The evidence is everywhere. There’s no denying it. In 2012, when it comes to marketing, people are “In” this year!
Maybe I’m using a bit of sarcasm (my apologies for the “Soylent Green” reference). But, as I look at trending topics lately, there seems to be new awareness that tools, apps, platforms, etc. are nothing without people. I wrote about this last May when evidence reassured me that the human element of marketing was being considered again.
Then, I saw this recent post from Bob Garfield and Doug Levy of Advertising Age that relationship marketing was truly about relationships again.
Clearly, there are some excellent examples both big and small of customer engagement, internal communication and interaction. But, those are few and far between. The reliance on technological short cuts has made the application the thing instead of why you employed it to begin with.
This piece from Tim Kastelle of Social Media Today reveals the inverse relationship some leaders have between tools and the reason for having them in your organizational plans.
Recently, I had a conversation with a small business leader that I have worked with. He was lamenting that one of his social tools was not being implemented as well in his marketing structure even though he had built a support usage for it. Part of that had to do with a gap internally regarding follow-up.
As he explained that he wanted me to take that over, I cautioned him. Before reaching outside, he needed a business case. A tool is just a tool unless you take some time to assign a value, ROI and the implementation with staff.
Otherwise, you are executing without the ability to track and assess the effectiveness of what the consultant is engaged to do. Also, if your employees don’t understand the activation of the tool, and you have not fully explored that issue internally, it leads to buyer’s remorse for the outside consultant’s role and compensation.
The business above is customer-driven. So, I suggested that the leader do some work internally with customers to see what they know about these tools. Are they aware of them? Are they using them? Also, steps must be taken to close the gap internally.
As a customer service pro once reminded me, the customer will tell you what they want. I am happy to report that marketing is one area where restoring people as the key ingredient of your efforts would be OK!
Glenn Kass always has an appetite for helping businesses. Check out www.catchdriver.com for more about getting your ideas on track. Also, visit Catch Driver on Facebook (www.facebook.com/catchdrivermarketing) and Twitter (@CatchDriverMktg).