Customer Voice - Our Greatest Marketing Asset

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Last week I attended the second annual Content Marketing Retreat in Langley, Washington. During the course of the two day event I interacted with thought leaders, service providers, sole proprietors, non-profits, and representatives of regional business both large and small. Without exception I was impressed by the passion, interest and understanding about the importance that should be placed on the voice of the customer.

I had the opportunity to open the event with keynote remarks that focused on marketing fitness, content excellence, and making meaningful connections. 

Content Marketing - A CMO's View (w/o speakers notes due to PDF upload)


Please read on for a summary of thoughts that I shared during the retreat.

A satisfied – no, a delighted and empowered – customer is the greatest marketing asset that we have today.  and enabling them to use the power of their voice to improve, promote, and defend your company is an essential component of today's marketing mix. At PEMCO, we’ve established the “BHAG” (big hairy audacious goal) of never having to advertise for a lead again. That’s our objective. We know there will be reasons to advertise, but “having to” advertise for leads isn’t our idea of a good time. To some that may feel like a revolution… to our team it feels very doable and important.

Embracing the voice of the customer and doing whatever it takes to make every consumer touch point a talking point is exciting to me. Take a look around your business. How many ways do you communicate with consumers? Are those experiences remarkable? What are you doing to make them talk-worthy? How many people are telling your story? Have you made it easy for them? How about your “talkers” – do you know who they are and what triggers the conversations they’re having? There are so many questions that we as marketers have the opportunity to answer and influence. It’s a very exciting time.

I like to think of the way we treat our customers as a material investment in marketing. What happens on the front lines – in call centers, retail stores, and service departments – will impact the messages created and shared by consumers most. Without a doubt, service is the new marketing. And the information shared on the front line, the information they provide, is content that matters. Is the promise that your marketing and sales departments make on the front end of the relationship the same as the experience that your service providers are delivering? Is it world-class and and remarkable at every touchpoint?

Boring

Someone once told me that the best and most brilliant marketing ever created wouldn’t offset a company’s mediocre product or disappointing service. Today, the voice of the customer ensures that to be the truth. In fact, advertising can now be equated as the price companies pay for boring products and services. The marketing revolution makes it imperative that employees in every role are living the brand promise and enabling your customers to share stories of how your company surprises and delights them.

At last weeks Content Marketing Retreat, event organizer Russell Sparkman made it clear when he said, "Content is not King. Content is the gold." As business leaders, marketers, and professional communicators it is our responsibility to mine the cold and spend it wisely.

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The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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