Tag Archives: Marketing

Updates from McKinsey

An on-demand revolution in customer-experience operations?
Whether relying mainly on in-house or external talent, gig-style staffing models—when managed carefully—could give customer care the horsepower and flexibility it needs for today’s increasingly volatile markets.
By Vinay Gupta, Raelyn Jacobson, Paul Kline, Manu Mehndiratta, and Julian Raabe – When businesses across the globe were forced to shutter in 2020, the leaders at one regional North American bank shifted to virtual mode. Anticipating that customer-call volumes would remain elevated through the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, bank leaders created a streamlined training module to cross-train sidelined branch workers. The extra support from branch colleagues helped the bank to manage the high volume of calls. Better still, because the supporting workers were branch personnel, their knowledge of the bank’s processes, products, and culture helped maintain the high level of customer satisfaction that the bank had worked so hard to achieve. Leaders learned that this internal “gig worker” approach could be a solution for managing future spikes in demand, whether from unforeseen events or seasonally based capacity increases. And, during a time of great uncertainty, it gave employees new opportunities—to work flexibly, learn new skills, and even find new career paths. That flexibility may give companies an edge now that many are fighting a “Great Attrition.” 

The COVID-19 lockdowns sparked a major scramble to move business to online and phone-based channels. Not every company, however, was prepared to handle the ensuing digital deluge; at this point, there are little data on how effectively companies coped. But the experiences of companies to date show that many organizations are now rethinking how they staff customer-care operations.

Flexible staffing—the use of external talent from outsourcing providers or independent freelancers—has been a staple of customer service for decades. But the pandemic may well be the first time that the redeployment of in-house talent from other departments has occurred on a relatively large scale.

Both approaches, externally and internally sourced, constitute the core of what we call “gig customer-experience operations,” or Gig CX. And it behooves companies from across the industry spectrum to consider making this strategy a part of their regular operations. In this article, we explore the pros and cons of Gig CX and identify four essential elements that must be in place to make it work. more>

Why Behavioral Economics Is Really Marketing Science

By Philip Kotler – Economists rarely mention marketing. Occasionally an article appears in the American Economic Review on advertising or promotion or warranties. But to most economists, marketing is a sideshow in the economy. It is filled with too many particulars and virtually no theory. A cynical economist would even hold that marketing activity hurts the efficiency of the economy. Promotions distort the true price and lead consumers to buy on brand name, not real value.

Ironically, the discipline of marketing was started by economists! Marketing textbooks first made their appearance in the 1900-1910 period. Their authors were economists who were institutionally oriented rather than theory-oriented. These economists wanted to examine the role that different distribution organizations – wholesalers, jobbers, agents, retailers – played in the economy. They also wanted to describe and analyze the different promotion tools – advertising, sales discounts, guarantees and warranties—and determine whether they actually shifted demand.

Somehow classically-trained economists didn’t view marketing as an intrinsic economic activity. They couldn’t fit it into either macroeconomic theory or microeconomic theory.

The greatest irony is that traditional economics is now facing a new competitor, namely behavioral economics. Behavioral economics attacks the crucial assumption that consumers engage in maximizing behavior. Aiming to maximize utility or profits is the key to building economic decision models. Otherwise, economists would have to work with another assumption, that consumers are basically “satisficing,” stopping short of spending time to maximize and being happy enough to achieve enough of what they want. But the mathematics aren’t there for this behavior and hence the claim of economics to be a science is also weakened. more>

Updates from Adobe

By Jordan Kushins – Las Vegas is known for its garish signage: flashy, flamboyant, all-neon-all-the-time. But now an entirely different kind of marquee has stolen the spotlight. It’s more than 16 feet long, just under ten feet high, and almost five feet deep. It weighs a whopping 770 pounds and is composed of nearly 50 modular MDF forms.

It was meticulously designed in Adobe Illustrator CC, built by hand in England, shipped in pieces across the ocean, then reconstructed in Nevada. And it’s greeting participants at the Adobe Summit.

For the past five years, Adobe has worked with artists on the conference identity, which corresponds to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “experience,” and creative director Angela Fisher was inspired to go beyond 2D constraints to bring the theme to life. “I started thinking, ‘What if the identity was a physical structure?’ A camera panning around, and in and out, could reveal a kind of experience within the branding itself.”

