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Start Your Marketing Digital Transformation by Rethinking 4 Outdated Ideas

Blog Start Mkt Digital Trans By Rethinking4 Outdated Ideas

Digital transformation means many things to marketers. At its purest, it’s about using a variety of digital channels to optimize a marketing team’s efficiency. The goal is ultimately to minimize costs while maximizing customer acquisition and retention. For marketers today, this means developing a new model with new capabilities, new technologies, and a new customer-centric organization. It also means gradually rethinking core concepts and our convictions about them. Like an overdue wardrobe refresh, we should expect moments of discomfort as we dispense with some of our once-cherished possessions.

Outdated idea #1: Out with the buying funnel

For years, marketers have shared a sense of control with sheepherders. So many factors out of our control now influence the AIDA model; these include blogs that raise Attention, mobile apps that fuel Interest, social influencers that build Desire, and ecommerce apps that enable Action. The buying funnel’s assumption of marketer control has become outmoded.

In with unique customer journeys. Instead of planning buyers’ paths, we must accommodate and reward their choices. Our new model must enable us to observe the unique ways our customers learn about our brands, come into contact, engage with us, use our products and services, build loyalty, and share experiences with others. Instead of a funnel, we need seats in a circular office with panoramic views of our customers’ behaviors. As the rate of technology accelerates, these journeys will become even less predictable.

Outdated idea #2: Out with lifecycle stages

This concept is still relevant, but today’s customers have more complex journeys than lifecycle stages alone can help us understand. They move all over the map, depending on individual needs. One prospect may need email nurturing, while another needs to speak to a representative. One lapsed customer may be gone forever, while another returns as a brand advocate after learning of a friend’s positive experience through Facebook. Predictive models are becoming less reliable than responsive models.

In with customer lifecycle marketing with an emphasis on inflection points. Marketing automation, personalized messaging, and re-marketing enable us to segment audiences and engage customers continuously through an optimized combination of digital and traditional channels. To win in competitive markets, we should look for and respond quickly to inflection points or big changes in our customers’ needs, attitudes, and aspirations.

Outdated idea #3: Out with silos in channel management

When managers of channels including social media, email, e-commerce, and traditional broadcast advertising fail to collaborate, the customer experience suffers. An organizational structure must support collaboration between marketers who work exclusively in one channel or spread individual communication responsibilities across channels.

In with lifestyle support through technology. This new model views communications channels as components to integrate into every aspect of customers’ lives. Regardless of how a customer engages with a brand on a given day, the expectation is for immediate customer service. Customers want to be recognized by name by a representative with immediate access to all prior communications and issues. One of the most frustrating customer experiences is having to re-explain a problem to a new company contact.

Outdated idea #4: Out with selling propositions

Consumers no longer accept advertising claims or reasons to buy at face value. They have many ways to filter, validate, and verify statements against the actual performance of organizations and the experiences of customers.

In with trust-building. Consumers are loyal to companies that have earned their trust. To do so requires establishing a personalized interaction through all channels, anticipating needs, and responding quickly and effectively to concerns and problems. An organization must affirm trust through objective voices, including positive media coverage, strong feedback on rating sites, and satisfied customer stories on social platforms. Increasingly, customers also want to be involved in the evolution of the products and services they consume. They trust companies that seek their input and whose offerings reflect their influence.

Is digital transformation changing your marketing convictions? Is your business evolving in any of the ways just described in this article? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

ECI Staff Contributors

About the Author

ECI Staff Contributors love to share their insights and expertise on a variety of topics including sales, marketing, cloud, ERP, and SMB development as well as on product specific education. With offices throughout the United States, Mexico, England, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, more than 40 employees contribute to blog on a regular basis.