How can marketers use Web 2.0?

The Wall Street Journal recently took an in-depth look at how marketers can use online communities. Some areas that have benefited from Web 2.0 tools are product development, service enhancement and promotions.

They highlighted these areas as a way to engage your communities:
-Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process.
-Give consumers a reason to participate.
- Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site. -Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell.
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Don’t control, let it go.
-Find a ‘marketing technopologist.’ -Embrace experimentation. For a more concentrated look at these items, read the article.

Cultivate your current customers

Robert G. Howard at CustomersThink recently wrote an article on cultivating your current customers. Often times, they’re lost in the focus to attract new customers. If a company focuses on them, then the revenues generated from the existing customer can lead to a higher lifetime value at your company.

He related several ways you can do this for your customers:

  1. Relate: Relate with your customers through regular and meaningful contact, observations, and ongoing interactions.
  2. Retain: Retain your customers by creating barriers to switching to a competitor and create an atmosphere of exclusivity.
  3. Expand: Expand your relationship with your customers by offering complimentary products and services on an ongoing basis.
  4. Innovate: Keep your customers excited and engaged by surprising them with new product innovations or special bundles that are tailored just for them.
  5. Analyze: Analyze your customer behaviors and cultivation activities to predict and anticipate future wants and needs.

Everything you need to know about your customers

Jacob Morgan recently wrote a great post about why your business needs to be online. He pointed out that 1.5 billion people are online throughout the world, and they’re using search engines to find out more about what they’re interested in. Yahoo, Google, and YouTube are some of the most visited sites on the internet. They’re already taking time to find you and engage about a topic pertaining to your product or service. When they arrive at your site, you are already given useful information to determine who they are and how to target them: who they are, how they find you, where they come from, what languages they speak, what they click on, how long they visit your site, and what pay they take through your site.

Google Trends…are you following them

I recently found an article at Ezine that looks at how valuable Google Trends can be for you and understanding your market online.

Some benefits of Google Trends are:
-Viewing and monitoring online search results
-Supporting information and current relative news trends that surround your web site’s focus
-Find out who is searching for your information and where they’re searching from

Read the article for a focused look at what you can do to leverage Google Trends as research.

Need a holiday light tour?

Recently, at Fox News, they focused on the online community Tacky Light Tour. Matt Burgess of Richmond, Virginia, started this online community which plots houses with more than 10,000 holiday lights up on an online map. Families can then hop in the car and follow the map’s directions to be treated to a festive treat. The maps started out in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia, but have since spread across the country.

Dell begins to charge for American customer service

In a recent article in the Washington Post, the reveal that Dell is instituting a new customer service policy. For customers who buy a new PC, they have the option of paying $12.95 a month or $99 a year to receive a North American customer service representative as well as less than a two minute wait time. However, if customers choose not to pay this fee, they’ll receive customer service representatives from India or the Philippines.

What do you think about this? Don Reisinger shared his opinion here. Should consumers have to pay for customer service? Or is Dell defining the line between technical support and customer service?

Abercrombie not following the market

We’ve written a lot recently on this blog about keeping your customers by giving them great customer service, and avoiding slashing your prices. One company has decided to do this. According to Customers Think, Abercrombie and Fitch will not lower their prices. They want to take the lower sales volume for a higher profit, and maintain the reputation of upscale clothing. Read more about this story at the Wall Street Journal.

How do people use their RSS feeds?

An interesting poll taken by the Social Media Club shows where people read their RSS feeds. Out of his 170 respondents, 146 people read their readers during work hours. Following that, 96 people read their feeds in the living room. Interesting numbers may be that 18 people read while in the car and 11 while walking.

What do you think? When do your posts go live? How can you take this information and promote your blog?

Sampling methods

Quirks recently posted the most common ways to collect data for samples in the USA. They are: face-to-face, address based, RDD telephone (random digit dialing), directory listed telephone, low-incidence targeting and the internet. The article also points out that combining several different methods can prove to be very effective. Read more here.