Find the R Spot and Make Marketing Sexy Again


We're fast approaching our conversation about the next big thing in social for customer service. See details here.

Of the 5 themes on the future of social I've been thinking about based upon my research and work, this third one combines and builds upon the first two — what customers want and the data overlord — and focuses on harnessing the power of pull and push.

Because it is both about what people discover through their direct experiences and those of their friends, as well as what brands promise, either directly through customer experience or loyalty program, and indirectly, through word of mouth from friends.

Find the R-spot (for relevance) by designing a compelling customer experience, engaging in data give-and-take to collaborate effectively, and marketing becomes sexy

Choice and user control on one hand, delight and newness on the other.

Where is the "R" spot?

Relevance is a combination of right place, right data, and right time. How we collect and use data helps us inform how we utilize it to provide a compelling service back to customers.

We're all familiar with the words "people who purchased these items also viewed" and "what other customers are looking at". The items we see when logged into our Amazon account are a combination of proximity to what we are searching and our past purchase history — pull, the result of our search, and push, like items we should consider.

The company is also strong on the customer support front, ranking at number 5 on the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings report#.

Add to that a service layer like Amazon Prime and you have an almost irresistible formula.

Implications for business

Becoming "the Amazon" of a particular industry or marketplace does not necessarily mean going for a volume play and keeping razor thin margins. How thin? The company earned a slim 1% operating margin during the last 2 years#.

It is worth learning from the company's focus on customer relevance and service and applying them to a more profitable business model. Ratings and reviews integrated with product discovery completing the contextual appeal of easy to find and simple to buy.

Relevance is about putting resources toward helping people become better customers in the store/online, acting as a useful filter to help them navigate options, adapting to their choices as well as helping them sort them out by providing information on what "people like them" are finding useful.

The ingredients for an experience that works are a technology platform that integrates intelligence, and the willingness and ability to use that information to design service and product.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover
the value of promises and its effect on relationships and
. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her to speak click here.

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