Today I had the pleasure of listening to Joanna Lord form BigDoor Media. She is a wonderful speaker and the opening keynote for SearchFest 2014 here in Portland Oregon. Her message was simple; In 2014 the paradigm shift is all about the customer.

Today as marketers we must be constantly thinking like the customer, from their perspective. And the customer wants one question answered – “What’s in it for me?” If your company can’t answer that question, then the customer is going to move on to the next retailer who will.

So what does this mean for us? Basically the time has come that Marketing, now means you are in charge of your company’s loyalty program. – Again, it is all coming back to the quality of your company’s relationship with your customers. From my perspective, it has ALWAYS been about the customer. But the time has come for Marketing Departments to stop putting $$ as the one and only measurement tool. You must now think long term about the total lifetime value of a customer. And you can’t do that unless you engaged with the customer and are having a true one on one dialog with them. You have to listen to them. You must communicate with them. You must ENGAGE with them. OR they will go somewhere else!

I am in the Direct Marketing world. Most of these companies are old school ‘catalogers’ who now must sell in the new digital world. I work a lot with Ecometry users from JDA (i.e. JDA Direct Commerce Suite). I keep driving home this key topic that Joanna talked about today. Some get it. Some companies just look at me with a glazed look in their eyes. I believe in the next 2-5 years we are going to see an explosion for companies that get the importance of the one on one relationship with their customers. And those that don’t, are going to have a hard time. – What is your company doing to increase the relationship value with your customers?

– Did you miss Joanna Lord presentation of Today’s Consumer & The Paradigm Shift at SearchFest? Then read more and see here post-presentation comments include her slide presentation