15 Ways to Connect to Customers

Creating a Strong Business-Consumer Bond

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Different businessmen employ different ways to stay connected with their customers, but which of these have been proved to be the most effective? Today, with the ever changing technology and expansion of business activities characterized by stiff competition, customer relationship experts have devised a number of ways to connect with potential customers while simultaneously retaining the existing ones. There is email, mobile, social media, focus groups, meetings… the list is long but the following methods have been recommended by business experts.

  1. Research Your Customers

Conducting survey enables the business to identify and evaluate the needs of the customers directly rather than relying on “rumors” and imaginations obtained from second-hand sources. The business organization can then steer its effort towards filling the existing gaps.

  1. Use Of Newsletters

Sending out newsletters, say ten times a year will definitely keep your customers updated on new products and some vital changes that may have been implemented over time. Their feedback can also be used by the business management to make some decisions to reflect the consumer needs. Integrating these newsletters to a social media functionality provides real time communication between the two parties.

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  1. Blog

Blogging is one of the widely used ways to connect and attract attention of several consumers worldwide. This is because an actively kept quality block attracts responses from consumers therefore enabling the business relationship experts to judge the reactions and act accordingly to enhance smooth flow of communication while building consumer loyalty.

  1. Answer Calls

Answering consumer calls, whether concerning complains, compliments or greetings has been proved to strengthen consumer relationship. This is due to the fact that we are in a world where one way communication provides instant feedback.

  1. Visit Them

Approaching consumers individually during marketing and listening to their concerns and expectations is critical in planning to conquer new markets.

  1. Respond To Emails

Replying consumer emails within 24 hours not only shows the concern of the business to consumer issues but also helps maintain a positive picture in the eyes of the customers.

  1. Send a Postcard

This also maintains consumer loyalty since they (customers) will be feeling and appreciating that the business is thinking of them and valuing their efforts. This leads to more sales and most customers may refer others into the “mix”

  1. Engage Them On Facebook And Twitter

Connecting customers through these social media enables the business to reach several consumers at any time. Research has actually revealed that 70% of human beings open their social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) 5 times more than their emails.

  1. Use Instagram

Post information in form of pictures severally to attract new customers. Similarly, comment on customer posts whenever they tag you.

  1. Offer Webinars

Deliver seminars over the internet so as to reach several customers irrespective of their location. This is a great way of keeping the spice in business-customer relationship.

  1. Empower Your Sales Personnel

The reason here is that these salespeople can either break or make the retail experience.

Other ways of connecting with consumers is providing an exceptional customer service, going mobile, monitoring review sites and aggressive promotions such as rewarding active customers.

Food for though

The effectiveness of these methods is largely, if not solely dependent on the type of business you are operating, and where or who your customers are. So can you add more methods?

How Marketers Can Thrive in the Digital Age

Marketing in the Internet Age

Technology has given marketers many more opportunities to thrive and to get a step ahead of the competition. Modern marketing methods are very different to how they used to be before the digital age.

Before the Internet and associated technology, marketers could never reach so many potential customers at a relatively low cost and were unable to keep in contact with so many people who have shown an interest in a certain type of product or service.

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Benefits of Internet Marketing

Marketers thrive on communication and in the digital age there are multiple platforms available for communicating in words, pictures, video and audio content.

Email Marketing

Top marketers build email lists by attracting subscribers who opt in to receive regular updates or newsletters by email. Some marketers offer an incentive for subscribing, such as a free report, software or an eBook.

Once they are on an email list, through choice, subscribers can be kept up to date with new product launches, special offers, the latest industry news, product reviews and other informative content.

Content Marketing

Marketers use websites and blogs to post articles, reviews, industry related news and advice that people will be looking for online, specifically about problems which a product or services provided by the company can resolve.

