Using digital content, improving one-to-one outreach and technology's effect on customer loyalty

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How can I most effectively present my audio and video content online?

“Presenting online content is actually much simpler than one might think,” says Steve Vestergaard, CEO of Clipstream. “Online visitors use varying operating systems, from Leopard to Vista, and each operating system has its preferred way of viewing online content, including audio and video.”

The trick, Vestergaard explains, is to ensure it is easy for visitors to “click and play.” “Use a simple stream­ing media solution that everyone can see, but be sure the quality is there,” he says. “Online viewers are get­ting pickier with HD and wide screen at home, so they want a quality video online.”

If your video is slow, low quality or requires a down­load, odds are you will lose that viewer. “Research streaming video solutions that a majority can access quickly and easily,” Vestergaard recommends. “The first step in presenting online content is to make sure your audience can see it.”

How can technology damage customer loyalty if not used effectively?

Jim Kane, senior consultant for The Brookeside Group, responds, “Everyone who is responsible for a company's externally facing technology, from mar­keting to customer service, needs to make sure that technology is fulfilling their customers' loyalty needs: delivering the information and services they expect; reflecting a high level of integrity and standards; and demonstrating a thoughtful understanding of the us­ers' needs, abilities, savvy and individuality.”

Additionally, he continues, “a company's IT systems have a profound influence on employee productivity, commitment, even general happiness, which transcends beyond their office walls to their customer relationships. Organizations with very loyal and committed employ­ees can improve customer retention by as much as 38%.”

As a b-to-b marketer, how can I better facilitate one-on-one communications with my clients and prospects through digital channels?

“The goal of any business should be to build a marketing and communications program that speaks to each client individually,” answers Anthony Green, president of Concep. “Digital channels, when com­bined and used correctly, can attain this. Interactive e-mail can be used to drive clients to content hosted on either your corporate Web site or a content/campaign specific microsite.”

By providing a call to action, such as a request for readers to register to receive specific, subscription-only content, marketers can personalize the reader's experi­ence and discover content preferences, he adds. “Then, client e-mail and landing pages can also be personal­ized,” he continues. “By tracking what content is of in­terest to clients, you may uncover new cross- or up-sell opportunities. If you promise them specific content that is of interest, make sure you only send them this.”

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