My starting point for this post was the desire to paint a picture of the ideal online customer engagement cycle – a sound strategy, intelligently and tactically implemented… Bear with me, sounds like the start of a sales pitch I know, and it kind of is, but it’s also hopefully a useful exercise (and of course you’ll have your own thoughts on the matter, and I’m more than happy to hear them if you disagree with mine!).
What we probably can all agree on, though, is that we’d love to track a customer’s interaction with our brand right from the moment we appear on their radar up to, hopefully, a sale. This might start off with an email or a Google search, go via a bespoke landing page to a contact form; or to a specific product, the shopping basket, and a sale. Or, as is unfortunately also often the case, it might be that you aren’t optimized for the right search terms and the prospect passes by, or a click leads to a generic homepage and a bounce, or a two-page foray into your site ends in them leaving in frustration because they can’t find what they’re after.
Of course, there are very valid reasons, usually budget related, why we have to make compromises, maybe focusing on website development in the first instance, or rolling out some lead generation campaigning without investing in a considered sales funnel to direct the recipient once they arrive on your landing page. We’ve also found ourselves recently in pitch situations against other agencies who specialize in one particular area of online marketing, and the same problem of siloed tactical thinking becomes apparent here, for different reasons. SEO specialists would sacrifice usability and creativity on the altar of ultimate rankings, email specialists focus only on click through- and open rates, and ecommerce houses get bogged down in the technology and not the output.
A website won’t pull like it could if it isn’t supported by the right search engine management, an email campaign could fall flat if the web page it clicks through to doesn’t deliver, and absolutely none of it will work if you aren’t talking to the right people in the first place. A typical strategy could be carried through via all of these elements, and they absolutely have to complement each other for it to perform, and to smash your targets for return on investment.
There’s no denying that there’s real power in having every tactical aspect of your online marketing strategy pulling together to draw people in as prospects and spit them out again as satisfied customers. That’s the beauty of online, particularly when accountability is everything, and that’s why we always propose solutions that address our clients’ business needs rather than having to push a solution because it happens to be what we sell.
marketing strategy•customer relationship management•customer engagement