She began making paper models at home on the weekends to explore two facets of the idea. These geometric forms and patterns became building blocks—like DIY Legos—that took on the feel of an abstract cityscape in one, and the shape of an “X” in the other. They were promising, but the concept wasn’t quite there yet. more>


Inside the murky world of ‘social media influencers’

By Lauren Brousell – Marketing via “influencers” used to mostly mean professional athletes pitching expensive shoes or supermodels selling slick sports cars.

Today, some brands put products in the hands of “Internet influencers,” many of whom have even larger audiences and more reach than the brands.

Companies looking to reach demographics that spend a lot of time online, use ecommerce and regularly monitor social media can leverage affiliate networks and Internet influencers with relatively little effort.

However, Forrester’s Mulpuru-Kodali says affiliate networks still aren’t as effective for marketing as paid search, email and display advertising. more> http://tinyurl.com/psl8654

How An Old Cookie Became A Modern Marketing Personality

By Danielle Sacks – In 2013, all of a sudden, Oreo was the standard bearer for “real-time marketing.” With a few deft social media moves–including a game-changing Super Bowl tweet–the cookie became the crumbly, creamy embodiment of the conversational, in-touch brand.

In an era in which brands were told they should be acting like people, Oreo had suddenly developed a real personality.

Buried beneath the famous tweet, and the wave of publicity that followed, of course, was the fact that none of this was sudden. The reorganization of Kraft was followed by a long-term effort to overhaul hidebound systems and processes and develop a new set of skills to take a flagship brand from old school advertiser to modern content creator. more> http://tinyurl.com/lobh5nl

Attention entrepreneurs: Sell or die


The Illusions of Entrepreneurship, Author: Scott Shane.

By Robin Mordfin – Selling is different than marketing. Marketing is what you do to get potential clients to notice you. Selling, by contrast, is the one-to-one conversation a business has with a potential customer that determines whether the business has a product that solves a problem for the client. It’s also what a company does to move a prospective customer to make a purchase. You cross the line that separates marketing from sales the moment you engage with an individual potential customer, says Waverly Deutsch.

Deutsch asserts that there are five go-to-market models:

  1. Relationship,
  2. Retail,
  3. Internet,
  4. Channel, and
  5. Embedded.

Each requires a different sales-to-marketing investment ratio, defined as the amount of resources that should be devoted to each. more> http://tinyurl.com/omddqbb

Which Job Skills Will Be Most Important In The Coming Years?


Average is Over, Author: Tyler Cowen.

By Eric Barker – “As more of our economy becomes about marketing this will mean economic theory explains less and less of what’s going on. I think what I call “the economic anthropologists” will rise in importance. It will be hard for them to show that what they’re doing is as equally scientific as the traditional number crunchers, but nonetheless that will be the way to understand what’s actually going on.”

“The more information that’s out there, the greater the returns to just being willing to sit down and apply yourself. Information isn’t what’s scarce; it’s the willingness to do something with it.” more> http://tinyurl.com/ndmlle6

Empowering Your Customers? Think Twice About Social Media Campaigns

Science Daily – Companies that succeed in empowering their customers may find it difficult to implement a successful social media campaign. Empowered consumers will either ignore or rebel against any perceived attempt to influence them.

“Many companies have embraced the concept of consumer empowerment. However, they should consider whether attempts to integrate social influence (word-of-mouth marketing, social network marketing, buzz marketing) might backfire with empowered consumers” more> http://tinyurl.com/mbg8bs8


Turning the Tide on an Image Problem

By Geoffrey Orsak – Public policy is based on public impressions and the future of the engineering industry is dependent upon policies that protect intellectual property rights, fair trade, jobs, STEM education, research tax credits and a world-class home-grown workforce. We all need government and corporate leaders, along with voters and families, to recognize how central engineering is to our nation’s future. For this to happen, they need to know us better.

The National Academy of Engineering is launching headfirst into this challenge. more> http://tinyurl.com/46du9e4

CES Goes Over The Top With ‘Greenest’ Claims

Rob PrestonBy Rob Preston – The Consumer Electronics Show, which opens today at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is touting itself as the world’s “greenest” trade show, raising the bar on the industry’s imposing green hyperbole and obfuscation.

Here’s the topper: The organizers maintain that by having an average of 12 meetings at CES, attendees collectively avoid more than 960 million miles in business trips that they otherwise would have to take. The estimated total net savings in travel miles: 549 million. Shoot, why not round it up to 1 billion? more> http://tinyurl.com/2cazx3z