Keeping Apace With Online Consumers Staff

Updated · Dec 28, 2001

“Customers are getting way ahead of marketers,” warns Meta Group analyst Stephen Diorio.

Contrary to the buoyant promises of an upbeat 2001 Consumer Email study from Net-marketers DoubleClick, Diorio believes that consumers are becoming increasingly desensitised to online marketing efforts. Whereas DoubleClick's study sang the praises of e-mail marketing efforts, Diorio cautioned that online users are increasingly taking steps to avoid these types of e-schemes.

“Online customers are starting to demand an unprecedented degree of control over their online relationships and are consequently changing the scope of what constitutes ‘world class' permission marketing,” noted Diorio, advising e-companies to revise their e-marketing strategies altogether. “At best, an experienced consumer wants between 10 and 20 online relationships. Companies, therefore, will have to give them more dials to turn as to the type of relationship that will be established.”

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. The study found, however, that as timely as these efforts may be, they may prove insufficient for todays consumers who have become wholly saturated by the now ubiquitous presence of online marketing and customer service initiatives.

“The needs and expectations of online consumers have been changing ever since the inception of the Internet,” notes Diorio.
As far as he's concerned companies needn't give up on reaching increasingly finicky online consumers through online marketing and customer service initiatives. “Companies should now be concentrating on improving their efforts at personalisation in order to better cater to the ‘individual' whims of consumers,” he counselled.

As part and parcel of an overall drive to personalise online marketing efforts, Meta suggests that companies adopt enterprise-wide permission e-mail management and policy administration strategies. They also propose that companies expand their e-mail programs into broader CRM initiatives and processes, and launch event-triggered marketing schemes.

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