Stop me if you’ve heard the following exchange take place in your company. Someone innocently asks the question “Who (in the room) is part of sales?” only to hear “We are all in sales.”
As CMOs finalize their strategic marketing plans and budgets for 2011, we need to develop a similar mentality within our organizations towards marketing. That is, a mindset that everyone within the organization – HR, IT, Finance, Legal to name just a few – impact the entire brand experience from the customer’s point of view.
Once a prospect becomes a client, this is typically the point where marketing would lose insight into the client’s experience. Whether it is creating/negotiating a statement of work; setting up a client for invoicing; getting a client access through your corporate firewall; or contacting customer services for technical support, these experiences all go a long way toward defining how your clients view your brand. This is “beyond the purchase.”
Maybe once a year, it would make sense to assemble team members (temporarily) from across these functions to discuss and map your customer’s brand experience. Together, they can help the collective organization understand what the need(s) of the hour is – enhancing customer experience and client satisfaction.
This won’t be easy. Getting people to think beyond their job definition to focus on the customer will inevitably be met with resistance. It may require that an individual’s objectives include at least one companywide objective; or that a part of everyone’s bonus get tied to improving customer experience.
But it will be worth it.