To compete in today’s aggressively interactive environment, companies must shift their focus from driving transactions to maximizing customer lifetime value, they must shift from pushing individual products to building long-term customer relationships. In the other words, companies need to shift their focus from brand equity (the value of a brand) to customer equity (the sum of the lifetime values of their customers).
Given the increasing importance of customer level information, companies must become adept at tracking information at several levels as well – individual, segment, and aggregate. Because different strategic decisions require different levels of information, thus, companies typically need multiple information sources to meet their needs.
Among all other marketing strategies, more and more companies start to adopt and use online marketing for the marketing efforts, and social media marketing is the hottest one among the rest. It has matured to the point where marketers are no longer asking whether it should be part of their marketing mix but how and where they should participate.
Unfortunately, according to April 2010 research from online marketing firm R2integrated, a majority of US marketing professionals claim social media is now “invaluable” to their business. Although one-half of respondents said they had a social strategy in place, but only 35% thought they were making money and they do face the obstacles.
Today’s strategists have available a multitude of tools to help formulate strategies, but little guidance for implementing a new strategy. By that, new strategies always confront obstacles that the successful strategist must surmount.
The study found that, the biggest obstacle for social strategies was not having enough data to come up with a measure of return on investment. Management buy-in was also a problem, and more than one-fifth of respondents said their audience was not active on social media.
A successful strategy implementation requires systematic selling efforts. Throughout the implementation process, the strategist must sell the new strategy upward to superiors, downward to subordinates, across to other organizational units, and outward to external stakeholders. If fail of doing it, the results you expected to see will not show up.
“Marketers clearly recognize the need for, and see the potential of social media, but are still trying to develop models that increase real engagement which then leads to profitability – if that’s a goal for implementing a social strategy,” said Matt Goddard, CEO of R2integrated, in a statement.
“Despite the presence and popularity of social media, many companies remain relatively unfamiliar with its practices, pundits, and principles,” he said.
Like any other organizational transformation, making a product-focused company fully customer-centric will be difficult and it takes lot of time. Such as the IT group will want to hang on to CRM; R&D is going to fight hard to keep its relative autonomy; and most important, traditional marketing executives will battle for their jobs. Because the change requires overcoming entrenched interests, it won’t happen organically, but however daunting, the shift is inevitable. It will soon be the only competitive way to serve customers.