The 7 Deadly Sins of Relationship Management

From networking events to social networking sites, opportunities to ‘meet’ new connections abound. Exactly how do you make the most of every introduction? Let’s start with what not to do. Whether you associate the ‘seven deadly sins’ with medieval religious teachings or modern-day entertainment, they can be applied here. Build your reputation and your business by avoiding these seven deadly sins of relationship management:

Pride
If you don’t believe in you, who will? Self-promotion requires tact. Toot your horn too often or too loudly and all you can expect is a wave of unreturned messages and deleted connections. People are attracted to authenticity. Crafting a false image is a turnoff to all.

Solution: Share your accomplishments and the spotlight with those who contributed to your success. You might even score bonus exposure by reaching beyond your network.


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About the Author

Mike MuhneyCRM pioneer Mike Muhney, the co-creator of ACT! software, is CEO of mobile relationship management purveyor vipOrbit – the first relationship-centric contact manager solution enabling mobile business professionals to manage their contacts, calendar and client/customer interactions across Mac, iPhone and iPad platforms. He may be reached at www.VIPOrbit.com.

The New World of the Global Consumer

A customer-centric brand is clearly a priority today for most organizations. But how can management achieve that if they can’t believe what customers tell their market researchers?

The new global consumer appears to be a bundle of contradictions who keeps secrets from marketers and sometimes lies to us. A recent Y&R study, Secrets & Lies, the Hidden Side of the Global Consumer found that people appear to be hiding some of their most important desires and brand perceptions. The study asked about consumer personal values and their liking of brands in two ways:


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About the Author

Chip Walker is Executive Vice President, Brand Planning at Young & Rubicam Advertising, where he helps clients with brand strategy and consumer understanding as well as heading thought leadership initiatives for the Agency.

4 Fundamentals of Creating Successful Customer Relationships

If businesses exist, as the father of Business Management Peter Drucker proposed, “to create and keep a customer,” then success is defined by the relationships you establish with your customers. Giving them the best experience possible goes a long way toward securing future business. Here are four fundamentals of creating successful relationships with customers and prospects:

Give Undivided Attention
Attentive time is among the most limited of all resources. As we split time and attention in more ways than ever before, the amount available per person gets smaller and smaller. Reduce the likelihood that the other person feels you’re not really ‘present’ by putting away your devices and giving them your undivided attention. Not only does this demonstrate your professionalism, it shows you value their time as much as they value yours. Don’t worry; those messages, texts, or tweets will all be there later.


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About the Author

Mike MuhneyCRM pioneer Mike Muhney, the co-creator of ACT! software, is CEO of mobile relationship management purveyor vipOrbit – the first relationship-centric contact manager solution enabling mobile business professionals to manage their contacts, calendar and client/customer interactions across Mac, iPhone and iPad platforms. He may be reached at www.VIPOrbit.com.

The Continuum and the Marketplace

In consumer business strategy – from branding to product development – addressing the emotional human needs continuum is crucial to success. Businesses that seek to create superior product/service experiences need to learn how to empathize with consumers’ needs.

Years ago, our firm conducted research at Universal Studios Florida and Walt Disney World, Orlando. At the time, Universal was searching for ways to distinguish itself from its giant competitor. Consumer deep-dive research with 14 families provided a participant mix representing the park visitor population. We followed these families observing their moods and behaviors, and discussed their impressions as they experienced the parks to determine what was really at play during a family vacation.

We take vacations to escape daily life and to provide children new experiences. Vacations satisfy our need for pleasure in an ever accelerating culture. So what happens when we escape and the work piles in our inbox? In the context of emotional needs, a theme park can mean more to its patrons than they can articulate. It’s not simply about the fun, but rather the function of the fun for the family’s growth.

One might think that the two parks are locked in a win-lose competition for Sunshine State vacationers, but that’s not necessarily true. Many families visit both parks. At one time the parks offered discernibly different atmospheres. One interview subject put it: “Disney is like sitting by a stream. Universal is like going rock climbing. Both are enjoyable, both are nature, but with one you’ve got more of that nervous adrenaline rush.”

Our researchers spent days observing how this participant’s analogy was on the money. The polarity of experiences is perhaps why some vacationers visit both parks. At the time, Universal and Disney mirrored the needs continuum. However, this has changed. They aren’t merely high-end amusement resorts that offer different thrills for families. They help families satisfy psychological needs for their children.


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About the Author

Mark Ingwer is a business psychologist and the founding partner of Insight Consulting Group, a global marketing and strategy consultancy specializing in consumer and business insights. He has over 25 years experience applying his unique blend of psychology, marketing, and business acumen to helping companies optimize their brand and marketing strategy based on an in-depth understanding of their customers. He has worked with a diverse range of companies across numerous industries, with a special focus on consumer packaged goods, healthcare, and advertising. Mark is a frequent speaker and media source, and has been featured in publications such as Business Week, New York Times, Crain’s New York, Brandweek, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Admap, Bloomberg Markets, Marketing News, and Advertising Age.

Getting closer to the customer is the key issue for Marketing Execs

What are the most important topics for marketers?

Last month, in an online vote with Incite Marketing and Communications, 579 marketers ranked the following as their top five topics:

1. Data-driven creativity: An oxymoron? Use what you learn to drive better marketing campaigns
2. Think Fast, Act Faster: Real-time insight for quick decision-making and responsive marketing
3. Hit them when they’re listening: Choose the right channels, and use them at the right time for better engagement
4. Keeping it super-relevant – Personalized Marketing: Granular customer understanding to ensure every message is relevant
5. Define your impact on the bottom line: How new data sources give you more detail on your marketing’s effectiveness

So, what does the above tell us about the state of mind of executive marketers in June 2013?


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About the Author

Nick Johnson is the founder of Useful Social Media and Incite Marketing and Communications. Johnson runs a business devoted to facilitating conversation between, and asking challenging questions of, the marketing and communications community. Moving beyond standard business intelligence models, he leads a team devoted to building a customer-centric business delivering real value through the creation of an exclusive, dynamic community of senior strategists.