• 22/06/17 Uncategorised

    Door drop sampling delivers returns

    If it’s one thing the British love, it’s something free. Conveniently delivering a freebie to their own home is a double bonus – and one they are far more likely to tell their friends about.

    Door drop sampling can build customer loyalty in a far more potent fashion that any amount of marketing words and images, because the public have an ever-increasing desire to try before they buy. According to a report from Sampling Effectiveness Advisors, 73% of consumers agree they are more likely to buy a product if they are given an opportunity to sample it first.

    Image result for letters through door

    Show, don’t tell
    The internet and mobile technology have made consumers savvier. They can research, compare and shop for products wherever they are, 24/7.

    Without doubt experiential marketing is a vital weapon to carving market share in a digital age – it enables you to engage customers with your product samples in a spontaneous and high impact way.

    Door drop sampling can also help with meeting the same goal. It takes products from virtual reality to actual reality, providing an important competitive advantage – you’re less likely to lose customers as a result of a rival company’s online hyperbole when your product is the one they have in their hand.

    It also addresses increasing scepticism. Consumers are increasingly bombarded with sales messages and advertising, making them more immune to marketing claims and offers. Experiencing a product first hand is going to cut through that.

    Door drops are on trend

    Another reason that product samples landing on doormats are so welcome is that it fits the nation’s growing passion for ultimate convenience. This is an era when home delivery stretches to everything from nappies to fast food.

    Add an offer to build brand loyalty

    To build the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage with a door drop sample – and stimulate a subsequent purchase – simply attach a coupon or offer. Receiving both a sample and a discount offer in their home can make people far more likely to change previous buying habits.
    Door drops are far more accurate

    Door drop sampling is superior to scattergun forms of marketing: it enables companies to bring products to the attention of the households most likely to contain the right marketing demographic.

    Modern marketing handling and fulfilment services can breakdown households more effectively than ever, improving the opportunities to stimulate customer interest and loyalty, while cutting down on waste from the indiscriminate distribution of samples.

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  • 15/06/17 Uncategorised

    Why rewards matter in retail

    Customer reward programs have cascaded down over the years, from airlines and petrol stations, into most supermarkets and now down to local coffee shops, hairdressers and much more. Almost all retailers could benefit from a reward scheme, to help improve customer loyalty and increase footfall, website visits or boost repeat purchases.

    With the increasing competition among retailers, any business lacking a reward program is losing out. However, not all reward programs are equal or even that valuable, and customers are quick to spot a scheme that is of little value or used merely as cheap marketing. So, differentiation and consideration are required to offer some extra value to ensure yours stands out among rival options.

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    Make your scheme stand out

    Any plan for a reward scheme needs to consider the cost versus the return to the business, with retailers looking to engage in long-term relationships, influencing shopping behaviour and to better communicate with customers. It should offer a variety of rewards to broaden its appeal, from money off vouchers to cash back and free items on major spends, to unique customer benefits. A scheme can also help identify big spenders, spending patterns and encourage further data analysis that will be of value to any business.

    Startup retailers can drive early interest in their store with a reward scheme or gift cards, while more established retailers can use their extensive customer knowledge to tailor the scheme to meet specific business needs. A social media aspect to any reward program can also help spread the word, creating free marketing and advertising.

    Reward schemes must stand out against rivals big and small

    Local or regional businesses are fighting back against major retailers, and the use of loyalty schemes can help. Local businesses are better placed to offer immediate day-to-day offers, while the use of on-pack promotions can mimic the offers seen in big stores, creating the perception of punching above your weight. Whatever your plans or need for a loyalty scheme, get in touch and see how we can help make the most of your data to create a scheme that boosts your business and provides value to customers.

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  • 09/06/17 Uncategorised

    Customer retention v customer acquisition

    It’s long been accepted by most businesses that retaining current customers is more cost-effective than seeking new ones. Of course, increasing the current customer base will always be a key activity, but many companies do seem to place this ahead of the needs of satisfying, retaining, and growing business from their current customers.

    There are two sources that tell you how important this latter task can be. Firstly, the White House Office of Consumer Affairs has said that it is between six and seven times more costly to attract new, rather than retain existing, customers. Secondly, management consulting firm Bain & Co have found that a 10% increase in retention can result in a 30% increase in a company’s value.

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    How best to retain your customers?

    Assuming these figures are reasonably close to what you would find, it makes it clear that customer retention should be a major strategy for any business. So, how best to achieve it?

