The job of a marketing department is to produce results. Despite the fact that their budgets are growing, marketers are losing confidence. They are concerned about their ability to “penetrate” their markets and deliver on expectations.
Our team at InnerView recently partnered with FocusVision to study some specific challenges marketers face. FocusVision, a leading customer insights technology company, helps companies understand their customers through research and tie the findings back to their brand/product messaging. At InnerView, we work with front-line teams so they have high-quality, “on-message” conversations with customers. Together, our two companies sought to find out if companies were connecting these dots. Are they using what they know about the customer to build their brand story? From there, are they able to tell the story consistently during each interaction? The research indicates that many of the issues that marketers face could be self-inflicted.
Good Marketing, Wasted
The marketers in the study believe their brand story is getting diluted as it makes it way from the marketing suite down to customers . Put another way, marketers are telling their customers one thing through a variety of tactics, but when the customers show up to buy something, they are hearing a different story.
It sounds bad, but what does a problem like this cost? Nearly 2/3 of the professionals in our study (62%) placed the value at more than $10MM annually. This equates to at least $10MM in lost sales, lost opportunity. What is worse, this estimate might even be low. The respondents indicated that the customer impact of a diluted brand story includes things like customer confusion, unmet expectations and customers looking to competitors for their needs. A diluted story is bad for business and bad for the brand’s health.
So, how does this immediately impact marketers? First, it tells us they are spending more money to reach customers, but brand message dilution is dragging down their results. Marketers are building their image, making bold promises and driving demand. All that effort can fall apart with one simple interaction with a front-line employee. This problem acts like an invisible tax on the performance of the marketing department. No matter how good the external marketing is, the end result is out of their hands. Companies investing to increase demand, but struggling to convert and keep customers, are simply adding to the pile of marketing waste. They also could be doing more damage to their brand than good.
Is this marketing’s problem to solve? If so, what can marketers due to reduce the waste and improve the ROI on their spending?
Click here to download a copy of the free study.