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Archive for March, 2009

According to Marketing fields, I asked myself about the different kinds of KPIs we can find to follow, mesure and value the real interest and performance of marketing. You think you know, obviously, the answer. Don’t get me wrong but, it’s another complicated matter in fact. Never ever asked you anyway? mesure the unmesurable, trying to catch the exact effects of the wide range of marketing, because no one has ever managed with it. Can we define particularly, the differents ways of involvement of marketing in business cases? Do we have words and figures to straightly say in a sentence, how report for marketing efficiency? I still search, by myself…
Overlooking all old rules, I found and tried a whole definition of what could be “marketing tricks”, to nowaday business ; correct me and let me know if you’re not OK with, but, first let me introduce you to these basic rules:

marketing, says one, could be “conception, settlements and control of any resource – social, technical, material, commercial, scientific…- in the aim of optimize the value for the customer in buying a good or a service, compared to the risk” ; we can underline this way 3 main ideas:  marketing is time, marketing is value and marketing is risk.

So we have with these 3 steps in marketing KPIs follow-up:

  • Marketing that gives value to customers, with quality, offer in aim of optimize customer satisfaction
  • Marketing that minimize the risk for the customer to be disappointed in buying product or service – risk that can be collective by the viral effects –
  • Marketing of time, time to be “just in time” and time-to-market wise, with innovation

kpi

According to the large responsabilities of marketing, we must now ask ourselves about “who is driven and targeted by these KPIs?” ; we already knows that it can’t be one people or departement, but a wide range of functions in corporation. There’s no less than marketing managers, CEO and general manager, but suppliers around : promotion, sales, delivering – supply chain -, and probably after sales: sales administration, call services and customer relationship management.

I can try to give out a piece of solution, with evaluation of performance monitoring, from different points of view:

– Obviously by customers themselves: is what I have is what I was supposed to, in the value offer of the firm?

  • what may pay customer (price edge) for my product or service = value for renunciation?
  • what is the difference between “perception of value” and “price”?
  • mesure of misunderstanding / gap between “promise” and “received”?

– Performance, from marketing itself, in the added value they have in the value chain of the firm

  • evaluation of ROI from “marketing and promotion expenses” and return on sales
  • supply chain costs driven by large ranges, several selling channels, compared to necessary depth of the purpose
  • contribution of marketing skills in value chain: know-how, know-when, know-with

– Performance, from general board, judging how the firm is understood outside by different leaders: press, customers, suppliers, partners, financials…

  • market share
  • positionning and changes evaluation effects
  • benefits
  • shares performance

– Social trace in social community: how is evaluated the effects of the firm’s products, on consuming behaviors?

  • notoriety surveys
  • social object
  • laws and sustainable development framework: social, economics, green behavior
  • rise of consumers satisfaction after consuming

Well I dare, but it’s anything like some tracks and thoughts about how we can handle with these matters. The way is long and unfortunately, there’s no really scientist approach, by the difficulty of each concept and define exact responsability in companies. But we know thing must be done, to give the good resources, where we need, and give up the rubbish ones. Companies are rarely endless financial resources, and they have to manage closer, to make shareholders, employees and banks, increasing partnership and trust. Having a strong KPIs board, adding marketing matters, can help this.

I would really be pleased to have some comments, adding advises, and maybe experiences, shared on follow-up. Let me know…

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Who knows who came first? brands or customers? What we can say is that none of them can exist and sustain without the other. But brands that want to keep their customers “safe” for a long time, one day started to think: well, what about if I decided to care now more closer, about my customers…;-) ? Yeah, no big deal, in fact. But why?

If we look at several argues that lead a company to do so, we have:

– economics needs: customers are now more than stakeholders but close to “shareholders” – we can say that even having any stocks of the company, they draw the line for the brand by their buyings-; they decide to stop or go with fidelity, and have a strong responsability on brand doom. If the customer changes by consuming a brand (in his habits, social behavior…), the brand can be changed too by customers advises: glory or death?

– social effects: brand needs to play a social role, in the several uses it can provide (new we hope…). Making happiness with a new product needs high skill, but make it real and exploit it in a bulk place is another goal. If the customer reaches such nirvana, he can make it viral to others, changing the face of society

– satisfy a need, that was not until this moment: achievement, success, purposed to targets, and accepted by customers. Brand has skills it can exploit, knows how to do it, knows how to promote it, making a real economic exchange: money against user benefit.

– customers that come from others: virality, buzz, leads brand to sell its products, targeting early adopters: customers to follow-up, by their fidelity will be connected to their real interest for the brand…caught, but not for the whole life…

We learned now that, by individual behaviors that grows far, “acting consumer”, wishes to be THE customer and not A customer among several ones. Rumours, buzz, advises, forums…we see now new shapes for relation between customers and brands, that is growing up each day more.  Beyond classical relation between “brand/agency/targets”. Emergency and likeness to express ourselves create other links, that brands can’t see, out of traditional medias : social sharing, communities, collaboration, equal point-of-view and advices are lots of disguised powers, that without any violence, can burst and shoot down brands, without they see it come.

Customer relationship is born. Because some brands want to keep their customers alive and active (weird isn’t it ;-). Quick growth for call centers, in several countries shows us the attention that has been created to exchanges and advises. Relation is not one way anymore, let the new codes come in, and damn to who can’t see them. Social web changes the value chain about knowledge, experts, official speakers and carry out other speech spaces, and lead to failure traditional behaviors: when you want now an information in the quickest way, who can you trust…web. And who writes on the web? Anyone. And before having a question, there’s now already an answer…Magic isn’t it?

According to IBM global business study about consumers, quest for the best price still works…and a good reason to be advised, guided by other buyers. And by the way, to be fed up with a brand, change and provide infidelity. The central fact for concil, prescription and advice is real: now, everybody knows all about everything, in the same time…What was a strategic advantage, few years ago: “information before everyone”; that was. How can brands can manage with the new situation?
Underlying, comes the sustainable HR concepts…Brands that take care of their customers can change them into “powersellers”: a happy and satisfied consumer is so a salesman who sleeps but can wake up as a brand’s soldier. Convincing neighborhood, circle of friends and family. That is to say as doubtless a high potential leverage of conquest for market share and new customers.
Let’s figure out the two faces of customer relationship: a satisfied customer can talk to average 3 or 4 close leads ; an unsatisfied can do it with more than 10, if he’s really upset…And you would still ignore that?

Let me introduce you to Kano’s model graph, illustrated with 3 concepts: unavoidable attempts of customers, normal ones and unsaid. Each of them have a trigger level.

kanogb

First of all, the basic ones (unavoidable) must be satisfied, supplied to a customer because they are obvious…They are not a real leverage for satisfaction but if you don’t get them…be careful about reactions.
The second ones (performance needs) are explained and requested by the customers, clearly. And satisfaction is directly linked to level of what is supplied: exact proportion. It’s a priority field of development in the consumer satisfaction, for sure.
Finally, last but not least, we go in a psychic face value, because it’s time for surprises! Consumers love to be surprised…and even for a hidden need, the revelation can provide such added satisfaction, that it can improve the brand attraction.

Customers, powersellers when they are satisfied….a real strategic goal if we consider the cost for new consumers. A real aim for fidelity and assets value: not financial ones, but customers, those who write the story of the brand. A strategic key to new markets, with new kind of attention to power of filled and satisfied relations. Are we going to still buy only products or services…?
No more now, we want to buy relation…

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