Ricoh Level-C Customer-Brand Strategy Part 4

Customer Engagement Plan and Long Term Value Proposition

Stage One

Defining objectives and scope of aim.

The three core business objectives that drive Ricoh’s brand communications are “awareness, sales, and advocacy,” paired with six tactical strategies (Attention, Evaluation, Recency, Proximity, Value Exchange and Community).  In the articles Rethinking Marketing Strategy and Rethinking the Customer Decision Journey, Satell presents an alternative to traditional campaign and customer engagement planning.

Satell’s model, combined with specific tactical strategies, provides a framework for building the customer engagement media plan. Satell states, “marketers must change their focus from grabbing attention to holding attention by focusing on three core business objectives.”

Tactical Approach.

In order to stay competitive within the market, to become the most trusted global company, Ricoh is committed to providing excellence to improve the quality of living and to drive sustainability.  The company’s approach to growth in part should include the five major principles that concentrate on the volume expansion (Market Share Pursuit, Machines In the Field (MIF) Expansion and Full Lineup of products) and scale of operations expansion (In-house manufacturing, Direct Sales & Services) in an effort that focus company’s attention on profitability. (Ricoh Group Integrated Report 2018, p.11).

Keeping this five-principles approach in mind, the new brand of service for the Level-C Customer, may provide the opportunity and encapsulate these principles through a tactical approach, utilizing Satell’s objective model.

Satell’s Objectives Model

Objective #1 Grow awareness towards the new business solution to the Level-C Customers Services.
    • Attention
      • To offer Managed Business Services/Solutions to the executive level customer in order to improve their digital workplaces.
      • Concentrate on the areas of increased value to the B2B customer, using Ricoh’s current business solutions as a strategy to promote the services that motivate interest in the digital workplaces.
    • Evaluation
      • Key features and services contributing to the solution are to empower digital workplaces. How are they performing, what is missing, what can be improved?
      • Evaluating the New way of doing business with Ricoh above and beyond the imaging and print services.
Objective #2: Promote Sales of the Level-C Customer Services
    • Recency
      • Virtual tours of the digital office powered by Ricoh’s Level C Customer Business Solution Center. Pulling information from key contacts into the database of the virtual tour, building the virtual reality center based on those key points retrieved from business contacts.
      • Global company in the global arena enabling access to resources, technicians, engineers, intranet solution providers and tech centers operating to improve customer service experience and promote sales.
    • Proximity
      • Proximity is availability at the touch of the button. Link to a customized online solution. Secure, automated and customized to the needs of the customer, based on the customer’s demand of Ricoh’s business services.
Objective #3: Advocacy for the Level-C Customer Services
    • Value Exchange
      • The experience and virtual tour must promote advocacy. Show how Level-C Customer service is able to benefit the business, increase productivity, save costs, and more solutions offered by Ricoh.
    • Community
      • Generate social media buzz aimed at executive level officers. Promote digital workplaces experience, share research and publicly available findings in the area of expertise.
      • Build communication on the years of effective business management experience through print solutions, IT and other services provided has many benefits appreciated by the executive B2B customer as a proven concept of excellence.

The first step in building customer engagement framework is to translate the above objectives into the context of Level-C B2B Customer product and services that is a primary mission of Ricoh’s “Empowering Digital Workplaces.

Stage Two

Defining the customer’s potential touchpoints.

The specific challenge is to determine the motives behind customer contact with the brand.  The key focus of Level-C Customer communication is on the managed/business services sites organizational and operational performance intertwined with internal and external communications which also include customers of the businesses Ricoh serves.  So the potential touchpoints to look for is within the scope of products and/or services provided by Ricoh.

In the white paper published by Unily, “a Digital Workplace strategy is the process of unifying how your business operates and communicates through a common digital platform of tools and services. This will improve staff engagement, operational efficiency, product delivery, and your customers’ expectations” (Martyn Perks, Principal Business Consultant, BRIGHTSTAR).  Unily is a “leading intranet as a service platform” founded by a BrightStarr, an award-winning SharePoint consulting agency, providing enterprise solutions and services. Based on their research the definitions of the digital workspace increases the importance of interconnectivity and smooth workflow of communication within the business organizations of today. In order to improve their business operations, the executive level customer (or the chief officer) may be motivated to turn to the information and research concentrating on the subject of digital workplace improvements for the benefit of the company and its stakeholders.

