The second chapter of Experience the Message is sub-titled: “Experiential marketing will be predicated on a one-on-one personal interaction between a marketer and a consumer.” I go on to posit that in a CRM-obsessed world, people want the human touch, which is so valuable and effective when delivering a marketing message, querying people outside of focus-group-think, and reaching the so-called influentials.
It’s no surprise that grassroots activism like the IVR cheat sheet created by Paul English is beginning part of the consumer experience. Read the ETM post on this. It’s all about getting a real human being on the phone. Aren’t the Chase commercials all about this? Or is it Citibank?
Anyway, I digress. In support of the notion that face-to-face interactions between people and services is paramount to marketing, comes The 2006 Market Pulse Survey, released by IBT Enterprises and MCA Works, that reveals that:
When it comes to financial services, the “human touch” still matters to a great number of consumers. Despite decades of predictions that technology-driven channels like ATMs and online banking would replace traditional banks, 50 percent prefer to bank face-to-face in a branch or drive through. Thirty percent of those surveyed prefer to bank online, 18 percent opt for ATMs and 2 percent say mail or telephone.
76 percent of Americans “love” or “don’t mind” going inside the branch to conduct business. Face-to-face interaction is preferred for more complex transactions:
69 percent prefer face-to-face for making a deposit
65 percent to apply for a loan
64 percent for opening a new account
ATM, online and telephone banking was most popular for:
Paying bills (64 percent),
Cash withdrawal (56 percent)
Transferring funds (54 percent)
Isn’t this a validation for more experiential marketing and customer experience management? Think all of the brand ambassadors you encounter at marketing events, trade shows and street executions. Just think of Ritz Carlton. Think of the Apple stores’ Genius Bar. Think of CDW, Wegman’s or American Apparel.
Companies like these inherently understand the need to market personally, to respect the individual consumer, and embrace their new-found empowerment to service them better.