The paradox of digitization – Salespeople, technicians, marketers and HR managers should create a simple framework for dialogue between humans. We are talking about the human era. Therefore, the motto of #IDEE2020, which will be held on November 4th, 2020, is: Create the human-to-human experience. Executives from different divisions meet here to shape the working world of the future together. Keeping in mind that in departmental silos, the new requirements (needs or expectations) of employees, users and customers are not met.
Leahanne Hobson, Founder of Alinea Partners Consulting GmbH has many years of experience as a Marketing Director in top IT and telecoms companies. Alinea Partners Consulting GmbH is engaged in developing social selling concepts and actively shaping the customer experience. She attaches particular importance to the cross-divisional cooperation of marketing and sales. Prior to her presentation at #IDEE2020, we asked her how the role of a Marketing Director has changed and what human-to-human experience means.
#IDEE 2020 ~ 4. November, Wien
Create the human-to-human experience
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What are the five most important areas where digital transformation changes the way marketing works in a digital world?
Modern CMOs are finding their opportunities and roles are changing significantly. They are playing a much more senior role at the management table and are finding themselves with an expanded opportunity to contribute greater value and far more measurable results by delivering exceptional customer experiences.
- Five areas where a CMOs role will change in a digital world:
- Leadership: CMOs are evolving into Chief Experience Officers; responsible for and driving their companies to be accountable for creation and optimization of an optimized, delightful prospect and customer experiences from beginning to end.
- Personalisation: Better data and better insights. Ongoing, real-time research and collection of data on market trends and customer needs.
- Delighters: Use data and technology to identify prospects’ and customers’ unmet and perhaps uncommunicated needs.
- Access: Gone are the days when a company set-up a telephone number and called prospects from it. Today’s buyers and customers chose the communication and access method they prefer and allow companies access based on their relevance, approach and choice of channel. Modern access channels are up to customer choice and can range from a website to a sales rep, email or chat function, Facebook, WhatsApp, Wechat, SMS, Instagram and others. CMOs need to understand their customers’ contact and accessibility preferences.
- Social Selling: CMOs now have greater access to sales opportunities through online channels. By being the company’s rallying force behind modern selling techniques, CMOs will go from Outbound to Inbound results focused.
What does the customer interacting with a company really expect?
Well, a lot of the basics and something special. The same thing we are all looking for when we buy something. We do a lot of work globally with companies looking to stay on top of their game with customer experiences. We often review the sales process from an outsider’s perspective. We see companies growing quickly and juggling a lot in order to stay competitive and relevant. Often, the basics are not optimized. Simply making sure the basics are fixed goes a long way. For example:
- Give options for ways to contact (see above).
- Respond to all channels as quickly as possible (waiting 48+ hours for a response to a webform is no longer interesting).
- Be professional – and nice. It is not your job to love every potential client, but it is your job to make them feel you are committed to getting them what they want (Apps are modern and great technology. If your in-store sales reps do not know how to answer basic questions about your modern app, without showing frustration that an app is preferred, consumption will fall).
- Finally, think long and hard about your company’s purpose and make sure that is used in the sales process as a clear delighter – making the experience with your company unique.
There is a lot more, but that gives a flavour.
How important is innovation in marketing now?
It’s not a matter of how important it is, it is much more to embrace that innovation is part of marketing and sales. Innovation and marketing worktogether, hand-in-hand in order to succeed.
Everything is changing. Developing and evolving even faster in all aspects of our lives. Consumers/buyers are changing. The way we consume information and interact based on steady and rich advances in innovation enabled by even faster growing technologies. All this and much more drives innovation and change in multiple dimensions.
So, marketing needs to be part of that ongoing motion of change, supporting the richness of developments of products and services by companies, but also to leverage new formats and channels of consumption and interaction, reaching out to new or more specific audiences. And last but not least – also take leverage of innovation to get better and richer itself by utilizing Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or Mixed Reality to lead by innovation.
What are the most important technology trends a marketing or sales person should be aware of?
- Machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence. The more you can implement Artificial Intelligence into the tools you use to sell, as well as into your day to day strategy, the bigger the impact on your productivity will be. How?
- Pinpointing the right people to reach out to. Analyse data to save time finding them.
- The ability to analyse huge amounts of data in a very short time will support personalized sales strategies.
- Prediction analysis. What will your customer need next?
- Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for sure will be strong drivers for new solutions Marketing and Sales teams will be able to leverage, helping them extract more insights into customers or using predictive analysis for anticipating next steps or purchasing opportunities. In addition to that they will also drive development of new products/services a company will be able to offer to the market.
- Blending experiences for visualising, interacting or even consuming based on Mixed Reality will start getting more important as technologies are getting more mature and ready for the market. They will affect both, marketing and sales as marketing will be able to build interesting new formats on new types of devices, enabling to interact and provide richer and more personalised experiences. Just imagine an intelligent earbud utilising voice interaction, location and your preferences to guide you to the best price offers you may be looking for in the supermarket. Or a kind of intelligent glasses letting you see yourself in the dress you are watching on a screen on your PC.
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What does it take to create a human-to-human experience?
Your broader (human-to-human) network is what gives you power, that leads to success, happiness and getting what you want out of life. This is scientifically proven. Your network advocates for you, supports you and helps you tap into your passions. This what ignites humans, right?
By doing this professionally as well as personally, this network of humans becomes your brand ambassador. Today, technology just allows us to take it to a far greater reach and frequency.