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Infographic: 2021 state of customer relationships

Marketing and sales pros reshape their strategies to meet post-pandemic consumer behaviors

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Christina Scannapiego

Director, Content Marketing

Our 2021 state of customer relationships survey highlighted some major shifts in customer engagement within marketing and sales in 2020—plus inklings of what the future may hold.

The new focus? Building meaningful customer relationships, virtually. Last year, in the middle of a global pandemic, marketing and sales executives changed how they create relationships, sent more cold emails without any better results, and braced themselves for a cookieless future.

We know that third-party cookie deprecation is what consumers want, with over 85% of people believing that “businesses should be doing more to actively protect their data,” according to TechCrunch. The move by Google will usher in a privacy-first era and better protect consumers from invasive data tactics. Even with Google’s delay of the death of third-party cookies until 2023, industry insiders have seen the writing on the wall and are actively preparing for this new era.

Here’s what we discovered:

Now is the time to build better customer relationships

For companies to thrive in a future where privacy comes first, they will need to shift their focus away from one-off transactions to cultivating enduring relationships. Here are three steps to get started:

  1. Prioritize first-party data: Build ongoing value exchanges with prospects and customers for an engaged database to glean insights from
  2. Work on customer & prospecting relationships: Stop the cold outreach and focus on warm prospecting online and in-person
  3. Only scale meaningful conversations: Use modern tech that was created for relationship-building

Dive deeper into our survey findings in our full report.

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