The Internet age did change the way companies market to their target audiences. Many have turned to online instead of print publications due to cost and the perception the results are much better. But has this new age REALLY changed marketing? Considering the response rate for most programs is still 1-3% I would suggest it has not--the way we market may have changed but the results have not. CRM Solutions have gone to On Demand models yet marketing and sales executives still struggle with incomplete data and a general misunderstanding of the actual pipeline. What we may have missed is the same sales people are completing or not completing the deal funnel information in the system. An online system doesn t change this mentality--it does make it easier to access, customize, and manage though. Additionally, it is the same outdated database which most marketers are using for their marketing efforts. The promise of the Internet once again arrived and delivered much of what it promised but fell short on the promise of improved results. The most difficult question for all of us to ask ourselves is did the promise of the Internet fool all of us into believing it was more than it was? The truth is the Internet has brought a new level of innovation and improved communication with a larger audience than marketers were able to reach before. The Internet is a phenomenal way to get your message to the marketplace, but it is not targeted. In fact, many would say it is the least targeted audience we have marketed to. When I think of all these changes in the way we market, I think about the irony of the more things change the more they stay the same. If we step back and look we see that marketing results haven t changed. The fundamental issue is the audience we are marketing and selling to is still not targeted enough nor do marketers understand it any better than we used to. The shift to role-based marketing databases is an exciting trend. The role-based database is built with the people who are going to use and ultimately influence the purchase of your products. You can build it so the decision maker is the target audience as well. A role is more succinct than the title database which may not tell you what the person s responsibilities really are so you end up wasting dollars and time on someone who has little interest or ability to influence the purchase of your product or services. If you combine the Internet and its power of unlimited boundaries with a role-based targeted audience you should be able to see how results can fundamentally change with this new approach. In fact, we are beginning to see innovators in this space experience better results than ever before--Improving to double digit response rates. It is this robust combination which will change the answer to the question, how much have things really changed. With the new concept of innovative Internet-enabled technology with targeted role-based marketing then the answer to this question changes--and it changes drastically to a resounding yes, results have changed in ways we have never experienced before. Source: line56.coma>

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