Driving in a Fog – Integration of Message and Media – The Advent of Corrective Marketing!

Seeing Beyond the Fog

You’re late, speeding at 120 mph, your satellite radio is blaring, your smartphone map app is recalculating, the fog is thick, the road is wet, and it’s hard to tell if the car is still on the road.

Is your marketing on the right track? Are you on the correct path?

According to our internal research, that’s how most CMO’s feel after recent changes in markets, economy, technology, and demographics. A road once clearly defined is now part superhighway, part country road, part off-road, and in some instances a yet-to-be-cut jungle path.

Stumbling in the fog

We have forgotten who to target, how to grab their attention, what to say, where to find them, or when to communicate. It’s not always our fault. Marketing by definition is a road, a road that is nearly always under construction and not always clearly marked.

TV plays in the background. The iPhone is inches away. Online, we search: how to spell, movie title, facts we should have learned in high school or college, news, sports, competitors, and partners. And then there’s social media. Media is no longer an overview of the marketplace. Marketing has become a sphere that covers an entire range north to south and east to west, smothering the consumer with relevant, targeted personalized messages.

Ironically, as consumers, we’re always on one type of road or another and switch lanes as frequently as we switch roads.  As marketers we try to “catch” consumers and ticket them with a prospective sale before they exit or have them exit where we wish. Consumers are constantly making corrective changes, switching lanes, changing exits, detouring around delays. Marketers must and should do the same.

The Road Ahead

Marketing has changed. It is no longer simply 360 degrees in scope, but has to be expanded to 720 or more degrees in scope, going back and forth on different paths and planes.  As marketers we need to more than adapt; we need to forge a new path that suits our brand, related to the consumer and to market demographics.

Most marketers continue with what ‘works.’ They use single-phase traditional or legacy media: TV, radio, print, billboards, direct mail, etc. Early adaptors added websites, squeeze pages, valueless media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, off-line and on-line gaming, YouTube, SEO, email, UGC (user generated content), content editors, earned, paid, and owned media, etc. Later, they bring in new tools to measure and analyze (i.e.: to make sense of) market spend.

The big picture of big data

Technology has multiplied the venues and channels we use for marketing but generates so much data that we get stuck. We get distracted with too much information, including data that has no relevance or value. We may have lost sight of the objective. We still market to sell, but are successful only when the selling process is integrated, relevant, and beneficial to the consumer.

Honing marketing in the digital era

Silos become entrenched. Public Relations fails to share with marketing, Human Resources sometimes contradicts Public Relations, Sales is busy, Marketing is planning, the CFO is tinkering with next year’s budget, and Social Media and its media partners are on their own. Data indicates that all marketing media is more powerful when integrated and viewed by the user—the consumer—as having value. The negative impact of following the latest marketing trends exceeds headcount and media cost.

Forging a path to success: Our To-Do List

Our job has changed. There are too many different opportunities and too much data (more data = more problems). Here is a short list to align your marketing efforts:


1.     Build your brand internally first.

2.     Define the mission of each department and its target audience.

3.     Adopt the 80/20 rule to limit the number of channels a department works with.

4.     Identify the KPI’s relevant to your team and market.

5.     Measure each media line by line.


1.     Document departmental budgets, expenses, people, and training.

2.     Confirm each department is on message and on brand.

3.     Verify the KPI’s and messaging work across silos.

4.     Optimize one media selected at a time.

5.     Re-assess redundancies and integration.

Navigating a foggy sea!

We suggest that not only is correct planning needed, but the need to be ready to manage a course change, an alteration or change of direction, is the key to safely travel in a fog.

Contact Yves at yves@teemd.com or Thad at thad.kubis@tifmc.org and request a 30-minute, no-obligation, totally-free phone or Skype consultation.



