More media, smaller audiences and higher cost pressures shape dialogue marketing. In demand is mainly intelligence and consistency and luckily it really has become significantly more intelligent, just because the companies now have more information about their customers and know therefore exactly how to respond to them. Dialogue marketing has finally managed to follow a system.

The technology to do so has been available for quite some time already, but wasn't used consistently. Nowadays, companies are taking time to analyze how customers react and constantly include, for example, all customer feedback into their system, so they know who responded and who did not.

It shows that today, consistency is more important than ever, because increasing cost pressures in marketing departments are forcing marketers to be better in predicting which customers they have to contact and at what time with their various offerings. The more consistent the companies use the information and data they have, the better they can predict whether a potential customer is interested to buy and is worth the trouble and expense. They can, for instance, only contact those who have a predicted success rate of 95 percent, but apparently it is still too cheap to write to large target audiences. At the same time it means that companies can’t answer a customer’s question of what the letter has to do with satisfying his life, which creates confusion and ensures that nobody is really happy about direct marketing.

All eyes are now turning to a medium for dialogue that is particularly easy to get a response - Social Media. It is unbeatable regarding the price-performance ratio, as companies can react extremely situationally. Social media only works if the company actually starts a dialogue and has fully understood the special features of social media. It still seems that the traditional brand agencies are not fully proficient in dialogue marketing and the dialogue agencies are not competent in running good social media campaigns.

In fact, social media and the traditional advertising media complement each other pretty well, as a company with an established brand can run marketing promotions on social media. Whoever wants to introduce a completely new brand, for instance, has to create awareness first and needs to reach out for media that covers a very wide range. When it comes to complex offers social media isn't suitable, as a kind of seriousness is needed which is not its forte.

Companies need to aim for their customers opening their letter or email and saying “Wow, this is interesting”, which can be achieved easily through the design, an attractive offer, or simply by a physical invitation to a wonderful event.

If a company is, for instance, inviting their customers via Facebook to an event, if they then send then a confirmation letter, it is a special form of appreciation. So far, many companies are still writing to around 2,000 customers in order to get 200 guests for an event. As letters are expensive, they usually make the invitation very mediocre and indirect therefore it would be more intelligent to use the advantages of each media and to link them systematically, as especially print dialog marketing must become fancier not to lose its meaning.

On the internet we have a wealth of information that can be displayed on blogs, websites or Facebook walls, unfortunately it is often lost in the background noise that Twitter and Facebook constantly produce. Therefore, email from a trusted source is invaluable, as it summarizes for the user the important event or relevant offers, which they would have otherwise missed due to the background noise. An email newsletter is still a wonderful medium to motivate customers to visit certain Websites again and again.

By Daniela La Marca