Recently Euro RSCG Worldwide released an article in PRWeek which found that last year there was a 25% increase in the number of consumers who buy based on quality over price despite nearly 75% being anxious about the economy. Further, when it comes to customer service, 80% of those surveyed said they want companies to "show a human face." Marketing 2.0 implements new media technologies that enable you to offer higher quality and personalized service to your customers. It’s what they want, shouldn’t you give it to them?
Marketing 101: A negative customer experience results in higher attrition while a positive experience results in repeat customers and recommendations. Compounding this point: attrition rates are multiplied by the increased cost of attracting new customers while customer retention is both less expensive and worth more over the lifetime of the relationship.
So how do we retain customers? Give them what they want, when they want, how they want it.
What do they want? They want what you have to offer. How do I know? Because if they don’t want what you have to offer, you shouldn’t be marketing it to them. The days of build it and they will buy it are over. Today’s economy is based on The Long Tail , and the tail is getting longer. Consumers have preference, and they act on it. As Seth Godin observes in his book Meatball Sundae , the new bell curve isn’t a bell curve at all; it’s more like a camel’s back. The first hump represents those who want quality, the second hump represents those who want cheap. The chasm in the middle is the lack of sales to all those companies who tried to do both and ended up doing neither.
The customers you want are on the first hump of the camel curve. These people have loyalty. They know what they want. They find something they like, something of value to them, and they form a relationship with it. They form a relationship, then they recommend it to others. Hump two, on the other hand, is fickle and price conscious with very little brand loyalty. Market to them if you like, but don’t forget: you can’t make up for negative margins with volume!
When do they want it? When they’re good and ready, that’s when. They have an email account for their convenience, not yours. They have a phone and a mailing address for their use, not yours. There are over 172 million people subscribed to the national do not call list because they don’t want to hear from you. These people took the time to go to a website and register with the government. They put effort into not hearing from you. So why do you market to them? Instead you should be concentrating on those that do want to hear from you. Your current customers and those that give you express permission to have a conversation ( a.k.a. permission marketing). A two-way communication where you are interested in them and they are interested in you. When you cease to have value, the conversation will end. Continue to have value, continue to be relevant, and continue to have loyal customers.
How do they want it? That’s for them to decide. It’s your job to keep their opportunities open. That’s New Marketing Media. That’s Marketing 2.0.