Charting a Course to Success and Profitability within the Marine Industry

12 Steps to Successful Marine Industry Marketing!

 In my opinion, marine marketers can enhance their success rate by integrating into their efforts lessons learned from sailing/boating, training and experience. Sailing and marketing are both processes based on a myriad of defined, repetitive, and creative decisions and, in part, utilize the same skill set. If you can hone the marketing process to eliminate wasted time or dead-end segments and reduce market spend, you will have a more effective marketing effort—much as a sailor who uses careful preplanning can optimize chances for enjoying a safe, pleasant trip with fewer negative happenings.

Are you starting to see the connection, get your bearings?

Marketing to me is experiential, meaning that my experiences and those that my clients have brought into the equation have provided a learning experience and offered a full menu of haptic and visual induction and interaction. Marketing, as we move into the future, needs to do the same for all involved—building on the experiences of the brand, the agency, the marketing group, and, most importantly, the prospect, consumer, or customer. In much the same way, sailing/boating is also experiential in nature. Through experience, sailing becomes an interactive, sense-based activity, with the sailor learning from both successes and mistakes. Again, much like marketing.

Here are my top 12 steps, or knots if you wish, each adding more speed to the long-term ROI/ROR success of your program. These are the magical dozen steps to make nearly every marketing effort effective, successful, and based on profitability.

Do you need an example of the process in action?

Think trade shows, and events. Many marketers, if not most, see a trade event as a single event and plan their marketing and advertising (often forgetting the 7 pillars of sales promotion - https://www.ama.org/publications/eNewsletters/MarketingInsightsNewsletter/Pages/7-pillars-of-customer-centricity.aspx*) as a strategic element. In actually, there are three main parts to a trade event, such as a boat show. There is the 1) pre-show, 2) the show on the floor or on the dock parts of the event, and 3) the post-show.

Each of the three stages needs to incorporate every one of the 12 steps outlined above. The percentage of your effort devoted to each stage may vary, but the three promotional opportunity segments of the trade event are and must be viewed as reflective events, not standalones. They must be co-supported to achieve or optimize the results, achieve your goals and objectives, and, most importantly, keep the consumer, customer, or potential client active in the sales process.

Sailing/Boating Action                      Marketing equivalent

1.      Setting Sail                                         1. Research, setting goals

& Selecting Destination

2.      Points of Sail/Directions                     2. SWOT

3.      Navigation                                          3. Planning you effort

4.      Weather                                             4. Preparing for your competition & unexpected situations


5.      Tacking/Gybing – course

          corrections                                       5. Keep moving forward


6.      Set and drift                                       6. Tracking and Measurement

7.      Passage making                                 7. Corrective Marketing

8.      Sea Sickness                                     8. Adjustments to weak or                                                                           poor response

9.      Cruising/Racing                                  9. B2C or B2B

10.    Marlin spike/boat skills                       10. Building business and skill

11.    Docking – Destination/arrival             11. Success and evaluation

12.    Safe Harbor                                       12. Profits, ROI, and ROR.

The above-mentioned 12 steps also support the traditional marketing pyramid. They each address in one way or another the Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation, and Purchase process that traditional marketing and advertising is based upon.

What do you think?

This is an oversimplification of a very complex process, sure, but that is my point. Sailing or boating is complex, multi-tiered, layered, and complicated at first, but once you understand the simple basics of the concept, sailing and boating are less daunting. There seem to be too many marketers who get caught in the weeds, do not fully understand the depth of most marketing efforts, and forget that even the most basic marketing efforts need to be carefully planned and should follow my 12-step checklist as an introductory formula.

Remember KISS— Keep It Simple, Sailor!

Benefit from my knowledge, experience, and even my mistakes. This list is a product of my many years of marketing success across multiple verticals, different demographics, and a diverse set of goals and objectives.

Accept my offer for a free, no-obligation 30-minute phone call to discuss your needs and learn how my process will add benefits to your efforts. Please feel free to email me at thad.kubis@tifmc.org. Let’s chart your to course to success together.

