Car dealerships focusing on service

With the plummeting sales of new cars, car dealerships are being forced to find other ways to bring customers into their stores. They’re turning their attention to their service operations and replace the lost revenue of new cars sold with that of customer loyalty. A study by JD Power and Associates shows that this trend is across the industry, the article stating overall satisfaction with dealer service averaged 866 on a 1,000-point scale, an increase of three points since 2007. For more on this new trend, read the article at SearchAutoParts.com.

Marketo gets new social networking service

Marketo, the market automation leader, has opened up a new online community to better service its market. The social network, Success.Marketo.com, allows access to product documentation, quick start guides, best practices, and communication between Marketo’s customers and partners.

Phil Fernandez, president and CEO at Marketo, had this to say about the new online community:
“Our new social customer success community is yet another example of our innovation in all aspects of the customer experience. The community portal not only provides 24×7 support and best practices information, but also provides a forum for ongoing communication between Marketo, our growing user base, and our partners. Today’s customers are no longer satisfied with static support solutions, and our new community-based portal is a great way for customers to get and share all the information they need to be successful.”

Source: MSNBC

Sales of organic produce remains steady

With the current slow down of the economy, many companies are facing lay-offs due to customers who are not buying their products. One sector not facing this problem is organic foods. Although typical yearly growth of 20-30% has eased, sales of organic food were up 5.6% in December of 2008. Sales are not falling in this category. Customers are sticking to their green products, and are willing to scale back on other products instead of cut out the high cost of organic foods completely.

The dedicated consumers of this market are willing to scale back on other products to maintain a green lifestyle.

What other industries do you see like this one? What other markets sales are remaining consistent throughout this recession? Why are they appealing to consumers?

Source: Reuters

Using Social Media and Crowd-Sourcing for Quick and Simple Market Research

Steve King outlines easy and free ways for companies to use social networking and crowd-sourcing for market research. He outlines the uses of LinkedIn, Twitter and Blogs. He notes, that social media tools are making it much easier to connect and converse with customers, prospects, and broader audiences. And while asking questions on blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media sites does not produce statistically valid results, you can learn a lot from the responses.

What do you think? Have you used these outlets for your market research?

Help Shape the Customers 1st 2009 Conference Agenda

I am the producer of the NACCM Customers 1st Conference- the evolved North American Conference on Customer Management. With all the changes happening in the world, I are trying to get a clear sense of how customer focused executives are responding to change to address key issues and solve customer and business challenges in order to shape the 2009 program. If you have 10 minutes to spare this week or next, please let me know a date and time that work for you and the best number to reach you and I will follow up then. Thanks in advance and I am hopeful we can connect soon. As I know budgets are tight, I am pleased to offer you a 15% discount for participating in this research should you like to attend the event this year!

Amanda Powers
Senior Conference Producer NACCM’s Customer’s 1st
apowers@iirusa.com

Is AOL Selling Bebo?

Mike Butcher has the scoop on a possible fire sale of Bebo by AOL. AOL acquired Bebo only a year ago and its reported that the AOL execs aren’t too happy with the performance of this social networking site. According to Butcher’s article, the problem lies mostly with advertisers. As Bebo competes with Facebook and MySpace, advertisers are looking to explore more eyeballs through revenue on the more popular sites. Of course this info is speculation but Butcher has enough solid sources for us to keep a watch out on AOL. Read the article here and let us know what you think.

How to Increase your Twitter Followers

I came across this guest post on TechCrunch from Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg and cofounder of Revision 3, in which he highlights 10 ways to increase your twitter followers. After all, Kevin is the 2nd most followed person on twitter with 88,000 followers, only second to President Obama! Here are his tips:

  1. Encourage your followers to retweet your links.
  2. Fill out the bio section on your page, people want to know you.
  3. Put links to your twitter profile everywhere on the web.
  4. Tweet about things that you are passionate about, and #hash tag them.
  5. Broadcast your twitter account in the physical world, ex: business cards, presentations, podcasts, etc.
  6. Take lots of pictures because they are heavily tweeted and retweeted.
  7. Start contests to get you in the number one spot.
  8. Follow top twitter users and see what they tweet about, this can give you some ideas.
  9. Reply to/get involved in #hash tag memes.
  10. Track your results to see how well your profile has grown.

Enjoy!