More on crowdsourcing or co-innovation or whatever you want to call the trend of customers playing an active role in the product development and marketing process. What implications will this new paradigm have for measuring your marketing success?
Customer satisfcation has long been heralded as the golden calf of successful marketing. Now, consulting firm Molecular argues that customer engagement, defined as attracting and engrossing customers, is the better measure of determining the true value of a customer relationship. Molecular’s Brian Manning writes: “The answer lies in how we see the customer relationship. Satisfaction tells you whether or not you're doing something wrong. It should be the baseline target, not an end in itself. Engagement, because it comprises a deeper, more persistent relationship, should be the aspirational goal. “
Manning gives five reasons why measuring engagement is more valuable:
1. Satisfaction is a measurement of past experience, not an indicator of future behavior.
2. Extremely satisfied customers often act and behave no differently than less satisfied customers.
3. Engaged customers become the medium for the message.
4. Negative engagement can hurt you more than you know.
5. Engaged customers add more to the bottom line.
Manning refers to the Lego Factory, which allows customers to engage in the creation of custom modules, and predicts that “an increasing number of companies will follow suit and begin to generate engagement by tapping into the social and technological capabilities of the internet to empower customers.” Given the buzz about “empowered customers” these days, this almost sounds commonplace – a clear indicator that this once radical idea is making further inroads into the marketing mainstream.