#Chartyourcourse       #12Steps2SuccessfulMarineIndustryMarketing

# SuccessfulMarineIndustryMarketing            #ROI/RORMarineMarketing

Pokémon Go, the next big thing?

Gaming the next big thing in social media, digital marketing and interactive communications.




A long time go!

In a world long ago, I designed or assisted in the design of a series of conflict simulation board games—mostly complex, very realistic war games. (This was long before online games were common.) I was very observant, understanding the gamers’ demographics, their needs, habits, desires, the history of the game, and maintaining the needed, correct, realistic history of the event portrayed.


In the back of my mind, I was always thinking what brand might consider advertising within the game, on the box, within the rules book, or, heaven forbid, on the board itself, as a simple way to support an ever growing and at the time expensive hobby.


Despite the success of the games and the groundbreaking marketing movement sequence, I never developed advertising for use within the games. Nor did an act of a real war or external violence result from any game I developed or assisted in developing—at least as far as I know.


Not so long ago!

As my career expanded, I assisted in developing an idea of a very cool direct mail effort, an invite to announce the release of major broadcast-based series. The idea and invitation, sent in a wine bottle to a highly selected number of reviewers, contained a treasure map, loaded with tips, clues, and rewards if one carefully followed the instructions and joined the kick-off event.


The goal was to get the reviewers to use the map and clues it provided to reach a specific location. As part of the activity, players were asked to follow a simple set of directions and rules that included stopping at a few “partners” on the way to have their map stamped, similar to a passport.  The activity was a big success. Though it was a costly idea, reception and the program results to the map marketing “adventure” were exceptional.


Enter the Internet, and, as they say in the movies, it is now “the present time.”


The foundation

With over 155 million American gamers, two gamers per U.S. household with 4 out of 5 American households owning a device to play video games, the future of in-home and online games has a strong foundation. Link these “use” stats to the time gamers play games (estimated at 3 hours per week), the average age of the games (35 years of age), and the defined gender demographics, and the expansion of gaming into a new interactive, mobile, profit-based marketing tool seems to be a given. (These stats come from the Entertainment Software Association.)


INSERT: Video games are ingrained in our culture. . . .  Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO, Entertainment Software Association


Gaming has always been a very popular activity, supported by a highly dedicated audience that will blindly follow the game anywhere it leads. There are positive and negative ways that marketers can take advantage of the strong focus of game players. As demonstrated in the link below, in the wrong hands, a game can lead into crime.


INSERT: http://www.worldwideweirdnews.com/2016/07/11-Armed-teenagers-used-Pokemon-Go-to-rob-at-least-11-victims.html


As described in the story, a number of Pokémon Go gamers took the game instructions too far and committed crimes, muggings, break-ins and armed robberies.


Advanced Geocaching

But since none of you reading this article are planning criminal ventures, let’s look at the positives of using coupons and other gaming concepts. According to Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-millennials-coupo), coupon use within the millennial demographic is “keeping the coupon alive.” Millennial’s are very mobile. Online gaming by definition is highly mobile and Millennial’s as well as other demographics are more then familiar with geocaching.


According to The CLYMB, Groundspeak (geocaching.com) has over 2,600,000 ACTIVE geocaches and over 6 million users in what is now called a sport but which may soon, in my opinion, be called a movement (http://blog.theclymb.com/interviews/inside-world-geocaching/).


INSET: Geocaching may (is) be the next coupon, the new mobile and the new marketing media!


Couch surfing and Geocaching - The new vacation reality

Look around and you see many traditional “vacation” destinations on the decline. In my spheres of interest, I see nearly daily the decline in sailors and sailing – boating in general, I also see via a marketing project, the decline in vacations to other traditional locations—the mountains, the sea, and historical sites.


INSERT: Millennial’s are estimated to make up about 27% of the population within the United States and just under 25% of the workforce.


The Millennial’s, according to the Boston Consulting Group, are more interested in travel than any other demographics. MMGY indicates that 10% of Millennial’s will be traveling MORE in the future. Doesn’t this seem to contradict the vacationing decline noted above? How can we reverse the decline with Millennials?


