Steps for a Successful Collaboration Marketing Program
Collaboration marketing is a specialized niche of relationship marketing—where, simply put, the relationships that a business has with its customers and/or clients is developed for long-term sustainability. With the success of Internet businesses, competition for customers is fiercer than ever. Distinguishing your business from others by developing strong relationships with consumers is one strategy for securing clients.
Copyright (c) 2008 Christian Fea
Collaboration marketing is a specialized segment of relationship marketing—where, simply put, the relationships that a business has with its customers is developed for long-term sustainability. With the success of Internet businesses, competition for customers is fiercer than ever. Distinguishing your business from others by developing strong relationships with consumers is one strategy for securing clients.
Customer driven collaboration marketing falls under the realm or relationship marketing because it allows you to collaborate with clients to build relationships. The difference here is that customer driven collaboration marketing recognizes how the Internet has changed the relational dynamic between businesses and customers. Customers are more connected than they used to be, automatically making them more empowered and shifting the balance of power from business centered to customer centered. Customers hold more power than ever before.
Currently, computer and technology companies are embracing customer driven collaboration marketing, but the trend is beginning to filter into the mainstream. The companies who make use of customer driven marketing do so by offering customer designed packages and choices. Executed mostly by large companies, the trend for personalized products can also be utilized by smaller companies who embrace this marketing tool. Here are a few ideas to help get you started thinking in terms of customer driven collaboration marketing for your own business.
Collaborative Pricing - Collaborative pricing allows customers to become active participants in defining the prices that they want to pay and adapting prices and services to their changing needs. For instance, if you provide a service, collaborative pricing allows for customer flexibility with using and paying for this monthly service.
Collaborative Segmentation - Collaborative segmentation allows customers to configure offerings to suit their preferences and to self-select into segments that best suit their needs. If you are a manufacturing business, you can offer personalized selection in the building of a product so the customer gets specifically what they want.
Collaborative Communication - Collaborative communication lets companies work with customers to create "just-in-time" marketing communications that are relevant to customers. In this instance, companies contract with outside marketing firms to create contextual messages that are triggered by customer activity. This can also be helpful to get immediate feedback on a new product, allowing businesses to get a sense of the market for a new product at a lower cost, and much more quickly than by traditional means.
Collaborative Support - Collaborative support allows customers to dialogue directly with the company and amongst themselves to solve support and other problems. This allows businesses to reduce support costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
Customer driven collaboration marketing requires businesses to shift their focus from the typical outside-in thinking of company driven marketing to the inside-out thinking about their customers' needs. This type of marketing focuses on finding products for existing customers and clients, rather than creating a product and seeking to find a market for it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm. He empowers business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. He demonstrates how to create your own Collaboration Marketing Strategy to increase your sales, conversation rates, and repeat business. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.christianfea.com