Tag Archives: media

Three ways in which brands are optimising their customer experience investment

Customer Experience is still a relatively new strategy for businesses to follow. Whilst most have a feedback programme and a customer dashboard in place, many are still trying to figure out how CX will drive their business forward. Whilst this is playing out there are three options we’ve observed that have varying levels of effectiveness.

The ‘CX as a mission’ company

Zappos, the ladies online shoe retailer and part-time CX academy headed by Tony Hsieh. The strapline is ‘Powered by Service’. and with a number of legendary service delivery stories circulating they’ve become the ‘thinking CX practioners’ version of perfection.

zappos2One such story is that if a customer calls to buy shoes that they don’t have or sell, they will transfer them to a competitor free of charge so they can buy the shoes. Try that one if you are a telco or asset manager! But they have found when (and it’s when not if) the customer returns they spend 2.5 times as much on their next purchase. It’s baked in to who they are as any of their employee videos show.

The ‘CX as a measure’ company

I know of several companies who have put NPS up as a measure by which they will judge their CX success. Others even bonus staff on lifting NPS targets. I’ve also spotted NPS targets popping up in vision statements as well. But because it’s a number, it’s something that is aimed for and the business deems itself a success if it achieves it and a failure if it doesn’t.

I was at a conference recently and another speaker told me he’d seen car salesman rip NPS as a measure apart. It didn’t matter where the target was set they hit it everytime. And not a point more. They had worked out what they needed to do to achieve their targets. It had nothing to do with what mattered for the customer or how the company wanted to be portrayed. Scores like NPS are not what’s important, its the verbatim and feedback that they represent. This is the gold that helps the company get better and delight more customers. Be obsessed by customer betterment rather than the measure.

The ‘CX as a message’ company

kia adIt’s not surprising, with comms agencies taking an active role in CX strategy development, that some clients CX efforts focus on messaging their CX achievements. For instance, Kia have used the findings from what I assume would have been their VoC workshop inputs as the concept for a TV ad. With customer comments on post-its popping off the wall. It is then followed up with the boast of being voted No. 1 for satisfaction.

HSBC are in on the act too with a very beautiful ad. It parallels brotherly relationships with staff providing unexpected support and finishes with the strap line, ‘We reward our staff for delivering outstanding customer support’. Interpreted by a colleague of mine as, ‘We have to pay them otherwise they wouldn’t do it’.

Now having written a blog on the greatness of HSBC’s CX recently, I know it’s not like that in reality, so forgive my outburst HSBC – I love you still, but I’m not sure the ad agency or those briefing them, get what CX is. There’s a link below, make your own judgement but I think paralleling brotherly ‘love’ with customer service support is confused.

hsbc ad

In their TV ads, Nationwide use their CSAT scores (from their own study not an independent one) to present themselves as No. 1 for Customer Satisfaction on the high street. My wife, a member, would argue that’s unnecessary media spend. She knows they are No.1 in her eyes because they’ve always delivered a great experience and have earned the right to be her bank forever because they always do right by her.

She would say they don’t need to tell everyone how great they are. I would say they should use this platform to demonstrate why they are No.1 instead.

In summary

Great customer experience is something a customer feels and experiences. Those like Zappos who have it hard wired in to their DNA deliver it with every customer engagement. Those who place importance on measuring it will find CX is only great where or when it is measured. Just because the customer completed a feedback survey, it doesn’t mean they actually score the company. They only do that because they were asked to. For consumers its less quantitative – they know it’s right because it works for them. It’s an emotional connection and often only realised way after the event.

The reward is the customer remains engaged with a preference. They will stand in the queues, wait at the bus stops and sit in the coffee shop telling stories to others about how great your brand is.

However, this advocacy is a key benefit of delivering a great customer experience that should be measured because it will reduce your marketing acquisition and retention costs because your customers are doing your marketing for you.

Making sure your customer experience is a mission means the measurements will be achieved and the messages created through stories on the street which is more powerful than a TV campaign.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the heart of the decision 

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers | We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experiences and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter. Or for further information contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on  M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 or T: +44 (0)1279 902205 .    You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read client case studies at www.lexdengroup.com 

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Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (September 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. But just how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of a communication every day and explain why it had caught our attention. Here are September 2011’s offerings for your consideration taken from ‘A Marketers Diary 2011-2012’.

