Saturday, February 25, 2006

Delivering the Customer Promise Through Marketing

In marketing/advertising it is not uncommon to use children, mothers, families to show a human link and create acceptance with or for a product or company. Professionals in Law, doctors and even CPAs have taken to the camera to provide unconventional form to provide a humanization to their roles and thus change the stereotyping of the markets they serve.

Showing the human side lets people, especially the client or potential client, see a perspective that is not seen in a courtroom, or office and this is good. My only worry is that the image is relaying a certain promise to the potential client that may not be fulfilled in most cases.

Marketing is responsible for delivering messages and perceptions that the potential customer/client will associate with moving them to action in completing the sales cycle. This is the perceived and sometimes elusive brand promise.

Delivering the brand promise is a key in creating a powerful customer experience that can fulfill a customer’s trust or shatter the trust through the broken promise of a marketing illusion. Marketing departments and small businesses are constantly creating an illusion that may create a first time buy in to the brand by or with a potential customer/client, but will destroy any potential chances for retention or for that mater any customer loyalty. Such advertising, which covers most adds and commercials, is becoming more and more less effective with today's savvy customer markets.

Even if the intention of the marketer is to show determination, reliability, purpose or just the soft side of humanity demonstrating the positive side of life the chance of total fulfillment is small and again it will leave the intended target with the same results of shattered trust.

Honesty in delivering a message or the perception of the brand is a central key to bringing the brand promise to the potential customer/client. In being creative in the portraying of a perceived image the brand can betray the trust of the customer/client or potential client. Creativity and innovative messaging is important to the enhancement and acceptance of the message, but only if what it delivers is true and ethical in its deliverance and allows the fulfillment of the brand promise or perception.

Perhaps before creating an add campaign marketers should provide some customer experience analysis from the customers perspective. Deriving real need and focusing on the customer’s reality instead delivering a false reality that promises temporary fulfillment. Customer perspective and realization have to be central in providing marketing solutions and customer experience management. In the traditional context of marketing this issue plays little if any significance other than assisting in the creation of experiences to solidify a sale.

Customer experience management goes way beyond this and encompasses the entire customer relationship life cycle. It includes the total spectrum of customer interaction on both direct and indirect levels through out the company and is at times brand independent. This is not perceived in the marketing environment and is even less understood. As result both the brand and the marketing message confuse the customer/client pushing them away from the attended goal of inclusion in the sell or company process of lifetime retention.

Where is your marketing headed? Is it still held in the contemptible halls of traditional marketing arrogance or is it centering itself in the promotional environment of developing honest customer experiences that drive life time loyalty and fulfilled promises.

As always we invite you to share your comments.

For more information on the customer experience plaes check out
The Customer Development Center.


Phyl said...

Thank you for this very insightful article. Businesses that refuse to focus on Customer Service often loose a large percentage of their repeat business. Consumers who experience “excellent” customer service are more apt to become repeat customers regardless of the cost of goods or services.

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