Category: Online Marketing


The All-In-One Marketing Platform Approach Is Failing To Build Customer Trust

By Tom Fricano, Senior Practice Director of Strategy and Consulting, PossibleNOW

Over the past two years, we have experienced a significant shift to online commerce. Not only are these voluminous transactions regulated by privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA, businesses are also receiving customer backlash related to poor customer experiences.

This transformation of interacting with customers online has called for greater strategy and technology capability, in which the balance between data collection and customer experience must be established to succeed. In fact, the very practice of how businesses collect customer data will either build or destroy customer trust.

Why is consent and preference management becoming more important?

Customer consent is important because it grants permission for brands to provide marketing or service communications with prospects and customers, hence, comply with regulations. Customer preferences such as product interest and channel preference help brands understand what’s best for the customer.

Preference management is also important, as constant collection of customer data will help drive the brand’s revenue, marketing efficiencies, and other KPIs. We all sign up for newsletters, product information, promotions as well as lifestyle preferences related to things such as travel.

Therefore, it is important for all customer-facing departments (e.g., marketing, sales and customer service) within a business to make it easy for customers to indicate and change their preferences as their interests evolve over time.

Companies today are spending millions on marketing technologies that enable seamless customer consent and preference management. Research firm Allied Market Research estimates that the consent management industry will represent $2,271.1 million by 2030, up from $318.3 million in 2020 and registering a compound annual growth rate of 21.9% from 2021 to 2030.

Not all preference and consent providers are equal

While many businesses are realizing they need these critical technologies to enhance, refine and preserve the overall customer experience, they should do their homework when selecting the right preference and consent management technology provider to work with – as not all have the same capabilities.

All-in-one may not mean best solution

At first glance, there are a handful of enterprise-level technology providers that do everything from customer relationship management to marketing automation to preference management.

These cloud-based software companies have the look and feel of a “Big Box” provider and offer a suite of applications in their own customer data platform to help companies manage all aspects of their business and maintain relationships with their customers.

The allure of working with a provider such as this is the single vendor, “all-in-one” solution where there are often no additional costs or integration required for a core platform. However, what they gain in their one-stop allure, they often fall short in truly satisfying the need for depth of functionality, configurability, regulatory compliance, and the ability to activate data across-platforms.

Specialty vendors can build custom solutions

On the other hand, specialty providers that focus on consent and preference management solutions offer a more holistic approach that includes strategy, best practices, process, and governance in addition to technology. They often start by interviewing their customer’s customer to understand what’s truly important to them.

With this insight in hand, they can design a holistic solution that meets both the consumers and organization’s needs. Then they are ready to manage the deployment process and help gain adoption. This greater internal and external adoption leads to increased customer engagement, improved marketing ROI and higher revenue potential.

Along with internal adoption comes the ability to help integrate preferences for customers across the entire organization and its many departments – a critical function that can be missed by “big box” providers whose offerings aren’t designed to meet this unique set of needs. As a result, this leads to a single view of the customer, greater customer trust and assurance of regulatory compliance.

On the surface, listening to customers and honoring their preferences is not only obvious, it’s a must in today’s customer-driven business climate. Every business today must listen to their customers and the outcomes are immediate and apparent.

As digital environments grow increasingly more complex – along with the penalties introduced for non-compliance – businesses of every size, and in every region must rely on the right solutions.

Digital transformation of collecting customer consent and preferences is an iterative process that will continuously change and adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace, but it is now up to each individual business to determine the right provider to work with for the right set of unique solutions.

About the Author: Tom Fricano is the Senior Practice Director of Strategy and Consulting at PossibleNOW. With more than 25 years of experience, Tom assists clients with customer experience, preference management and consent initiatives through advisory and strategic consulting, technology expertise and project to product to implementation roadmaps. Learn more at: https://www.possiblenow.com/preference-management

8 Tips for Great Social Media Content

Writing great content for social media isn’t a matter of luck. There are specific strategies you should follow to get your target audience to take notice. Here are eight tips that will increase your success.