BEST COPYWRITING

Tuesday 6th September 2011 – Extra chewing gum

The copy is exquisite. You can hear Ben’s voice when you read it. Yes, it’s that authentic. They’ve really understood the proposition and creatively dramatised it. Lovely ad and a great ambassador in Ben who is seen as Farm stock turned adventurer rather than reality TV star come good(what was the name of that island on BBC’s Castaway again?). Visit http://www.worthchewingover.com to read the copy in full. There are also other executions.

MOST TIMELY MEDIA

Saturday 17th September 2011 – Wickes

In my market town, you don’t often see much transport media. So when this drove by early Saturday as I walked across town I noticed it. And do you know what – the very next day I found myself in Wickes looking for a storage unit – coincidence?

By the way Wickes is not a place you will find small storage units.

BEST PRODUCTION OF A TV AD

Sun 18th September 2011 – Virgin Airlines

I love the production values and humour in this Bond inspired ad. In fact, I say shhh at home when it comes on. I don’t think I say that for any other TV ad. Just great. And of course it makes me feel that Virgin is a cooler airline for me to consider. Image links to video of ad.

From ‘The MarComms Diary 2011-2012’. http://bit.ly/tOZ48B

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Unordinary Thinking No. 9 – Virtual Real Estate

With some ideas, the more you think about it the less sense it makes. This is true of virtual real estate. And yet an industry has risen from it. Albeit built on virtual sand.

Virtual real estate agents can make up to $150,000 a year in Second Life.

They buy nothing real and selling nothing real.

After all when you are in a virtual world, you are still in the real world. And yet land with planning permission is bought from virtual land owners, virtual property developers build the property with virtual materials and a virtual estate agents rent it to an avatar who is a version of something that doesn’t really exist; an alter ego.

And considering these business’ reputations in the real world, have been built based on the quality of their workmanship, customer service and interpersonal skills – how do they transfer these tangibles to an intangible virtual world? Because they do.

It’s made even more puzzling if you consider how a brand or marketing director would plot this activity on a classic business ‘growth’ matrix. It doesn’t fit the model, it’s beyond diversification. That’s not to say virtual commerce doesn’t fit, but just it needs a little extra thought to figure out how. It’s undoubtedly an unordinary growth strategy. And one that pay dividends without leaving the desktop.

http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107800

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands.

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (November 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. But just how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of a communication every day and explain why it had caught our attention.

The full set are available on flickr (consultingchris), but each month we will showcase our favourite pieces; most engaging communication, most compelling idea and best media placement. Here are November’s offerings for your consideration.

BEST MEDIA PLACEMENT

Monday 7th November 2011 – Network Rail

This is a safety ad at Victoria station from Network Rail. I really liked the briefcase and wallet detail which softens the ‘white outline’. Having spent time in Turkey I saw how you make ambient and outdoor work really well. The UK lacks creativity in this space. Or maybe it’s health & safety restrictions!

MOST ENGAGING COMMUNICATION

Tuesday 15th November 2011 – Volkswagen

Lovely piece of comms from VW. As a previous owner of 3 different soft tops, it caught my imagination and reminded me of racing around in my Spider and how much I miss it. I’ve got a feeling, thanks to Instagram 1974, we are going to see many 70’s styled shots in ads as well over the next year or so.

MOST COMPELLING IDEA

Tue  29th November 2011 – Innocent

This idea came out last year, and I am glad to see it back on the shelves at Boots. I can never quite get over the price barrier of an Innocent smoothie but as these have a charity donation and you get a free egg cosy, why not. They remind me (and I hope I am not alone here) of the Flumps from children’s TV in the 80’s. Great idea and the most unique way I have ever seen for a drink to achieve stand out on the shelf.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

Best of ‘A Marketers Diary’ (October 2011)

Each day we are bombarded by thousands of advertising messages. However, how many of them do we actually consume? We decided to collect just one example of an ad every day and explain why this communication caught our attention. And each month we showcase our favourite pieces; most engaging communication, most compelling idea and best media placement.

Here are October’s offerings for your consideration.

