The customers to maintain their sustainability
The essay is going to examine that why customers are discerning and reducing their spending in unpredictable economy and the challenges faced by marketers to regain the customers to maintain their sustainability. How the marketers are effectively implementing the strategies of interactive multichannel to attract and retain customers? Contemporary developments in interactive marketing are trying to make loyal customers better than that of the traditional marketing.
In the past, marketers used to conceal the detailed information about the product from customers which made customers did not clear idea about their purchases. But today it is reversed that customers have better understanding of the product than that of the marketer. Nowadays customers can easily collect data through the internet and other offline channels by which they are becoming judgemental in purchasing the goods. After obtaining the relevant data, customers can have the chance for proper comparison of different products.
Due to volatile market conditions, customers are feeling insecure about their employment and future and hence reducing their spending and planning for savings. ( Cayles and Gokey, 2005 ) This makes customers to switch to low cost products which can add more value to their consumption and help in savings for their future.. Pound
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Hence major retail companies are finding it difficult to win and retain customers in a global recession. According to Engel’s law, “as real income goes down so does the share devoted to luxury products” (Burr Ridge, 2004). Customers are cutting down their spending on luxury items. Alistair Sandy, director of Sussex Orchids, said demand had fallen for luxury items and people have stopped spending on practically anything that’s a luxury item (BBC news, 2009). Today Customers want value for their money spent..
Surveys on consumer behaviour suggest that Indian customers are discerning spenders and try to maximize value for money spent (Kozami 2005). It is important for the marketers to know whether their product reaches customer expectations or not (Doole, Lancaster and Lowe, 2005). It is due to the considerable increase in the competition between the firms in the consumer market. This results in the increasing choice of the customers. Customers are making advantage of the struggle and are trying to have selective purchases.
Even if the customers are satisfied with the product, they are still trying to exercise their right to go from one supplier to another in order to obtain good deal or to have a better experience. This indicates that customers need access to interactive multi channels and thereby fuelling the growth of interactive multi-channel marketing. This attitude of the customer makes marketers to rethink about the marketing channels to be employed in order keep their customers loyal (Little and Marandi, 2003).
Consumers are able to access information about the product from various sources like the supplier website, market makers and online communities and becoming choosier in their spending (Kotler and Keller 2006). There is a growing awareness among the firms that the retaining the existing customer is easy when compared to winning the new customer to achieve its objectives (Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin, 2006) Due to the discerning nature of the consumers, marketers are facing challenges to regain or win the customers.
Virgin media selected interactive multichannel marketing strategy to maximize customer acquisition and retention in highly competitive UK market place. Virgin media obtained customer feedback about their products and services through the call centres and maintained constant with the customers. They daily answered 4000 customers who were new and existing customers. This interaction with the customers helped them to improve themselves and it easy to retain and to win the customers (Burton and River, 2007).
Interactive multi channel marketing plays major role in today’s market as it is easy to access and creates benefits to both customers and to the marketers. Interactive multi channel marketing introduces consumers to wide range of selection of merchandise and helps them to comparative shopping by browsing through the mail catalogues and online shopping services. Marketers can build continuous relationship with the customers who make the marketers easy to retain or to win the customers.
Interactive multichannel marketing involves effective use of technology such as new software applications and hardware such as mobile technology etc in order to increase the interactivity between the customers and the marketer. Interactive multichannel marketing facilitate the two-way communication, not just a passive one-way communication between the customers and the marketers. Traditional communication channel like television advertising are pushed based, where the advertiser creates the message and broadcast it to the widest possible customers.
( Kimmel,2005 ) There is no chance for the interaction between the customer and the marketer which is made possible in case of interactive multichannel marketing. It leads the companies to improve themselves in order to provide the best service to the customer. Therefore, the author aggress with the critic that interactive multi channels leads to increase market responsiveness which results in boosting the sales and therefore, retaining and wining customers become easy for the marketers during this economic downturn.
Interactive multichannel marketing offers businesses an unprecedented opportunity to increase revenue, expand customer reach, drive loyalty and improve margins. In 2007, companies employing interactive channels generated 95 billion in sales globally, which is about 6. 3 per cent of retail sales, leaving room for significant growth. In the UK, interactive shopping is outperforming the high street with over 26. 5 billion spent in the first half of 2008 alone, an increase of 38% over the same period the previous year (Lauchlan, 2009).
This fact clearly supports critic’s view that interactive multichannel marketing increases the sales and the responsiveness and thereby making it easy for marketers to win the customer. Interactive multichannel marketing is used by different companies like in UK it is used in ‘UK National Lottery’ by using internet, digital TV and lottery services (National Lottery 2005). It will reduce the cost of maintenance and operations, it increase the market responsiveness and increase the sales. The author agrees with the critics that multichannel can increase sales, reduce costs and reduce costs