Tag Archives: customer satisfaction

Using Database Marketing to Target Loyal Customers: A Small Business Guide

1 Mar

by Joel R. Evans and Barry Berman

As we noted last month, too many firms concentrate on how to woo new customers and do not pay enough attention to what they can do to gain the loyalty and increased patronage of their current customers. One of the ways to improve this situation is to develop a customer database and use it to better communicate with these customers.

WHAT IS DATABASE MARKETING? It is a way of collecting, storing, and using pertinent information about customers. Although customer databases are often associated with computerized management information systems, they may also be used by small firms that are not computerized. 

Here is an illustration of how a small, non-computerized firm can rather easily set up and utilize a customer data base: 

  1. People could be asked for their names, addresses, telephone numbers, and product interests by having forms and pencils available at the checkout counter. They could be encouraged to provide the data by offering a monthly raffle and awarding a low-value prize to the winner.
  2. The customer information gathered in step 1 would be entered onto large index cards. The company would alphabetize the cards and keep them in a filing cabinet.
  3. Once customers have filled out forms, they would be asked for their names on each subsequent trip to the store. Thus, information in the database files would be updated from the sales receipts.
  4. Separate special mailings could be targeted at regular customers and at noncustomers in the database.

By adhering to the preceding procedures, a firm could learn more about its most important customers and treat them better. For example, in many situations, some version of the 80-20 principle probably applies, whereby 80 percent of sales are made to 20 per- cent of customers. With database marketing, a firm could identify those 20 percent and better satisfy them through superior product selection, announcements of special sales, personal attention, etc. In addition, the firm could identify and place heightened emphasis on the next 40 percent of its customers, a group that has often been ignored by companies.

Via database marketing, a retailer could also determine which customers are no longer shopping with that firm and which customers are shopping less often. In these instances, people may be called– in a cordial manner–to find out why they are no longer shopping with the company (or shopping less). Based on the explanations given, the firm could then offer special promotions geared directly to those people.

Research studies have repeatedly shown that people will patronize a firm with which they have been unhappy if they are given the opportunity to voice their opinions (which may be complaints), they are listened to in a courteous manner, and they feel that a firm has responded to their concerns. By no means are those customers “lost causes.” In fact, properly dealing with the customers who have had gripes might lead to even stronger loyalty by them to the firm.

What’s the key to successful database marketing? It must be viewed in a positive way as a beneficial tool, and not as an unwelcome and burdensome chore. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER; AND POWER LEADS TO PROFITS.
 

See How Well You Can Do on This Entertaining Marketing Quiz

27 Feb

Are you a smart marketer? How smart? :-)

Here’s a fun quiz from Chief Marketer. Click the icon to access: “ARE YOU A PROMOTION MARKETING PRO OR SCHMO? Take this quiz to find out if you are the ultimate Chief PROMO Marketer. Get 5 out of 5 correct and be entered to win either a $25 or $50 Starbucks gift card!”
 

 

New Adidas App for “Sneakerheads”

12 Feb

There are millions and millions of apps out there — some better than others. :-) One clever new app is from Adidas, called Confirmed.

As described by Kyle Stock for Bloomberg:

“Are limited-edition sneakers still special when buyers can reserve them via an app, like a pizza or a pair of movie tickets? Adidas hopes so. The German sportswear giant just launched Confirmed, a mobile platform that will let sneakerheads skip the long lines at Foot Locker, obscure shoe lotteries, and the occasional disturbance of the peace that come with the sale of a rare pair of shoes. ‘You hear a lot of chatter and frustration that the existing system is somehow rigged for friends of friends or VIP customers,’ said Simon Atkins, the company’s vice president of brand activation. ‘We saw a real opportunity to change the paradigm with customers.'”

“Here’s how it works: Consumers who download the app, register with personal details, and allow push notifications from Adidas will get offers to reserve limited-edition shoes and apparel as they become available. Those who respond first are given the right to buy the products at a certain time and place, both in Adidas-owned stores and other retailers.”

Click the image to read more by Stock.
 

A pair of Adidas “Year of the Goat” sneakers celebrating the Chinese New Year that go on sale on Feb. 19 for $130.


 

The Components of Personalized Marketing: From A to Z

19 Dec

As we have noted before, customer personalization is an important tactic for marketers — both online and offline.

Recently, Neustar (a data-driven intelligence firm) published an interesting report on personalized marketing:

“Customers expect it. Technology enables it. Brands who can deliver it are generating huge increases in ROI. Personalization has gone way beyond simply adding a customer’s name to a communication. Customers increasingly expect highly relevant content in the right channel at the right time, whether they’re on a brand’s Web site, a social network, or in their E-mail inbox. For brands, delivering this one-to-one experience at scale – to thousands, or hundreds of thousands of prospects and current customers – requires leveraging sophisticated data sets, processes, and platforms.”

