Tag Archives: experiental marketing

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.
 

Video and Social Media Are Big in the Mobile Era

28 Feb

According to JWT Intelligence’s Hallie Steiner:

“Video streaming and social networking are monopolizing mobile attention, according to research from Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report. Two-thirds of mobile traffic now comes from the top five apps in any given market — in the U.S. they’re Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Instagram, and Snapchat, respectively. This year also marked the first time that more people watched streamed video content than broadcast TV over a weekly period. These are some of the top findings from the report, based on data from late 2014.”

“The implications for advertisers are, of course, huge. By 2018, $118 billion of the $150 billion global ad market will come from mobile, according to eMarketer projections.”

Click the image to read more.
 

 

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.


 

Social Marketing Tips

9 Feb

It’s always a challenge to make our social media presence as effective as possible. We can ALWAYS improve!

As Tailwind, a social media firm, puts it:

“With the New Year come the New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe yours is going to the gym, learning a new language or even just relaxing more. Whatever your personal resolutions might be, there’s also a good chance that your social media accounts could use a new start in the New Year, too. That’s why we put together this list of 10 social media resolutions to keep your brand on track.”

 

 

Do YOU Have a Happy Voice?

7 Feb

When people interact with us, there are a number of cues that affect the way our conversations are perceived by the listener/viewer. Two of these cues are the inflection of our voices and our choice of words. Do we come across as authoritative, disgruntled, sincere, etc.?

As Emma Snider writes for HubSpot:

Happy ears aren’t such a good thing in business. But happy voice? A very good thing. Even the slightest error in phrasing can put a prospect off — which means salespeople spend a lot of time thinking about the particular words they use to pitch their products and converse with buyers. But no matter how hard a rep tries to weed out all of the overtly negative or unnecessary terms in their vocabulary, there are always going to be a few that fly under the radar. Even though certain words don’t seem insidious on the surface, they can strike prospects the wrong way. Offputting words = frowning prospects. And frowning prospects don’t sign contracts.”

“What are some of these deal-destroying words? Kayako has identified such 10 verbal culprits in this SlideShare, and provided happier suggestions that will make both salesperson and buyer smile. Turn those frowns (and perhaps any negative sales trends) upside down.”

 

 

Pay More Attention to Loyal Customers!

5 Feb

by Joel R. Evans and Barry Berman

 
Too many firms concentrate on how to woo new customers and, thus, they do not pay enough attention to what they can do to gain the loyalty and increased patronage of their repeat customers. For example, when was the last time that YOU ran a special sale just for current customers, communicated with your current customers via a phone call or direct mail piece, encouraged current customers to recommend new ones by giving the former a gift for doing so, sent birthday, anniversary, or holiday cards to current customers, offered extended shopping hours just for current customers, etc.? Unless you are actively engaged in all or most of these activities, you can do a better job in this area.
 

Why It Is Vital to Target Current Customers, as Well as New Ones

  • It is more efficient to serve repeat customers than to heavily promote to lure new ones.
  • Often, new customers are lured because of a special sale, buy goods that have a low markup to the company, and then switch to a competitor when it runs a sale event. Repeat customers are more apt to buy a full range of merchandise, not merely discounted items. This means that the firm can reach its profit margin goals.
  • Loyal, ongoing customers are the backbone of every business. And in today’s highly competitive environment, these shoppers cannot be ignored or else they may be won over by the competition.
  • Revenues can be increased (not just maintained) by placing greater attention on repeat customers. These people can be encouraged to shop more often and to purchase more on each trip to the store.
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    Hints for Targeting Current Customers Better

  • Develop a database with the appropriate customer information. This could be done by giving your shoppers a small prize for filling out a short form and then updating the information periodically. Computerization is not necessary to do this, although it helps.
  • Set up some type of frequent-shopper program that can reward people for their continued patronage. The program does not have to be complex. For instance, many car washes give out punch cards (or a similar variation) whereby customers can earn free services based upon a certain number of washes.
  • Communicate with these customers on a regular basis. Mail (E-mail) them a letter at least quarterly. Call them at least once per year. Customers are often quite impressed when they receive “friendship” rather than “sales pitch” letters and calls. People like to feel appreciated.
  • Run special events for good customers. This also lets them know how important they are to the firm.
  • Offer extra services, such as free delivery or more liberal re turn policies, for good customers.
  • Do not reward your new customers at the expense of the current ones. Think carefully about having promotions that offer benefits to new customers that are not available to current ones, such as reduced credit terms for first-time car buyers. Try to run promotions in a way that also offers benefits to current customers, such as also having special trade-in terms for people who have bought their previous car from the same dealer.
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