It is a sad day for many blog readers. A top ten marketing blogger, Ron Shevlin, hung up his blogging spurs today and has stepped out of the rodeo ring.
While Ron focused on the Financial Services world (that is, banking, credit unions, etc), he often had great marketing commentary and ideas that could apply to other services categories.
I only mention his blog here because I had decided a few weeks ago to dust off a book of his that I really enjoyed and gleaned some nuggets from: Everything they’ve told you about Marketing is Wrong. 71 things you need to know to navigate the world of Marketing 2.0. I had also intended to write about a few of his blog posts. Alas, that won’t be an option, but you could go through the archives.
In the middle of an outbound call campaign, I remembered that Ron had a great term or idea for how to build a successful inbound marketing effort. He called it “Sense and Respond.”
Sense and Respond in Ron’s words is: “Understanding the context of the inbound interaction to ensure relevant responses, and the ability to draw upon and analyze customer data to improve the firm’s ability to sense the context of the interaction.”
Okay, so in real terms – using your brains to sense when the customer needs nurturing, when the customer needs just to have their question answered, and when they need to be left alone (as in no cross-selling, people.). Ron states it as Understand Context. This drives inbound, outbound, pay-per-click, landing pages, and more in the marketing world. Context. Where the customer is at. Think about it.
The best direct contact marketing people that I know, myself humbly included, listen and listen some more to the cues and context of a conversation. In so doing, we can move the sales needle further and faster by not focusing on the sale alone. There’s all sorts of conversation going on now about *lead nurture and lead nurturing* but they all miss the mark if they don’t help you, the merchant, the marketer, figure out how to really listen and respond to a customer.
P.S. Because I sincerely hope Ron Shevlin will return in some blogger fashion, I offered this funny blog from Blogger’s Anonymous.