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Intelligence Briefings: Relationship Marketing

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Key tips for using the Internet in customer management

  • The more the Internet and its associated technologies are used in marketing and customer management, the more urgent it is for companies to apply the key tools of customer management in deploying it. Key tips are:
  • Improve value to the customer -- to meet their wants and needs. Focus on customer benefits.
  • Create a vision for longer term development, such as introducing additional sites or deepening of initial sites, to support your marketing, service and, of course, customersí needs.
  • Meet customer needs better but also reduce costs of other means of communication -- for example, timetable look-up, booking confirmation, perhaps best demonstrated by cinema seat booking. This is one of the major pay-offs of the hybrid marketing approach.
  • Harmonise your approach within traditional advertising and communication programmes. Ensure that the message and brand are delivered consistently across all media.
  • Use web functionality to enhance involvement with the brand, in ways that match the brand. For example, use it to put a human face on the brand.
  • Use the technology to allow the customer to find out the full range of what you offer and what you do Ė- product, research, product development, loyalty programmes and promotions.
  • Use the Internet to allow the customer to take control and provide or update information.
  • Anticipate user constraints. Will customers be able to access your site quickly and conveniently? For example, using advanced graphics may waste customer time as it takes so long to download.
  • Drive traffic -- donít wait for visitors to find you, but use on-line and off-line advertising and public relations, backed by plenty of hypertext links and cross-promotions.
  • Keep your offering up to date, topical and relevant to maintain interest, but ensure it follows a consistent pattern for your loyal audience.
  • Use the best security and guard your customerís privacy.
  • Resource and maintain your Internet site adequately.
  • Measure everything including traffic volumes and patterns, user profile and satisfaction, ideally through independent auditing.

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