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It used to be that when the sale “closed”, we also “won” the customer (hence the sales lingo “closed/won”) and figured you could count on them for future sales.

But now faced with capturing the hearts and wallets of incredibly empowered, mobile, and connected customers, the modern marketer’s role is much more than simply grabbing that signature once and assuming it translates to long-term customer loyalty. Especially in the cloud, customers can measure the exact business value you brought them and will take every interaction with your product personally. If an experience becomes ugly and complicated, they won’t hesitate to walk away right now – then take it to Twitter. The new bottom line: prospects don’t need to be marketed to, or sold to - what they really want is…love.

Sound hokey? Human relationships thrive off of mutual understanding and the commitment to adjust to never-ending pain points. Add money to the picture and emotions will flow even faster. If you’re like me and hate break-ups, then the customer should win before your bottom-line does.

Today’s master marketer is empathetically engaged and has an encyclopedic knowledge of where the customer will trip over – even before reaching the cash register. So if you’re paying thousands for a PR/creative agency to pump-up your image, it probably won’t be as effective as sending your marketing and sales teams to the Twittersphere to heal potential clients’ scars and show how it’s in your culture’s DNA to provide an awesome customer experience. And while you’re at it, you might want to share what your company did this year to fight world hunger, too.

If your marketers can move incredibly fast on emotion, whether on Facebook or Twitter, or by throwing an annual conference to celebrate customer wins, then you might be able to remain in this arms race of emotional customer acquisition.

If you’re still struggling to win the customer, then you’ll learn a lot from our panel of forward-thinking marketing thought leaders: Doug Kern, Director of Marketing, nFusion, Florian Brody, Managing Partner, Brody & Partners/Principal at The Halo Agency, Jill Rowley, Consultant at #SocialSelling, and Jamie Anderson, Global VP of Product Marketing at SAP. They’ll teach you how to love your customers again. Click here to listen to the on-demand podcast.

Top memorable insights from this episode:

  1. Marketing is at the “end of the world as we know it" (source: REM song). You're trying to sell me a list [of things], but you don't even know my name? It's not 1999 anymore. Customers are driving a revolution. My concern in big companies, the evolution will not be fast enough. –Jamie Anderson @collsdad
  2. Social employees are more likely to be trusted by people they interact with than the brand. Particularly in crisis mode. -Doug Kern @doug_kern
  3. Psychology - emotional intelligence - is the key to how you transform your customer. –Jamie Anderson @collsdad
  4. Today, the jobs profile for marketers is all about metrics (SEO/SEM), but more than ever marketers also need psychology, branding, and design. -Florian Brody @flobro
  5. The customer already knows about you and your company. So don't talk about how great your product is, but do talk about how you make your customer great. Socially surround the client’s influencers and share the content from your buyers they already trust. Marketing can help people find OPC - other people's content. -Jill Rowley @jill_rowley
  6. 60% of the purchase is made before the conversation – a huge implication for marketers. Solve (a problem), don't show. Digital presence that reflects your brand and shows how you engage. -Doug Kern @doug_kern
  7. What I have seen is that the modern buyer is digitally driven...they socially connect, are mobile with devices, and empowered - not just by the web, but through people. You suck if you're "selling": The modern buyer doesn't want to be sold to. She wants products that make her want to buy. We’re living in the age of the customer, not the seller. -Jill Rowley @jill_rowley
  8. When you look at how clouds reflect a shadow on the ground, the data in the cloud also reflects the customer. We’re in the middle of a major step forward by the fact that data is so widely available and is no longer at the core of marketing. -Florian Brody @flobro
  9. It’s an amazing time to be in marketing: First, there’s an enormous change in how customers learn – though search and mobile. Second, an underlying access to data about how customers engage. Marketers are viewing insights as they happen. Customers demand relevant, more engaging content and the ability to test what works. -Doug Kern @doug_kern

Top #CrystalBall predictions for 2020:

  1. I want customers to seize control of their own data and understand the value it has. A revolution is coming. –Jamie Anderson @collsdad
  2. We're going to have to become more collaborative, transparent, engaged, and social. By 2020, millennials will be half the workforce and remote. Transformation territory models: proximity not geography. Sales compensation needs to change. Customer can't be oversold and under-delivered. Marketing should get paid, too. -Jill Rowley @jill_rowley
  3. Marketing and sales will reverse. Deeper understanding of the bottom line benefits when you allow the customer to buy what she needs rather than sell her what the company needs sold. -Florian Brody @flobro
  4. Less social marketing and social selling. It will just be “marketing” because [social] will be a normal part of what we do. -Doug Kern @doug_kern

June 17 is the final show of Season 2, focusing on Health and Balance at Work: Nurturing the Innovation Mindset.  Fear not, we’ll be back with Season 3 of HR Trends with Game-Changers Radio on September 8, 2014! Please follow us on Twitter at #SAPRadio @bizbreakradio @mikegmontalban.

Co-edited with Bonnie D. Graham