29th October 2014

in the footsteps of giants

Being highly available

Customers today are more time poor then ever before, however, they are now more information rich with access to online forums, social media, websites, and video content. The ‘e-customers’ now choose when and how to interact with brands in ways that best suit them, so being readily available to interact at all customer touch points and to appear in all of the places that they do is important. Knowing their habits, desires, likes and dislikes is essential. Time to turn up at their ‘watering holes’.
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes
Firstly it’s important to identify the correct decision makers and influencers in order to get a real handle on their requirements, their challenges and what they are trying to achieve. So clean data, analytical skills and importantly the ability to humanise marketing activity and empathise with customers is critical. You can argue this is nothing new and should already be very familiar for marketers. Therefore it begs the question ‘Is ABM marketing best practice that should always be adopted for any marketing communication, or is it a dramatic change in thinking and behaviour?’
“Listening, understanding and responding effectively to your key customers is business critical” argues, Graham Dodridge: CEO and Creative Director of Silver Agency. “When customer requirements and expectations align with the brand promise and product truth then magic happens and super brands are born.”
Answering the basic questions
No matter how clever and personalised your marketing is, customers will ask fundamental questions that need implicit answers: ‘Do they understand my business issues?’, ‘Can they deliver?’, ‘Do I trust them?’ and ‘Is the price right?’ Therefore all communications must address these issues.
The personal touch
Arguably the sales department is at the coalface of the business and holds all of the important personal relationships, that can provide critical feedback to marketing. Well-planned and executed account based marketing tends to generate leads that convert to revenue more easily. This in turn has the effect of boosting sales teams’ confidence in marketing, which strengthens cohesion between the two functions, leading to a cycle of continual improvement.
Merrick Cardew is Client Services Director and is a specialist in key account strategy at Silver.