While customer acquisition and retention are harder than ever before, many organisations could effectively use web-based marketing techniques to reach, retain and build loyalty among customers, according to a new report by the Conference Board.
The report, entitled 'Customers and the web: Web-based solutions that improve customer acquisition, loyalty and retention', observed that, while customers are more demanding than ever, their heightened expectations present organisations with new opportunities to gain a competitive edge.
According to Michael Bloom, vice president of organisational effectiveness and learning at the Conference Board, "Web-based marketing strategies can enable organisations to reach current and prospective customers with targeted messages, producing better connections and greater loyalty."
The report highlighted five web-based strategies that could help organisations to reach customers both directly and inexpensively:
Organisations can use their own blogs to reach customers, monitor blogs to learn what is being said about them, and use this web traffic to generate high search engine rankings.
- Direct-to-purchaser news releases
These self-written news articles go directly and inexpensively to customers and reach a broader audience when industry reporters and influential bloggers also recirculate them.
- Mobile marketing
With mobile marketing (e.g. text messaging campaigns), organisations can personalise messages to gain instant feedback and faster responses.
- Podcast and webcast marketing
Podcasts and webcasts have helped to level the playing field between smaller organisations and their deep-pocketed competitors, as smaller firms don't have to purchase air time for radio and television commercials.
- Social networking
Organisations can use social networking web sites to identify concentrated groups of potential customers, helping them to build brand awareness and reputation, establish relationships with potential customers, and create word-of-mouth advocacy among specifically targeted groups.