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Everyone promised they’re here for you. Now what?

The Drum 07 Sep 2020 03:20
By Gordon Porter-07 September 2020 16:20pm

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Remember those TV spots from years ago? I mean, five months ago? When every blue chip promised they were ’here for you’ in the earliest chaos of the pandemic?

’Now more than ever.’

They were definitelythere’ in one sense. With hopeful emails in your inbox. Notifications in your forgotten apps. Newsfeeds jammed with heartfelt clips. A symphony of hopeful background piano.

Their intention was positive. Though it didn’t take long for their ubiquity to become a rat race. Pan to a Teams chat grid of managers: “If we don’t put one out there, then how will we look against our competitors who did?”

Let’s assume some actually delivered on their promises. Those who can afford big heartthrob TV spots tend to overlap the category of those with the biggest war chests.

We’ve had a lot of earnest conversations with our partners and prospects the past few months. Most have expressed needing to accomplish more with less. Like shoring up self-servicing on their online channels. There’s a heightened urgency this time around, because existing support channels are either so overwhelmed, or have been rendered obsolete.

Despite the chaos and challenges this year has brought, there is this forcing function of closer self-examination and ingenuity. It’s a point at which a thin brand promise of “being there for customers” quickly diminishes to something so table stakes — so plainly necessary — that the only real option is to focus real action and resources to actually deliver on it.

So, where to start?

Here’s a direct and loaded question: how concerted and cohesive is your understanding of your customers?

Fortune 100s have entire teams and programs dedicated to customer insight development. Middle market heavyweights are not left out of the fun, though. In lieu of a dedicated function, a little structure goes a very long way to sourcing, analyzing, sharing, and applying real insights to inform better solutions.

Always. But especially when the world shifts dramatically and we are all struggling to be better with what we have.

Cue the piano music.

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Gordon PorterJack Morton
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