Perhaps the term “high touch marketing” is not very popular, but regardless of the term it really makes me think about how important this approach is, especially in our high tech times. Technology and social media have helped marketers reach out to their targets more frequently, efficiently and through different channels, while at the same time trying to build a relationship. All of that is very important, but it looks like for some companies all their strategy to build a customer relation is based on rising awareness in social networks and sending emails to remember their service or special offers. All of that is good but they can go beyond. I will illustrate how with an example from my own experience. One year ago, I started buying groceries online, I have tried Google Shooping Express and Instacart. I am a frequent customer, so without any doubt I can say that functionally both of them are good, they comply with the main goal: deliver fresh products on time. However, after two or three experiences, especially the last one, I fell in love with one of the companies. I ordered many items to Instacart, one of them was alstromerias flowers. Around half an hour before the delivery time I received a phone call from the shopper. He told me that the alstromerias at the store did not look well. I was stunned and my answer was: I just want yellow flowers and he kindly said OK I will choose the most decent yellow flowers… and he did it! bringing beautiful yellow tulips with a marginal change in the price. I definitely valued that more than when they send me emails remembering me that maybe is time to buy some frequent products! After that I felt that they understand that their service goes beyond just delivering items, those items are also addressing some needs, in the case of flowers an aesthetic need. We could say “OK, this is about a smart shopper and not about a company”, but it wasn’t, similar things have happened to me with this company a few times. Clearly, high touch marketing is built on company culture, or a team culture; and as everybody knows culture is difficult to re-shape as part of our marketing campaign, it happens as a consequence of repetitive and consistent behavior. JetBlue is a great example of how the customer experience is enhanced base on employee empowerment. Those are not only words, according to J.D.Power, JetBlue is the best rated airline on customer satisfaction. JetBlue’s employees share companies values and are encouraged to take care of customers base on those values.
Of course, I am not diminishing the big importance of a strong digital marketing campaign, but I am just wondering if as marketers we are forgetting the importance of those few high touch moments. What are we doing to make our customers feel that they are more than a number resulting from our CLV analysis?. As I said, thanks to technology, many companies can comply with the main goal, but in my opinion what distinguishes some companies is their capability to add a personal value, enhancing the whole experience with an assertive human interaction (which doesn’t necessarily have to be in person).
As always, I would like to share some articles that I found most interesting. This one from Wall Street Journal states the importance of periodic face to face interactions. I really think quality of the interaction is more important than if the interaction is face to face, but it also gives very good examples to explain why high touch marketing should not be complicated. This another article from Magnetic blog states four ways that may help to built high touch marketing.
Hope you find this post interesting…if you have something to share, please leave a comment!