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Category Archive: Customer Development

Customer Loyalty Does Not Equal Customer Advocacy

“We have very loyal customers; we don’t need a customer advocacy campaign.” I’ve been in a senior sales and/or marketing position for more than 20 years and the one constant mistake I still see and hear is a lack of understanding in the difference between customer loyalty and customer advocacy. Making the distinction is not difficult. Customer…

Survey: Real Forces Disrupting Marketing Effectiveness

In a 2014 survey conducted by McKinsey & Company and the ANA, B2B and B2C marketers revealed the real forces disrupting marketing effectiveness today. Below is a summary highlighting the results. 1. Complexity and Fragmentation 48% of marketers reported that the fragmentations of the audience, and complexity of solutions and options for audience engagement, are significant disruptions…

How Mobile is Disrupting Traditional Loyalty Programs

My last post here on Sensei blogs shared some statistics that demonstrate the disruptive effect of smart phones on the photography habits of consumers.  Mobile technology and devices have had a disruptive influence on many aspects of our lives beyond digital photography, which, in turn, has disrupted how businesses must engage consumers. Mobile is Disrupting Traditional Loyalty…

Crowdsourcing: Customers Don’t Always Know Best

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company, in a move that is still hotly debated today, concocted a new Coke recipe in hopes of reinvigorating interest in its number-one selling soft drink. Logic dictates that when a product is number one, you don’t mess with it.  The problem, however, was that Coke’s market share had declined to only 24%…

Comcast Customer Recovery Strategy – Too Much, Too Late.

Arguably, phone, wireless, and cable providers are simultaneously the most predatory and desperate of all direct-to-consumer businesses. They conspire with each other to set inflated prices for mediocre service and negotiate territories to avoid competition, which, in turn, helps them set inflated prices for mediocre service. They demand your loyalty but only seem to reward that loyalty…

IKEA Hacks IkeaHacker Community, Cuts Off Nose To Spite Face

Here at Sensei, we’re always on the lookout for good and bad examples of customer development and community management strategies. This week an IKEA fan community caught our attention. However, where we could (and should) be discussing a best case example, unfortunately, we’re discussing a large brand misstep in both customer development and community management strategies. IkeaHackers…

The Anatomy of an Advocate Development Campaign

Influence and advocate marketing, a popular and often contentious topic today, have been around since we first coined word-of-mouth marketing. When social media began to capture significant market share of the consumers’ voice, these strategies became more critical. As a result, new social media software evolved to identify, engage, and encourage those with a large and active…

The Customer Exit Interview – Too Little, Too Late

So I received this call from Rogers, my son’s cellular provider, asking if I wouldn’t mind taking 5 minutes to answer a few questions about why I called to cancel my service contract. It was the “exit interview,” a common practice within marketing and customer service departments in many organizations. The interview is both a research tool…

Customer Loyalty and Advocacy are Not Interchangeable Concepts

I have attended a few conferences lately where I’ve heard both presenters and attendees use the terms “customer loyalty” and “customer advocacy” interchangeably, which frustrates me to no end – especially when it’s done by so-called “marketing experts.” In my experience, customer loyalty and advocacy are not interchangeable concepts.  There’s a significant difference between the two. In fact,…

Has Your Distinction Gone Stale?

We all nod our heads when someone talks about the need to deliver distinct, compelling value to our buyers. We just assume that our value is as distinct and compelling as it was last month, or six months ago or…. But is our value really distinct? And if it is distinct, is it compelling to our markets?…

So You Think You Know Your Audience?

Knowledge and expertise are things we all seek. Whether it’s in our area of business, our golf game, a musical instrument, cooking, cleaning, raising kids…whatever our passion, we strive to become the “expert” in our fields. Many business leaders say they know their buyers. From sales and marketing to product development – we claim to know what…

How Do You Define Customer Advocacy?

There is lots of talk about customer advocacy. It’s the end-game for many marketers and customer experience professionals. If you have customers who love your brand SO much they are willing to sing your praises to anyone who will listen, then you’ve done your job well. I agree there is a lot of benefit to having advocates….

The Consumer Survey Is Dead?

Serious question: is the customer survey dead?  Outside of linear data collection, I argue that there’s more insight to be gained from what customers say about you to others than what they say about you to you. Collecting survey data is like counting the number of followers a business has on Facebook or Twitter. You’ll add more…

2013: The Beginning of Context

I just ran a Google search: year of content. According to the results, some people were saying (in 2011) that 2012 would be year of content marketing, while others are saying 2013 would be that year. Pam Moore wrote a great post in June reminding us that content is not a shiny new object. I, for one,…

Lead Generation Continues To Challenge B2B CMOs

B2B customers have become more independent buyers in the procurement process as a result of their increasing access to information, research and peer-recommendations.  In fact, this modern buyer is something of an enigma to B2B vendors.   Traditional lead generation efforts such as trade show and publication advertising, direct mail, email, etc. are decreasing in effectiveness. Lead generation…

Advocacy, Not Sales is the End Goal of B2B Loyalty

In the B2C world, “Customer Loyalty” has become synonymous with points or rewards membership programs which are used to aid in the acquisition of new customers rather than building value in existing customers.  Such loyalty programs are rarer in the B2B landscape yet the tactical importance of loyalty is equally misunderstood and underutilized. 91% of B2B executives…

A Purchase Order Does Not Guarantee Customer Loyalty

There is a significant difference in the tone of a vendor-customer relationship to that of its former vendor-prospect status.  The processes are different; the players are different and so too are the expectations.  This first step in the customer development sphere of the customer lifecycle is critical for both parties as it creates the foundation of what…

The Business of Socially-Powered Boycotts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve experienced, seen or at least heard of the many boycotts being waged against corporate brands. Currently, we’re in the throes of a campaign against Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta-based fast food restaurant for comments made by owner Dan T. Cathy that supported the “biblical definition of the family unit”…essentially speaking out…

Bending the Linear #B2B Customer Lifecycle

The customer lifecycle references the stages customers pass through when considering, purchasing and using products or services offered by their vendors as well as the associated marketing, sales and service tactics the business engages in to push those customers towards a purchase decision. Among B2B marketers, this is not a new concept; however, the manner in which…

Investing in Customer Development

This is one half of a framing post for this Wednesday’s #bizforum debate on Twitter, which pits Sensei’s Jeff Wilson and Sam Fiorella on opposite ends of the Customer Acquisition vs. Customer Development discussion. Below are Sam’s arguments for investing in Customer Development. Read Jeff’s post on investing in Customer Acquisition here. Let’s start with the end:…

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