How Marketing Leaders Can Secure a Seat in the C-Suite

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York, Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant, or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves, and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York, Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms,
crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York,Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

 

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

 

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

 

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

 

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms,
crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant, or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves, and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

 

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals,
and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”¹

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant, or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves, and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

¹Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York, Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms, crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”¹

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?”Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas. (full disclosure: My husband, Magnus, works at Articulate).

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves and want to create a better world
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

What innovative ways are you using to build trust with your communities? Please share your comments below.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales

Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance

How to be an Innovative Marketer

8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

¹Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York,Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

 

This has been a difficult quarter for public relations firms,
crisis communications professionals, and government officials. The mystery of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, the ongoing Healthcare.gov outages, and GM recalls are just a few examples. It’s no wonder that we show such loathing and distrust for many institutions.

When I filter information from my own online channels—including email, LinkedIn, private C-suite forums, Facebook—I generally feel as if I have no control of what I will find, nor what people will say about me. The democratized Web is not stopping for anyone. That is the new marketing reality that we must accept, and act to minimize its impact. The first step begins with creating fresh new ways to build trust with our prospective customers, no matter what the channel.

I spoke with Adrian Ott, a seasoned marketing strategist and author of the bestseller, The 24-Hour Customer. She works with top technology firms such as Symantec and HP. She says “We are in an era of too many choices competing for too little time. The proliferation of products from around the globe has resulted in a plethora of options for buyers. As a result, the concept of traditional customer loyalty has suffered continuous decline from the time when our grandparents ‘always bought Fords.’ A study by the CMO Council and Pointer Media Network further reveals that 80 percent of loyal brand sales are attributed to only 2.5 percent of shoppers, not 80/20 as previously thought. Marketers need to find a better way.”¹

In light of these new Web realities, and the implications for how we relate to our communities, marketers need to ask “What strategies will help us earn and preserve trust, regardless of the communications channel?” Here are 5 strategies to consider:

  1. Scavenger hunting. Using GPS, companies such as Foursquare create a sense of mystery and gaming. Highly active users who check into a favorite hotel, restaurant, or club compete for the coveted “mayor” designation.
  2. Diagnostics and surveys. In exchange for your providing information about your company, Hubspot will show how your website compares to your competitors for no charge. Symantec’s marketing team created a benchmarking tool called INFORM (INFOrmation assurance Risk Model) to help CIOs assess their IT risk. In exchange for answering a survey about their security, compliance, and management practices, respondents could compare themselves to other companies and rapidly identify areas of high risk. Not only did INFORM establish Symantec’s thought leadership position; it helped their developers discover new product ideas.
  3. Making your customer a star. Articulate, an online learning solutions provider, has invented the “E-Learning Heroes” community where over 107,000 professionals gather to share templates, victories, and learning ideas.

  1. The Greater Good approach. The “triple bottom line,” socially responsible mantra that Seventh Generation, Tom’s Shoes, and Clif Bar have integrated into their operations shape their brand. These companies are committed to a purpose much greater than themselves, and want to create a better world.
  2. Customer wealth builder strategy. In my opinion, wealth is defined as discretionary time. If you can prove to your customer that you can streamline the time to evaluate, install, and use your products and services, you make them wealthier. You help them create white space on their calendar–a rare and precious commodity these days.

These strategies stretch our thinking on how we can stop competing with a prospect’s “delete” key on their keyboards.  And pay attention because some industry sectors are using these trust-building methods successfully. As a result, they are reporting healthy growth for 2014: healthcare, hospitality, housing, auto, manufacturing, professional services, commercial real estate, and exports. Surely some of their programs will keep them out of the corporate communications war room and in the good graces of customers.

Copyright 2014, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

You will also enjoy these posts:

5 Ways Marketing Can Turbocharge Sales
Latest Keynote: The New Rules of the Marketing Dance
How to be an Innovative Marketer
8 Surprising Ways to Delight Customers

¹Adrian C. Ott, The 24 Hour Customer: New Rules for Winning in a Time-Starved, Always Connected Economy, (New York,Harper Collins, 2010), page 6.

 

“CEOs are from Mars; CMOs are from Venus.” That is one of my favorite lines from the former CEO of Eloqua, Joe Payne.

And ten years after the birth of marketing automation, there is still plenty CMO turmoil and distrust in the executive suite. The abundance of data, coupled with the accessibility of data, only makes things worse for marketing leaders.

What can you do to earn your stripes in the C-suite? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Recognize that data is the new black. Just 10 years ago, decisions were driven by the hunches of “the smartest folks in the room.” Today, you can do the same thing, but you must play your hunches and test your assumptions. As a marketing leader, you need to augment your intuition and years of experience by digging for root cause for the problems you’re facing, gather benchmarks, and scan industry data to support your position.
  2. Stop using “marketing speak.” Think about it. YourCFO and the VP of Sales report on pipeline, revenue, backlog, and return on investment. Often, when attending board meetings, marketing uses different language, such as campaigns, lead scoring, social media, and event planning. This causes dissonance. Dissonance can lead to misunderstandings, and misunderstandings can lead to mistrust.
  3. Get in sync with the reporting cadence of the rest of the organization. Most organizations follow a reporting cadence that is weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. During staff meetings, the VP of Sales reports how you are tracking against forecast. The CFO reports on how earnings, revenues, and renewals compared to previous quarters. The milestones don’t change at random intervals. Conversely, the VP of Marketing may report on the latest Twitter campaign results at one meeting, and the number of leads from a big trade show at the next. This is downright career-limiting.

If you are lacking data to support your gut instincts, speaking your own language, or are following a different reporting cadence than the rest of your company, then you are swimming against the current within your organization. In my book, The Mindful Marketer, you will find practical strategies to help you secure your seat in the power circle without needing a life preserver.

What are your experiences in this area? I’d love to hear from you. Post your comments here to qualify to win an autographed copy of my newest book, The Mindful Marketer (launching in September).

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We recently surveyed our CMO members across North America to find out where they want to improve in 2015. One of the top 4 issues that CMOs want to address is their ability to manage priorities.
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In my opinion, this issue isn’t just about time management. Sure, that is important. I believe we need to be fully aware of how we spend our time—and I talked about it extensively in
my latest FastCompany post….

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With the new year only weeks away, it’s time to explore ways to stay ahead of the marketing curve in 2015. In my latest FastCompany post, I share how marketing leaders can move away from “order taking marketing” and become visionary “market makers” with a strong voice in the C-suite.
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Some key takeaways:

How to assess your value and how your peers perceive you
One step that can shift the leadership team’s perspective of your value forever
Trendspotting: Five areas to look for inspiration and insights
Three significant trends that will impact how marketers operate in 2015

You can read the entire FastCompany post here….

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