Keeping a Pulse on Customers (Reflections from MARCON 2016)

By Janet Kozak for Women’s INC

Janet is a Content Marketing Strategist and Writer/Blogger. Her company is Resoulute, a business consultancy, that grew out of a passion for storytelling. @Resolute

At the 2016 MARCON the words on everyone’s lips was “disruptive marketing.” Moreover, the room seemed in unanimous agreement that, while customer needs may have not really been the true focus in past years, moving forward the customer is shaping brand marketing even faster than we can manage it.

In the past, a marketing manager would plan out a campaign, organize, and implement it. Now, loyal clients and customers are shaping the brand image in real time. Companies are working to conform to these shifting perceptions and integrate their client feedback into their products and campaigns.

This is an important part of both market research, and also understanding our target markets. Having our finger on the pulse of our clients is exhilarating, and also comes with great responsibility. Statista estimates that by 2018 social networking worldwide users is expected to reach some 2.5 billion. With social media reaching into the homes and handheld devices of billions worldwide our customers are offering instantaneous feedback – if we are willing to listen.

These feedbacks come in the form of “micro moments” – impulsive moments of insight into our customer habits. They can also be grouped into “want to buy” and “want to move” moments of impulsivity. By getting a handle on these moments, and understanding how our clients think – we can better tailor our products and services to reach them in their impulsive moments – influencing them in their decisions to buy and become loyal to our brands.
The presentation by M.A. Mannan, President and CEO of TCS Holdings, was one of the best of the day’s talks. He related story after story of how his method of getting down on the ground and really connecting with his customers helps him make new product and service decisions. This was especially nice to hear coming from a CEO himself – knowing that he is working to market his brands’ services in the best way possible.

Mr. Mannan shared a personal story of a mother whom he witnessed lovingly ensuring that the shirt she mailed to her son was unwrinkled in the box. A real life experience from one of his visits to a walk-in location; a story that they then incorporated into the ad below. Her love and attention is perfectly expressed as we see the care and precision that not only goes into transporting these precious life possessions, by the owners of the items and by the carriers and personnel as well.

TCS’s newest service, Yayvo, is also set to revolutionize the way we search for and purchase the items we need. Not only does the new platform stock over 5000 products, but they’ve also built a team of customer service concierges that are available 24/7 to help locate items that the site doesn’t currently sell. This makes the site an essential one-stop-shop for anything under the sun, and a unique value added service to all their potential customers.
The future of marketing leans less on telling customers what they want – but ensuring we get them what they truly need. We have to keep three fingers on the pulse of social media, client feedback, and real-life stories. With these methods in their arsenal companies can gain a firm understanding of the ways the brand is perceived in the market. Once understood we can change our services and image to fit those perceptions accordingly – and bank on them.