Fail to Plan. Plan to Fail your Customer Engagement Strategy.

Last month we discussed the common challenges of implementing a customer engagement plan in the blog “Why Your Marketing Plan Fails”. The blog discussed what are the biggest reasons for organisations’ customer engagement plans failing and how marketers can understand when, and if, the campaign is not aligned to the customers’ perspectives?

July saw ADMA poll marketers on ‘What is the Biggest Factor in a Customer Engagement Plan Failing?’. And there were some interesting findings that arose from the results of the poll.

A whopping 81% of people have said that the number one reason for a customer engagement plan failing was due to insufficient data and customer knowledge.

You may find this strange given that there is no shortage of customer data out there, and (many marketers find it in abundance). In fact, according to IBM, 90% of the data available in the world today has been created in the last two years alone and most organisations have more than enough ways to gather the insights that help define and engage consumers.

If you fail to know and understand your audience then how can you engage with them?

However, what matters most is what we do with that data once it is collected. And, unfortunately, many marketers still don’t fully understand how to use their consumer insights profitably and responsibly to make the customer happy; often with damaging results to performance or the brand.

One respondent who voted on the poll noted that “you cannot market effectively to consumers in today’s age without gaining a deep understanding of the customer”.

Another respondent, stated that the “biggest challenge when it comes to engaging your customers is to understand what stage of the buying cycle they are at and offer them relevant content. The right message at the right time.”

So how do you use the insights from customer data to influence desired change throughout the organisation? Adam Posner, CEO of Directivity says that “if you do not have a plan (vision) or manage the implementation, then everything else is academic”.  Adam recommends that the plan you create must include four considerations:

  1. How your team will implement and own on a continuous basis
  2. What your "expectation" is as to what you will actually deliver e.g. how you trigger communications based on behaviour outcomes etc
  3. CTA is part of the tactical outcomes and all communications must have some CTA, otherwise what does "engagement" really mean if you are not motivating some response?
  4. Insufficient data and customer knowledge - I believe there is always some data/knowledge to get your plan going, you can build as you go - call it progressive profiling or whatever you want, insufficient data and customer knowledge is no excuse for a Customer Engagement Plan to fail

What do you think is the Biggest Factor in a Customer Engagement Plan Failing? Share your thoughts in the poll here.

You can also attend ADMA Forum 2012. The daily Conference Streams provide deeper insights including:

  • Relationship, Retention & Loyalty (23 August)
  • Data, Measurement & Attribution (23 August)
  • Behavioural & Trigger Marketing (24 August)
  • Acquisition & Lead Generation (24 August)