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Web 2.0 Sites and Customer Silos

It appears that everyday a new Internet application arrives, reinventing the way we communicate with each other. For marketers, these advancements have allowed them to get one step closer to the Holy Grail – Building 1to1 Relationships with the target audience. Yet, these tools are commonly misused. Each new tool is creating customer silos, each disconnected from each other and unable to share information.

As companies add Blogs, SMS, Second Life, In-Game Advertising, newsletters, microsites, and podcasts to their marketing portfolios there is little effort to consolidate the audience’s behavior with each tactic. You as a consumer may interact with a company via SMS, then check out their cheesy Second Life site, read their RSS Feed, subscribe to their micro-segmented newsletter, shouting "Hey it’s me again", but they see multiple "profiles" in disconnected systems with no idea that it’s the same person each time.

Organizations should only add a new marketing tactic when it can build upon their existing "customer/lead/audience" profile system. The data does not need to be stored in the same location, but it needs to be linked together. It is only when that foundation exists, that marketers build a correct picture of you "the consumer", apply their segmentation/campaign rules and effectively respond back to you in the multiple mediums that you interacted with.

For example: If a person sends a text message to learn more about your
"product" via a billboard, watches your Tips N Tricks Podcast, and
registers for a contest on your website, you should be able to combine
all that data together, run segmentation rules against their behavior
and send them targeted communications in the mediums you prefer (email
blast, sms). With more web 2.0 tools arriving each day, that behavior
needs to change now, as it’s only going to get uglier and more
frustrating for consumers.