I recently asked online marketers (see my post, "REAL Connections With Your Customers and Their Friends", LinkedIn) a key question: "How do your digital/computerized marketing efforts stand in the way of your company TRULY knowing and connecting with your customers? And what about their friends (who may have similar interests)?"
How does today's online marketing venue HURT your ability to develop REAL and meaningful relationships with your customers?
Some digital marketers confess that they fail in this very important effort by actually trying to filter out customer comments. They make it as difficult as possible (instead of as easy as possible) for customers to provide relevant feedback.
Other marketers flatly state that digital/computerized marketing actually stops many companies from getting to know their customers...and they feel this is a GOOD thing.. They seem to believe this lack of communication is somehow helpful to all parties concerned. (How could this possibly be true, I wonder...)
Online marketing depends on relationships - building and maintaining
The fact of the matter: most online marketers forget that earning market share and improving profits is based on building customer relationships, period! And let's never forget that in a perfect world, people want to do business with people, NOT companies.
Several recent studies and blogs have found that more than 80% or so of businesses thought that more and better customer data would be very helpful in building stronger and longer-lasting relationships with customers. I think this realization is like "discovering" that a light bulb goes on when you flip the switch.
And, all you online marketers, I might also suggest that some “old-fashioned”, face-to-face meet-ups, video meetings, or phone calls with customers could be extremely helpful relationship-builders, too!
How to improve your customer engagement
Here are some principles Evergreen Direct has found very effective for a small and medium-sized companies as they work on improving customer-engagement:
Want more info on Building Customer Relationships? Email Bob
Bob Kesner, Evergreen Direct's Marketing Rainmaker, has worked for almost 35 years in national and international marketing including start-ups, small- and mid-cap firms, and Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Mexico.