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Marketing Articles: Customer Relationships

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  • 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
  • Have You Considered an ... Open Relationship?
    Before you sign up for exclusive sponsorships, Rohit Bhargava suggests taking a hard look at what you really get out of the deal. Because if your sponsorship makes it difficult for people to get what they really want, the entire thing could blow up in your face. Take the case ... more
  • Talk to Me—Less
    Another Monday. Another newsletter to crank out. You've built a decent subscriber list, and your clients are happy to receive your ramblings. So why aren't you that happy to produce them? Perhaps you need to give yourself a break. Enter Kevin Sinclair with his Quick Newsletter Tips. Who knew you ... more
  • Make Nice
    When General Motors first launched its Saturn division in 1990, the main attraction for many customers wasn't a line-up of fairly mundane economy cars wrapped in unusual polymer body panels. Rather, Saturn was nice. Its dealerships offered a low-pressure, no-haggle transaction, went out of their way to be friendly during ... more
  • Give 'Em What They Paid For
    "Transactional messages like membership confirmations and shipping notifications show some of the highest open rates in the inbox," says Aaron Smith at MediaPost's Email Insider blog. "Customers receiving these [are engaged] … and they wait ready for you to reach out and seal the deal." According to Smith, there's a ... more
  • Case Study: How a Telecommunications Company Used Video to Streamline Its Sales Process
    by Kimberly Smith
    Digium created a Web-based video that covered all the essential points of in-person presentations, but in a format more easily accessible to all of its sales outlets. The results: a more efficient sales process and an effective press tool. more
  • We're Short on Euphemism Today
    We live in an age of euphemism. A used car isn't "used," it's "pre-owned"; we're sold "bathroom tissue," not "toilet paper"; and no marketer in her right mind would dream of calling wrinkle cream anything but "rejuvenating moisturizer." This is why the decidedly un-euphemistic name of a Beverly Hills clothier—Jimmy ... more
  • Phone It In
    You might scoff if someone were to suggest that phone support was obsolete, but Sarah Hatter of 37signals makes the argument that you no longer need an 800 number. "We get requests every day from people who don't think email support will cut it and demand a phone number to ... more
  • Dumb It Up, People
    You've just used the restroom at Disneyland, and are approaching the sinks when you have a slight moment of anxiety. What exactly are you supposed to do with the faucet and the soap? Fortunately, there's a small placard, sponsored by a paper-towel manufacturer, that explains how to apply soap, rinse ... more
  • So Many Paths to My Heart
    More than 50 years of consumer research suggests that when dealing with product types that consumers really care about, there are at least 5 ways marketers can encourage customers to develop favorable attitudes toward their specific products. Whether you appeal to their imaginations, their values, their feelings, their analytical minds, ... more
  • A Six-Step Web-Branding Blueprint for the Experience Economy
    by Jerry Bader
    Change is inevitable: As an economy matures, ages, and ultimately evolves into something new, adjustments must be made to our business development, marketing, and branding. Failure to adapt to new realities results in potentially unwanted and dramatic consequences. We are all aware of how modern economies have developed from those based on ... more
  • Don't You Forget About Me
    In a post at the Bronto blog, DJ Waldow recounts receiving an email from Adam Gautsch entitled What's Cooking at OrangeCoat? While Waldow considered the subject line pleasingly catchy, he also thought the message was spam—and flagged it as such. Only after reading its preheader, which explained why he received ... more
  • Three Uncustomary Customer Service Mindsets That Deliver
    by Gary Levitt, Rich Baker
    You've wolfed down lunch in record time and have seven minutes before your next meeting—time enough to Google "customer service tips," which brings up terabytes of platitudes on friendliness, knowledge, going the extra mile, blah, blah, blah. You know these cookie-cutter best-practices probably work, but they're too obvious and stale to ... more
  • Case Study: How a Technology Firm Used Social Media to Build Awareness for Its Web-based Monitoring Product
    by Kimberly Smith
    CASE STUDY - How does a social-media monitoring company build excitement for its flagship product? In the case of Radian6, it leveraged (you guessed it) social media and the medium's inherent word-of-mouth properties. Here's how. more

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