As the environment changes and companies adjust, marketers also are rethinking their philosophies, concepts, and tools. Here are the major marketing themes at the start of the new millennium:
^ Relationship marketing: From focusing on transactions to building long-term, profitable customer relationships. Companies focus on their most profitable customers, products, and channels.
^ Customer lifetime value: From making a profit on each sale to making profits by managing customer lifetime value. Some companies offer to deliver a constantly needed product on a regular basis at a lower price per unit because they will enjoy the customer's business for a longer period.
^ Customer share: From a focus on gaining market share to a focus on building customer share. Companies build customer share by offering a larger variety of goods to their existing customers and by training employees in cross-selling and up-selling.
^ Target marketing: From selling to everyone to trying to be the best firm serving well-defined target markets. Target marketing is being facilitated by the proliferation of special-interest magazines, TV channels, and Internet newsgroups.
^ Individualization: From selling the same offer in the same way to everyone in the target market to individualizing and customizing messages and offerings.
^ Customer database: From collecting sales data to building a data warehouse of information about individual customers' purchases, preferences, demographics, and profitability. Companies can "data-mine" their proprietary databases to detect different customer need clusters and make differentiated offerings to each cluster.
^ Integrated marketing communications: From reliance on one communication tool such as advertising to blending several tools to deliver a consistent brand image to customers at every brand contact.
^ Channels as partners: From thinking of intermediaries as customers to treating them as partners in delivering value to final customers.
^ Every employee a marketer: From thinking that marketing is done only by marketing, sales, and customer support personnel to recognizing that every employee must be customer-focused.
^ Model-based decision making: From making decisions on intuition or slim data to basing decisions on models and facts on how the marketplace works.
These major themes will be examined throughout this book to help marketers and companies sail safely through the rough, but promising, waters ahead. Successful companies will change their marketing as fast as their marketplaces and marketspaces change, so they can build customer satisfaction, value, and retention, the subject of Chapter 2.
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