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Know Who Your Customers Are

Jennifer Rice over at What's Your Brand Mantra has an interesting post about knowing who your customers are not just where they are. Are you providing different customer service and support to the same people at different times and places?

Think about who your customers are, regardless of what product they use during what hours of the day. Get out of the weeds of features/benefits and talk to them like the real people they are. Earn their trust. Be likable. If you sell 'business-world' and 'home-world' products or services, stop compartmentalizing: it's quite likely that the very same customers purchase both. Identify your most valuable customers across product lines and figure out how to give them a consistently good experience with your brand. It's a different way of thinking. But when you align yourself to your customers instead of making them align themselves to you, you'll become a much more attractive choice.

May 26, 2004 in Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Brand enhancement, Building Customer Community, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sony Sees the Gap Closing

Sony Chairman and CEO, Nobuyuki Idei sees the future clearly when he says:

"I think there is going to be a huge change in the electronics industry in 2006. As the information gap ceases to exist, the power of each individual has become stronger than in the past when corporate PR still worked, and it will get even stronger in three to 10 years. Except for some countries, the era of mass production is being replaced by a power shift to individuals," which would change the way products are chosen, he said.[link]

Sony is waking up to the fact that users want to be able to customize their devices to work with other devices through their home networks. Feature choice and customization are the future. Just as IBM realized that technology services rather than hardware goodies are the key to the future of their business Sony is beginning to see that their business is less about the number of shrink wrapped units sold and more about building a communication infrastructure. Helping people navigate the complex world of technology and entertainment creates valuable bonds with customers. It's one thing for someone to buy a cd player. A customer is prepared to become a loyal customer evangelist when they are informed and educated about how that new cd player works with their existing media library and network of computers and electronic devices. Sony is learning that there is power in customers telling the story of how their Sony stuff works with all their other stuff. The key is internal and external communication. Customers want information.

The closing information gap he is talking about is the ability customers have to find out information about products and services via the Internet. Whether from corporate websites, comparison/review sites, enthusiast sites or shopping sites information abounds online. No longer is product information controlled exclusively by manufacturers and sellers.

Old school centralized corporate PR no longer works. Nuanced sophisticated PR and communication strategies do work. What's important is to know clearly what the techniques and strategies are. As email marketing and blogs proliferate the fact that content is king is more true than ever. You can produce all the content you want but unless it is of the highest value to your audience it will soon be lost in the shuffle.

At Betuitive Marketing we produce the highest quality content for our clients by establishing relationships with industry leading experts who develop custom content. If you are just starting out in the realm of emarketing or if you are looking for a way to maximize your early successes why not see what Betuitive can do for you. Spend three minute and get a price quote. Marketing communications is hard work. Why not consider outsourcing all the work?

May 24, 2004 in award winning magazine, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Brand enhancement, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gates on RSS

Blogs and RSS are changing the way companies deliver communication to customers. Today even Bill Gates took a pass at explaining how RSS works to overcome some of the challenges of communicating by email(newsletters) or static websites.

Bill Gates explains RSS:

Another new phenomenon that connects into this is one that started outside of the business space, more in the corporate or technical enthusiast space, a thing called blogging. And a standard around that that notifies you that something has changed called RSS.

This is a very interesting thing, because whenever you want to send e-mail you always have to sit there and think who do I copy on this. There might be people who might be interested in it or might feel like if it gets forwarded to them they'll wonder why I didn't put their name on it. But, then again, I don't want to interrupt them or make them think this is some deeply profound thing that I'm saying, but they might want to know. And so, you have a tough time deciding how broadly to send it out.

Then again, if you just put information on a Web site, then people don't know to come visit that Web site, and it's very painful to keep visiting somebody's Web site and it never changes. It's very typical that a lot of the Web sites you go to that are personal in nature just eventually go completely stale and you waste time looking at it.

And so, what blogging and these notifications are about is that you make it very easy to write something that you can think of, like an e-mail, but it goes up onto a Web site. And then people who care about that get a little notification. And so, for example, if you care about dozens of people whenever they write about a certain topic, you can have that notification come into your Inbox and it will be in a different folder and so only when you're interested in browsing about that topic do you go in and follow those, and it doesn't interfere with your normal Inbox.

