The current edition of Response Magazine (#responsemag) celebrates the 30th anniversary of TELEBrands (#telebrands) and its founder A.J. Khubani, the creator of “As Seen on TV.”

Part of the discussion with Mr. Khubani is the future of direct response TV, the evolution of traditional media to online and how to keep the buisiness growing.

The answer is to develop, and nurture, a relationship with your customers.

According to the 2013 financial report by the Grocery Manufacturers Accociation (#grocerymakers), more than 40% of consumer packaged goods companies plan to sell direct to consumer in 2013. This is a 67% increase over 2012.

Just like mobile is changing the B2C and B2B landscape, DTC is changing the distribution landscape by disintermediating traditional sales channels.

Companies that:

  • Engage with customers directly through their digital channels of choice
  • Earn their trust
  • Provide information of value
  • Provide an easy way for customers to buy their products and services
  • Empower their employees to provide an outstanding customer experience
  • Evolve satisfied customers into “raving fans” who will share their feelings on social media channels
will have the greatest opportunity for growth.

Fifty-two percent of U.S. customers are already buying directly online from companies they trust. It’s more convenient and, in many cases, more cost efficient.

Companies that have been selling DTC already have a great deal of information about their customers. They have the opportunity to leverage that information to build a more trusting relationship and to have a “customer for life.”

The future of DTC is through digital and social media channels.

People buy from those they know, like and trust.

  • Have a dialogue, either online or in person.
  • Ask the Net Promoter Score question — “On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘extremely’ likely, how likely are you to recommend our products to your friends and family?”
  • Follow-up with “promoters,” those that gave you a 9 or 10, and especially with “detractors,” those that gave you a 6 or lower.
  • People love to talk about themselves. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your products.
  • Ask them what else they’d like to see from you to make their lives easier — their responses my give you some ideas for line extensions or new products.
  • Ask them about an outstanding customer experience they’ve had — this too may give you some ideas about how to more fully engage customers.
The more your get to know your customers and show them you care, the more trust you’ll earn and the greater the likelihood they will:
  • Buy from you again.
  • Become a “raving fan.”
  • Tell others about you.
  • Become a “customer for life.”
  • Pay a premium for your product because of the service you provide and the personal and emotional connection your efforts have created.
What are you doing in your business to have “customers for life?”

Tom Smith

Experienced marketing professional who has worked with more than 120 clients in 18 different vertical industries. ♦ Differentiate products and services by improving UX and delivering memorable CX to create an emotional connection to the brand. ♦ Obtain insights from analytics to solve business problems and drive revenue. ♦ Develop and implement marketing campaigns that double traffic and leads in three months. ♦ Certified Marketing Automation Professional ♦ Certified Voice of the Customer (VOC) Professional