The Transaction Approach to Marketing

While there are many approaches to website marketing, the  marketing approach based on the Transaction is frequently a focused of  new E-Commerce business.  And while the philosophy of a transactional approach is simple (– its business marketing based on the customer transaction)  – without incoporating features of traditional marketing this marketing style could result in a loss of transactions.

When marketing is focused on the Product, price, placement and promotion – the customer user experience and retention is lost.   Often dependant on analytics and SEO principles, the transactional E-Commerce business is in dangerous territory if the user experience and customer retention is not considered.

Remember the old sales rule?  A customer will tell his/her friends and family if they have had a good customer experience, but hundreds if it was bad.   This applies to technical errors where products are not shipped on time, or the payment system is not working – or perhaps the website itself is not as user friendly as the competition.   If the relationship with your customer is based solely on the transaction… you will loose out to wealthier and larger competitors who invest in expensive marketing, software and analytics.   There is no customer loyalty.

Relationship Marketing

On contrast, Relationship Marketing is another alternative to the Transaction Approach and the focus is on customer service, and building a business based on repeat customers.   Larger orders are often the emphasis where a “red carpet rolled out service” becomes the norm… if your customer will purchase and has money to spend.   You see examples of this in car sales.  The expensive car sales showroom, with TV and coffee in the corner is there to help the customer feel at ease – their website is high end and so is the service.   Leading up to the sale you are treated with the utmost respect – if you don’t purchase they will rapidly move on to someone who will.

In a similiar way however, many small business on the high street have raised their families based on the Relationship based approach where repeat business and customer service was of utmost importance.

Savy Consumers

Consumers are smart.  As they increasingly become knowledgeable with technology and now have mobile phones in their hands – they hold the key to all online business – without needing to speak to anyone.  They can now research and purchase just about anything online and with the help of AI like Amazon Alexa… they can purchase within a few comands as well.    Is the relationship approach a thing of the past?

It would seem that society is in the midst of a transactional change.  Where an evolution of customer service must shift to online UX focused design… where the user journey and ease of use is becoming vital.

Not only should a business combine the skills of Transactional Marketing, but they should also be an approachable business by adding key additions to a website to help the user make a purchase and be in contact should they choose.   Online chat is an example of this.

We are in a transformation, where at present business use a combination of transactional and relational marketing methods and websites should be build to reflect both.

Elon Musk places emphasis on AI and our existing use of Social Media. The growth of technology like the internet is enabling the pairing of AI and humanity. Everyone who is connected, either via Social Media, texting, websites or data input is contributing to the massive database which AI draws from.

Key points for a Marketing professional: The growth of Twitter, Facebook & texting is clearing showing that we are requiring less and less words to communicate. The popularity of Instagram, shows again that a “picture is worth a thousand words”. ie. Image is everything. The fascinating thing about Social Networking is that often, people will edit crop and tweak their photos, to show a fantasy like world that others envy. It is contributing to a global dissatisfaction, where individuals are attune to “likes” or “pings” from strangers to have self esteem. Virtual reality is in its infancy and yet an ever growing field which Musk touches on saying that there is a possibility that mankind will prefer to live in an artificial world, and the danger than technology will become so advanced it will be impossible to differentiate between the two.

Key points for a Website Designer: At the present time, we are currently imputing & creating data that is ultimately feeding the ability for AI to grow. We do this by creating websites and adding information online, as I am now. This information is accessible via the www in which all mobile phones and computers are connected. Thus enabling, the extension of self to be a digital form which we can use and access – as and when needed. The question is: Is there a limit to the size of the www?

“If you look at social networks, mobile phones and computers as leaves on a tree, AI is the tree itself. ” – Elon Musk