“It’s no surprise that many marketers are struggling. In a recent survey by Digiday and Neustar of 100 digital media and marketing executives, more than half (53%) reported ‘always’ or ‘often’ struggling to personalize their marketing at scale. Marketers know they need to make their marketing personal, but aren’t sure how to do it at a scale that makes it cost-efficient. The challenges include data quality, difficulty of activation across online and offline channels, and a lack of understanding of the components of the process. [Our] A–Z deals with the latter.”

Click the image to download Neustar’s report.
 

 

2014 Customer Champions

9 Dec

1to1 Media recently released its 2014 Customer Champions report. This is how it defines customer champion:

“Behind every successful enterprise-wide customer strategy is an individual who tirelessly evangelizes the customer cause, who reminds employees that customers are the business, who understands how to transform loyalty into profit, and whose efforts both command attention and garner real results. I am a Customer Champion.”

“Since its inception in 2004, the 1to1 Media Customer Champions has grown into a one-of-a-kind awards program that honors and spotlights individuals responsible for game-changing customer-focused strategies — a truly unique event that honors the leaders who create innovative change in their organizations. The awards program now includes a group of more than 130 distinguished leaders representing household name brands. From sweeping voice-of-the-customer initiatives and data analysis strategies to employee engagement and omnichannel initiatives, this year’s 12 winners are the creative disruptors in their firm who play a critical role in advancing their organizations’ customer strategies.”

These are the 2014 winners:

  • Annamarie Bermundo, AVP, CRM and digital platform development at L’Oreal Paris USA, “offers customers digital, interactive platforms that enable each individual to experience the brand before completing the sale, improving both loyalty and trust.”
  • Anna DiGregorio, Marketing Director at Marketplace Philadelphia Management, “implemented training programs and gamification features to streamline services at Philadelphia International Airport.”
  • Kyle Groff, JetBlue’s manager of customer insights, “harnesses customer insights to improve travelers’ experiences.”
  • Deepak Khandelwal, Google’s vice-president of global customer experience, “champions convenience and positive experiences for a global customer base.”
  • Mike Lester, president of The Melting Pot, “inspires employees to pursue the ‘Perfect Night Out’ standard by serving customers on an individualized level in any capacity possible.”
  •  Jim McCann, 1-800-Flowers.com’s CEO, “commits to conversations with satisfied and dissatisfied customers.”
  • Eric McKirdy, manager, global customer care and the face of Ask.com’s customer service team, “is leading the company’s efforts to rebuild its customer service strategy.”
  • Tom Mueller, ADP’s vice-president of client experience, “makes data meaningful by mapping the customer’s journey.”
  • Glenn Schleicher, Cisco’s director of the Smart Web Technology Group, “makes sure the company’s self-service technologies are designed to meet customers’ needs and expectations.”
  • Gregg Tilston, global social media leader at Flight Centre Travel Group, “empowers employees with the social playbook and creative freedom necessary to exceed consumer expectations and cultivate true fans.”
  • Gavin Woody, vice-president, operations at A Place for Mom, “quantifies the customer experience by providing agents with the tools and knowledge required for quality customer service.”
  • John Wompey, vice-president of operations at Foot Locker, “uses voice of the customer data to uncover truths that drive companywide innovation and employee success.”

Click the image to access 1to1 Media’s full report, with profiles of each winner.

 

 

Do YOU Have a Strong Twitter Feed?

6 Dec

In terms of audience size Twitter and use, Twitter is still booming. According to the firm:

  • It has about 284 million monthly active users.
  • There  are 500 million Tweets sent each day.
  • 80% of Twitter active users use it on mobile devices.
  • There than three-quarters of Twitter accounts are outside the United States.
  • More than 35 languages are supported.

Given these data, it is imperative for businesses to have well-conceived, active Twitter accounts. Sprout Social has put together a nice infographic that offers: “Tips for creating and maintaining a well-balanced brand on Twitter — one with an integrated mix of curated content, personality, and engagement.”

Take a look.
 

 

Sprout Social Media Index

3 Dec

There is a lot of discussion about how companies should/can rate the effectiveness of social media. One interesting assessment is the Sprout Social Index.

As reported by Douglass Karr for Marketing Technology Blog:

“5 out of every 6 requests made by consumers on social media to a business go unanswered. Businesses continue to make the terrible mistake of utilizing social media as a broadcast medium rather than recognizing its impact as a communication medium. Long ago, companies recognized the importance of managing inbound calls since customer satisfaction is directly attributable to retention and increased customer value.”

“The volume of social media requests have increased 77% year over year. But the response has only been a 5% increase by businesses. That’s a huge gap! Why aren’t social requests getting the same attention? My guess is that consumers don’t expect a response as they do via phone so they’re not getting as upset as they do when sitting on a call that goes unanswered. But the opportunity for businesses to truly make a social impact is huge in most industries… especially knowing that your competitors aren’t responsive!”

“The Sprout Social Index is a report compiled and released by Sprout Social. All referenced data is based on 18,057 public social profiles (9,106 Facebook; 8,951 Twitter) of continually active accounts between Q1 2013 and Q2 2014. More than 160 million messages sent during that time were analyzed for the purposes of this report.”

 Check out the Sprout infographic.

 

 

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