Megatrend – Urban world: The global consumers to watch

Here is a very interesting report on the future of urban consumption… Read it or keep it and…be inspired !

Urban world: The global consumers to watch

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/urbanization/urban-world-the-global-consumers-to-watch?cid=other-eml-nsl-mip-mck-oth-1604

Do you think about your triple bottom line ?

Money ! Money ! Money ! The obsession of all managers, company owners, speculators ! Profit & loss. The bottom line ! The obsession of all controllers and finance managers !

Profit is the driving force of the market economy. Some consider it as the final purpose of business and life. Some see it as a measurement tool of business and economy effectiveness. But whatever your opinion about it, times are changing. The P&L bottom line is no more the only one ! 

Look at the success stories of these last 20 years: Google, Facebook, AirBnB,… these businesses grew dramatically because their purpose was to bring new social models. The money making model followed. Actually, they made some years to make money. They looked at the second bottom line: the Societal bottom line. They introduced new paradigms  changing people behaviors everywhere. A number of green companies are putting society first while making profit. B Corps for example, are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency (https://www.bcorporation.net/what-are-b-corps)

Once these companies succeed , they also put employees first. They understood that, to keep employees loyal in a ¬†war for talent, they need to make their life at work happy and secure. Sometimes called “new paternalism”, this is also reinforcing the market and economic performance of corporations. They care for the Social bottom line. Read Richard Branson about it:¬†http://www.inc.com/oscar-raymundo/richard-branson-companies-should-put-employees-first.html

Think about the triple bottom line like this:

  • money is the consequence of business performance
  • performance comes from innovation and employee engagement
  • innovation comes out a strong motivation to change the society
  • employee engagement leads to customer satisfaction, hence business performance

So, don’t loose a minute: Care for your triple bottom line NOW¬†Capture d‚ÄôeŐĀcran 2016-04-07 aŐÄ 19.44.54.png

So you really want to be customer-centric ?

Many talk about being customer-centric. You too ! But most of the time it’s wishful thinking ! Here are 5 areas to work on. Bind them into a customer-focused program. I can help you for that.

  1. Listen to customers continuously¬†A number of informations are available in the field that never gets up to the top. It’s not surprising. Most of the time, nobody ever asks for front line employees to report customers opinions. Employees are not trained to ask in a proper way. They’re not motivated to be day to day researchers. Who is actually caring for them ? Set up a “customer listening campaign” every year !
  2. Understand customers ¬ę¬†needs and wants¬†¬Ľ to offer the ideal value proposition¬†We are no more marketing products today. We sell solutions, service, image, experience and price is what we sacrifice to get all that. This is what we call “the value proposition”. When did you formalize your value proposition the last time ? How is it different from the one of competitors ? Do your staff people know about it ?
  3. Leave your¬†offices and operation centers to visit customers and take all your staff with you !¬†Change your “open door day” into a “closed door day“. Go visit the clients facilities, send teams of employees to clients offices to interview their counterpart, teach your boss to go see a customer each week, even if you’re not in sales ! Open the minds of all !
  4. Implement the¬†¬ę¬†reverse pyramid¬†¬Ľ model of organization Traditional organizational structures come out the army model where people at the top control people below. So, people life at work is commanded by the objective of “climbing to the top”. It’s obsessional and defeating since almost no one is reaching that level. Reverse this and put the front line people, those who are in day to day contact with clients at the top. Management is a supporting role. And the CEO and executive committee should be the most supporting.
  5. ¬†Build close and trustful relationships with customers and work together on problem solving Customer is king is an old saying that doesn’t mean much today. Customers are our partners in value creation. Together with them we should try to work on solutions. They now better than us what are their specific needs and the best way to create value is co-creation. Customer relationship is more than going out dining and drinking with them !

There are a lot more things to do when you want to become a true customer-focused enterprise but this could be a good start. Come to me if you want to start working on it.

Be inspired ! customer-centricity-marketing.jpg

Can you position your brand for 20 years ?

Can you position your brand for 25 years ? Or more ? Well Diet Coke did it !¬†Look at these 2 commercials, one is from 1995, the other from 2013. ¬†Today’s girls are the just the same as those 20 years ago. Same fantasies and same coke !

I told my students today that a great positioning idea should stand for long. Good marketing is about a good strategy first. Making clear choices, choosing your customers, having a strong positioning concept, being strongly different. The rest is execution. And execution is at the service of strategy. This is what these 2 ads show.

Enjoy, ladies !

 

 

 

 

7 principles of customer satisfaction

I was teaching about customer behavior yesterday night and I told again to my students that  today, customer satisfaction is not enough: we should thrive for over-satisfaction. So, always remember the following principles:

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Customers care more for details 

We always think that customer value “the main thing”, the core product or service. It’s true but for them, it’s just but normal. They will be delighted or disappointed ¬†based on some detail you don’t even think of..

Perception is the only reality

In marketing, we fight for positive perception. What customers perceive is the only reality and it’s always a distorted reality. You may think you have the best quality or service or packaging but if your customers don’t perceive it like you do, too bad, they’re right !

Personalization & recognition is key

Nothing is more powerful than being recognized and appreciated by another person. We live in an increasingly competitive society where we feel anonymous. The best feeling customers may have is to be remembered, addressed to by their name and truly appreciated.

Listening and reflecting

Active listening is a psychological approach developed by Carl Rogers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers   It aims at reflecting other people feelings until they feel cared for and understood. Active listening is very effective in dealing with disappointed or even angry customers. It also works to detect needs and wants and imagine effective solutions to your counterpart problems.

Taking charge of needs, wants & problems

Being attentive and caring is not enough. Customers want effectiveness ! It’s rather difficult coz they want clear, quick and direct solutions to their problems. The only way is to give unlimited power to your front line staff. Give them the authority to decide in the customer’s interest¬†whatever the cost.. You will never be wrong !

Efficiency in problem solving

Efficiency is all relative. It’s very probable that your view of it will be different that the one of your controller or the one of your client ! Efficiency is to be judged by the customer, not by you, period ! So, ask him or her to rate you until you get it right in his or her view !

Explicit expression of satisfaction or unsatisfaction

Always probe and get customers to tell you about their opinion, eyes in eyes ! If they’re not happy, you will know and you can work on it. If they are, they will be more delighted to tell you that you were good ! But ask them in a positive way: “what could we do better next time ? ” is better than “were you happy with our services ?”. It’s more positive and wil help your customer to tell you the bad things !

Good luck ! 

Always think strategy

Yesterday I was teaching the introductory class on marketing and we were talking about what marketing is about. If there is one thing I want my students to remember after this class, it’s that marketing is not just a toolbox. if you have no strategy i.e. if you don’t define your target segment(s), neither your positioning idea or your value proposition, how can you use the right tools ? ¬†No right tool without a clear purpose !

Same for content marketing, the current buzz ! Content marketing should not be run without thinking about it’s purpose. Otherwise, it’s just pure amusement for some geeks !¬†If you’re not sure about what is your strategy, ask me, I will advise you !

Content-Marketing-Strategy1.gif

 

Experiential marketing

Experiential marketing is not just a nice marketing gimmick. It should be strategic i.e. part of your value proposition ! Forget about the 4p’s ! We’re no more in the marketing of products, we’re in the marketing of experiences. Your customers should be the heroes of the stories you create for them.
Be inspired !

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/5-experiential-marketing-activations-sxsw-you-need-see-170242