According to Schultz, there are several types of engagement with the audience. One is the nature of the product, two is the level of message creativity and three is the media channel. As research suggests, each media has its own level of engagement. (Schultz, p. 206).  A message designed for specialty magazines, professional social media networks and specialized blogs clearly and concisely targeted towards the needs of its audience would increase the level of engagement, while Brand Contact Audit Form would help determine the impact of customer-brand communication.

CONTACT POINT EXPECTATIONS AT CONTACT EXPERIENCE AT CONTACT BRAND MESSAGE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE IMPORTANCE OF CONTACT TO BRAND TARGET TO REINFORCE OR IMPROVE
Saw an ad about a line of products. Expect the product to perform just as good or better than a competitor. Learned the product in the ad had a variety of features. Innovative use of the product. Empowering Digital Workspaces. Positive High Reinforce the brand message by making sure the client gets all features available for the equipment to perform optimally.
Read an article about a service that can be utilized by the B2B customer. How can this service improve my business? Discovered a feature not currently utilized/communicated to the client through the existing key contract. Empowering Digital Workspaces. Negative High Improve communications of products and service through diverse digital channels (social media, white papers, blogs) available options for the contract.
Discovered a need for product or service in my company or department. Resolve the issue of expanding services nationwide. Key account contacts direct call/email. Brand Message: Imagine. Change. Positive High Reinforce the brand message with the key contact justifying the meaning of improving the quality of life, service, global impact.

Table: Brand Contact Audit Form for Level-C Customer Possible Points of Contact

“Saw an ad about a product.” “Read an article about a service.” “Discovered a need for product or service for my company.” These among many others are possible touch points through which Ricoh’s B2B customer may become motivated to engage with the brand. This means Ricoh must consider the valuable attention of its audience as an opportunity to engage with its primary audience of business executives.

Defining the value and strategy for Level-C Customer Communication.

The five primary enhancement values of the digital media channels are Utilitarian, Intrinsic, emotionally Positive, Social in nature and serve as a Source of information (Schultz, p.208). Based on this concept, the touch points must be utilitarian in their nature, entertaining and charged with positive emotion as well as providing sharable value with bragging points about the product, while serving as a resource to the audience. Existing Mission and Philosophy “The Ricoh Way” happen to reflect these five primary enhancement values and would serve as a base for a strategy for developing communication for the Level-C Customer products and services.

Defining digital platform for Level-C Customer Communication.

Where and when can Ricoh be most effective in engaging with its Level-C Customer?

Aimed to be utilized by professionals and businesses, the two existing platforms utilized today stand out to be the most fitting: LinkedIn and Ricoh Global Website.

LinkedIn is a professional social network designed specifically for use by the business community.  Ricoh can utilize this channel to provide access to information about current products and services. Ricoh Global Website is another already existing digital channel available globally. It’s well built and established the network of information about the products and services can provide access to detailed research, white papers, subscriptions options linked to the intranet site that connects the customer access to the network of global resources Ricoh has developed over the years.  Both digital channels must feature Level-C Customer products and services disseminating information through posts, white papers, click-throughs, targeting the executive level customers.

According to Mary Lister’s web article “40 Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2018” Facebook is the leading social media channel.  It is worth considering expanding the current Facebook page(s) to target Level-C Customer in support to the above mentioned digital platforms. Twitter may also be a good secondary platform to promote Ricoh brand communications buzz.

The time and frequency of campaign(s) publishing should be synced across all four platforms, while the more specific times should be used accordingly to the platform’s suggested time of day and frequency of massage practices.

Stage Three

Strategic Media Engagement Plan.