Where is this going – now a word from our travel sponsor?

That is the point. If you link customized, personalized, “Pokémon Go” type gaming to vacations and destination, you can have the next travel market start their vacations at home “couch surfing,” then go live using the game as their personal guide while on-site, by using language and concepts relevant to their specific needs. They can then complete the vacation back on their couch, while being surveyed and analyzed by marketers. In this way, perhaps this next generation will “go” on more vacations, but we need to be using a different definition of “go.”


There is, as with most things in life, a good side and bad side to this new media and potential marketing tool. The good side is that mobile actually may become the next big thing via online gaming like Pokémon Go, offering tracking, metrics, relevant content, visual stimulation, on-demand use, all linked to coupons. Rewards are all the benefits to be expected, even more.

The bad side, which can also be viewed as a good side (sort of like PR, both good and bad at the same time), is that as a group, we humans will need to relearn the balance of life and to respect historical locations, monuments, and emotional situations and shut down the gaming software like Pokémon Go when it is inappropriate to play. Perhaps I give too much credit to people being actually considerate of others.


INSERT: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/07/12/holocaust-museum-auschwitz-want-pokmon-go-hunts-stop-pokmon/86991810/


Go – to the end game.

As I completed this article, I found the link that follows - http://www.wsj.com/articles/ad-agencies-scramble-to-form-pokemon-go-strategies-1468425523. Some brands like Under Armour do not need to scramble – they have very effective, valid and useful apps, like Map My Ride and Map my Walk, they as others have completed the first step of what seems to me as the opening salvo in the new world of highly mobile, highly personalize experiential marketing, interaction, integrated, tracked, measured marketing tools.


The end game

I can see major and not so major brands (http://ny.eater.com/2016/7/12/12159204/pokemon-go-nyc-restaurants-money - http://pix11.com/2016/07/11/pokemon-go-bar-crawl-set-up-for-brooklyn/ - http://gothamist.com/2016/07/15/pokemon_go_nyc_gym_map.php) working out the details, the problems (the illegal uses and actions to “win”) and turning Pokémon Go into a fully supportive mobile interactive experiential marketing tool for brands big, small and in between.


The Secret Sauce of Marketing Technology

According to Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio (www.engagio.com), the secret sauce and the future of marketing technology isssssssssssss . . . wait for it . . . Account-Based Everything - ABE!

As the keynote speaker for the recently held MarcomCentral Marketing Tech Roadshow, Jon outlined in an exciting, determined, informative, and illustrative PowerPoint the new concept of Account-Based Everything.

Miller’s presentation headlined the MarcomCentral mini-conference, a three-hour event presented first in New York in early May before moving on the road to Atlanta and Boston in June. Other cities may follow in coming months. According to Forrest Leighton, Vice President of Marketing for MarcomCentral, the goal of the mini-conference was to provide education in relevant topics for marketing professionals in a half-day rather than a full-day or multi-day session, as it done in previous years. I appreciated the consideration shown for my busy schedule, and so did the audience.

Before I discuss Miller’s ideas in depth, I want to mention another key presenter at the mini-conference, Jon Russo, CMO of B2B Fusion and a board member of MOCCA (b2bfusiongroup.com). Russo, speaking as part of a panel discussion, opened with five words that are also close to my marketing heart and should be to yours— Education, Practical Ideas, Strategy, and Technology. The five words have particular relevance to new business generation and development.

Russo noted that the focus of his firm is to generate leads via marketing asset management, using a predictive model of optimization mobility strategy and a deep understanding of the lead’s pool size (target market), level of desire, social networking awareness, ability to convert leads to active customers, and, of course, ability to establish customer loyalty.

B2B Fusion Group uses a three-step program that can be stated as (1) Generate Interactions, (2) Optimize Engagements, and (3) Close the Business, or, simply stated, Generate. Optimize. Close.