1. Know your brand voice and stick to it.

Determine the voice and tone that reflects the image of your business. It helps to write down concrete guidelines, such as key message points, themes to use or avoid, and keywords.

Apply this concept of voice to visuals as well. Define your color scheme, the types of visuals (people? animals? illustrations?) and how and when they will be used.

Use your brand voice to create a consistent experience for your audience on social media. Every post should be consistently and authentically “you”.

2. Write with purpose.

Every social post should have a meaningful purpose in the relationship you are building with your online community. Writing something because it is Tuesday and you need to get something out is not a successful purpose. 🙂 Know the goal of your post and what it will do to connect you with your audience before you proceed.

Keep your audience front and center. Focus on their needs, not yours. Demonstrate that you understand and how you can help.

3. KISS

People usually skim social media. So, try to avoid writing long-winded and complex posts. Keep. It. Simple. (You know the other “s”).

Remember: Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, short posts.

4. Use the active voice.

Always write in the active voice. Sentences in the active voice are generally shorter and easier to read. The language is simpler and clearer. Passive voice can also sound evasive.

Passive: It was decided that we needed to speak directly to our customers.

Active: We speak directly to you.

5. Show your community you care.

Few of us enjoy a one-sided conversation. We want to contribute our thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Ask your followers open-ended questions. This increases the engagement on your posts.

Questions can be about their experiences, their agreement with your content, requests for input and ideas, etc. The best engagement reflects the intersection between your brand and your audience. They show your audience you understand and care about them.

6. Be human (aka emotional).

Evoke emotion in your writing. Neutral, polished, corporate is both opaque and boring. Sharing that type of content on social media is counter to the goal of engaging your community.

Some brands thrive on controversy, while others use emotion to elicit a positive response. Whichever you choose, remember it should fit your brand image and language. Stay conversational and approachable. Be straightforward, honest and reachable. Our strongest human connections are often emotion-based at the core.

7. Consistency is key.

Every social platform has it’s own culture. To be effective you need to be consistent to your brand, yet suitable for the platform. It may be tempting to match the hip vibe on TikTok, but you risk sounding like your brand has multiple personalities.

Not all platforms may work for your brand, and that’s OK. Remember your goal is to engage with your target audience. If they aren’t on a platform in ways that create effective opportunities, don’t use the platform.

8. Help people act on your content.

Your followers see and read your great social media content with interest. What now? Always include a call to action (CTA) within each post, usually at the end.

Share what the reader should do next. Give them the number to call, a link for more information, directions on how to get a featured product or service, etc.

 

Standing Out Online as a Professional Services Provider

We are in a time of independent and solo practitioners. Once an anomaly, many businesses today are composed of one person with expertise or services to offer. How do independent and solo practices stand out online?

To start, embrace the reality that your first impression will not be made in-person. For most businesses, the initial image today is created online. That is often on a Google search results page, at a website or on social media.

Understand Your Value

To stand out, you need to know why you stand out. What differentiates you from the rest of the small businesses that seem the same on the surface. Real estate agents and financial advisors know this fight for attention well. The secret to standing out is deciding what makes you different and making that front and center in your marketing.

Now you need to communicate that unique value you bring online, in words, images, videos, etc. Your online messaging should highlight what makes you different in a clear way that establishes your brand. People associate with brands and people they know, trust and respect.

For the solo practitioner, the person is as important as the brand. You need to establish your credibility and thought leadership in your area of expertise. You equal your brand, and both need to be clear, consistent and have value for your target market.

Where to Stand Out

There are three categories of places to focus online.

  • Owned: Places that you pay for and completely control. Your website is your top owned online location.
  • Rented: Places where you can post content but are not completely under your control. Think social media. What you can post, how it looks, etc., is controlled by the platform.
  • Earned: Your content and content about you at other sites that you don’t directly place or pay for. This includes a link to your website from another website, reviews on Yelp and Google, etc.

All of these places create your online presence and impact. The strongest presence includes all three of these elements.