Change. As marketers, we have always accepted it. Markets change; brands gain momentum and then lose energy; and new mediums come along. Consider the advent of television in the 1950s and how it changed the rules of marketing for decades.
The change marketers face today is different than what has come before, in both its pace and its potential, which is why we’ve used the term “liminal” as the title of this book. The word liminal isn’t just about change, but about being on the cusp of something new. In the context of marketing, it reflects the fact that, for the first time, customers have an immediate voice and an ever-expanding array of channels in which to use it. If marketers are to survive—and thrive—in this new world, they need to re-examine how to engage with customers, across generations and levels of technological savvy.
Thus, we undertook the research in “Liminal” from the ground up, so we could understand how people engage with companies, what they are looking to get out of those engagements, and what channels they prefer. It’s not enough anymore for marketers to have a top-down mentality, simply making sure they have a presence on multiple channels, but to understand what makes some customers still use an 800 number, while others reach out to brands on Facebook.
Here’s the problem: the above assumes your customers want a relationship with you. They don’t. Yes, they will engage with you, yet only if it is on their terms. The findings in “Liminal” demonstrate that, in the future, marketers will need to find ways to sustain those engagements over time, regardless of channel, whether they are traditional, emerging or new.
You have long known it is necessary to take charge and build relationships with your customers. We hope you will find that “Liminal,” because it focuses on what customers want out of engagement, combined with the an eye toward the ever-expanding array of channels, will help you realize the opportunities that lie with this liminal world—for both you, and your customers.
VP, Global CRM Solutions, Razorfish