7 Practical Resolutions For Healthy Customer Engagement In 2016
As seen in MediaPost
If you’ve had your fill of “future of marketing” prognostications, here’s a no-nonsense checklist to reflect on the health of your marketing with resolutions you can adopt immediately to start the year right.
- Q: Do I really understand my customer journey? Many answer “yes,” but often insights are narrow, fragmented or not rendered in useful formats. Optimal analyses use immersive techniques like ethnography, intercepts, and social listening to produce a visual map of phases of diagnosis, treatment and disease management. They describe hurdles encountered, emotions experienced, moments of truth, resources and information required, channels and influencers turned to.
- Resolution: Conduct a robust journey study to inform your approach for years to come.
- Q: Does my mix maximize reach, engagement and profit? Face-to-face selling still gets the majority of resources, even as access plummets and attention shifts to digital channels. The optimal channel mix is consciously designed and adjusted regularly based on a factors including, life cycle, customer value, rep accessibility, reach and engagement levels, balance of earned, owned and paid media.
- Resolution: If your approach to channel planning is informal or simply reactive to tactics pitched, resolve to create a disciplined channel plan in early 2016 to guide your activities. It’s not too late.
- Q: Am I making use of data to improve targeting? Our mantra is “right message,” “right customer,” “right time,” yet brands frequently overlook opportunities to do just this. Consider targeting customers based on online actions (like a physician who searches on a competitive product), clinical behaviors (like ordering a test or making a diagnosis), information gathered during a sales visit (such as treatment pre-dispositions), or even social mentions (like responding to side effects with tips from a patient advocate).
- Resolution: Data-driven targeting is low hanging fruit. Make 2016 the year you unleash its power.
- Q: Does my engagement strategy deliver “granular” content across channels, types and formats? Personalized marketing necessitates “granular” content that resonates with different customers. For example, there is robust opportunity in tailoring content by prescriber pre-dispositions, patient type, or geography. Beyond granularity, content must engage across channels over time. This means selecting the right types, formats and cadence. Choose content types based on life cycle stage. For example, launch brands benefit from MOA and data slide shows, late stage drugs benefit from case studies or knowledge quizzes. Choose formats based on cross-platform compatibility and SEO factors. For cadence, strategically content to tell a compelling story over time.
- Resolution: Is your content too “one size fits all?” Many are. In 2016, resolve to become a content marketing rock star!
- Q: Does MLR rapidly approve content for use across channels? Granular content is a waste if MLR can’t digest it. High value process changes to tackle include reviewing content once for use across multiple channels, enabling rapid responses to customer commentary in social channels, using concept reviews to provide early guidance on new ideas and instituting pre-production reviews to capture changes before expensive production begins.
- Resolution: MLR leaders: show your brand partners they can be effective and compliant by giving them a modernized approval process.
- Q: Do I have insights to gauge impact, optimize results?
If you are swimming in data but starved for insight, why not form a cross-functional team to tackle the issue (research, brand and IT). Your first order of business is to institute a formal measurement planning process that defines cross-channel goals and impact measures, specifies data gathering approaches and develops consistent reports, delivered at regular intervals. From there, you can automate report delivery to free up analysis time. Critically, don’t forget to reserve budget for periodic data analysis surface actionable insights and to implement optimizations. Remember there’s little point to measurement if you don’t act on the data.
- Resolution: This year resolve to gain control of your data by instituting a process that gives your team the information it needs to act.
- Q: Is my team set up to succeed?
It is no longer reasonable to expect a brand manager to master brand strategy, engagement strategy and multi-channel execution. The largest companies resolve this through COEs, yet many companies don’t have that luxury. If you are in one of them, then consider dividing brand team responsibilities so some team members focus on traditional brand planning (positioning, messaging, etc.) while others own customer engagement and cross-channel execution. Form cross-functional teams to own larger initiatives like measurement and journey mapping. Outsource some aspects rather than build all capabilities in house.
- Resolution: Without the right structure in place, your team can’t reach its potential due to lack of time and know-how. Make 2016 the year you address this root issue, and the rest will follow.
How did you do? Now, pick the top three items and resolve to get them done this year.
Here’s to a productive 2016.