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Steps to Building a Customer Engagement Framework

June 13, 2012 By Jeff Hassemer
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Customer relationships don't develop overnight. They're built from a series of engagements and experiences that take place over time, with the end goal of building a strong bond that thrives and develops as time marches on. The more positive the engagements and experiences, the stronger the bond. 

With the proliferation of media and seemingly endless touchpoints consumers have to interact with a brand, effectively managing the flow of data to enhance customer interaction can appear to be a daunting task.

Marketers who create and use a customer engagement framework know it isn't a series of linear steps. Rather, it's a living process that should be repeated multiple times across all channels and throughout the customer's life cycle.

The four-step methodology to creating a customer engagement framework includes the following elements:

  • Listen up. Recognize customers and their interactions across the full range of traditional, digital, mobile and social channels available for interacting with your company.
  • Analyze this. Review your data and develop new insights about customer behavior and preferences using advanced tools and methods. Fill in the holes with reliable analytics to draw further conclusions about your customers.
  • Plan the work, and work the plan. Leverage best practices and strategies for managing campaigns and marketing programs. This includes modifying deliverables to ensure they're customized to your customer and delivered via preferred channels.
  • Shout it out. Deliver personalized interactions using state-of-the-art tools for coordinated, cross-channel experiences. Make every attempt to ensure the interactions take a positive tone to help with building those relationships.

For best results, assess, tweak and repeat.

Marketers who have done their job well can prove that their customers engage with their brand through one or more channels — e.g., they've received an email, conducted a search, posted on the brand's Facebook page — and will see their relationship begin to move up the "marketing sophistication curve."

The curve provides an intuitive guide for brands to evaluate their level of cross-channel marketing sophistication and suggests opportunities for improvement, much like a built-in marketing adviser. With 46 percent of marketers choosing multichannel coordination as one of their biggest marketing challenges of the last 12 months to 18 months, we need all the help we can get.

The distinction between multichannel and cross-channel marketing is that multichannel is defined by a company being present and active in multiple channels, whereas cross-channel is having a consistent and coordinated message across channels. The curve provides strategic direction about where to invest in technologies and processes. Cross-channel optimization requires an integrated approach across the customer journey, company silos and disparate systems.


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