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 Top 10 Alternative Marketing Trends for 2007, Part I

While marketers are constantly watching for alternative methods that can give them a competitive edge in over-crowded markets, Drew Neisser, CEO for Renegade Marketing explains the ones that will rise fastest in 2007.

Here are the first 5 of the Top 10 Trends:

1. Corporate honesty at all costs
Bloggers are bringing a new level of scrutiny to corporations and their marketing activities. Marketers must assume they live in glass houses and that consumers are armed with some large stones. Directness and honesty will not only help you win a lot of respect but also to recover from some bad shots. This is exactly what the folks at FaceBook discovered when their recent "upgrade" caused an uproar among their stalwarts who decried a loss of privacy. Bombarded with negative emails and postings, FaceBook management was quick to respond, first with a "don't panic, we hear you" posting followed later by a "you're right, we fixed it" note to all of their loyal users.

2. Transparent customer satisfaction
In a world of glass houses, the winners will be those companies that focus first and foremost on customer satisfaction. Expect more companies to redouble their efforts to improve customer satisfaction in 2007 at every point of contact. Call center response times will be heavily scrutinized with the goal of reducing hold time to seconds instead of minutes. More companies will offer the "push zero" feature providing valuable customers relief from endlessly annoying option trees. Online customer support will also improve radically as more companies offer live support, along with improved web searches that allow customers to find what they need in just a click or two.

3. Net Promoter Scores
As customer satisfaction moves to the forefront of business strategies, expect more companies to use new metrics such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to assess progress and reward performance. Net Promoter Score was developed by former Bain consultant Fred Reichheld and measures the relative strength of brand promoters versus brand detractors. His research found that companies with high Net Promoter Scores consistently outperformed those with lower customer satisfaction ratings. The beauty of NPS is that it only requires asking one question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend brand X to a friend?" Companies such as GE have already made NPS ratings an integral part of their marketing plans, basing some 20% of compensation on NPS scores.

4. Blog monitors
In 2007 marketers will enhance their ability to defend against potentially ruinous blog attacks by dedicating resources to blog monitoring and blog response. The role of Blog Monitor will finally become a full time position in the communications department, as opposed to the occasional activity of a lone blog enthusiast. In addition to tracking blog noise, the Blog Monitor will actively engage other bloggers, correcting untruths and responding to issues as they arise. Corporate blogs will also be an important defensive weapon, assuming the authors are empowered to tell the truth (even if that means admitting a product's shortcomings).

5. Niche market mining
Marketers will mine new niches with increasing accuracy and reward. Unilever created Small & Mighty detergent, packing a lot of cleaning punch into a small container. Targeting urban city dwellers that hate lugging heavy containers to the Laundromat, Small & Mighty has found a sweet spot and is quite literally cleaning up. Panasonic recently introduced a 103-inch Plasma TV that retails for US$75,000 (including, of course, custom installation). Clearly this is not a product for the masses but, in addition to providing bragging rights for producing the world's largest plasma screen, no self-respecting billionaire will want to be left of the waiting list for this kind of jaw-dropper.

6-10 Catch the next 5 Alternative Marketing Trends for 2007 in the next issue of the Marketing Advisor hitting your inbox around Nov 9th.

Founded in 1996, Renegade creates ideas and campaigns that cut across all channels, bringing something of a guerrilla mentality to each project.


Melissa Data

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