Russo stated the goal of all marketing is to improve your lead-to-sale conversion rate/factor by not only generating new leads but also developing new leads that are optimized. His firm uses a variety of metrics and measurement tools to gauge the effectiveness of the program and uses tools such as ABE to sharpen and define the lead in greater detail.


Russo also described a LinkedIn group that he runs— an online community called MOCCA (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/105825)—to support a new and expanding segment of marketing currently overlooked, the marketing operations professional. You should check it out.

Account Based Everything – The Secret Sauce

Keynoting the mini-conference, Jon Miller took the stage and began his fact- loaded presentation with a definition of ABE. He explained that ABE is "a strategic GTM approach that orchestrates personalized marketing sales and success efforts to drive engagement and conversion at named accounts."

He expanded on the definition with a slide that compared the current method of Demand Generation to ABE. According to Miller, as part of Demand Generation, we have usually followed these three steps: What do we say? Where should we say it? Who should we say it to? Demand Generation yields offers, channels, and segments.

In Account Based Everything, we ask, in order: Who are we trying to reach? What should we say? Where should we say it? This helps us focus on accounts, content, and channels – Jon Miller.

He expanded using a slide that compared the current method of Demand Generation compared to ABE, Jon M sees the process in three stages, and the dated or legacy steps and the ABE process follows:

Demand Generation:

What do we say?   Where should we say it?     Who should we say it to?

Offers                      Channels                               Segments

Account Based Everything:

Who are we trying to reach    What should we say?     Where should we say it?

Accounts                                    Content                              Channels

Miller further explained that the Who? in ABE contains accounts and contacts, the What? includes insight and content, and the Where? is composed of interactions and orchestrations. The glue of this secret sauce is the measurement, the metrics—an independent step that provides the attribution to not only the tools used but to each component of the above-mentioned process. Miller calls this formula, the sauce, the seven stages of the ABE process.

As a dedicated integrated marketer, I see the ABE process as the next stage in all media, integrated media, multi-channel marketing. The process at face value is a concise, detailed effort to understand your marketplace, define their needs, and fulfill their desires with media and tools that are valid, relevant, proven, and measurable across the complex world of legacy, digital, and new media tools, AKA marketing.

Outbound Account Based Marketing

Jumping to the channels used to complete or fulfill the success of an ABE effort are a series of marketing tools that we can all recognize; Events, Direct Mail, Online, and web-based actions. Linked to the sales or sales development end of the process, you define the need to have human interaction via email or online and, yes, the ever-present need to be social.

Even more interesting is the scope of ABE and a statement that I have made (using other words) that to develop a successful program you the marketer or brand need to measure the "quality of the interactions, not just the quantity." As we move to a greater reliance on data-based marketing, quantity should fade as a key metric, and quality should increase.

The term Marketing Technology is a bit confusing to many people. I have been called a Marketing Application Technologist (MAT) due to my understanding of the need to link the software, hardware, mind-ware, and eye-ware into a formula that will use legacy, digital, and emerging marketing tools in an integrated, converged marketing effort designed from the very onset to not only succeed but to build loyalty as part of the process. The goal, as Jon Russo described it, is "to allow the customer to buy more, again and again.”


Overall, I was very impressed with the format and information presented at the MarcomCentral mini-conference. Link the many ideas presented to Jon Miller’s ICARE acronym (Impact, Coverage, Awareness, Reach, and Engagement), and you have what on the surface seems to be the next generation in marketing methodology, automation, and technology. If ABE is as effective as the presentation, Jon Miller and his firm are sitting on a rocket ship of profits and very happy marketers and brands.

A more detailed explanation of the ABE process is contained in Jon's book available as a free download online at (engagio.com/guide).






The positive aspects of a downward marketing spiral!

We nearly always think that a downward spiral is a negative, a downturn, and a disaster! Not always. I disagree and make an exception when it comes to marketing and developing a “go-to market” digital cross media or integrated strategy, selecting the media, and determining when to use that media to support your strategy.

