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Are you “customer-facing”?

Last week, I posted about how big-company marketers must influence other employees within their company to make the most of the new Internet marketing opportunities. But someone commented to me, “Well, not everyone must be influenced, right? I mean, not everyone is customer-facing.” So it made me wonder just who is “customer-facing” in Web marketing?


“Customer-facing” seems to me to be just another piece of business jargon that may be wearing out its usefulness. Another person once lamented, “I’m not considered ‘customer-facing,’ so does that mean that I am turning my back on our customers?” I advised him to “just show a little shoulder.”
You see, with Internet marketing, just about everyone is customer-facing.
Anyone in your company can be a blogger. Or haunt the message boards. Or optimize your Web pages for search. Or record a podcast.
So, maybe it is an overstatement to say that absolutely everyone is customer-facing, but everyone potentially is. Don’t let your competitors swarm your customers with their employees while you sit back and think marketing is for the marketing department and sales is for the sales department. Decide to become customer-facing today and to start recruiting the rest of your company, too.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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