MOST COMPELLING IDEA

Tuesday 11th October 2011 – Canada press ad

I liked this press ad because it’s trying to be an online ad in print. A potentially smart approach given the likely affluent older demographic audience. All the digital trimmings are in place on the ad and it made me think immediately to check them out online through my social media connections rather than their website. It came across as a brand that knows its digital and how to use it.

MOST ENGAGING COMMUNICATION

14th October 2011 – Green & Blacks double page press ad

I’ve pieced this together because it spread across two sides of the Evening Standard. Friday night, heading home straight after work and as a father of two Friday night means home, cosy on the sofa with popcorn viewing and TV treats. To be reminded of the G&B range like this was brilliant – I used it like a menu. To get comms to work like this, beyond an ad, is rare and memorable. It hits the spot.

BEST MEDIA PLACEMENT

Monday 31st October 2011 – Royal British Legion bikes

Is this great or graffiti? Do Barclays know their bikes have been hijacked by the RBL, of course they do. And by using a space not normally advertised on they’ve created brand comms arguably as memorable as a press ad or poster (of course integrated with them and it’s more powerful). The marketer in me says well done RBL for taking over an untapped space. But to be honest it has got me thinking more about whether this is smart from Barclays’ perspective or will it lead to Barclays Bike scheme now being targeted by guerrilla advertising too by second string advertisers copying the initiative without Barclays’ say so? As I was taking this pic a second bike pulled up and the chap said to me, ‘good isn’t it. I don’t need to buy a poppy with one of these on the bike’. I read that Barclays are contributing £1 for every ride this week. Even so I hope that rider’s view is not a popular one. Nice work Barclays and RBL.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director Lexden.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions which motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. To discuss how our approach can help you with your burning platforms, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123, M: +44 (0)7968 316548. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.

What would your media footprint look like?

I decided back in May to start a diary. Not one that recorded my innermost thoughts or my hopes and fears. But something a lot more visual than that. The diary is a recording of the marketing communications that had the most impact on me that day. And because of what I do, I travel a fair amount and so have been able to capture a really wide selection of images.

I am using the images to create a broader study of what messages, brands and media appeal. And then, by correlating that impact on my behaviour and attitude towards them, try to understand why they appeal. It’s not scientific but, as someone who is responsible for helping clients develop marketing strategies and build brands and value propositions, being ‘alaways on’ comes with territory. However, I have now been approached to publish the diary when it’s complete and consider how to develop it in to a robust tracking study, so that’s cool.

It’s been running just for nearly six months so I thought I’d take a look at which images have been attracting attention. The overall stats say views increase daily as you’d hope. But when I looked at the individual image stats, it shows that one image has had a whopping 1,486 views!! This is the NatWest ad below.

Why? Who’s looking, or rather, stalking this ad?

There are other NatWest ads, as well as RBS comms which have caught my attention, but the level of interest in this one surprised me. As part of the year diary review I hope to be able to figure out what’s happening here.

In addition to this I have had some other big hitters. Here are the top 5 so far: Lucozade @ 201, Barclays Bank bike scheme @ 67, Halifax @ 50, TalkTalk @ 39 and Red Bull @ 38.

I’ve also had an ad where I managed to crop out the logo of the brand. Ronel Schoeman from www.mawdatasolutions.co.uk applied some cool image searching software to track down the missing brand which turned out to be Marc Jacobs. Thanks Ronni.

It’s probably too soon to be choosing favourites, or pointing out which media reaches me effectively, but there are trends emerging. I seem to be a fan of the unordinary: opera singers at Liverpool Street station for Macmillan Nurses, Renova the coloured toilet roll company using toilet doors to promote their range in Lisbon and Dior’s use of multi screen at Edinburgh airport.

Nearly 6 months later I can still recall these ads with ease and vivid colour. And as I look at the collection, I can also remember how I felt at the time-powerful stuff when it comes to comms. After all, that’s what it’s about.

Please do take a look at the full diary http://www.flickr.com/photos/66864671@N00/sets/72157626556021873/.

I would appreciate any comments. And if your brand is here, let me know whether you think I’ve consumed what was expected of me, or if you feel I’ve given it a rough time.

I’ll leave you with my top 3 memories from the first half of the diary.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. For more information on how we can help you contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on  T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123. And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris.