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3 Steps to Voice of the Customer Personalization 2.0: Ernan Roman Answers Your Webinar Questions

Article quoting Ernan Roman reprinted from Target Marketing Magazine by Thorin McGee
January, 2012

Last month, Ernan Roman showed webinar attendees how to deliver a multichannel experience that nurtures engagement and leads during the live webinar Personalization 2.0 (still available on demand through that link). However, we could not get to some key questions during the live Q&A. Here, Roman answers some of those questions: important B-to-B lead generation tip and a three-step process for implementing voice of the customer techniques in your marketing.

Question 1: What Is Your Best Lead Generation Tip for B-to-B?
The most effective B-to-B lead generation efforts are achieved when prospects see that you care about satisfying their needs versus just pitching them with sales “stuff.”

Therefore, ask a few questions to better understand their needs so you can personalize the type of information you provide. Focus on asking questions that help you serve the prospect, versus qualifying whether they are “worth your time.”

The questions you ask should clearly communicate that you want to provide relevant and personalized information that is educational and solutions-focused, versus sales focused.

Question 2: What Does VOC Actually Stand For?
The value and payback from personalization has increased significantly because it is now viewed as a demonstration of a company’s commitment to service excellence and is perceived as a service, not just a sales tool.

This should frame how you implement your personalization strategies. They need to deliver the best in customer-focused experiences for prospects and customers.

The following tips are meant to help you develop your personalization strategies.

Voice of Customer, (VOC), is a marketing process that values and is guided by the insights of customers and prospects. The goal is to achieve an in-depth, personalized relationship with customers and prospects based on understanding how they define their expectations for relationship, relevance and engagement with a specific company, brand or product. 

The following three steps in the VOC process will ensure that your personalization strategies drive powerful results:  

  1. Voice of Customer Relationship Research: Specialized in-depth research with customers or prospects to understand their product or service needs, decision-making process and expectations of the optimal experience via web, social media/community, email, offline media and customer service call centers. Use these insights to develop your customer-driven personalization strategies and action plans.
  2. Preference-driven Engagement: VOC-research based strategies for engaging customers and prospects to share their individual preferences regarding offers, alerts, frequency of contact and media preferences and aversions. By engaging customers and prospects to opt-in and self-profile their preferences, companies create exceptionally accurate and high response opt-in databases.
  3. Preference-Driven Multichannel Marketing: This is the go to market component, where the VOC-research based strategies drive deployment of the personalized social and traditional multichannel media mix, per individual preferences. Elements of a preference-driven integrated mix include online, social, direct mail, print, broadcast, narrowcast, and all the possible person to person "touch points," including both face to face and phone interactions. This integrated multichannel mix must be deployed at key points in the customer or prospect’s lifecycle with the company.

Ernan Roman is founder of the consultancy Ernan Roman Direct Marketing. Contact him at

New Book Release: Voice Of The Customer Marketing
"This is the definitive playbook for this new customer-driven era."
—Frank Eliason
Senior Director, National Customer Operations, Comcast
"Thank you, Ernan, for tuning us in to the inner voice of our customers! A deep understanding of our customers' needs and preferences is essential for our future growth."
—Karen Galley
President, Patient News Publishing