What am I taking about?

I often explain to clients and students that a useful image to visualize when discussing the development of an integrated marketing program is a tornado-like spiral, with the top of the spiral being the starting point and the very lowest tip being the touch point that will end in a sales lead or inquiry – the action!

The ultimate goal of this pre-visualization is to start your planning process with a defined strategy to pinpoint your end user, client, or customer. Then you can determine how best to assign needed legacy, digital or new/emerging media to fulfill the goals and objectives of your marketing or sales effort.

The Rule of Thirds.

When I develop this spiral, I look to three defined distinct segments; I use a term stolen from the world of photography and visual composition – The Rule of Thirds!

The top third of the spiral graphic illustrates the strategic segment of the planning and the media used.

(A caveat)

A note about the segmentation: I use a formula that re-defines the definition of strategic, operational, or tactical media tools based on the needs of the clients, customer, and goals and objectives of the program. There is also some duplicity and doubling up of the segments that the media may fall within.]

Strategic Media:

Media used for this first segment of the spiral approach include:

·       Broadcast,

·       Advertising,

·       Interactive,

·       Experiential,

·       Sales Promotion,

·       Personal Selling Events,

·       Exhibitions,

·       Analyst Relations,

·       Investor Relations,

·       Media Relations,

·       Public Relations,

·       and SEO, SEM or Internet-based marketing

Operational Media:

The second or middle segment presents the operational section, a segment that links the strategic elements to the tactical elements and can include but is not limited to:

·       Online,

·       Mobile,

·       Apps,

·       Print,

·       Out of Home

·       Direct Marketing,

·       Direct Mail,

·       Email,

·       Social Media,

·       Events,

·       POP/POS,

·       Educational Marketing,

·       Wearable,

·       Trans Media,

·       Personalization,

·       Surveys

·       Activist Media

Tactical Media:

The lower and last section of the spiral is the tactical segment, which includes:

·       Remarketing (retargeting),

·       Alternative media,

·       guerrilla media,

·       cultural jamming,

·       crowd sourcing,

·       Social Media,

·       Websites/Microsites/Landing Pages, Squeeze Pages,

·       Personalized Direct Mail,

·       Messaging,

·       Content,

·       Context,

·       Infographics,

·       Tell a Story,

·       SoMoLo,

·       Wearable.

·       Develop Personas,

·       Use of an Omni channel – integrated media strategy.

I also explain to clients and students that this spiral can be used to define the action stage, the dialogue, and engagement stages of a modern marketing relationship. You can even define the push/pull aspects of advertising with this simple downward spiral model. Perhaps even more importantly, by visualizing the spiral you can focus your thinking on and direct your vision toward the most important end-result for most marketing campaigns—the customer, the client, the prospect or the sale.

By interlinking the tools outlined above along the spiral-graphic paths, you can support a range of marketing efforts—Transactional, Contextual, Preferential, Geographical, Conversational, Marketing, Product, Personal. You can now have a defined and adjustable strategy to begin the roughing out, or “comping,” of your cross media, digital, integrated marketing effort. You can even, if you so wish, assign value points to help you evaluate the “worth” of your targeted media and better determine expectations for using these media.

Being creative with your interpretation and understanding of the positive aspect of a downward marketing spiral is the starting point of a positive marketing journey. Spirals let you see your marketing efforts three-dimensionally, and you can use the spiral concept in multiple dimensions—multiple media, multiple tasks, and with planned multiple outcomes.

Some ground rules

I am using the spiral shape as a non-directional pointer. I use it simply to illustrate the need to hone or target your marketing with increasingly accurate tools, messages, content, and context to the individual end user at every stage of your marketing efforts. You have no doubt heard of 3D printing; well, this is 3D marketing.

Hmm? Let’s see the model in action.

