It’s no secret that the role of — and opportunities within — client relationship management has changed. As Matthew mentioned, it’s become less about tools and more about understanding and planning. And to Carmen’s point: Even with a plethora of media options, everything is connected. So when a brand effectively engages with a consumer, there are no dead ends.
What I mean is that we’re no longer focused on pushing a consumer through a funnel, squeezing them ever so tightly the closer we get to the
narrow tip conversion. Instead, we’re focusing on leading consumers through experiences that look, and feel (thankfully), a lot more free-form and cyclical in nature. In our work as user experience strategists, we often cite the McKinsey Consumer Decision Journey rather than the funnel.
The idea of a cyclical experience is far more applicable in today’s world, for while we may begin with a TV spot, that is simply the beginning of a potentially long and, hopefully, meaningful relationship. Because everything is connected and consumers have so many touch points, a good brand experience can start with TV, but then it might drive to a site, lead to a conversion, be followed by an email or text, and continue on and on. The acquisition of this ongoing conversation is often lovingly referred to as the “loyalty loop.”
Effective CRM allows the consumer to be identified and understood, thereby making the brand or product more relevant and more likely to end up engaging the consumer in the highly sought after loyalty loop. So as you plan your next initiative, don’t think about the end results — think about the ongoing results and how to make sure your brand experience has no dead ends.