    Let’s start with customer service. It has been suggested that it can take up to a dozen positive customer experiences to outweigh a single negative event. Obviously, this would depend on the level of problem, but even if the figure is often much lower, this still suggests that making sure customers have a positive experience – even if they need to query or complain – is vital to retention. Bain also suggests that a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if a problem they’ve experienced has been service (rather than price or product) related.

    The second key to retention is through the provision of customer loyalty programmes, or special ‘regular customer’ promotions. Often, people believe loyalty is simply taken for granted, especially when they can see that new customers are given a better deal to sign up. Therefore it’s also vital that what is offered is seen as having genuine value, or exclusivity, for those who stick with a company.

    Flounces off in a huff!

    Finally, consider this. In past times, losing a customer, however annoying, would likely see them moan to a few friends – and that could be damaging. Now, thanks to social media, you can multiply this by a factor of several (or many)! It’s also fair to say that retaining a customer can lead to positive experiences in places like Twitter or Facebook – another sign of their value.

    There’s a saying that ‘It’s easier to sell up, or sell on, than sell new’. Retaining customers helps achieve the first two parts of this, while you will also be actively seeking the third. This suggests a more rounded and effective business strategy

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  • 02/06/17 Uncategorised

    Why on-pack promotions still reign supreme

    With a myriad of marketing channels to choose from, it’s remarkable to see that on-pack promotions are still regularly utilised. After all, promotional marketing has been around since the invention of packaging. However, they’re still hugely popular with consumers. They can be also used in innovative ways, tying in with a brand’s other marketing channels.

    Image result for on pack promotions

    Effectiveness

    On-pack promotions are effective in many ways. Firstly, they make the pack stand out on the supermarket shelf. Next, they encourage loyalty and repeat purchases, especially if you need a certain number of tokens to claim the reward. Most importantly, they encourage sales. People love an offer. In fact, there are large online communities dedicated to getting the most out of on-pack promotions. When they’re done well, they go viral, as much as any social media campaign.

    Good examples

    Forward-thinking brands drive innovation with their on-pack promotions. We still have the classic ‘save up the tokens’ promotions that have been around for years, such as The Sun’s camping holiday offers. However, we have Nescafe putting a 3D printed alarm clock in the cap of the lids of their coffee jars, you can only turn it off by actually opening a jar of Nescafe. We also have brands partnering up with other brands to drive traffic to each other, such as the promotion between Absolut Vodka and Shazam. If you scanned your Absolut bottle using Shazam, it would take you to a microsite where you could find over 1000 cocktail recipes. It was remarkably effective for both parties.

    Shopper Marketing

    It used to be that traditional marketing channels, such as TV and radio, would drive shoppers to the on-pack promotion. This still happens, but now shopper marketing is a key driver of on-pack promotions, and continues to be the driving force behind on-pack success.
    An effective piece of shopper marketing is all about knowing your consumer, what drives them, where they spend their leisure time, on and offline. As long as brands continue to operate in this way, on-pack promotions will reign supreme for a long time yet.

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  • 17/05/17 Uncategorised

    Customers want humans not chatbots

    Juniper Research recently predicted that organisations who use chatbots will save billions of dollars a year, but at what cost? How will this impact the customer experience? New research from Getapp found that a staggering 88 per cent of people preferred human interaction, as opposed to talking to a chatbot. Below we explain why customers want humans, not chatbots.

    Image result for chatbots

    Human interaction

    We all crave social interaction with one another, and sadly the chatbot cannot offer the same level of social interaction as another human being. The chatbot offers a standard level of support, that does not allow the customer to see the full potential, and personality, of the service that is offered. For the customer to feel fully relaxed and to engage with the company, they really need to speak to a person, not a robot.

    Lack of loyalty

    When looking at the merits of human led customer service, it is important to take note of what the chatbot cannot do. They cannot offer a personalised discussion in which the customer can open up about their feelings. They cannot build trust with the customer, and most importantly there will be no emotional connection between the customer and the company. What all of these factors contribute to is a lack of dissatisfaction and loyalty, meaning that the customer will look elsewhere for a similar service, where they can actually talk to a person, not a robot.

    The importance of empathy

    Many businesses forget the importance of empathy when building up trust with their customers. Customers need to be made aware of how much a business values their custom and their interaction with them. This is when businesses need to forget using automated recordings and chatbots to engage with their customers. Instead they need to plough resources into training their customer service team into building trust, and a great rapport with their customers. Doing so will help to build that emotional connection that all customers need. When an organisation can learn to offer this standard of service, they will then reap the many benefits of trust, loyalty and a positive reputation.

