We hear the buzzwords about engaging with customers and prospects, but just how do you do it all well?

Piling onto last week’s view on the true importance of the Cloud, DocuSign CMO Brad Brooks returns to guide marketers on how to approach and plan a marketing strategy that reaches each and every prospect and customer.

Keep reading to learn how to make your digital story telling a platform for genuine brand engagement and evangelism.

What are top actions to consider when driving customer engagement?

We get so caught up in the ‘digital experience,’ we often forget the human experience that comes with customer engagement. Digital marketing tactics empower the ability to engage and touch customers in many different ways, whether it’s through social media platforms or e-mail. What can never be lost is the direct relationship these tactics create and deliver: whether it’s part of a sales call or how the customers interact with the product itself.

The one thing in a Cloud-based world is that the marketing is the product and the product is the marketing: the best way to communicate the value proposition to a customer is when they’re using the product themselves.  For example, with DocuSign one of the biggest challenges is just overcoming how you’ve always done things.  But we’ve found, once someone DocuSigns, they never want to go back to the old way rife with the hassles and costs of printing, faxing, scanning and overnighting documents to complete transactions.

This surfaces fundamental questions every Cloud and SaaS marketer should ask himself or herself:

  • Does the product user experience meet (or preferable exceed) customers’ needs and expectations?
  • How do the individuals within the company and sales engage with the customer?
  • How do your company’s digital experiences align with your brand and the perception that you’re communicating to the marketplace?
  • How does the product experience relate to how you engage with your customer? If you’re not engaging well with customers, all else falls down.

 

What are the top emerging trends and tools that will impact the way marketers interact on a B2B and B2C level in 2015?

Trust goes to the heart of your brand. At the end of the day, your brand’s most effective marketing is based on the fundamental truth about who you are as a company and brand. The more you can bring that fundamental truth to life, the more your customers will be inspired by it, engaged by it, loyal to it, and willing to put their own personal reputations on the line in terms of recommending your brand. But if they feel that that truth is broken, your marketing can backfire so it’s really important to focus on staying authentic to who you are as a brand and how your product serves customers.

What’s B2Me?

We use the terms B2B and B2C since they’ve been around for a while, but as we’re moving towards more individually personalized and relevant marketing content, a new term is about to emerge.

With B2Me marketing, the individual customer is at the center of marketing activities. Because you can customize and personalize content, there is an expectation from consumers that they have a personal relationship with that brand and product. Maybe it’s an output of successful technology companies that have been very good at molding their brand so that it’s individual to each and every consumer. What I have found is that companies that have focused on B2B marketing traditionally have looked at their customers in terms of industry sectors and loose sight of the individual prospect. Instead, it’s vital to forge an individual relationship so you can influence that prospect at an individual level as a person. That’s clear when you pull back the curtain at DocuSign where our marketing team is targeting specific people by delivering content that’s relevant, important and interesting to them at the right time in the sales process.

What’s the Game Plan for Brand Engagement for 2015?

  • Broaden your perspective from strictly focusing on industry segmented marketing and start focusing strongly on individualized marketing that hones in on individual prospect behaviors that drive choice for you product or service.
  • Demand generation skills and tools that make deftly use marketing automation platforms like Eloqua to individualize and customize your marketing approach at scale.
  • Hone a social media presence that is consistent with your brand and talks to your customers as individuals not entities.

 

These actions are all part and parcel to effective messaging, and messaging is nothing more than a well-told story about what is true about your company, brand and product. Here’s how your audience absorbs your messaging and content:

  • They ask themselves if your message is interesting and important to them.
  • They assess whether your message is relevant in the context of their personal or business lives?

 

Individualized relevance drives the B2Me trend as it locks in an authentic connection with the customer. They will remember your message and will want to engage and evangelize your brand and product because you’ve taken the time and care to reach out to them.

What advice or trend impacted you? Curious to learn more? Share your questions and thoughts in the comments below.

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