Did you join a gym in the new year? How’s that resolution
going? Just like a new workout routine you hope to carry throughout the year,
customer engagement takes some initial preparation before the rest of the
journey becomes easier.
For gyms and health clubs across the country, January was
the real holiday season. An estimated 12-15 percent of all gym memberships in a
given year are sold in January and most facilities see a huge spike in personal
training, nutrition and class enrollments. Seeking to put the excesses of the
holidays behind them – and perhaps to make good on that New Year’s resolution –
millions of Americans are sweating their way through the depths of winter.
Inside the typical CMO’s office, a similar trend is in effect. But instead of
building muscles, they are seeking to build engagement, that magical place
where prospects become customers, customers become loyal fans and a healthy,
profitable cycle of interaction gains momentum. Instead of classes and diets,
CMOs are buying software, engaging consultants and (gulp) seeking buy-in from
In the gym, the search for fitness might begin with push-ups, the stair-stepper
or perhaps some good old-fashioned weights.
In the CMO’s office, the solution is murkier. A clever social media campaign? A
bigger investment in display advertising? A new in-store customer service
For many enterprises, the journey to engagement must begin with listening to
and learning from its audience. Without the basic ability to hear what
consumers want and respond to their wishes, every other engagement initiative
is doomed to fail. We call this preference management – the active collection
and distribution of preferences such as product interest, channel preference
and frequency of communication.
These preferences are not derived by profile data, purchase history or where
they are on your website; rather, they are expressly stated by the consumer
themselves. In other words, preference management means giving your customers
and prospects the ability to conveniently communicate with your company,
recording the information in a central location and acting on what they
Sounds simple, right? In truth, it can be incredibly complex for an
enterprise-level company with numerous customer touchpoints, departments,
offerings and locations. As larger organizations delve into the topic, they
soon discover why preference management is easier said than done.
But who said getting in shape was easy? The point is that it is possible to
make real progress on engagement when you start at the right place and move
forward in incremental steps. If engagement is your goal, preference management
is your starting point. Welcome to the gym!
About the Author:
Rob Tate is the Director of Enterprise Sales at PossibleNOW.
Labels: customer engagement, gym, health clubs, preference management, preferences, resolutions, social media campaign, workout routine