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Do You Know Where Your Customers Are Tonight?

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Do You Know Where She is Tonight? Do You Know Where She is Tonight?

Like the best advice to parents who don’t know where their children are, companies who don’t know what their customers are doing tonight must build a better relationship.

There are multi-billion dollar companies that really don’t know much about individual customers.   They might know their names and addresses.  They might know what they’ve purchased recently.   They probably have some broad demographic information and anecdotal information from the sales channels.  But they don’t have a true one-to-one relationship.  And they certainly don’t know what their customers are doing right now.  Modern customer relationship management systems can track the past quite well, but rarely provide insights into future behavior.   Yet the traditional definition of marketing calls for much more:

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitability. ~ The Chartered Institute of Marketing

It may be hard to gather good information.  Some companies have customers that pay cash (e.g. McDonalds).  Other companies sell 100% of their product through third parties (e.g. Kellogg’s).  These barriers make it hard to gather information on a 1:1 basis other than through surveys and focus groups. 

Moreover, the Age of the Smart Phone (2007- present) has put unprecedented power into the hands of consumers who can now sit in their living rooms, research their needs, compare prices and make purchases, while companies flash 30 second ads on television that their customers do their best to ignore.

The only way to cut through the digital disruption is to develop a relationship with reach customer and learn to anticipate their needs so they are seamlessly getting offers and content that this tailored to their needs and current interests.  Researching wine?  Offer wine specials.  Reading travel magazines?  Display travel packages.  Hiring a moving van?  Offer satellite TV hookups for the new home.

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Ted Pryor
Ted Pryor
Ted Pryor is a Managing Director with Greenwich Harbor Partners and focuses on senior level executive recruiting in Media, Technology and Business Services including general management, sales, marketing and customer service. He has over ten years of experience as a senior executive at GE Capital and over 20 years of experience in corporate finance. Prior to executive recruiting, he served as CFO and CEO of a venture backed start-up company.

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