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Welcome to Mutual Marketing!

The age of the social business is here: what does that mean to you?

We help you create mutual customer value, by updating your organization’s customer engagement skills, and facilitating greater customer insight.

July 12, 2010   Comments Off

Consistent Customer Experience? Proving the Benefit is a Key Issue

DSCN0930 Sandwiched between senior management and customer facing employees’ life for the operational manager trying to create a consistent customer experience is fraught. For, senior managers frequently don’t understand the business dynamics of customer experience and focus on driving the ‘bottom line’ with their accustomed practices. Meanwhile, customer facing employees can often sell the value of other brands, better than their own. If it is true that profitability and business sustainability are correlated with customer experience and customer engagement how does the middle manager prove it to the ‘seniors’, and achieve it with employees?

Creating a consistent customer experience?

There are three elements, or ‘graces’ to a consistent customer experience:

1. Cultural and brand consistency - across multi channels, media and different employees

2. Emotional consistency - across the complete customer journey covering multi-channels

3. Life-time conversational consistency - using the channels and media of the customer’s choice [Read more →]

July 22, 2010   No Comments

The Business of Business is Social

Academy of Marketing Logo Mutual Marketing started to weave Corporate Social Responsibility into customer value propositions way back in 2004.  We just did not see the point in having a CSR departments producing glossy CSR brochures just to ‘tick the box’: if social responsibility is important,  create value from it.   Attending the Academy of Marketing Conference  on Transformational Marketing yesterday in Coventry (July 2010) ,  it was pleasing to note that we had indeed earmarked an emerging trend.  The key note speech, given by Professor Michael Baker, was about the importance of Social Business in the evolution of global macro economics,  and the triple bottom line measure to micro economics.  In fact it was heartening to see marketing tied firmly back to economics, where it belongs,  as a generator of value and a conserver of scarce resources: this starts to put marketing back into the realm of investment rather than cost.  (And back in the board room,  instead of out on a ‘jolly’.)

Professor Baker, based his view on the importance of social business on what he called three coalescing issues:-

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – how do we move into ‘self actualisation’ ?

Rostow’s stages of economic growth – what does lie beyond mass consumption?

Organizational value creation – how do we create value from knowledge?

He also said that the role of marketers was to synthesise and integrate emerging ideas from the social and natural sciences, in the interests of consumers and thereby organizations and society – for the greater good.

So, what does this academic research mean in day to day practice?  I will suggest four key capabilities to consider – although there are more.  Firstly, a greater use of techniques such as PEST analysis,  not just as an audit, but as a tool for knowledge, insight and action.  Secondly, an understanding of the value chain process in the organization, and the knowledge needed at each stage.  Thirdly,  a growth in internal business analysts to triangulate information into issue based knowledge solutions.  And fourthly, a greater use of co-creation techniques for building innovation and value.

July 9, 2010   No Comments

Customer Engagement in Context

Engaging poet John Betjaman, at St Pancras Station, LondonBefore ‘everything’ is labelled ‘customer engagement’, let’s put the idea in the context of what we have leant over the last 20 years.

Customer value proposition – is the strategy, from the key idea to the ‘distinctive’ bundle of products and services promised to prospective customers in exchange for revenue, and reputation. The ideal creates mutual benefit.

Key tools:- Brand Values, Value Chain Planning, Customer Insight, Capability Planning

Key technology:- Data Mining solutions, Innovation & Knowledge Management software,

Customer relationship management – is the objective, the degree of goodwill an organization has with its customer base, from advocate through indifference to terrorist. It’s a company asset, or not. Loyalty is prized.

Key tools:- Customer Portfolio Mapping, Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, Econometrics

Key technology:-Customer Database, Customer Analysis and Business Information software.

Customer experience – is the delivery, the building block of the relationship – it’s the ‘moment of truth’ from the customer’s view point, and is measured by them in the light of their expectations. It’s what they talk about.

Key tools:- Customer Journey Maps, Word of Mouth, Feedback, Staff Advocacy, Root Causes

Key technology: Integrated SOA Infrastructure, Feedback software, Enterprise 2.0 for staff.

Customer engagement – is the ongoing process of ‘orchestrating’ customer interactions, to strengthen the involvement (emotional, psychological and physical) and investment between customer and organization.[1] It draws on the value proposition, it monitors the experience, but its essence is a sequence of connected actions, based on knowledge,  that builds up mutual investment (time, ideas, attention, help). Service goes up, messages get fewer.

Key tools:-Permission to Connect, Listen and Learn Process, Experiential Marketing

Key technology: Social Media, Content Personalisation, Next Best Action Software, Mobile

[1]Built on the definition from Ron Shevlin via Richard Sedley “Repeated interactions that strengthen the emotional, psychological and physical investment a customer has in a brand (product or company).”

July 1, 2010   No Comments