Saturday, January 30, 2016

Going Beyond Content Marketing Strategies

Some months ago (before my recent job change), I gave an interview to Media Shower about my contrarian view of content marketing, the trend toward collaborative consumption and why marketing metrics must fundamentally change if the CMO wishes to embrace Customer Experience as a core tenet of marketing. The interview has published, and I hope you find it interesting and worthwhile.

A few favorite quotes to whet your appetite:
"While brands continue to focus a great deal effort on what they say in social media, it is hard to avoid the reality that it is not what brands say but what they are and do that builds strong customer relationships."  
"I recently saw a survey where marketers by a wide margin believed they would be focused on customer experience in the next five years. I hope it happens, but there is no path from here to there if success will only be measured in impressions, clicks and conversions."
"It isn’t enough to have a video or tweet 'go viral' if it doesn’t change consumer attitude or behaviors."
"Focusing on improving the customer experience and then activating trusted peer-to-peer word of mouth is more difficult than getting your agency to produce a hilarious video you hope will go viral, but it will drive far more important engagement."

Click here to read the entire interview on Media Shower.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

McDonald's Turnaround--A Story Of Customer Experience Success

photo credit: McDonalds via photopin (license)
You may have heard that McDonald's announced strong quarterly results yesterday. The quick-service restaurant chain reported a 5% increase in global same-store sales and the second quarter in a row of same-store sales growth in the U.S. after seven quarters of declines.

What's remarkable (or perhaps not) about this tale of corporate turnaround is that no one, including McDonald's CEO, is attributing it to any changes in traditional marketing. Virtually no mention is made of campaigns, advertising, content, social media, promotion or the like. This success story is all about customer experience--of changes not to messaging but to the product and service experience offered to consumers at each touchpoint.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Three Customer Experience Lessons From Social Media Performance in 2015

In 2011, back when social media hype was at its greatest, I wrote about the "slow-motion social media valuation bubble burst." Since then, year after year, social business and social marketing companies that are publicly held (and thus report their business results) have consistently struggled for stable, profitable performance. For marketing leaders striving to leverage social to improve their firms' customer experience, the performance of social companies contains lessons about the future of social media and the present of marketing.

In 2014, just three of the 11 social companies I tracked had a P/E ratio (Price/Earnings ratio), because only three had positive net earnings in the trailing twelve months--Facebook, HomeAway and Yelp. A year later, it is much the same story. In 2015, just four of the twelve publicly-traded companies in the social media and social marketing category had positive net income from continuing operations over the past four quarters--Facebook, Angie's List, Yelp, and HomeAway. This says something important about the value these firms are delivering for both consumers and marketers. (Please see my list of corporations included in this list at the end of this post.)

Marketing leaders can learn three things from the financial performance and business models of these companies:
  • Facebook is diversifying and so should marketers 
  • The sharing economy will change the customer experience landscape, but a long road lies ahead 
  • Social media marketing will continue to be a struggle in 2016 

To read more, please visit my Gartner blog for Marketing Leaders.