Informative content can be posted on various platforms in a number of formats:

  •  Images of actual products or illustrating a business concept
  •  Infographics providing statistics or industry data
  •  Online courses guiding consumers in the use of a product
  •  Podcasts with interviews or commentary from industry leaders
  •  Slide shows providing examples or illustrations
  •  Text in the form of articles, reviews, guidelines, lists of resources
  •  Videos showing how a product works
  •  Webinars discussing problems and solutions

Any of these can be found and accessed by people who are in search of specific information online. When they have found what they need, in any form of content, most people will be ready to make a purchase and can easily be directed to a sales page.

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Social Media Marketing

Social networking has grown rapidly in the Internet age as a favorite form of instant communication. Marketers use social media to build brand loyalty and to attract the right sort of followers who will become customers in future.

Different social media users will be viewing images or videos, reading blog posts and articles and sharing or liking content. Marketers take advantage of this by posting content that is useful, entertaining or informative that is useful, entertaining or informative.

Marketers in the digital age can monitor social media trends and take advantage of them. They can also set up systems to report all messages in social media that mention a particular brand or type of product.

SMS Text Alerts

Marketers can encourage people to sign up for SMS text alerts. These can be used to notify customers of availability, to announce new product launches or to alert people when it is time for them to renew a contract or annual subscription.

Thriving in the Internet Age

Marketers in the Internet age can benefit by sending out newsletters or updates by email, posting content that will be found by people looking for a solution and connecting directly with the public through social media.

Many marketers thrive by making good use of technology for engaging and communicating with the right audience for what their business is selling.

How Context is the Future of Marketing

Contextual Marketing

The power of content captivates the mind to the extent that it controls the decisions of the impact market. It adds value to interaction. It changes not only a phrase but the nature of the relationship. It helps brands to associate with their target market. It also adds fun to marketing and drives home the intended purpose easily.

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Context Draws From Various Data Input

Context is a combination of data from different locations. It pulls from social, emotional, cultural, economic and environmental data. SMS target customers at specific locations. It demands an advanced handling of collective information.

These sources of information help to identify with the customer at an individual level. The marketer gets to learn the preferences of customers so that they formulate target campaigns which they direct to these customers. This feed of personal data about customers is very beneficial and requires mining.

Mobile Devices Largely Affect Context Marketing

There is so much influx of real-time information. Methods of relaying information are expanding and demand more attention. Information originates from the keyboard, virtual keypads, video, sensors and audio capture.

Smartphones and other wearable devices help to manufacture this information. With innovative brands like Samsung and iPhone, there are more ways to capture and disseminate all sorts of data. Google Glass is also in on the sensor input.

Such devices relay much information that is environmental and emotional in nature. Information such as movement, location, temperature, lighting and orientation are useful picture the target scene. This is however personal data that require assent to use.

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How to be Effective at Context Marketing

Consumers’ time is limited and precious. Analytics need to relay very specific information only. Overall decisions need to be made focussed on the customer. Most customers unsubscribe from too recurrent advertising pop-up.

Customers at times make the drastic move of even ceasing to use the brand when bothered by marketing campaigns. The response from marketing needs to largely understand the customer. The message needs to be appropriate to the customer.

Creativity With Data

Context requires inventiveness with the huge data set. Individuals are using more than one device, at more than one location. Customers are incessantly connected. With the increase in the mobile internet users, more content is available from a number of devices and individuals.

The content availed is also rich and weighty. Real time analysis of this data is very beneficial but also very complex. How the marketer responds in real-time to this information, determines the effectiveness of the context marketing. The approach to respond to these data demands also has to be innovative.

The employment of real time data analysis techniques becomes crucial. Artificial intelligence methods help to pin-point how to respond to the data.

21st Century Marketing

Innovative technology has revolutionized marketing and made it take on a different shape. Context marketing is shaping how businesses communicate to consumers. There are many variants in the modern world, such as context, news, technology and consumers. Brands are leveraging on the speed of modern technology and variants to reach the market.

Generally, consumers are looking for simplicity and want information fed to them. Many are lazy at searching for this information. That is where context marketing comes in to link technology, information, brands and customers.