The Internet has revolutionized the ease with which companies do business, and how they stay connected to other businesses and their clients. Customers are more connected than ever before, which empowers them in a way that didn't previously exist before the invention of the Internet, creating a shift in the traditional balance of power. There are many new marketing strategies and techniques that have been adapted to Internet businesses, or have been created as a result of the Internet. Collaboration marketing is one of the most important of these Internet marketing techniques. The traditional type of collaboration marketing refers to collaborating with other similar businesses to widen the net of the marketing capacity for your company by sharing the burden of marketing with other marketers. Marketing is still about creating value for the customer and capturing value from your businesses marketing activities. However: the Internet is a great vehicle for new ways of marketing your business—you can raise awareness for your products and services that simply wasn't possible twenty years ago. The age of Internet marketing is more customer driven than marketing has ever been before. What is Customer Driven Marketing? Customer driven marketing is the process by which smart business owners allow the customer to weigh in and drive a portion of your marketing strategy. This still falls under the realm of collaboration marketing, but it is known as customer driven marketing. The essence of marketing remains the same—it is the process of creating value through exchanges, but the nature of these exchanges has changed dramatically. This shift requires businesses to think differently about how they interact with customers. It has been described as a shift from information asymmetry to information democracy—customers have more power and can use this power to shape industry. Part of this shift towards customer driven marketing is the transfer from transactional exchanges to relational exchanges. Instead of maximizing profit from each transaction, relationship marketing (of which customer driven collaboration marketing is a sub-set) focuses on maximizing profits over several years to a lifetime of a customer's commitment to your business. Traditional types of marketing techniques operate under the assumption that businesses create and maintain client relationships and that customers play a passive role. Now, customers play a more active role in the managing of business relationships, and thus value in marketing is no longer something that is created by companies and delivered to customers but rather, customers have become co-creators of marketing value by beginning to participate directly in the marketing process and shaping how companies approach their marketing agendas. Customer driven collaboration marketing requires you to think about collaborating with customers and making customers an integral part of your company's marketing activities by building relationships with clients and customers where their opinions and feedback are gathered and reviewed to devise a an effective plan for marketing your business.
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