The way a brand is perceived by customers and by the public will determine its success, delegates were told at PMP’s Schmart Marketing conference in Sydney last week.
During his presentation to a packed out ballroom in Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel, Jeffrey Hayzlett, a bestselling author, global business celebrity and the former chief marketing officer at Kodak said the mood of a business and the way it perceived by the customer is just as important as the service it provides.
He says, “A brand has become a promise delivered. It’s actually the customer who owns your brand as it’s their perception of it that gives it value. That is why we work so hard on our brands and the promises they deliver.”
According to Hayzlett the best way to improve the way your business is viewed by its customers is to improve the mood and enhance the customer experience. He says, “Mood is everything in a business, you can have a good product, but a crappy mood and you will fail. On the other hand, you can have a good mood and a crappy product and still survive.”
Also during his presentation, Hayslett pushed the ability to adapt as another surety of success. He says, “Don’t let your passion dictate everything you do. You can’t let it get in the way of adapting your business to where your customers want you to be.”
Meanwhile social media marketing guru, Scott Stratten, added to the perception trend at the conference, saying for many industries businesses can blow their competition out of the water in terms of customer service, simply by being average. During his tongue in cheek presentation he said, “Often the bar for customer service is so low you don’t even need to lift your foot, you can just slide over it.”
Stratten says marketing does nothing unless the “front lines” of a business follows it through, he adds that these are the employees who are generally the lowest paid and the lowest appreciated, which can be harmful to business’ bottom line.
“Marketeers can get people to the door but it’s what happens when they get there that really matters. If you want to increase your bottom line then increase your front line.” He says, “Employees want to know they matter, if they think whatever they do won’t make a difference then they won’t care about their actions.”
For those printers wondering whether they need to get a foothold into the social media space, Stratten has some advice here as well. He says, “If you suck offline, you will suck online too. Social media success doesn’t exist; all it does is amplify what is already there.”
Stratten says getting involved with social media is not about being everywhere, but about focusing on one space and building quality relationships. He adds the best way to do this is to reply to posts and comments sent by customers in a timely fashion, using a human voice and if appropriate, a bit of humour.
“These posts are publicised customer service so take advantage of this opportunity and reply to them! In the US 95 per cent of companies’ Facebook wall posts have not been responded to.” He says, “If you’re going to use social media then use it, if you don’t use it, then delete it. It can do more harm than good to have a Facebook profile sitting there just festering.”
He added that everyone should remember never to tweet or post anything that they wouldn’t want to see on a billboard, being read by their mother.
In his conclusion, Stratten said that when it comes to social media, the most important thing to remember is to be human, honest and creative. He says, “Every day a window will open up, which will give you a chance to be awesome.”