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Businesses failing to engage potential customers through mobile and social networking, warns CoreMedia

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Most businesses are failing to engage customers and potential customers through mobile and social networking and are losing a lot of business as a result, believes web content management company CoreMedia.

While organisations are often quick to promote their online capabilities and highlight their customer loyalty, only a few seriously pursue strategies that actively seek to engage their customers in key areas such as mobile devices and social networks, says the company.

According to CoreMedia's Vice President of Marketing, Rene Hermes: "There's now clear statistical evidence that engaging in depth with customers across multiple channels pays off for businesses in terms of both growth and profitability - but very few organisations are getting this right."

But fear not, the company has published a seven point plan for all you retailers looking to use these new channels to entice customers to your online services.

The seven strategies set out in the CoreMedia guide focus on the key issues impacting today's consumers when approaching an organisation - regardless of the channels or devices they choose. Topics covered include: enabling support for today's broad range of mobile devices, addressing the user's context, encouraging conversations with customers, unleashing the power of self-help, customer recognition across all channels, leveraging social media networks, and seizing new opportunities to create more innovative marketing campaigns.

"In 2010 consumers quite rightly expect and demand a seamless brand experience across all the different channels and devices they use - whether it's talking to a call centre, online or using smartphones such as iPhones or BlackBerrys," says Hermes. "However, there's still a considerable gap between consumer expectations and the actual Web delivery. For enterprises already struggling to deliver a better cross-channel experience across the phone and the Web, factors such as widespread use of 3G-enabled mobile Web devices and the massive growth in social networking usage are already making effective multi-channel, multi-touchpoint initiatives much harder.

"However, organisations that follow the seven basic strategies laid out in our multi-touchpoint business solutions guide will quickly find that there's real value to be gained by integrating their communications across channels, and matching their approach to user requirements," he adds.

CoreMedia's Seven Key Strategies for delivering an effective multi-channel experience, and some of the key market drivers behind those strategies, are:

• Making sure your website is intuitive on all mobile devices - By 2014, 80 percent of all mobile devices will be 3G enabled - up from 40% in 2009

• Addressing the customer's context not just the channel or device they're using one in four iPhone users, for example, already research products and pricing on their phones

• Start a conversation! Invite opinions, ratings and reviews - Online social network users are three times more likely to trust peers than advertising

• Unleash the power of self-help! self-service costs a fraction of full service and can even increase customer satisfaction

• Always recognise your customer you need to adopt some form of channel-agnostic account management, as over 50% of customers aren't satisfied with the experience they receive when they move from the Web to a phone channel

• Use social media if it's relevant to your customers in 2009, membership of social networking sites rose by 46%

• Embrace opportunities to create innovative marketing campaigns with the Internet you can market through social networks, and not just directly to individual customers

You can download the full CoreMedia Business solutions guide on Multi-touchpoint communication here
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