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engage picOnce upon a time, it was OK for an organisation to set out its stall and wait for customers to come to market, buy and take the purchase away.

Ultimately, they may come back for more, but keeping your brand in the front of their mind was probably dependent on their receiving a mug or a pen with your company name šŸ˜‰

Similarly, people were sent on courses, they turned up, did the necessary and went away, sometimes never to think about it again!

Times have changed. As selling, promotional and training techniques have become more and more sophisticated and subtle, customers are increasingly concerned about having a relationship of trust with suppliers and teachers. Trust is based on real engagement to enhance reputation and help spread then word.

Traditional marketing talksĀ atĀ people. Content marketing talksĀ withĀ them.Ā (Doug Kessler)

The old sales “funnel”

In the traditional “sales funnel” of marketing, customers become aware of the brand or product, gives consideration to the brand, Ā becomes more familiar with the brand and that leads to a purchase. It is the marketers job to push the customer down that funnel.

Influence on-line

In the world of on-demand digital, mobile and social media, that no longer holds sway. We have a more cyclical sales journey which starts with the customer considering that they might be in the market for a product and from there customers tend to be influenced by past experiences with the product or brand.

Even as they firm up on a purchase option, their own experiences will be tempered by the reviews and comments of others, where they will also be alerted to other competing or complementary products. This gives your product opportunities to be considered by potential customers on the basis of other people’s experiences. This is why people selling through Amazon (for example) as so keen to get reviews from purchasers, to push them up rankings and to build customer trust.

You need to be there

Of course, the explosion of customer comment and reviews on-line in the past very few years have been a huge influence on the way the processes work. You need to be in there, soliciting reviews and interacting with your customers to ensure that your brand stays front of mind with a sound reputation behind it.

On-line matters because that’s where so many people are talking about brands, sharing experiences, making and breaking reputations.

Chances are they are talking about your brand. Do you know what they are saying?

All of the above applies equally to people within your organisation and immediate partners; if you like, your “internal customers”.

We can help you monitor, respond and set the direction for your brand’s reputation through engagement with your customers, potential sales leads and learners.