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Customer communities herald new ground rules for successful marketing

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The internet was meant to enable marketers to reach their audience in an innovative and timely fashion, while being able to extract more information about their customers. The reality is that few have taken full advantage of this new medium. As far as interactive marketing, brand promotion and communication with customers are concerned the internet remains an underexploited medium.So why have corporations not taken advantage of the internet to reduce their distance from customers, creating a robust two-way dialogue, reaching more customers in less time, reacting quicker to customer feedback, better educating customers about the product offering, increasing customer satisfaction and improving customer insights?Well, e-marketing and CRM have failed to deliver on early promise and the internet has lost its early sparkle and invincibility. In truth there are more people online than ever before, sharing in virtual communities, looking for information and purchasing. So how can corporations use this to their advantage? Customer communities. These in turn foster and give a platform to customer evangelists.In a well-run and managed customer community, these benefits can be easily realised and both consumer and seller will see instant benefits, mainly in the form of customer evangelists. This paper suggests the steps that should be taken to start a customer community and make customer evangelists do your marketing.Journal of Direct Data and Digital Marketing Practice (2005) 7, 112–121; doi:10.1057/palgrave.dddmp.4340515

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.dddmp.4340515

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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