Breaking News: Marketers Plan To Focus More On Customers

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On the 1:1 magazine blog, Mila D’Antonio writes:

“After speaking to several technology vendors at DMA08 last week…it seems as though either marketers plan to focus more on customers, or the vendors are just remaining hopeful. The bottom line is everyone agrees that it’s more important than ever to allocate investments and capital spending on strategies that can be measured in the long term, such as customer relationships.”

My take: OMG!!! Stop the presses!

Please don’t get me wrong — I’m not laughing at Mila, nor am I trying to make fun of her. I don’t doubt for a minute that what she wrote is exactly what she and her colleagues heard at the DMA conference. It’s just that I could told have you the same thing — and I didn’t even attend the show.

How did I know? Can I read minds? Hardly. But I can look back to the past.

I wrote about the “year of the customer” back in January, when NYSE magazine released its CEO survey heralding 2008 as the year of the customer. This came on the heels of e-consultancy forecasting 2007 to be the year of the customer, and SearchCRM suggesting that 2006 could be the year of the customer (after asking in 2004 if that year would be the year of the customer).

Some things don’t ever change, eh?

So here’s my humble request to any journalist writing about the year of the customer or to any organization planning to publish a report proclaiming next year to be the year of the customer: Please ask (and press) marketers to tell you what they plan to do differently. What new investments will they make? What new marketing capabilities will they develop? How will they change their approach to fostering customer relationships? For crying out loud, what will be different?

I can’t wait to hear the answers. There’s nothing more I’d like to do in December 2009 (other than retire) than admit that 2009 really was the year of the customer.

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