Ask the IT Consultant

Nov 6 2009   6:00PM GMT

Tracking the Elusive Customer

Beth Cohen Beth Cohen Profile: Beth Cohen

Question:  Now that we have Twitter Linkedin, FaceBook and 7/24 connectivity why is it still so difficult to communicate with customers?

With the Web 2.0 social networking revolution and the now ubiquitous Blackberry permanently attached to every executive’s belt, there seems to be a thousand ways we can reach out and touch our co-workers, customers, friends, neighbors, and old classmates — pretty much anyone on the planet at will.  Certainly the sheer number of potential sales channels has increased exponentially – blogs, Twitter, you name it.  You would think that with all these new tools, it would be easier than ever to get your message out to current and future customers.

The good news is that potential customers who are interested in the goods and services your company is offering are now often sophisticated and knowledgeable about the products and options.  For companies selling complex software or services this is a great boon that can represent a shortened sales cycle, but on the flip side, along with all these new communication tools everyone seems to have simultaneously reached the same level of information saturation and burnout.  Potential customers are tuning out in droves since they cannot even keep up with the flood of messages from their co-workers and friends.  I have noticed a sharp rise in the number of highly connected and professional people I have spoken recently to who have stopped reading their email, listening to their voice mail (which is so passé anyway), looking at media channels, and can only be reached by direct connections or in person – texting seems to be the communication tool of choice these days.  What this means for marketing departments, is that all those great marketing campaigns you slaved over are simply getting ignored.

So in this new era of information overload, how can you reach customers?  The answer is not really very surprising; sales and marketing has always been about the personal touch and spending the time to develop real relationships with your customers.  Despite all the new fangled ways of communicating, in the end it gets down to basics – building a strong network of personal connections will land the sale every time.

About the Author

Beth Cohen, Luth Computer Specialists, Inc.

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  • Karinelafonte
    This is a very good point and certainly something to take into account when developing up-to-date marketing approaches. I have begun using a marketing automation software whose tracking features for lead management that has enabled me personalize our campaigns (by identifying the source of our traffic, online behaviors of website visitors, etc). Personal touch comes more from possessing the necessary information to approach your prospects in a meaningful way, I believe, than in bypassing technology. I recommend you look into the tracking features of the marketing automation software I've mentioned; Publitrac. I think this is the most viable and complete tool on the market to both generate and manage leads.
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