The power of customer voice shapes new rules of relevance

Share this content:
The power of customer voice shapes new rules of relevance
The power of customer voice shapes new rules of relevance

Why did you decide to see the last movie you watched? Was it because of some glorious review or perhaps a friend's suggestion? Long before the social portals and constant banter on Twitter, people have valued the opinions of others. Today, this behavior is highly measureable.

For example, a Forrester/JupiterResearch study found that 47% of US adults online value consumer reviews more than retailer-provided product information. This shouldn't be surprising. Why? Because, in a Forrester 2008 Social Technographics study, 69% of North American adults identified themselves as social spectators, up from 48% in 2007. The social technographics influence ladder shows rises in every segment — creators, critics, collectors, spectators and joiners. The inactive social segment is the only one shrinking. Clearly the voice of the customer can be heard, shared and measured.

However, rather than sounding a death knell for e-mail, social relies on it. Without an e-mail address there is no Twitter, Facebook or online banking account. E-mail continues to garner attention and trust. For example, 77% of North American adults tell Forrester that they most trust e-mail from people that they know, followed by 66% who state that they trust in consumer reviews and ratings. As marketers we must harness the power of e-mail, the customer's voice and measure and act upon it.

My recent research, The ROI of Email Relevance 2009, finds that those e-mail marketers who use social segmentation strategies including the use of product review content in their e-mail communications can generate roughly five times more revenue compared with marketers who don't. While the notion of social influence is not new, these measurable and actionable social tactics embody the new rules of relevance.

Personalization is an entry cost to driving relevance. The table stakes have moved to humanizing messages with the voice of your customers, personas and segments. Provide your subscribers an easy ability to share your content, contribute to your content and then measure and react to audience's desire to do so. E-mail is here to stay, but it is up to you to take the next step to leverage the power of social communication and its measurable influence into your messaging strategy.

David Daniels is VP, principal analyst at Forrester Research. Reach him at ddaniels@forrester.com.

close

Next Article in Email Marketing

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above