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Marketing Articles: Customer Relationships

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  • 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
  • Microconnecting With Your Customers via Microblogging: Q&A With Connie Reece
    by Mack Collier
    There's a new kid on the social media block that's starting to garner a lot of attention from companies. Microblogging sites, such as Twitter, are increasingly becoming a companion to an existing blog—or a standalone strategy for businesses that are using social media to connect with their customers. But many companies aren't ... more
  • Scratch That Niche
    Reaching a niche audience—and only those people—can be tricky. But in a post at his eponymous blog, Seth Godin proposes the inventive approach of piggybacking onto a product that your target market already wants. Say you have a rock band with a quirky sound, and people who like your music also ... more
  • Are Your Customers Happy?
    Get behind the wheel of any luxury car today, and you'll face a dashboard and console packed with buttons that run elaborate climate control, stereo and navigation systems. On paper all these options sound great—in practice, though, attempting to operate increasingly complicated electronics might leave many drivers frustrated and annoyed, ... more
  • Three Ways to Improve Your Lead-Nurturing Strategy
    by Kathy Rizzo
    Although more than 80% of high-tech marketers say they have a lead-nurturing strategy, 64% say their strategy needs improvement, according to a February 2008 survey by TeleNet Marketing Solutions. As for which areas of overall lead-generation strategy tech marketers would like to improve in the next year, nurturing of long-term leads ... more
  • Time to Get Engaged
    In a post at the Neuromarketing blog, Roger Dooley discusses the book Sway, by Ori and Rom Brafman, and explains a key takeaway from their study of unorthodox demographic segments: That investing your time in customer engagement is one of the best investments you can make. These "customers" might not sound ... more
  • The Very Definition of Social Media
    OK, you're supposed to be in-the-know about Social Media and B-to-B outreach. You can define "mashup," and report how it can best serve your clients, in 25 words or less, right? Yeah. Thought so. Here's a short list of terms, from a recent E-Commerce Times article, that might help. Hide it ... more
  • Can You Hear Me Now?
    "Are you listening [to your customers]?" asks Todd Defren in a post at the PR Squared blog. "Great. But are you also empowered to act effectively on [their] behalf?" In other words, any company worth its salt can listen to its customers—what you do with the information is what sets ... more
  • Floating Tiger
    In a post at her Conversation Agent blog, Valeria Maltoni praises a fun YouTube video created by EA Sports as a response to one posted by a gamer called Levinator 25, who discovered an unexpected, and likely unintended, feature in Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. Dubbed "Jesus Shot," his brief, ... more
  • Give to Receive
    "There's still something to be said for a free sample of a product," says Mike Essex, who has made a sport of seeing how many he can receive in return for promising an online review at his blog. While the premise of his activities fall outside the marketing mainstream, his ... more
  • Has Your Telephone Become Your Sales Prevention System?
    by Todd Miechiels
    Is your company guilty of throwing dollars at campaigns to increase Web traffic, only to turn around and squander sales opportunities due to poor telephone and email handling? Make sure that your telephone system isn't preventing prospects from reaching out and touching someone at your company. As soon as you finish ... more
  • Popping the Top on Your Brand's Potential With Social Media: Q&A With Gary Vaynerchuk
    by Mack Collier
    There's probably no better case study on how a business leverages social media to connect with customers and grow itself than Gary Vaynerchuk's Wine Library. Here, Gary shares the reasons your company should pay attention to social media, and what impact these tools will have in the years to come. more
  • Case Study: How a Telecommunications Company Enlisted the Quirkiness of an Offbeat Celebrity to Build Brand Awareness
    by Kimberly Smith
    GotVMail set out to raise brand awareness, promoting itself in a way that would both amuse its audience and set the company apart. What resulted was a viral video campaign starring Gary Busey. more

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