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A.M.C. MARKETING CONFERENCE
Modern marketing needs more than just ‘sizzle’ to succeed, Prof. warns
By our News Team | 2022
Customer experience is the new battleground and brands must deliver, rather than merely making unfulfilled promises, delegates hear.
How do we put the real sizzle back into marketing, seeing that marketers are often criticised for ‘all sizzle, no sausage’?
This was a question that Professor Robert Ebo Hinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Ghana Communication Technology University in Accra, attempted to answer during his presentation to delegates at the Inaugural African Marketing Confederation Conference 2022 held at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe last week.
An animated Professor Robert Ebo Hinson addresses conference delegates. Photo credit: Dennis Mpofu
Speaking on the topic ‘Creativity Thinking: Bringing the Sizzle Back in Marketing Campaigns’ on Friday (21 October), Prof. Hinson noted: “Old marketing is dead! World-class marketing should be about the customer; we need a high fixation on the customer. If our campaigns are not adding value to the customer, they are a waste.”
He added that customer experience has become the new battleground for business and brands need to deliver on this rather than merely making unfulfilled promises that delivered ‘sizzle’ but no ‘sausage’.
What brands believe and what customers really want
It is important, Prof Hinson said, for marketers to understand the difference between what brands believe a good customer experience is, versus what clients actually want the experience to be. To achieve this, marketers must “get out of your airconditioned room with graphs and go and speak to customers”.
It is important, he emphasised, not to merely pay lip service to the customer experience. He went on to explained that ‘customer experience’ is an ongoing series of interactions between the organisation and the client, while ‘customer service’ is a one-time contact.
Hinson, who is a prolific writer on marketing topics and has worked across Africa, noted that one of marketing’s ongoing challenges is to gain increased respect in the boardroom. Once marketers have gained access to top management and the board, their role is to be the voice of the customer.
How do marketers put customer experience first? Prof. Hinson presented a seven-point plan:
- Develop a relationship mindset, not a transactional one.
- Proactively learn about your customer experiences – and what they want them to be.
- Follow the data; follow the money.
- Make your customers’ work easier.
- Make employees’ work easier too.
- Support customer experience with actual resources, not just lip service.
- Close the loop between customer service and customer experience.
“360-degree customer data is at the absolute core of customer experience. Personalised connections will be increasingly important in the next 10 years,” he stated.
The AMC’s inaugural conference, which attracted marketers from eight African countries, concluded on 22 October.
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