Empowering Digital Workplaces through Ricoh’s innovative technologies and services enables individuals to work smarter (Empowering Digital Workplaces website). Ricoh’s current initiatives target a wide range of customers in manufacturing, retail, healthcare, real estate, travel, and tourism as well as engineering and construction.

Ricoh embracing the social media platforms, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, promoting its services, offering the community an opportunity to learn more on its products and providing a platform to develop earned media on a global scale. Facebook and Twitter are used to promote blog and articles in-depth on product and services. YouTube channel is utilized to showcase products, promote services and provide support and training. Instagram is utilized but not fully grasped the platform’s best marketing practices.

Ricoh’s website is its best form of digital marketing, providing a hub for 80 years worth of research and extended information on all of its products and services.  Although the integration of social media does not seem to fully grasp its potentials, there is a definite opportunity in becoming more social with the digital crowd.  Perhaps Ricoh’s marketing effort has made its emphasis on direct sales as current digital media utilization practices reflect. Social media and digital marketing channels seem to be underutilized.

Here we consider three touchpoints. First is a product ad, second is a white paper, third is a service featuring campaign (the specific touchpoints we focus on are introduced in the visual moc examples below). Existing media on the website, such as virtual tours, customization options, and product explanations help demonstrate the features of the product/services. Communication must be enthusiastic, utilitarian and practical in nature to generate social media buzz targeting inquiry of the Level-C Customers globally. Further effort must be made to promote products and services under the overarching umbrella of “Empowering Digital Workplaces” proposition and the keywords such as transitional, new, smart, sustainable, etc.

Customer Engagement Plan Conclusion

This Strategic Media Engagement Plan provides a framework to focus on the customer through its touchpoints via digital media channels. Three objectives (Awareness, Sales and Advocacy) and their respective strategies synthesized through this plan aimed at communicating the Empowering Digital Workplaces around the world for Ricoh’s new line of the audience – Level-C Customer.

The aim is formulated based on the support of the value proposition of Empowering Digital Workplaces. This value proposition is at the top of the pyramid resting its principles on the Corporate philosophy, Ricoh Brand and Ricoh’s value for society. The overall company effort is to express its commitment to the customers and communities in which Ricoh operates, thus establishing and growing advocacy for the brand through its audience.

Long Term Relationship Building Value Proposition

For over 80 years of its existence, today Ricoh as a company offers to its B2B Customers a wide variety of current initiatives that promote innovation at the workplace and to better society at large. From all of the above mentioned the value proposition for the Level-C Customer should be evolving through the company’s well defined corporate philosophy.

Ricoh New Zealand provides a good example of the core idea that needs to be amplified through communication to the target audience. In the end, one may ask “why should you choose Ricoh services?” In a few bullet points, this page provides a good reason why a company or a large national client should use its products and services. Ricoh has a proven track record, with true multi-platform support, a global outlook and Ricoh’s large range of office technology and Ricoh’s business solutions.

In December 2018, Joji Tokunaga, President, and CEO of Ricoh Americas address employees in a video message. He emphasized the idea of expanding business with Enterprise accounts (such as Kroger, Starbucks, Amazon, adidas, Nike, etc.). According to Mr. Tokunaga, “digital workplace solutions are much more profitable,” and “this means exploring new contacts in new departments” that have not previously been explored. Hence, the Level-C Customer approach introduced in this project that defines executive leadership of existing enterprise accounts as the target audience.

Ricoh’s mission is “to provide excellence to improve the quality of living and to drive sustainability.” Ricoh’s long term proposition viewed through its mission, vision, and values helps to formulate its transformational value to its customers. To empower B2B customers to transform their business into an enhanced digital workplace, to improves the quality of living.

Ricoh’s promise of empowering digital workplaces is to focus on the customer by connecting digital technology, analytics, AI, robotics, virtual reality and the internet of things that together change the way we work. Simply put, the new value proposition is a synergy of the above that results in Ricoh’s Level-C Customer Service Empowering Transformation of its B2B customers and in the process, creating the new value through combining new ideas and technologies, helping companies boost their competitiveness.


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