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  • 12/05/17 Uncategorised

    Tips for customer loyalty success

    For businesses seeking long-term success, enhancing customer loyalty is key to achieving this aim. By forging relationships with your customers so they establish an emotional attachment to your brand, you can enable your business to grow.

    As well as boosting your client base, focusing on customer loyalty puts you ahead of your rivals, and can insulate your business from price competition. You can more easily up-sell and cross-sell to loyal customers, and you can rely on them to become ambassadors of your brand.

    Crucially, it costs significantly more to acquire new customers than retain existing ones, and with 80% of your income coming from 20% of your current purchasers, it’s easy to see why enhancing customer loyalty makes financial sense. But how can you achieve this?
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    Excellent customer service

    Go the extra mile to offer great customer service. Take complaints seriously and resolve them swiftly, and offer the personal approach when communicating with customers. Address them by their name, and make it easy for customers to contact you. Reliability is a vital component of customer service, so always be authentic, transparent and deliver on time.

    Multi-channel approach

    Engage with your customers before, during and after the purchase procedure, to keep them hooked to your brand. Don’t bombard them with too much advertising, however. Instead, provide them with useful information, and a variety of relevant offers or rewards.

    Embrace digital technology

    Advances in digital technology have enabled savvy businesses to engage with customers and enhance their loyalty. Digital receipt validation, for instance, offers great convenience, while giving customers easy access to offers, rewards and promotions. It can also help to capture customer data.

    Embracing digital technology offers real opportunities for boosting loyalty, but ensure you don’t ‘hide’ behind technology – customers still like to have human contact, especially if they have a concern. Whatever technologies you use, always make it easy for customers to participate and engage with your brand.

    Build loyalty internally

    If you focus on building a loyal workforce, this positive and enthusiastic approach will be passed onto your customers, making it easier for them to feel connected with your brand.

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  • 12/05/17 Uncategorised

    The importance of POS and visual merchandising

    Point of Sale (POS) and visual merchandising are both key aspects of any in-store marketing plan. Working as devices to ensure a specific store or product stands out against others, in today’s crowded marketplace they can really make all the difference.

    What do we mean by visual merchandising and POS?

    Visual merchandising itself includes all aspects of presenting a store in a specific way to not only draw customers in from the outside, but also to ensure that what is on sale on the inside – is represented on the out, i.e. in shop windows etc. This can include anything from shop layout to lighting, music, packaging, signage and even staff uniforms.

    Alternatively, Point of Sale (POS) marketing refers to those efforts that are geared up to increasing the number of conversions, specifically at the point that the sale is made – at the cash register. POS marketing is effective, as your customers are more under pressure, both from a time perspective and being in the presence of a shop worker, meaning that POS advertising can prove to be far more effective than aisle, shelf, or even ‘packvertising’.
    Image result for point of sale display
    The Importance of POS and visual merchandising

    It is important that visual merchandising and POS are never taken as a stand-alone activity. This is because the ultimate goal of visual merchandising is to really grab the attention of your customers to guide them in a specific way to drive more specific conversions. POS is simply one part of visual merchandising and one that takes advantage of the time people spend in the checkout line. The three most important attributes of both POS and visual merchandising are outlined below:

    Grab your customers’ attention

    With it being reported that over 34% of shoppers enter stores today without a predefined list of what they want or need, and with 84% of ALL purchases being decided in store, it is important to understand that your customers are effectively there to be led. This is the first important role of POS and visual merchandising; entice your customers in and grab their attention with specific products. These may be seasonal, promotional or simply everyday products that you want to push, and ones that your customer will likely be attracted by.

    Connecting with your customers

    It is a commonly known fact in the marketing and sales world, that once you have succeeded in attracting your customers’ attention, you only have 1 measly second to convert this attention into a potential sale. This is POS and visual merchandising’s second vital role: to allow your customer to understand and process their need for your items. This can be achieved with clever packaging, shelf positioning, signage, promotional deals or indeed, POS stands themselves.

    Convert your customers and drive sales

    This third and final role of both POS and visual merchandising may be obvious, but it is key to all retail environments. Once you have connected with your customers and perhaps even driven an engagement i.e. your customer had picked up an item, with 68% of cart abandonments reported in 2015, you still need to work to ensure you convert to a sale. One sure way to do this is by including special deals, seasonal merchandise or to include cleverly designed POS signage to increase a feeling of urgency within your customers. This not only will instil a certain amount of logical rationale within them, but it will make converting more sense to them.

