Moving to a Customer Centric Approach

Marketing is changing. Customers are interacting with companies and brands across various channels and marketers need a better way to manage these interactions. The power of a computer is in the pocket of customers at almost every moment throughout the day. They can quickly tweet, update status, check email, look for nearby places to eat with just a couple touches. We as marketers have to change the way we approach our customers. They are in more control now than they have ever been in the past and yet we as marketers treat them all the same. We "blast" email. We show everyone the same display ad. We don't always coordinate the messages either. Display might say one thing, while our email says something completely different. Our mobile message might even be different than the previous two. You see where I am going.  Our customers do see across social, email, display, mobile, and web as their interactions with one brand. It's time for relationships to come first. Those that are not jumping on the bandwagon are going to be late to the party...that's if they even make it to the party!

Lets break down some key components of relationship. In any relationship, there is a give and take. Providing value and listening are key components of any relationship. In fact, if you ask my wife, listening is probably the most significant component of a successful  relationship. Don't tell her, but she is right. Listening is extremely important. If we spend the time to listen, we can better understand the needs of our significant other, or in marketing's sense, our customer. These needs are always changing. What's needed or wanted today is not the same for tomorrow. In digital marketing, listening to the behaviors of our customers can give us great insight to how we might want to communicate to them in the future. I've seen over 5X increase in revenue per message  over campaigns using "in-market" data over preferences.

If we as marketers continue to focus on the merchandising and promotional calendar that we are used to, we will miss the subtleties of what the customer needs from us today. We aren't listening, we are talking at them. From a branding and marketing standpoint we used to approach marketing with a campaign perspective (we are going to promote X, tell everyone).  But this has changed. We can't continue to speak to the customer in generalities. We have to treat them as if we were in a relationship (listen to their needs and respond accordingly).  What the customer actually wants from us takes precedence over what we might want to promote to them. We have to provide them value. We have to show them we are listening. We need to show them we are attuned to their needs and what's in their best interest. Moving to a relationship first has proven valuable (I have plenty of actual client case studies) at driving higher revenue per customer and most importantly higher chance of going out on that second date. 

Let's look at a recent study from Adobe about ROI of returning customers. Below is a few charts showing the increase in return captured from repeat customers. If we can build stronger relationships the more likely customers are to return and, in the end, the more money they are going to spend with you versus your competitor.

Here is my calling to marketers. Stop trying to score on the first date. Try and show them why you are the one. It won't be easy. Relationships never are, but lifetime commitment is waiting for you around the corner and better yet, more revenue. Why are you better than the next competitor? How are you going to solve their problems for today, tomorrow? Are you listening?

Posted on April 22, 2013 and filed under Lifecycle Marketing.

Integrated Mobile Strategy: Digital Marketing Strategy for the Three Screens

Last week I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present an Econsultancy webinar related to developing a comprehensive strategy across various online lenses: pc, mobile, and tablet.  This presentation discusses aspects of future forward planning by device, highlighting some of the most important considerations in creating your mobile roadmap, including often overlooked, and actually prescribed first step, content strategy.

In sum, centralized content planning is important to ensure content can be consumed regardless of device and outpost.  When studying consumer behavior by device, we see that each device lens to content should change for both device consumption itself, as well as the desires a consumer has related to content prioritization and engagement.  In both media dollars, and earned and owned efforts, cross-lens digital marketing is still a huge opportunity for advertisers, and 2013 needs to be the year organizations shore up their deficiencies in this arena and take control of any competitive advantage left in the industry.

Please find the presentation embedded below.  

Econsultancy and ethology: Digital Marketing Strategy for the Three Screens


Mike Corak

Note:  A hospitality version titled "Focus on the Four Screens" I presented at the HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference a month or so ago is also available on my Slideshare account.

Posted on March 11, 2013 .

