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Building A Brand Online

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-02-25

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Customers don't necessarily recognize the differences between channels, noted Travelocity CEO and President Michelle Peluso.

Peluso, who joined Travelocity in April 2002, stressed the importance of understanding customer interactions in her session at the DMA/AIM net.marketing conference.

If a customer interacts with your retail store, she said, they're going to want any emails from your business to reflect that interaction.

In addition, customers also expect businesses to understand them across all channels. For this reason, Peluso stressed the importance of creating a 360 degree brand name image. Presenting a consistent message from the store front to the website to the email marketing campaigns has been discussed throughout the conference.

Based on her concept that a brand exists when consumers switch from seeing what you're selling as just a product to the idea that what you are offering is an experience, Michelle said few online players have truly built a brand online.

The dilemma for online companies is that they have no physical presence and fewer touch points with consumers. Therefore, e-Businesses have to be very, very conscientious about building a brand at those touch points.

The bottom line: be aware of consumer interactions.

Peluso's handy marketing advice:

  • Apply your best offline practices to your online marketing. Test new methodologies. Have good data mining skills and optimize your segmentation. The goal here is to send fewer emails and get better results.

  • Know who you're sending to. Use niche marketing, geotargetting, and send customized marketing messages towards specific demographics of your audience.

  • Make sure all your marketing is permission-based. One in ten people consider marketing messages to be spam, even on opt-in mailing lists. Be sure to remind people that they gave you permission to send them mailings.

  • Have various options in regards to how people can receive your messages. Find out what your customers are interested in and what activities they'd like to hear about. Give them different options as to how often they can receive this information (daily, weekly, monthly, etc. ...) Allow for user optimization as much as possible to get your business very strong permission from your audience.

  • Discuss these tips and share your own insight with e-Business professionals at WebProWorld.

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