In today’s Web 2.0 world, customers truly wear the pants in the relationship with their product and services provides. And they like it that way. They want their opinions to be heard and their feedback to be incorporated into the brand. And if that feedback is not included, there are plenty of similar products and services to which they can deflect. So where does that leave marketers as they attempt to minimize attrition and maintain brand integrity?
This month’s CRM magazine focuses on 10 cardinal rules for online marketers. The tenth one really hit home: Experiment! In this era of measurement and reporting, it’s sometimes easy to focus on the numbers so much that we forget to be creative. And Web 2.0 technologies are the perfect playground for marketers to try out interacting with customers through viral marketing and social networking without huge expenses. The key is always to start small.
And if you really want to jazz up your online marketing, combine the easy-to-use Web 2.0 technologies with search analytics (like Google Ad Words) so you can measure clicks on your site. Emily Riley, a Jupiter Research analyst, says search marketing is not only about analyzing paid searches, but instead it’s “looking at the environment of search as a full cycle that a consumer goes through, not always driving them to buy.” If you know that going in, then it’s easy to look at paid and unpaid search results to help you understand where customers are in their purchasing life cycle. And in keeping with the experimentation theme, you can adapt your search marketing to what is most profitable.
Targeting is another facet you can add to your experiments. It’s not just about taking information customers give you and sending emails speaking to each preference. Instead, it’s about using your ingenuity. For example, target customers who have visited your website with content that they clicked on before. Or send a customized URL to the person who has not been on your site recently. Think about how many different interactions your customers can have with your company and you’ll know how many ways you can target them. So put on that white lab coat and experiment! The time is ripe and the technologies are available.