Integrated Content Marketing Strategy SEMPO Webinar

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting on the February SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals) Webinar, certainly a great honor.  The title of my presentation was "Developing an Integrated Content Marketing Strategy," and...

Baidu World Content Marketing Presentation - ethology

A shameless plug, I know, but I'm pretty proud about the work our team pulled off for Baidu World.  Check out our Content Marketing presentation that was given yesterday by our CEO Jeffrey Pruitt (former iCrossing President and SEMPO chair).

Baidu World 2011

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Great team effort from everyone, and we're lucky to have a native Chinese speaker on staff.  The feedback has been great, wonderful work all.

Posted on September 2, 2011 and filed under Integrated Marketing.

Digital Marketing Strategy and Program Planning Presentation: Online Marketing Summit Phoenix 2011

I was honored yet again today to have the opportunity to speak at the Super Regional of the Online Marketing Summit in Phoenix. My topic was Digital Marketing Strategy and Program Planning, and the deck is here for you to view. If you have any questions/comments, don't hesitate to ask. And yes, there were lasers!

Digital Marketing Strategy - Digital Marketing Planning - Strategic Planning - Online Marketing Summit Phoenix-June 2011-ethology-mike corak

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Mike Corak

Posted on June 17, 2011 and filed under Strategy, Integrated Marketing.

Mountain Travel Symposium 2011 #MTS2011 - Marketing Online - Tools & Strategies to Grow T

I was just fortunate enough to present at #MTS2011 - the Mountain Travel Symposium - here in Beaver Creek, CO. The title of my presentation was Marketing Online, Tools & Strategies to Grow Top-Line Revenue. An extremely broad topic, with way too much data and insights, I have posted the presentation on SlideShare and have embedded it here as promised.

Mts2011 digital marketingtipsandtools-ethology-f

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Mike Corak

Specific to travel, we looked at opportunities to improve revenue online, talking about the tools, processes, and insights we use to do so. Plus, we handed out lasers to make the presentation more interactive, a big hit indeed. We walked through a planning process designed to find tactical flaws related to revenue, and create active steps to build effective programs as a result. Great crowd, thanks for having me!

8 Social Media Tips for the Hospitality Industry

A week ago I was lucky enough  to present at Social Media for Business (SMAZ), an Arizona social media conference that draws over 300 attendees from the state and beyond.  Fred von Graf, the curator and networking machine Arizona is so very lucky to call our own, always puts on a great show, and this time, SMAZ featured Jay Baer and Amber Naslund's book tour stop for "The Now Revolution" a social media must buy, and a must see if they come to your town. I'm definitely blessed - Fred has allowed me speak multiple times knowing that I'll bring something new to the table if asked to do so.  While I've presented planning steps, resourcing suggestions, and orchestrated content marketing and strategy discussions around social at SMAZ, and have seen many others present how-to's, talk about metrics, inspiration, and more, I couldn't recall seeing an industry focused presentation beyond some great ones geared towards non-profits.  In turn, I created and presented "Social Media Best Practices for Hospitality" an industry focused tip deck that I hope you find helpful, and I hope to expand on as time goes on.

Of course, there's some number of them to allow this post to "go viral" - 8 in this case.  In order, the tips you'll find inside include:

  1. Understand Content Demand In Relation to Your Business
  2. Identify, Quantify, and Examine the Opportunity Around Topical Points of Interest
  3. Organize Internally for Success
  4. Be Hospitable (for crying out loud)
  5. Encourage the Behavior you Desire
  6. Social Location/Mobile Opportunities
  7. Get the Right Kind of Help
  8. Utilize Remarketing to Extend the Conversation

Take a look and let me know what you think.  Was there something I missed?  I've also included some references to properties doing it right - be sure to follow them for real life references beyond the relevant life of this slide deck! Thanks to Altimeter Group and Jeremiah Owyang for the great study referenced, and as always, Brian Solis and JESS3 for the Conversation Prism (I have one in my home and work offices, what would I do without it?).