If you want a lesson in creating magical moments, there is no better place to visit than Disney World. A walk through the park transforms you from one land to another with seamless fluidity and every employee plays a role in making it a memorable experience. Having just returned from the Magic Kingdom, my head has been stuck in a sea of princesses, puppets and play lands, but it also got me thinking about what my own clients in the B2B space can take away from the master minds of merchandising and customer experience:
- Give customers goodies while they wait to get on-board. Disney has done an excellent job of incorporating more interactive activities for little ones impatiently waiting 45 minutes to get on a ride—from TV screens playing Disney movies to play areas where kids can burn off steam while you wait in line. For B2B companies, the decision-making process is typically quite lengthy and complicated. What kind of treats can you offer potential customers to help them feel special and gain more appreciation for your brand? Perhaps, it’s an exclusive event, an invitation-only discussion forum that connects them with peers, or a personalized note tied to a new piece of thought leadership?
- Engage employees in a higher purpose. Every single employee in the Magic Kingdom understands and plays a role intended to make customers feel that they have been transformed into another world. Even a simple question like “is this ride closed?” was answered with “Winnie the Pooh is on vacation right now, but should be back in a month.” While Disney may be the extreme in labeling employees as “cast members” and the training they provide, it shows the impact that engaged employees can have on a business, whether consumer or B2B. Strong marketing results are fueled by smart internal communication strategies that tie employees to larger organizational goals and values and breed a culture of success. John Baldoni, an expert on leadership, wrote an interesting piece for HBR’s blog about why and how organizations should instill a sense of purpose in its employees in order to stimulate stronger results.
- Strategically merchandise at every possible opportunity. This requires no explanation if you’ve stepped foot on a Disney property; merchandising smacks you in the face at every possible turn, down to the electrical lines outside of the park in the shape of Mickey ears and Mickey-shaped soft pretzels. While B2B brands can’t really capitalize on the cute and cuddly, plenty of opportunities exist to provide new and better information to customers as they move along different points of the sales funnel. The key is making it relevant to customers’ experience at a particular moment – like plastering all sorts of pirate booty at the exit of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This infographic from Eloqua does an excellent job of capturing the different phases of the buying process, charted against various marketing tactics and distribution channels that could be used along the way.
What do you think B2B brands can do to create more magical moments?
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