Currently, I am developing a marketing strategy for “a dog/cat grooming franchise program.” The key demographics (customers, not franchisees) are radically different yet in many ways share multiple “media/marketing” similarities. Research indicates that there are two key customer segments—Baby Boomers and Millennials—that are different yet in some ways very close to each other as far as media goes.

Using a modified customize-your-own version of the spiral-graphic example, I was able to plot common use media such as direct mail, ads, email, social media, SEM and website (cross over media) as well as determine what quality level of that media to use. In addition, I was able to identify the types of interaction and, in some ways, control that interaction. We determined that local dog and cat owners near the shop needed to receive direct mail. Current local animal owners needed special incentives. In-active customers needed and used a different media (SEM, Yelp!, social platforms) that we tapped into to get them back on board. Local publications needed ads with incentives to attract pet owners who didn’t know about the new expanded services being offered by the franchise. The expected level of informative, relevant dialogue helped us design our proposed strategies so that they included a defined and measured level of future engagement.


The overall message is that you can use this spiral-graphic concept as a tool that will help you to focus on the touch point, or end result. You should create your own three-dimensional spiral that will look to marketing, which is, or can be, a multi-dimensional art form.

As a classic (1972) advertising commercial (for Alka-Seltzer) once stated, “Try it, you’ll like it!” Works for me.

The myth of customer experience!

We all know what a customer experience (CX) is, too many it is the holy grail of marketing metrics, yet I think as important as the CX may be, overall the results of greater importance is the view, the big picture of the brand experience (Bxp),

Am I splitting words not really? Are the terms interchangeable? The same, or are they something very different? As with many things in life and marketing the view, your point of view depends on your position on the hill.

A few online definitions include the following “Customer experience (CX) is the product or products of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship”.


Forrester Research defines customer experience as: "How customers perceive their interactions with your company." Forrester Research defines customer experience as: "How customers perceive their interactions with your company."

While a number of online definitions for a brand experience includes: “A brand's action perceived by a person. Every interaction between an individual and a tangible or intangible brand artifact can be seen as a brand experience”.


Are they the same or different?

To me the former definition sounds strategic, while the latter sounds operational. As with any plan or program the key to deployment is the tactical and that is what we are missing here and hence the title of this article.


I think a joining of these definitions needs to occur and a tactical definition needs to be developed. Since the CX and Bxp are as viewed by me results of the tactical interaction that is based on the operational effectiveness of the marketing strategy and the direction provided by the corporate strategy of the brand – a more tactical meaning must be developed, I cannot understand how any one can portray a customer experience or brand experience as such with including the media, the tools that are the heart and soul of a marketing effort!



Every interaction or the chronological order or sequence in which the dialogue and engagement begins is critical in achieving the end result, the strategic plan assists in the this phase;

• The operational segment brings the strategic aspect of the plan into plan;

• Contact with the consumer or customers and allows, opens the door to gain closeness with the final goals of the band,

• it is the tactical elements that “gain” the end result; a sale, interaction or action, which is in part based on a successful reaction (interaction) to the messaging and touch points provided by the brand.

When does the CX/Bxp begin?

Long before an CX or Bxp can take place some “hook”, a relevant hook needs to be messaged between targeted demographics or the individual and the brand, so a big part of the Why to me is the when and what is the base of the experience you expect the customer to have while at the brand and when and how you start that experience.

Inset: “All parts of your organization and ecosystem need to be connected and aligned with the optimization of customer experience(s) as the drivers of revenue” Customer Experience: The Guide To Customer Success

There are at least three tiers contained with the action of B2C (and B2B) purchasing the pretail, the retail and post sale, there are more stages that need to be considered, there must be at the brand level a pretail to the pretail, a planning stage that starts to examine the message, content, context, and as stated earlier the tools, media used, value of that media and the deals offered that now in our very personalized experiential world must be as seamless, direct, responsive, personal and experiential as possible. Did I say that each stage must be carefully measured as well?

