Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pete Krainik Shares Latest CMO CLUB Poll Results: As CMO Where do you Spend the Most Time Engaging Your Customers

Last week I asked CMOs in the club this question with some interesting responses. Over 50 CMOs weighed in with the following results:

1) Almost 47% of CMOs responding said Company Driven Events was the one area they spend the most time engaging customers.
2) 25% said eMail with customers
3) 18.8% noted Social Networks (12.5% outside, 6.3% their own).

So even with the growth of social media and our addiction to email as our main course of communication, the “high touch”, face to face aspect of customer engagement is still where we prioritize our time. I am not surprised by this result as the basis for the club’s success to date has been the value from the dinners and face to face sharing of ideas and networking. The only caution I would raise is making sure you are engaging all your customer segments or at least your priority segments via your events. Do you most critical customers attend? How about big influencers? While at Avaya, I always tried to attend User Group events (Avaya hosted or not) to get a feel for their issues, challenges, what they like, etc. Finally, with the downturn and travel cutbacks we need to think about our company driven customer events in light of potential significant reductions in attendance.

It was interesting to see almost 19% of CMOs responding prioritize the largest amount of time engaging customers through social networks. Think about the implications. In just the past year almost 20% of the CMOs responding have gone from other vehicles to social network customer engagement as top time allocation. As an example I have been impressed with Barry Judge at Best Buy and his approach to sharing insights and his personality through twitter and LinkedIn. My last comment in this area, engaging with customer via social networks is not selling them via social networks. I have enjoyed the pushback on Twitter and Facebook when someone goes into sales mode vs. engagement mode. Self policing in action.

Finally, as CMO and responsible for the growth agenda for your company, think about your time engaging customers vs. priorities/approaches for your reports and your organization. Just like campaigns, pricing and new product introductions, customer segmentation is critical for success. Prioritizing your time with the “right” customers is also critical for your success.

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