"Customers are getting way ahead of marketers," cautioned Meta Group analyst Stephen Diorio, warning that consumers have become increasingly indifferent towards online marketing efforts. "By demanding an unprecedented degree of control over their online relationships, online customers are busy changing the scope of what constitutes world class permission marketing," he continued.
To keep up with the shifting expectations and allowances of e-consumers, Diorio recommended that companies remain flexible enough to keep abreast with shifting expectations and rising consumer indifference.
A recent Meta study found that many companies have finally come to view their Web sites as vital components of their CRM initiatives, offering improved user registration, security, customer service benefits, search engines and ordering facilities. Simultaneously the study found that these efforts may, as luck would have it, prove inadequate when it comes to reaching consumers that have lately become saturated by the now ubiquitous presence of online marketing and customer service initiatives.
According to Meta Group analysts today's online consumers want to dictate the boundaries of their online relationships. They mused that with consumers becoming immune to customer service-related e-mail and taking steps to avoid online marketing efforts, companies will have to revise their e-marketing strategies yet again.
"At best, an experienced consumer wants between 10 and 20 online relationships," noted Diorio. "Companies, therefore, will have to give them more dials to turn as to the type of relationship that will be established."
Meta observed, however, that the needs and expectations of online consumers have been changing since the inception of the Internet and counselled that companies need not give up on reaching increasingly finicky online consumers through online marketing and customer service initiatives. Instead of throwing in the e-marketing towel, they advised companies to improve their efforts at personalisation in order to better cater to the 'individual' whims of consumers.
As part and parcel of an overall drive to personalise online marketing efforts, Meta suggested that companies adopt enterprise-wide permission e-mail management and policy administration, expand e-mail programs into broader CRM initiatives and processes, as well as launch event-triggered marketing schemes.
Reprinted from sa.internet.com