As a marketer I would prefer the Bxp vs. the CX for a variety of reason, the first and perhaps foremost is the method in which I define the order of the customer interaction with the brand. The interaction means I have the foundation of an experience, and that to me important, once the dialogue has begun, the engagement stage can be developed and that results into a positive brand experience, linked to a satisfied customer, Splitting words, definitions? Maybe but subtle differences are a critical aspect to understand.

Splitting words, definitions? Maybe but subtle differences are a critical aspect to develop, understand and are in many instances are why a marketing effort succeeds or fails.

Inset: “According to a new Microsoft study, marketers are de-prioritizing digital campaign metrics in favor of business focused metrics . . . “CMO Council: Marketers Looking To Measure Customer Experience Based On Business Outcomes, Not Campaign Metrics.

I recommend to my clients that the brand or customer experience begins when the messaging is being developed and in todays active world of big data, personalization of the message, content and context will significantly impact your customers experience and the over all brand experience.

Is the digital customer experience valid as a customer experience?

You have heard it over and over, Customer experience is critical, it is the only thing, and it is the future, all most likely true. I say most likely true since the advertising/marketing/promotion segments are undergoing such massive changes that I am not longer sure if anything we are thinking of today (except what I wrote of course) will have a valid use, be valid in the future. Disruption is just actually beginning and will accelerate at a fated rate as the economy tumbles.


Whether you develop a digital or integrated or legacy program the “experiences” you and that of your customer/client “feel” or are touched by is critical. It seems that digital tools, digital media alone may be counter to the needs of the customer experience, but support the brand experience due primarily to the impact on marketing spend or budgets. Digital tools, standalone seem from the reams of data and studies I view are loosing some of their power, slowing down. All media eventually looses impact, slows after time, the key is to keep the combination, the convergence, the value of the media, the integration of ALL media, channels and tools linked to the common goal, the CX or Bxp or perhaps the newly defined term that combines the two?

Inset: “. . . reduced satisfaction was something few companies manage - cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time”? Harvard Business Review: The Truth About Customer Experience: 

When does the Customer Experience (CE)/ Brand experience (Bxp) begin and end?

Where does your CE begin, at what touch point do you consider or measure the CE starting line? Does it begin at the product query, a visit to your website, a visit to a bricks and mortar location, an interaction with your personalized sales staff? Where and when?

My experience indicates that the CX/Bxp begins long before the contact, the touch point is activated, and I suggest that the CX/Bxp begins long before the client even enters your brand personalized engagement zone.

The perfect touch point begins when you are developing the message, the content, the context that will define, illustrate your brand, the products and services offered and act as the entry point, an entry point that also servers as a route map to not only a sales, customer engagement, satisfaction, experience but also serves as the base for the much needed analytics, metrics that are a integral part of your marketing effort.

Inset: “Ampersand Mobile has revealed almost half of consumers surveyed have been given a poor mobile experience by brands, with one in three either being irritated or moving elsewhere as a result”. MarketingTech: Brand errors on mobile: How to learn from the millennial experience.

A Beginning

I think your messaging, content, context offers a triad of potential but to me more importantly the touch point is the starting line, it begins with an understanding of who your customer/clients are? Yes you still will need to measure all the clicks, post, shares, views and visits, but why not think of targeting your CX/Bxp based on the tools available to the modern marketer, more importantly to the targeted market you have selected. Media value and use changes based on the generational view of the media or tool, your customer/brand experience need to change as well.

Inset: “Millennial customers are clearly an enormous commercial force to be reckoned with . . . Forbes/Entrepreneurs: 2016 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: Is your Customer Experience Ready?

The End

If you clearly define the CX/Bxp expectations based on the demographics of your segmented markets, defined your marketing plan based on an in-depth understanding of those demographics, their needs, the media they find of value, the seamless, responsiveness of your action based tools you will build a business on a strong and some what immune to negative economic conditions.

From where you sit on the hill, what do you think?