The Broadcast Value of Customers.

My business e-mail Inbox is embarrassing. I have 13074 unread messages.
My two personal e-mail accounts are a little better. Hotmail has only about 400 unread messages at present. GMail has only about 120.
I use IM at work, Skype at home, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other networks. I listen to commercial-free Internet radio, and watch some TV when I cook dinner or am eating my usual Euro-fashion 10pm dinner.
Scarily, I am not quite as hard to reach (for marketers) as some millennials, whose rejection of e-mail, TV and OTA radio makes them phantoms to most advertisers.
The point? If you want to break through to me with a new marketing message (business or consumer), you need to think how to stand out in MY world. Ads used to be a little utilitarian for people in my age group (50+). We learned about new technologies and new consumer offerings via ads. Today, when I want a new technology/product I research it actively online, so there is no need for ads that reach me when I have no interest in purchasing. And while not all my cohort acts that way, the treasured under 30 crowd does. In my busy, media-saturated life, I routinely bypass ads in print, and ignore only the most unusual on TV or online. And so do a growing cadre of other prime buyers.
What gets my attention? Frankly, very little unless I seek it out. Even exciting new blogs, news outlets or technologies have a hard time breaking the patterns I have set.
This landscape explains why bold brands like Nike do controversial ads like the “Tiger and Dad” ad that ran just before the Masters. But it aso explains why smart brands treasure every customer relationship or contact they can acquire and nurture, and why creativity is not always the first approach in today’s ad landscape. Look at Coke and Pepsi’s consumer-driven, community-service strategies as examples of engaging a traditional customer set through the new lens of value and relationship. Today, a customer is worth more than ever, because in addition to his/her revenue value, each person has a ‘broadcast value’ as a brand voice. Each customer is a network of contacts who you can reach…if you can get your customer to talk for you.
Trained in mass marketing, these concepts are foreign to many current generation marketers. But the numbers don’t lie. Getting the word out, regardless of your business, means cultivating customer relationships like never before. From social media strategies to next-gen CRM, smart brands build conversations with customers for the knowledge they gain and the networks they can leverage.

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