Carving a return path for consumers

A marketer’s dream is to get the consumer interaction. And am sure all try hard and give it what it takes to get in touch with the Right Prospect. Still, even after one manages to get in touch once, how often do we really feel satisfied with that one contact?  

Many a times what we miss is to give them a return path. A way to not just get in touch with us, get read, heard and understood but even mapped. So that next time on, it’s not only an informed conversation, but a 2-way communication of benefit to both. This is not just the responsibility of those companies that are B2B, but even B2C. 

Many B2B and high-ticket B2C companies invest heavily in CRM and Customer loyalty programs, but smaller companies lack not just the infrastructure, but also at times the desire to do the same. 

As each contact point, each communication across various channels/mediums add to the customer experience, this can be enhanced, monitored and even monetized if attention is given to processes and details.

Advertising on Blogs – Should we: should we not!

Many organizations are doing study on the effectiveness of advertising on UGC. I was going through a study done by blue Lithum Labs and ITToolbox.

The most important question that comes to mind while planning on such UGC sites (Social networking and user generated content sites) is how ethical it is to put “sponsored” content on sites which are meant to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other.

I faced the same challenges while planning the campaign on blogs and other social networking sites for the first time.

Campaign performance (gauge by visits of companies on my website by clicking on the banner/link.) on publisher content sites was higher than on UGC. Though in money terms, lower cost of UGC media scored over publisher content site resulting in lower cost per visit.

To my mind, both the channels are imp – content sites for generating more visits from relevant target audience (depending on who they are; for me this works! J) and Blogs and networking sites for not just visits, but “word of mouth” and “buzz” about newer concepts.

What is ROI? Return on investment or relevance, originality and innovation!

I was going thru a webcast of Digital marketing conference on iamai.in.

Very interesting things were being discussed and most important being ROI.. something that internet has to show and prove again and again.. and I feel its perfectly fine. This is what distinguishes this medium from others and to helps companies invest money “to start with”.

Mahesh Murthy, Founder & CEO, Pinstorm Technologies Ltd made an interesting comment on ROI.. something which I feel should be open for discussions..

What is ROI? Return on investment or relevance, originality and innovation! Which of the two would help companies win in long run? It is a medium for quick acquisition and reducing operations costs, as mentioned by Tina Singh : Head corporate marketing, ICICI Bank Ltd (http://www.24framesdigital.com/iamai/160307/session1_tina_singh.htm) in her wonderful presentation, or it is much more than that and should be considered as a channel which provides customer experience?

Srinivasan Rajagopal, Head eBiz Special Initiatives, Citibank made an interesting remark of whether internet is a Medium or an Experience. To my mind, it’s BOTH!

It’s a medium for acquisitions; for distribution as well as a channel which can deliver customer experience, depending on what is the end objective!

With so much of options available in the market, Customer has truly emerged as a king and in most cases a King Maker! With social networking, collaboration and experience sharing tools, like I can define target group to choose the customer; the customer can choose me amongst his list of favorites!