I spend a not-inconsiderable amount of my life asking people to humour me, and I am once again about to indulge in some apparent nonsense… but I do have a point, so please humour me!
I would like you to imagine yourself booking a holiday. An actual, real-life, flying-over-the-oceans type of holiday. The type of holiday that makes it not just acceptable, but positively encouraged, to wash down your 5:30am £36 cooked breakfast with the alcoholic beverage of your choosing.
Because whilst holidays really are all about the destination, we’ll be damned if we’re not going to wring as much holiday spirit as possible (washed down with holiday spirits) out of every minute of the journey.
But no matter how much we convince ourselves that the adventure begins when we shut the front door, or how many pairs of sunglasses we try on, or how much time we spend drooling through the window at the £12,800 fountain pens in the Mont Blanc store (I’m a sucker for stationery), the truth is we want the trip itself to be as short as possible. And that starts when booking the flights: is there anyone reading this who actively chooses 2 flights with a change when a direct flight is available? Who would rather get off one plane, trudge through the terminal til you’ve found the right gate, kill the time until your next plane is ready to go and then plonk yourself down in a whole new seat. Well, I say a new seat – it’s basically the same seat you were sitting on before, only with all that uncertainty once again introduced… who’s going to take the seat next to you?! Is it going to be some little old lady who sits quietly reading the latest Agatha Christie novel? A burly rugby player wider than they are tall? A screaming infant experiencing the joys of popping ears for the first time? Or will all your Christmases come early and it’ll stay gloriously empty until the doors are closed and the seat-belt signs are lit and the wheels are moving and no, this really is happening, you have a whole row to yourself!!
The point I’m trying to make is that, unless you’re some kind of masochist, there is no good reason to break your journey in half if you don’t have to… all you achieve is one more point of failure. One more opportunity for your bags to end up on the wrong continent. One more chance at impossible weather or mechanical failure or a drunk pilot.
And I think we can all agree that that’s basically the same as Marketing and Sales, right?!
We all talk about the customer journey, but it’s easy to forget what that means in practical terms.
As far as your customers or clients are concerned, if they’re interested in getting where you want to take them, they’re keen to get there with as little pain as possible. They’re not interested in your business’ internal structure, or your latest KPIs, or what Almighty Head Office have decided this week’s all-important future-defining absolutely-not-going-to-change-again-next-week’s corporate objectives are.
They want the right assets at the right time, and someone to answer their questions, someone with whom they can work out the details. They want one, logical, seamless conversation from start to finish; and every time something gets even a little bit complicated, even if in the grand scheme of things the inconvenience seems only minor, you are almost guaranteed to lose business.
Drop-outs ain’t cheap
Whether it’s a change of heart, a waning of interest, a last minute sticking in of oars, or simply a closing window of time, every dropped opportunity represents not just lost future revenue, but a waste of all the time and resources poured into getting someone that far along your nurture track in the first place.
Which is why we put so much stock in helping our clients ensure that, whatever’s going on behind the scenes, your customers never have to change planes.
We provide the lilo
We work with your sales teams to find out how they close their deals, and we make sure that Marketing are starting the types of conversations that Sales want to finish. We work with your marketing teams to see how they fill your funnel, and we make sure that Sales have all the assets they need for a seamless handover from Marketing (something, incidentally, for which Personalised Video Marketing is perfect). And we work with everyone to design the types of end-to-end campaigns and processes that guarantee a smooth, empty-row experience for all involved – because whilst the journey is an unavoidable part of any holiday, when done right it’s so painless that your customers will be ready to hit the pool before they’ve even unpacked.
p.s. if you think this analogy is bad, consider yourself lucky I didn’t go with the digestive track idea I originally had!