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What, Really, Is Retention Marketing?

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What, Really, Is Retention Marketing?

While customer retention and its goals haven't changed, the entire customer retention business is busy reinventing itself from what it was just a few short years ago. Whether new technologies drove new thinking or vice versa it's hard to say. But one thing is for sure, what retention is –is really different.

Rise and shine, Marketing Directors. It's a new day for Online Customer Retention thanks to significant advances in customer information and relationship technologies. Finally, the reality is catching up to the promise of mass individualization and its power to glue customers to brands.

E-marketing has become such a common element of today's communications plans that most marketers don't even bother with the "e" anymore. But the way it's deployed and measured is still woefully rudimentary given its unique powers for building and tracking customer relationships. The online world is the only platform that puts both parties, customer and company, on the same footing by giving them equal access to each other and equal say in shaping what happens next in the brand experience.

Moreover, sophisticated online customer intelligence technologies can now deliver metrics that track customers' interactivity with content - a far more meaningful way to gauge, respond to and build on their brand loyalty. The online marketing guru Seth Godin has a mantra. Online content must religiously adhere to 3 criteria: it must be expected, valuable and relevant. Expected in that customers should not be surprised (read: annoyed) by receiving content they haven't asked for.

Valuable speaks to the quality of the content itself. It must contain real information, not just a sell-job transparently presented as information. In other words, it should put customer interests at the center of its development, not the company forecast. Relevant means that it is sliced and served according to customer intelligence and timed according to where customers are in the buying cycle.

   

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