The WhatCounts team was able to attend last week’s mammoth conference, Dreamforce 2012, and took away some important lessons for email marketers. Above all else, however, was this one core lesson that all of us need to take to heart.
The future of business is communication. The best communicators will win.
All of the examples that Salesforce.com highlighted during their keynotes, all of the themes of the week, all revolve around this core idea, that communication is the heart and soul of your business. For example, Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts showcased product tags that allow consumers to hold up a product in their stores and see how it looks with a variety of outfits or the history of how it was made. WhatCounts client Virgin Airlines blew everyone’s minds a stunning example of real-time customer service that reroutes passengers and then communicates their new travel plans to them at their seats in flight.
Whoever communicates best with customers will win. That’s the heart and soul of Dreamforce’s message to all marketers. Here’s the twist: you can turn this on today in your enterprise. Yes, there are any number of companies, products, and services that can help fine tune your communications efforts (including WhatCounts), but the ability to communicate better with customers is something that’s in your reach right now.
For example, how often does your leadership team read customer email from your customer service inboxes? If the answer is never or not recently, then you have an opportunity to get closer to the customer. When was the last time a senior manager at your company attended a trade show or conference and talked to customers directly? If the answer is never or not recently, then the opportunity is there to learn more from the customer. When was the last time ANYONE at your company checked the replies to your email newsletters? (do you even collect replies?) If the answer is never or not recently, then you’re missing an opportunity to hear what customers want from you.
Becoming a social enterprise has much less to do with tools and technologies and much more to do with an eagerness to listen to customers when and where they’re talking to you.
Are you listening?
Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts