This is the truth man and everything you need to know. It's also why See RM exists, i.e. to evangelise this stuff. I read it today on the excellent clickz.com website and, while it's maybe more of a news item than a blog, I couldn't help lift the main points from the article because it's just everything I believe in.
1.Thou shalt not target customers with messages they don't want.
No matter how targeted the advertiser thinks the message is, it's still not targeted, relevant, or timely enough. There are far more effective and measurable alternatives to broadcasting general messages out to large audiences using one-way media like TV, print, and radio -- so the sun is setting on the era of big "push" advertising.
2.Thou shalt be truthful.
Advertisers can no longer lie, exaggerate, spin, or tell half-truths about their product or service. If they do, they will be found out and called out. The voice of the people will still drown it out and any claim has to be backed up by the product or service.
3.Thou shalt respect your customers.
Consumers are empowered with information and with connected peers who help them vet, filter, and prioritize what is important and useful to them. With the collective "eyes on," consumers can easily overcome any advertiser behaving badly.
4.Thou shalt make it easy for people to find you.
If the above three commandments put a damper on "push" advertising, this commandment makes it explicit that it's equally important to balance it with "pull" techniques -- make your information more or most easily findable by customers when they search for it. If the consumers can't find your information, or worse if they find the information of your competitors first, you lose.
5.Thou shalt be useful.
People need help making purchase decisions. It goes without saying that the products or services being advertised must be useful in and of themselves. Today, however, even the marketing of the product or service needs to be useful or else consumers won't use it and will definitely not pass it along.
6.Thou shalt make it easy for people to pass along.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful influences on customers' purchases because it doesn't come from the marketer and isn't marketing. Recommendations can come from friends, whom the customer trusts to have sufficient knowledge about specific things to recommend. (See my earlier blog on the power of advocacy, http://www.see-rm.com/index.php/blog/380-marketing-is-like-ordering-chow-mein)
7.Thou shalt measure and optimize.
With more and more information, conversations, and actions going online, advertisers have more data than ever to determine what marketing is working and also to optimize it even while campaigns are still in process. With digital tools, devices, and channels data and feedback can be obtained virtually in real time.
8.Thou shalt listen to customers.
People talk when they really hate something or when they really love it. More and more people are doing such ranting or raving about stuff online, and these are the absolute best customers to be listening to. The ones who love your product will tell you what you're doing right. The ones who hate your product will reveal ways you can improve your product or even make derivative products to fit their expectations and needs.
9.Thou shalt remove any organizational barriers to speedy, collaborative innovation.
If your sales and marketing people don't meet with or talk with your product development people more than once a year at a holiday party then you've got a problem. The people who are at the "front lines" communicating with customers and hearing their needs and challenges with using the product, etc. are the best people to feed new ideas to the product development teams so they can rapidly improve the product or service.
10.Thou shalt not do brand-ing.
Brand-ing (with a dash) is the act of telling customers what a brand is. Most traditional ads are designed to do this -- TV ads designed to evoke "emotion," etc. But a brand is actually a reputation that was earned over time through consistent stewardship of every interaction with customers, backed up by awesome products. Follow the previous 9 commandments and you won't need to worry about this one!
And there it is, everything you need to know about relationship marketing and CRM theory in a pithy little blog post. Brilliant.
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