Does It Pay To Have A Heart?

15 07 2008

Every good marketer knows great customer experiences mean a lot — and that customer service experiences are a critical moment.

As the title of Pete Blackshaw’s new book aptly puts it, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends. Angry customers Tell 3,000.

Still, this is typically seen as a back-office operation that can easily be outsourced to save money.

What’s the harm? Is there a hard-dollar impact from skimping on the soft stuff?

Outsourcing Customer Service Is Linked To A Drop of 1%-5% In A Company’s Market Cap

A recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review says:

“Offshoring’s actual impact on customer satisfaction (…) in most cases is significantly negative—but similar to the effect of outsourcing customer service domestically.”

An analysis was done of 150 North American companies and business units from 1998 to 2006. Those that outsourced customer service saw a drop in their score on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, a measure created by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan.

Who Cares? Your Shareholders.

ACSI scores tend to move in the same direction as companies’ share prices. The decision to outsource customer service was linked to a drop of 1% to 5% in a company’s market capitalization.

Getting brand experiences right matters.

Even if as an executive you have ice-water in your veins, here’s the bottom line. It still pays to have a heart.

Photo Credit: Fernanda Fronza

Banker Marketers Vs. Entrepreneur Marketers: Who Gets Better Results?

2 07 2008

A new survey of 128 senior-level marketers by the Association of National Advertisers and Marketing Management Analytics finds that roughly 1/3 or the respondents say they have no written goals of any kind to guide marketing strategy.

What’s more, marketing still has no common metric for judging ROI or quantifying marketing’s contribution to the bottom line.

All of this initially sounds horrifying. But on reflection, here’s what I’m dying to know.

Who gets better business results: “banker marketers”, who operate with strict processes and rigorous metrics, or “entrepreneurial marketers”, who fly by the seat of their pants and react?

What’s your opinion? Who would you rather have on your team?

P.S. No matter which side you’re on, you’ll probably find the below presentation interesting.

Why Interactive Ad Metrics Are Like Potato Chips

25 06 2008

At the Advertising Research Foundation audience measurement conference in New York, Lee Doyle, North American CEO of Mediaedge:cia, said CPG advertisers need better metrics to show better ROI.

With respect, I’m not at all sure he’s right.

Interactive metrics are like potato chips. The more we have, the more we want. And no matter how many we consume we cannot make them healthy for us.CPG Metrics Are Like Potato Chips

It’s time to come to grips with two important realities:

Reality 1: Low-interest categories (drumroll, please)… are, always have been and forever will be low-interest.

Reality 2: It’s OK to be low-interest.

New media doesn’t change these realities. Nor will dozens or hundreds of new metrics in a presentation deck the size of the Titanic. Digital doesn’t have to be perfect to work, and it doesn’t have to be better than TV. The job here is about being creative, visible, relevant and — whenever a brand can be — about genuinely being part of the conversation.

Let’s stop fretting over what interactive can’t do, and use it for what it can do well. Since video (notice I didn’t say TV) is likely to always be the primary means of generating awareness, we’ll never be able to prove down to the penny what the contribution of online has been. So what?

What matters is we know our customers are online, and we know online works as part of an overall plan to reach them.

Man cannot live by potato chips alone. Neither can CPG marketers.