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Marketing Articles: Customer Relationships

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  • Gimme That!
    Sales promotions that offer either price discounts or free goods (premiums) are often used to entice customers to buy products. But which is better? Every family has one or two bargain shoppers—always looking for discounted products, and priding themselves on never paying full price. So, logically, marketers would assume that ... more
  • Digital-Marketing Series: 9 Ways to Reach Digital Natives (and the Rest of Us, Too)
    by Ann Handley
    New media and technology have inherently changed the way the newest generations experience the world: how they learn, live, play, and communicate. So what's this mean for marketers, specifically, who want to reach digital natives... and the rest of us, too? more
  • Case Study: How Travel Channel Effectively Engaged More than 2 Million Facebook Users
    by Kimberly Smith
    Imagine a world in which you persuade your customers to kidnap their friends so that you can then convince them it's in their best interest to visit your Web site. Virtually, it's already happening. And turning out quite well for the Travel Channel. more
  • You Look Mahvelous!
    Let's face it: as consumers, we're not that good at judging the volume of a product (eg, how much liquid is actually in that bottle or glass of juice). Moreover, we use (sometimes erroneous) mental shortcuts to make inferences about how much a given product contains. For example, a well-documented ... more
  • Try Some Nonprofit Holiday 'Retail'
    "In these stressful economic times, it is more important than ever to build messages that resonate with your audience," says Winston Bowden in an article at MarketingProfs. "Like retailers, nonprofits should be thinking about how they can tell their story and leverage the holiday season." Here's some of his advice ... more
  • Guidelines for Choosing Online Marketing Technology
    by Charisse Tabak
    The burgeoning online marketing industry has produced a veritable treasure trove of technologies and their associated tools to support your efforts. With this cache of options comes the need to be accurate in your selection, making sure the tool matches the objective. more
  • Marketing to India: The New Frontier for American Business
    by Gunjan Bagla
    Marketing executives and entrepreneurs alike have rushed to China in the last decade. Yet, today, India offers an excellent, although somewhat misunderstood, alternative. Here are some myths (and realities) about tapping the potential of this country of 1.1 billion. more
  • OMG, that looks good!
    If the popularity of the 3G iPhone is any indication—Apple sold over one million units during its first weekend on the market—the smartphone is here to stay. According to Loren McDonald, this presents something of a quandary for email marketers. While everyone likes the idea of customers having access to ... more
  • Cut the Mystery Man Act
    Is it more effective to tell customers your brand name right away in advertising? Or is it better to create a little mystery, and reveal the brand name only at the end of the ad, once you've intrigued them? One might think that it's better to create some mystery. (After ... more
  • Four Tips for Customer-Centric Copywriting
    by Sharon Ernst
    A customer-focused approach to marketing communications applies whether you're a property manager renting out high-end vacation homes in Maine to wealthy residents of NYC, or an international high-tech company providing support to clients who rely on an enterprisewide accounting software. No matter what you sell or to whom, by framing your ... more
  • Case Study: How Intrigue and Personalization Helped a Marketing Firm Connect With Handpicked Leads
    by Kimberly Smith
    Relationship-marketing firm Babcock & Jenkins didn't tell prospects what it could do, it gave them a taste. Its campaign, launched with a package of brownies from a mystery source, showed how it uses intrigue, personalization, humor, and the soft-sell to establish and advance client relationships. Results: A tasty 50% response ... more
  • The Right Way to Serve Up Links
    Most Web sites have a page with outbound links. In theory, they serve as a resource for your customers, but Shavkat Karimov argues that, in practice, links pages rarely add value. "They just list sites," he says in a post at the Digital Marketing Blog. "That's it. It's a very ... more
  • Get Patronized
    Let's say your company has a great approach to customer service—you offer quality products or services, your front-line staff are friendly and knowledgeable and you respond quickly and effectively to any concern. As good as this scenario sounds, your customers might still consider you so-so if the competition is even ... more
  • Text Your Vote to ...
    In late August, 2.9 million subscribers learned the identity of Barack Obama's running mate with a 26-word text message delivered via SMS (Short Message Service). The announcement joined a trend of strategies employed by the likes of NBC (Olympic coverage), Fox (American Idol) and others. According to R.J. Talyor, the ... more
  • Application Nation
    When Apple unveiled its first iPhone in 2007, most reviews highlighted features that skewed to personal—rather than business—use. You could use the iPhone for many things, but you surrendered a measure of professional functionality in the tradeoff. A recent re-design, however, coupled with the introduction of the App Store, has made ... more
  • You Don't Say
    You're in line at a store when the cashier answers the phone, speaks in a snarky tone, rolls his eyes, hangs up and then comments on the caller's stupidity while ringing up your purchase. Anyone would consider this an egregious example of poor customer service—black marks all around. But the Service Untitled ... more
  • End on a High Note
    Whether customers come back and buy your product again may likely depend on whether they remember it fondly or not. So, how do you promote positive product memory? Well, research on consumers' memories for experiences (eg, listening to music, attending an event) shows that whether they remember an experience as good ... more
  • How to Be a Good Public Relations Client
    by Ford Kanzler
    Since public relations isn't done "to" a company, it's done "with" the management team or owners, there's an essentially different nature to how this kind of professional service is successfully delivered. It's much more akin to legal or medical services with the "defendants" or "patients" (read management team members) having ... more
  • Fight Fire With ... Rohit's Five-Step Action Plan
    It's mid-afternoon and you learn—a little too late—that a blog post badmouthing your company has just gone viral. Rohit Bhargava offers a five-step plan for dousing the flames of these online wildfires: Identify the players. Says Bhargava, "Every blog crisis has three categories of participants: the source, the commenters and the ... more
  • Sidle Up to the LiveBar
    If you dropped everything and followed the leader every time a social media tool went live, you'd never have time to do real work. Right? Not this time. Chin up: the social media gods have smiled upon you. While your rivals fought for the title of Early Adopter—taxing both their ... more
  • You're the Top, You're the Louvre Museum
    No doubt about it: corporate images are important, and many companies work very hard to cultivate them. But how do specific corporate images (eg, an image of being innovative, trustworthy, socially conscious) affect customers' impressions of the products a company makes? In some instances, quite a lot. Research shows that ... more
  • Top Lessons Learned in Consumer-Generated Advertising
    by Neil Perry
    Marketers have recognized the immense creative talent that resides outside of Madison Avenue. They've recognized that, with Consumer-Generated Advertising, properly executed, they can generate quality, consumer-relevant content at a fraction of the cost of conventional agency productions. And these commercials break through the clutter with their "real" feel and relevant ... more
  • The Ties That Bind
    Of course we want customers to like our brand. But recent research suggests that an even more important driver of brand equity is brand attachment. Brand attachment represents the emotional bond that consumers have between a brand and themselves. (Ahhhh! That's the cologne he wore on our wedding day!) Consumers ... more
  • Navigating the Seven Cs to Relevance
    by Claire Ratushny
    Think of it: There are many businesses that offer similar products or services. Prospective customers can purchase goods or services from any competitor, literally anywhere in the world if they choose to, thanks to the Internet. Net result: effectively marketing a business, which translates to owning a slice of customer mind-share, ... more
  • Ditch the Pitch
    According to Justin Hitt, B2B sales teams routinely get it wrong when seeking new customers. "The problem is, not every sales person knows who makes a good client," he explains. Among the common errors he sees: Chasing too many prospects. "Successful sales people focus on highly qualified prospects most likely to ... more

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