And so if I do a trip report, say, and put that in a blog format, then all the employees at Microsoft who really want to look at that and who have keywords that connect to it or even people outside, they can find the information.

And so, getting away from the drawbacks of e-mail -- that it's too imposing -- and yet the drawbacks of the Web site -- that you don't know if there's something new and interesting there -- this is about solving that.

The ultimate idea is that you should get the information you want when you want it, and we're progressively getting better and better at that by watching your behavior, ranking things in different ways.

From the 8th annual CEO Summit attended by CEOs from Barnes & Noble, Berkshire-Hathaway, Dell, Delta, Fanny Mae, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot and other Fortune 1000 firms.



May 20, 2004 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tip Blogs Help Keep Customers Informed

Kodak which has been struggling to adapt to the changing imaging landscape has a bright spot, Ofoto.com. Ofoto is a service for uploading and printing digital images. The service includes many offerings including picture frames, photo cards, online photo albums, etc.

Recently they have started a tip blog to help customers of it's new Mac uploading application called Brownie. A good tip blog turns customers into collaborators when it comes to refining a product. Discussions that occur on blogs provide valuable feedback that may never have been gathered before.

Are there other tip blogs that you think are helpful?

May 19, 2004 in award winning magazine, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Brand enhancement, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wrangling the Blogsphere

Today there is a nice piece over at ClickZ about tools for identifying influential blogs. A great resource for PR people and marketers who are new to blogs and blogging. From the article:

"Word of mouth is a form of advertising, it's a form of media," Blackshaw said. "This media is getting in front of consumers at these inflection points where they are unsure about how they feel about a product."


May 14, 2004 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Email and Doctors

A recent Herald Tribune article talks about an emerging trend of doctors using email to actively communicate with patients. Concise emails replace rambling flustered voicemail messages from patients. Insurance companies are beginning to consider benefits for charges associated with email exchanges.

How long before Doctors and other health professionals harness the power of emarketing using email newsletters and blogs to market and communicate with patients and potential patients.


May 8, 2004 in award winning magazine, Award winning publications, blog publish, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, CMO | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Big Picture

So you have a great company doing great work providing excellent products services or experiences. You're growing past the point where you can keep up with all the sales leads, prospects and customers. You don't have the budget to hire your way out of the crunch. So what are you going to do to continue communicating with your customers and potential customers while tending to the demands of executing with the same excellence that has brought you this far?

You need to find out about online interactive communications. It's the car analogy all over again. You don't need to become an engine builder or even a skilled mechanic you just need to know how to drive.

There has always been a lot of hype and hyperbole surrounding the Internet and the revolution it has ignited. What is true is that it has created some important new ways to communicate. Whether your business is technology driven or not chances are very good that your customers have online access and are open to valuable online communications from you. What's critically important in these days of spam overload is to provide high value content and information in your communications and only communicate with people from whom you have permission.

E-mail newsletters and Blogs(or weblogs) are two major forms of electronic communication that can be employed to enhance your connection and communication with customers and prospects.

E-mail Newsletters
Customers and prospective customers who are interested in learning more about your products, company and industry are often willing to sign-up(give permission) to receive a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly newsletter from you detailing additional information about your offerings. Often people will be motivated to opt in based on the perceived value of the information they will receive. Other times they may need either an incentive or tasting of your content. That's where blogs come in.

In short a corporate blog is a place to offer fresh updated content "chunks" that give those interested in your offerings a sample of your viewpoint and your expertise in your industry. If you are reading this you have some awareness of blogs. Blogs are a vehicle for communication and, with a comments feature, a place for two-way communication. In a "Cluetrain" world where markets are conversations it's the companies that communicate openly and honestly with customers and prospects that will win market share, trust, customer loyalty and consequently increased revenues. Practically speaking blogs can attract traffic to your website and promote your e-mail newsletter. Your website and newsletter can convert prospects into customers and customers into loyal customers.

We're just touching the treetops here. Successful email newsletter publishing and blogging is a complex undertaking with a huge potential upside. They can help you move from "plate spinner" to trusted industry expert and valued supplier where marketing communication is concerned.

Continue to read BeConnected for additional information about the world of online marketing communications. We will talk in depth about email newsletter marketing and corporate blogging. We will also have a mix of news and commentary on things affecting the online marketing world.

May 7, 2004 in award winning blog, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, business credibility, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack