Chandar Pattabhiram, Chief Marketing Officer for Marketo, is a major advocate for “engagement marketing” as a response to the shift in power between buyers and sellers. During the week of April 24, Social Media Explorer’s CEO, Drew Neisser, will be taking the stage at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit, where the best and brightest in digital transformation of marketing, advertising, IT, services, and more, will gather. In advance of the summit, Chandar Pattabhiram joined Drew in the latest episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast to talk about engagement marketing, as well as adaptive marketing and the importance of storytelling.
Marketing: Making Emotional Connections That Drive Advocacy
Similarly to the conversations we have with friends, Pattabhiram stresses the importance of having conversations with your consumers rather than campaigning to them. His principle of adaptive marketing touches on the idea of behavior-based marketing, rather than mass-marketing.
Rather than creating a one-size-fits-all campaign, companies need to listen, learn, and engage with their consumers. The point isn’t to market a product to whom you think people are—it’s to market the product to the behavior of each individual. This continuous loop of “listen, learn, and engage” drives lifetime value between brand and customer.
Regarding advocacy, Chandar says not to confuse consumer loyalty with consumer advocacy. Secondly, don’t assume a correlation between your most lucrative consumers and your best brand advocates. Pattabhiram describes consumer advocacy with what he calls a 1% rule to advocacy: “90% of your consumers are lurkers, 9% are likers, and 1% are true lovers.” So while that 1% may not significantly contribute to your revenue growth, they do still provide significant value to your brand. Companies should make diligent efforts to reach out to this 1% and make it as easy as possible for these consumers to advocate passionately for your brand.
Embrace the Art of Storytelling
Consumers are constantly surrounded by the noise of similar and multiple brand offerings. This has created a shift in the balance of power from marketer to customer. Storytelling allows for a brand to not only differentiate themselves, but to also create a unique engagement opportunity. The goal of storytelling is to create an emotional connection with your consumers. These principles can help your brand identify their story:
1. Go from product-driven to outcome driven, or what Pattabhiram refers to as “customer-obsessed.” Customers don’t care about the actual product, they care about what the product means to them.
2. Make your story memorable. Facts are less important than the epic nature of the details in a good story.
3. Be authentic. Build connections with your consumers on an individual basis.
The Engagement Economy in Action: Marketo and Aetna
As the marketing industry’s innovation leader and best solution for high growth enterprise businesses, Marketo is focused on helping marketers shift from the traditional styles of marketing to the new style of engagement. In today’s engagement economy, it’s important to build continuous, meaningful, and relevant relationships at every step in a consumer’s journey. This focus allows for the growth of revenue—and lifetime value. By capturing what is in your consumer’s mind, you are ultimately securing long-term engagement.
Marketo has helped healthcare organization, Aetna, with its engagement marketing strategies—with great success. With the altruistic goal of delivering better health care to people, the brand campaigned directly to its employees. Aetna has effectively combined its social channels with its website and associated pages, creating a unique and personalized experience for its customers. After their initial investment of $500K in their campaign, they have seen a 16x return on investment.
Podcast: Chandar Pattabhiram
For those of you who’d like to learn more about Chandar Pattabhiram and his advice for thriving in the “Engagement Economy,” we invite you to listen to his podcast, below. You can also subscribe to the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeartRadio to learn more from the marketing industry’s top CMOs.