer, from the first contact onwards </li></ul><ul><li>Service involves every member of your company, even the virtual members (delivery people, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Good service pays </li></ul>
    17. 17. Keep it simple <ul><li>If you have easy-to-use processes, customers will look favourably on even the bad experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Make finding information about the product/service easy and increase usage and loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust! </li></ul><ul><li>If it is understandable, customers will talk positively about it </li></ul>
    18. 18. Making ourselves heard Remember this? A linear model of communication (based on Schramm (1995) and Shannon & Weaver (1962) – from Fill (1999))
    19. 19. Promotional theory <ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive advantage </li></ul>4C’s <ul><li>Clarity </li></ul>
    20. 20. Lack of trust
    21. 21. Rules for integrated marketing <ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-channel response mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Be a trusted partner on- and offline – being trustworthy is profitable </li></ul><ul><li>Define the rules, and then bend them as far as they will go where necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Make online as simple as possible – accessibility isn’t just for DDA compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Accept that not all customers will see or want to see all channels </li></ul>
    22. 22. Integrated marcoms
    23. 23. © Jack Marketing Solutions 2005
    24. 24. Where to start 3
    25. 25. Planning <ul><li>Plan, Plan, Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-build/maintain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Off-the-shelf </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bespoke web development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Suppliers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. What are your business objectives? <ul><li>Drive revenue and registration for educational courses </li></ul><ul><li>What are the e-business objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>To provide customers with a user-friendly sales and support channel </li></ul><ul><li>How do the e-business objectives fit into business? </li></ul><ul><li>Providing a sales channel at very low servicing cost to increase income, and provide an online brochure at very low cost. Possibly also to deliver some courses or course materials </li></ul><ul><li>What are the business objectives? </li></ul>
    27. 27. Who are your customers? <ul><li>Identify them </li></ul><ul><li>Online demographics are different to offline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ambitious Techies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budgeters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Functionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Status Seekers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Young Socials </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Target your customers <ul><li>What makes them tick? </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing = exploitation! </li></ul><ul><li>It is no good developing applications for the elderly if they are unlikely to use them </li></ul>“ I don’t know who you are, I don’t know your company, I don’t know your company’s products, I don’t know what your company stands for, I don’t know your company’s customers, I don’t know your company’s record, I don’t know your company’s reputation, Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?” MORAL: Sales start before your salesman calls – with business publication advertising
    29. 29. A quick web plan outline <ul><li>Plan carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the application you implement will benefit not only your organisation, but your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to diversify </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to ask for help </li></ul><ul><li>Look at your existing business plan </li></ul>
    30. 30. What a web design brief should contain <ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas about structure </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas about design </li></ul><ul><li>Content groups </li></ul><ul><li>Any legal considerations </li></ul><ul><li>Any resources you have to contribute </li></ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing plans </li></ul><ul><li>Timetable </li></ul>
    31. 31. Challenges 4
    32. 32. Online challenges <ul><li>Inappropriate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brochures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Out of date </li></ul><ul><li>Too much interest </li></ul><ul><li>Inaccessible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wrong customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too expensive to service </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. Trust lifecycle Poole (2005), adapted from Reynolds (2000)
    34. 34. Friendship = trust <ul><li>Trust builds loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Trust will drive profit </li></ul>Trust-focused value chain (adapted from Porter, 1998) <ul><li>‘ People buy from their friends’ </li></ul>
    35. 35. Solutions 5
    36. 36. E-marketing works <ul><li>Be consistent, even if you outsource your web presence </li></ul><ul><li>Join a co-operative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan your strategy & stick to it </li></ul>
    37. 37. Ethical customer management <ul><li>Open, trusting, honest relationships </li></ul><ul><li>But, “I don’t want a ‘relationship’ with your company!” </li></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage & lead by example </li></ul><ul><li>“ People buy from their friends” </li></ul>
    38. 38. Opt-in - please? <ul><li>Still great distrust in the marketplace for opt-in </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion is still alive, opt-in texts are designed to confuse - so differentiate - KISS! </li></ul><ul><li>The opt-in is the start of interactive relationship </li></ul><ul><li>“ What’s in it for me” </li></ul><ul><li>Opt-in has been a legal requirement since December 2003 </li></ul>
    39. 39. The marketing art of the opt-in <ul><li>Keeping within the ‘RFM’ (recency, frequency, monetary value) boundaries is likely to increase trustworthiness </li></ul><ul><li>Creative ideas for encouraging opt-in and increasing interaction will always win </li></ul><ul><li>Trust is a two-way process, and we as marketers must feel that our customers are trustworthy too </li></ul><ul><li>Customers can be encouraged to opt-in and therefore interact </li></ul>
    40. 40. How can we do it? <ul><li>Bribery! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give them access to something they want/value </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reward them as part of a loyalty scheme </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give them virtual control of their profile/services </li></ul><ul><li>Include them in your plans - make them feel important and wanted </li></ul><ul><li>Give them the [virtual] personal touch </li></ul>
    41. 41. Why are doing it? <ul><li>Increase trustworthiness </li></ul><ul><li>Create a ‘test-bed’ for new ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Build a community of users and advocates </li></ul><ul><li>And most importantly … to be profitable! </li></ul><ul><li>Build loyalty </li></ul>
    42. 42. Goal = getting your nose in front …
    43. 43. … but so is everyone else!
    44. 44. Customers in the driving seat <ul><li>Give them the notion that they control the relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When to communicate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who looks at & controls the delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be a friend to the customer – guiding them, rather than selling to them </li></ul><ul><li>Treat customers the way customers expect to be treated </li></ul><ul><li>Empower customers </li></ul>
    45. 45. Fostering the dialogue <ul><li>Dialogues are more interesting than monologues </li></ul>from Alfred Tack Org. interest W.I.I.F.M i we you
    46. 46. The integrated approach <ul><li>Every touch point is an opportunity to exchange information </li></ul><ul><li>Every touch point is an opportunity to build trustworthiness in the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Make outbound communications interactive – remember AIDA (awareness, interest, desire and ACTION ) </li></ul><ul><li>Make your interactions build on one-another, and learn a little, each time you interact (little & often) </li></ul><ul><li>Customers interact with the character of the company brand, just as they would the character of the trusted salesperson </li></ul>
    47. 47. Attract & retain online customers 6
    48. 48. How to treat business customers online Q: Are you a business or a consumer customer? Q: How many adverts have you seen today? Yesterday? Last week? A: You are all consumers for something & always looking for WIIFM e.g. A business person during the week, becomes football fan at the weekend. So, a mobile marketing company can offer consumer football alerts to the customer for that persona
    49. 49. Business tools SUPPORT DISCOVER ACQUIRE billing consistency The O2 website strategy for business customers upgrades cost savings FAQ Care performance tracker expense management front-end procurement learn new business methods
    50. 50. Growth strategies existing products new products existing markets new markets market penetration product development market development diversification From Ansoff, 1957 entering the online market building an online market be different
    51. 51. e-Marketing considerations <ul><li>Understand your customer’s requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Treat your customers as they expect to be treated </li></ul><ul><li>Teach your customers what they should expect, and deliver it </li></ul><ul><li>Support, discover, acquire … </li></ul><ul><li>Focus benefits on cost & time saving </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer sites can be ‘copied’ in style, functionality, etc </li></ul><ul><li>B2B offers few USP’s online </li></ul>
    52. 52. e-CRM’s competitive advantage <ul><li>Can build trust through understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Exploit our understanding not our knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate a more thorough and personable character to the customer </li></ul><ul><li>Gets close to the customer </li></ul>
    53. 53. Be relevant and engaging <ul><li>Customers want to feel wanted </li></ul><ul><li>Customers want to feel in control </li></ul><ul><li>Customers may not want a relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Customers want a trustworthy partner </li></ul><ul><li>Customers don’t want the hard-sell every time they contact you </li></ul>I We You
    54. 54. Getting traffic <ul><li>Advertising, sponsorship & PR </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal links </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Affiliate programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay-per-click </li></ul></ul>
    55. 55. Why websites fail to generate traffic <ul><li>The site’s design doesn’t incorporate meta tags for search engines to score </li></ul><ul><li>Each web page’s title doesn’t reflect the individual page’s content </li></ul><ul><li>Each page doesn’t provide detailed descriptions of the page’s theme </li></ul><ul><li>The site isn’t built with keywords and key phrase search relevancy in mind </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics don’t show why visitors come to the site </li></ul><ul><li>The site isn’t submitted to the top 21 search engines and directories that produce over 88% of all Internet searchers </li></ul><ul><li>Website owners don’t target their message to specific audiences </li></ul>
    56. 56. Search engines Source: SearchEngineWatch - 09/2003 6.4% Lycos Europe 7.0% Tiscali 8.0% Lycos Network 8.9% Friends Reunited 12.6% AOL 13.8% Ask Jeeves 17.0% Freeserve 26.0% Yahoo! 32.9% Google 41.9% MSN % Share Search Engine
    57. 57. Making extra money <ul><li>Sponsorship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell page sponsorship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell link sponsorship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Affiliate marketing programmes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adverts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within co-operatives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant IT-related material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional courses - diversified delivery </li></ul></ul>
    58. 58. Where next? 7
    59. 59. Next steps <ul><li>Get your organisation ready for the extra interest </li></ul><ul><li>In-house or professional design </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare your web design brief </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your site </li></ul><ul><li>Build & load your website </li></ul><ul><li>Market your website </li></ul><ul><li>Get ready for the additional demand </li></ul><ul><li>Know why you want to go online </li></ul>
    60. 60. Summary <ul><li>Make your website functional, sticky and ‘approachable’ </li></ul><ul><li>Understand why you are online and for whom </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an Internet strategy for your audience & stick to it </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid of change </li></ul><ul><li>Take your customers with you on the journey </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the benefits and measure what you are getting from it </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet is a tool – make it work for you and your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Empower your customers - let them think they are in charge </li></ul><ul><li>E-marketing must be consistent with all other marketing activities </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t let technology dictate your marketing - it’s a tool </li></ul><ul><li>Build trust to engage with customers </li></ul>
    61. 61. To leave you with a thought
    62. 62. Thank you Thom Poole Managing Consultant [email_address] Jack Marketing Solutions For out of the box solutions www.jack-marketing.com