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Social Media Marketing Fails To Provide Measurable Value To Advertisers

How do I know that? JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY. Traditional media such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, out of home, card decks and direct mail are by far the choice of most successful companies when it comes to where they allocate the largest portion of their advertising dollars. And now a new study reported by Steve McClellan in the Nov. 18, 2011 MARKETING DAILY article bolsters that truism. Steve’s report follows.

STUDY: SOCIAL MEDIA FALLING SHORT ON CUSTOMER LOYALTY; TRADITIONAL METHODS ENCOURAGED

“While much of the marketing community is focused on sealing better relationships between brands and consumers via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), a new study from Pitney Bowes suggests that their efforts would be better spent in other areas.

New study found social media to be one of the least effective engagement techniques

In fact, the new study—based on a survey of 5,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany—found social media to be one of the least effective engagement techniques for encouraging customer loyalty for larger and small businesses alike.

The survey found just 18% of the respondents believed that interaction with a larger company or its brand on social media would encourage them to buy from that business again.

Social media approach was deemed even less effective for smaller businesses

The social media approach was deemed even less effective for smaller businesses, where just 15% of those responding said it would encourage their loyalty to a company.

These findings will give decision-makers pause for thought, the report stated. Businesses can be forgiven for getting swept away by the hype of surrounding social media and wanting to invest in such activity as soon as possible. But results show that those businesses tempted to lead with such techniques find themselves out of step with consumer thinking.

Conversely several other techniques are far more likely to resonate with consumers and encourage them to do repeat business with companies. They include:

  • a home-delivery option
  • having a say in products and services
  • control of channels and frequency of received communications
  • a choice of channels to contact a company

In each case, nearly half or more of the respondents said those tactics were preferred and effective for small and large businesses alike.

All of these practices are aimed at increasing brand loyalty and retaining customers, the Pitney Bowes survey summary states. However, sophisticated social media and Web interaction can be time-consuming and expensive and outcomes are difficult to measure. Businesses are quickly having to learn the ‘customer dance’ when to lead and when to follow—if relationships are to be nurtured.”

Starting your own business has never been easier or more necessary with the economy continuing to spin out of control and men and women continuing to be laid off in large numbers and not being able to find jobs that pay a living wage.

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