The Retail Bulletin, Wednesday September 16th 2009
Despite the lowering costs and accessibility of email marketing, many businesses are now looking at Twitter as an economical substitute, according to Deborah Collier Chief Strategist at e-business consultancy Echo E-Business.
Collier explains “Email marketing offers a channel to directly target subscribers, however the return on investment, particularly for smaller businesses is still fairly low in comparison to other media channels. The biggest email marketing value for many businesses, particularly in the B2B markets, is in relationship and brand building over a period of time, supporting the overall sales process – Now we have Twitter to do that, and its free”
“From restaurant bookings to product launches, Twitter has now become a de facto tool, not only for relationship building, but also sales” says Collier
However, it is not just the small companies that are cashing in to the potential of Twitter. According to June reports from from Dell Computers, they generated $3m in sales from Twitter (Internet Retailing Magazine)
“Its important to remember, however, that it’s not what tool you use, but also why, how and when to use it. With any strategy it’s important to ensure that you are in the right place at the right time, and that your message if communicated effectively”, adds Collier
Echo E-Business recently posted a recent Customer Engagement workshop alert on Ecademy. Within one hour, a member of IBM advocated the workshop in a Tweet to his network. An IBM Twitter follower subsequently contacted Echo E-Business. “This is the power of Twitter’, says Collier “the ability to advocate others, and have them advocate you – And it costs nothing, just time and know-how”.
“Online strategies are now an absolute necessity, even for the smallest or most traditional of traders and for e-businesses looking for levels of engagement unmatched by traditional media. The problem is that most businesses are still struggling to get to grips with Twitter, and understand it’s real value” explains Collier.