Thursday, September 20, 2007

What is DIY Marketing?

DIY Marketing is all about direct interaction between marketers and customers. No constraints, no filters—just honest, two-way communication. At least that’s what it should be. But it’s hard.
For years now marketers have talked about “Listening to the voice of the customer.” That usually means marketing research that is expensive and time consuming. Marketing research involves many people, each of whom may add—even inadvertently—biases or perspectives. Before the Internet it was about the only way we had to find out what our customers thought and felt.

The Internet added a new dimension—the ability to track what customers actually do. The value of behavioral data about customers cannot be overstated, but it misses the “thinking and feeling.”

While most marketers were still trying to cope with things like websites, email and metrics, a new Internet was quietly emerging, fueled by technological innovation and the communications obsession of young people. Internet 2.0--for want of a better term--has presented marketers with a bewildering array of tools for interacting directly with customers across the demographic spectrum. With these new tools we can not only track what customers are saying and doing, we can also engage them in dialog that reveals how they think and feel.

But it is hard. Not the technology; that is usually pretty friendly, even to the most technology-phobic marketer. But establishing the dialog requires new marketing approaches and maintaining it requires discipline and focus. It requires unfiltered attention to what customers are actually saying—good, bad, or incendiary. Perhaps hardest of all, it requires a whole new way of thinking about marketing.

That is the subject of this blog. What technologies, tools and techniques can marketers use? What new applications show promise? What customer sources do marketers need to monitor? How do we engage customers in ways that respect their privacy? What are the organizational barriers to unfettered communication? How can we overcome them? What is working and what isn’t? And, as we go, other topics will emerge.

I’ll be blogging several times a week, so please join me in exploring marketing’s newest frontier!

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