    So there you have it, a brief outline of the importance of POS and visual merchandising. For big and small brands today, where markets have never been as saturated as they are now, both visual merchandising and POS activities are more important than ever. Their successful implementations are the fine line between a business making it and not. They really cannot be ignored.

    So what are you waiting for? Get in touch today to discuss the importance and application of both POS and visual merchandising, or to see how we can help you stand out from the crowded competition.

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  • 12/05/17 Uncategorised

    Why shopper marketing is a force to be reckoned with

    Shopper marketing is becoming a science and being able to implement it effectively can have astounding effects on business sales. It has progressed a lot in the last few years as more and more businesses are implementing it by deploying whole “shopper marketing divisions”. It has grown from being a method of up-selling customers on a price-point basis into a way to truly understand your customers wants and needs and thus marketing them effectively with focused products that they will naturally want to buy. Some estimates believe that shopper marketing alone is an industry worth £1.5bn and huge brands are deploying it.
    Image result for shopper marketing
    Here are 3 reasons why shopper marketing really is a force to be reckoned with:

    1. Social media is continuing to grow

    Being able to engage with consumers after they have made a sale is a key part of shopper marketing and if brands can integrate themselves effectively with a customer’s social media presence, the effects could be phenomenal. Spending time on social media has fast become the second most time-consuming activity of an average person’s life and research suggests consumers will spend almost 5 and a half years of their lives in total on social media. So, by offering deals that integrate within this, such as digital receipt validation or the ability to visit and share their Facebook page and get a special discount, then brands have access to the inner day-to-day workings of their customers and also their friends.

    2. Consumers are holding more of the power

    Five to 10 years ago, online purchasing was not what it is today and consumers had more reason to visit physical stores, meaning brands held the power in the buying relationship. Nowadays, with easier access to information, consumers hold more power in deciding where to purchase. This is only going to increase and, as such, brands need to build this stronger personal relationship with their customers to hold on to them.

    3.The technology is there

    The arena for big brands to communicate with their consumers is growing. An example is Kellogg’s recent “Open For Breakfast” campaign, which allowed children and parents all around the globe the chance to visit their site and ask questions and watch videos (which included famous YouTube icons) and to gain a deeper insight into the Kellogg’s brand and how they can be a part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. This campaign has the power to bring Kellogg’s cereal into the homes of millions of consumers all around the world and this is only possible due to the ever-growing access to fast online technology.

    The possibilities are growing and so the results are presumably endless. Who’s to say that this £1.5bn market couldn’t grow larger as more and more brands catch on and make it a key part of their strategy? It could easily become the case that shopper marketing will be the marketing strategy of 2017.

     

     

     

     

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  • 12/05/17 Uncategorised

    Direct Marketing Is Still Alive in a Digital World

    With ever evolving developments in digital marketing, is it any wonder some marketers are sceptical about using direct marketing methods with their customers? Direct marketing personalisation is still a key method of reaching new and existing customers with around an 80 percent plus open rate. Just take a look at some of the biggest sectors in business. The financial services (banks or credit unions) have on average a 55 percent open rate on direct marketing alone. This is joined by the retail, travel or hospitality sectors at around 55 percent and publishing or media at around 54 percent. Consumer packaged goods come in at a whopping 63 percent open rate on direct marketing, making this a much-returned venture for marketers in this sector.

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    To run a successful direct marketing campaign, your direct marketing personalisation should speak out to your target demographic – the potential customers you are wishing to reach. Researching their needs through market research methods such as surveying, analysing behaviour and customer modelling will enable you to create direct marketing personalisation within your campaigns. Use targeted imagery, showcase your favourited products and use language that not only keeps in line with your branding but speaks directly to your customer and answers their issues and burning needs.

    Using direct marketing personalisation is key to getting into the minds of your customers, but thinking “outside the box” is also crucial in developing a campaign that stands out from the crowd and puts your business and products in the spotlight. Start brainstorming new ways of getting in front of your customers, whether it be a personally packaged free gift, stunning imagery, use of an innovative material or language that resonates with a key focus or cause. Going beyond the digital world and reaching out to your customers is still a way to gain focused spotlight and attention on your brand or product with much return on your investment. Thinking big, bold and brave when developing a direct marketing campaign will ensure your brand stands out against any digital platform and lands straight into the laps of customers and potential investors.

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