As Bladerunner 2049 takes audiences by storm with its dystopian view of the future of Humanity and Earth as a bleak wasteland, in the real world today we’re looking at seven things you can do now to have better future customer relationships and happier customers. Forrester recently wrote a good article on actions for B2B Marketing, so we thought we’d expand on that. Carpe Diem folks, make changes now – or Wallace might rule the world.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Bladerunner 2049, bioengineered humans called replicants have been integrated into society as servants and slaves. Let’s just say there aren’t any Happy Customers.
So here’s what Marketers can do today in reality to change all that.
1. Embrace the Fact That Everything’s Changed
Bladerunner 2049’s Rick Deckard said “I did your job once – I was good at it.” To which K replied “Things were simpler then.”
Using yesterday’s marketing practices today won’t work. Things are more complicated, so Marketing has had to change. It’s time to think beyond traditional marketing campaigns and touchpoints. Instead think about the ongoing conversation and relationship at every point on the customer’s journey, be that digital or physical, human, agent contact, or in a shop or branch. You need to find out how to create value for the customer at every point they encounter your brand.
2. It’s the Customer’s Journey not Yours
Rick Deckard said: “Sometimes to love someone, you got to be a stranger”. Luckily, it’s not 2049 yet. However, it does mean you need to put your customer’s needs before yours. Engage in a way which gives them and your brand value every time you interact. Engage the way they want, not the way you want to sell. When you acknowledge the need to become a customer centric brand you’ll need to review your whole business to recognise or evaluate the gaps you might have to achieving that.
3. Sledgehammer Internal Silo walls
In Bladerunner 2049 Lt. Joshi said “The World is built in a wall that separates kind. Tell either side there’s no wall, you’ve bought a war. Or a slaughter.”
Walls bad. Very, very, very bad.
Customer Engagement is very, very, very broad. Believe me. It spans sales, service, marketing and eCommerce departments, your whole business value chain in fact. To try to build better customer relationships you need to collaborate and work across Silos, it can’t be done in isolation. You need to include these business departments when the time is right. It’s time to knock down those walls.
4. Really Understand Your True Customer Journeys
Bladerunner 2049 grapples with the concept of what’s real.
Being able to define fact from fiction is also critical to your brand’s survival. You need to be able to understand the real journeys your customers take. Not the theories. Not the myths. And not your own Hype. This isn’t about ‘journey mapping’, which is mostly your view of the customer. It’s about listening to actual customer journeys, real behaviour seen in real-time. This will allow you to establish a clear vision of what ‘good’ looks like, where the real problems in the customer’s journey are and where to start.
5. Identify What Success Looks Like
Establish success criteria for each stage of your transition to a customer centric brand. You need to make sure the success is valuable to both your customer and your business, so shared value. To measure your success in Marketing you need to think beyond leads to customer lifetime value, retention, advocacy and referral, influencer value and brand engagement.
6. Play With the Right Toys
Spinners (the cars in Bladerunner 2049) can be operated like traditional cars, but they can also take off vertically, hover, and fly around like a small jet. Fancy. The tech of tomorrow is here today for Marketers. True customer engagement is a blend of the right technology to unify the business and its existing systems and processes – plus a ‘customer-first’ company culture and process.
7. Start Small to Go Big
Start small. Focus on the easy wins, tackle the manageable areas of your business first, showcase the results and grow from there.
Do all of this, and when we’re back to the future in 2049 and looking back to 2017 you’ll be glad you did. You’ll look at your customer landscape and you’ll think “It’s beautiful” and not a wasteland. Wasteland very, very, very bad. Believe me. So, what are you waiting for?