IBM regularly surveys CMOs to identify trends. A recent Forbes blog post by consultant Avi Dan reports an interesting finding from the latest survey.
The traditional marketing funnel is now a series of loops, as people turn to the many new options for learning about, and being influenced about, a product or service selection.
In this environment, purchase decision making changes dramatically.
More and more factors are considered, and more and more of them become “deal breakers”.
Today, the final cut will come down to the businesses, products, services and brands that have good “corporate character” – a way of being that makes them matter to people.
The marketing funnel is broken also because it traditionally stops at the sale. But today, engaged buyers and users share information and viewpoints on-line as they experience the product or service.
This new paradigm means that businesses need to rethink how they reach out to the marketplace.
To quote Avi Dan:
“In other words, what an organization stands for is as important as what it sells. It has a “corporate character” — the differentiating attributes that make it a distinct enterprise. And that corporate character is not simply a product of its mission statement, logo or advertising. It is, rather, the sum of everything its management and employees say and do — the beliefs they hold, values they profess and ways they behave, visible for all to see.”
A “corporation with character” becomes a “business that matters” when it has a purpose beyond profit – when it aims to improve people’s lives, make the world a fairer and cleaner place, or both.
It comes to matter by striving to make the experience of doing business with – and working for – the company meaningful, positive and gratifying.
To get there, they choose to behave to a code of conduct that continuously conveys why the brand matters to people, and which evokes the feelings that make it matter emotionally, at every opportunity to create a special aura around the business.