Archive for February, 2007

What's really going on with your customers?

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

You can always write about the positive happenings at your company or in your professional life as part of your business/corporate blog. But sometimes it pays to talk openly about what’s missing–like what customers are unhappy about in your industry.

A couple of guys writing in the Harvard Business review have done a wonderful job of examining that elusive thing called customer satisfaction. They posit that CRM (customer relationship management) software is actually hurting levels of customer satisfaction. They’ve invented a new term for an old concept–CEM (Customer Experience Management)–which means actually asking the customer how s/he feels about each experience with your company. Wrote my monthly GetMoreCustomers newsletter on specific ways CEM differs from CRM  

Now writing in your blog about that sort of thing takes courage–but believe me, it’s the kind of thing that will get you more attention than almost anything. And more loyalty from customers who feel you’re truly working to make a difference in their experience. So take the bullet between your teeth and go for it–the HBR guys promise that, done right, it improves your bottom line.

Single women as marketing demographic

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

If you make industrial products, you figure your market is most likely mainly male. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t women in the field. Are you marketing efforts unwittingly turning off those women? If you make or sell almost anything else, chances are the percentage of women who have buying power for your product/service is much higher.

Women are an increasing proportion of executives, business owners and professionals. Today the best-educated woman is 28 years old, the best-educated man is 56. Are you missing the boat by leaving them out of your calculations when you plan your marketing materials and other outreach efforts?

And increasingly the women you’ll be marketing to are independent, self-supporting women who may or may not have kids, but who are making it all happen for themselves. There’s a new organization SWWAN (Single Working Women’s Affiliate Network) just for single working women and their SWWAN blog focuses on issues specific to single women. They care about many of the same things all women care about, but they also may have radically different hot buttons that the right marketing techniques could really push. Read Laura Rowley’s article about women as a market demographic.

Any way you look at it, if you haven’t reexamined your target market with gender in mind, you may be missing some big opportunities.