The Art of Conversation: avoiding short-termism

The Art of Conversation: avoiding short-termism
Jason is CMO at Thunderhead. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the Thunderhead brand, go-to-market execution, and leading the Thunderhead marketing team.

Ever taken a short cut? Even though you know it’s a quick fix and that you’re probably storing up problems for further down the line? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

Like that time when you super-glued the kitchen table back together, instead of getting out your toolbox. Or when you bought cheap trousers the day before your holiday, knowing they would likely split before the week was out.

It’s the same at work.

Marketers are often pushed for quick wins and instant results, in order to meet the team’s short-term KPIs. The business wants more leads and sales, and the result is a mad dash for quick fire digital marketing tactics, in place of following a long-term, more robust plan.

But at what cost? That longer-term plan is the one that meets the goals and objectives that matter.

Building a relationship

Marketing is moving beyond traditional campaigns, as campaigns increasingly become measured on longer-term metrics like customer retention and lifetime customer value.

The main marketing effort is shifting to ongoing conversation, towards engaging individuals in a progressively more personal, valuable relationship.

However, a good conversation is a two-way thing that needs to be cultivated over time. It’s not a snatched text between meetings, a bullet point email or a hastily-sent emoticon.

The definition of a conversation is a talk between two or more people, where news and ideas are swapped. We get to know each other, we start to recognise each other, and, as the relationship grows, we start to give back more and more to each other.

For brands, it’s no different. It’s just this conversation can be over the phone, online, or in person, depending on the context of the customer the brand is talking to.

Brands that invest in conversation like this, instead of short-term, digital-only marketing tactics that only hit short-term KPIs, are the ones that will meet long-term goals and drive real customer value.

What’s more, as you get to know and understand individuals better, you’ll be better able to meet their needs at the right time, and in the right place, no matter the context – treating your customers as humans and giving them what they want.

But how do you actually do it?

Reaping the rewards

A top Premier League Football Club recognised the need to engage their global fan base and ensure that the fan of today is also the fan of tomorrow. They wanted to understand who their fans were, what those fans needed and where they were on their journey to meet that need.

In an era where the consumption of sport is rapidly increasing across the world through technology, media, television and even gaming, the options available to fans are endless: new sports, new leagues, new teams.

Therefore, as a club, operating across all of your channels and touchpoints, at scale, without losing focus on the fan, is a challenge. As is driving commercial success from your existing fan base and ensuring the acquisition of the fans of tomorrow.

The Club used Thunderhead’s ONE Engagement Hub to listen to and understand each individual fan, as he or she interacted with the brand, whenever and wherever they felt like it. This insight was used to enrich the fan profiles already held by the Club’s CRM.

For each and every fan, the brand now understands their membership, ticketing and retail needs, based on who they are and what they’re actually doing.

Thunderhead’s ONE uses that insight to enable conversations that are based on channel, team favourites, individual preferences, device usage and/or geo-location. Every communication can now be personalised to the fan and is relevant to that individual and their journey with the club.

The club doesn’t contact fans with irrelevant and badly targeted offers – this means less noise and much more of what they’re interested in, to nurture a deep and lasting relationship.

The moral of this story?

Get some better chat – there’s really no excuse now.

Don’t look for the quick fix. Take your time, build real relationships and start reaping real rewards.

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