Friday, July 22, 2005

Learn Each Customer's NWE's

That's Needs, Wants and Expectations.

Each is subtly different. I need something conveys an immediate set of specifications. I want something implies an unmet need, something I desire but have not seen on the marketplace (or at least seen at a price point I'm willing to pay). Expectations are set by the leaders in a marketplace. UPS sets the expectations for next-day shipments. IBM sets the expectation of not getting fired for selecting Big Blue. McDonalds sets the expectation for great french fries at a reasonable price. Together, they comprise the set of things we as marketers must provide to achieve customer satisfaction.

Here are a few ways to collect relevant information that unveils NWE's:

Use web surveys, scripted conversations and interactive content to solicit responses that reveal important factors about customer interests.

Use interactive content tracking on your website and enewsletters to watch what content each customer selects to read. Use this content selection process to build a profile of customer interests so you can make future communications that are increasingly more relevant. For example, offer the choice of a white paper on "getting the best quality" and a white paper on "getting the best price." It is safe to assume that price buyers will select appropriately and clue you in to the direction for future marketing and sales initiatives.

Use a similar process to identify whether the customer has entered an active buying cycle and determine if the customer is in an early or late stage of this cycele to trigger promotional offers that are relevant to the customer's purchase readiness.

Following these three tips will make each outbound initiative more effective because the initiative will be tuned to the customer's unique situation.

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