I had the pleasure of attending a Forbes CMO Network event last month that highlighted the challenges and opportunities associated with a social business strategy. The presentation by Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group was directly in line with the key challenge many top marketers face today: how can marketing teams adapt to – and exceed – the needs of increasingly active (and vocal) online customers?
Most brands understand that engaging and supporting their consumers on social channels is important. However, I’d be curious to know how many leading brands are sure that they’re hearing the entire conversation. Companies have social media crawlers, managers and content aggregators, but how does that mass of dialogue make enough sense to translate into an actionable plan towards customer centricity? How do they connect the overwhelming amounts of social chatter with actual customers, their history, products, levels of satisfaction? How do they understand the importance of a particular customer who is vocal on social media?
The answer comes with insight. If brands are able to tie social in with other valuable information – emails, CRM records, ERP records, databases, survey data on fileshares, etc. – then they can gain a clearer perception of the customer, in order to take the appropriate action. Once a clear picture is achieved, brands can truly practice a customer-centric marketing strategy because they’re sure about the challenges their customers are facing. Listening may seem like the easiest part of a social strategy on paper, but the execution of that strategy can be challenging. I ask other marketers: are you sure you’re seeing the entire scope of your customers’ perceptions, linked with what you already know about them?
For more information on customer centricity, and combining social and enterprise data to get that 360-degree view, download our recent ebook.