Social Marketing, The Perfect Storm

Posted by December 28, 2009 by myadminComments

Social networking has enabled consumers to move faster than the brands that they shop for. Mark down 2009 as the year when brand marketers experienced a full frontal realization that social networks are, in fact, a mass communications medium. With this realization comes another wake up call, Social Marketing must play a big role in the overall marketing mix. As Jeremiah Owayang writes in a recent Forbes article, "Brands need to develop a strategy and a plan to respond--not simply react--to the latest technology."

Like many others in recent days, Owyang takes a look at the trends of 2009 that drive the decisions of the future. He identifies four key trends that senior marketing execs should give some thought to.

"The Recession Spurred Consumers to Adopt Social Technologies." It's not just the enabling technology that caused the movement. Hard financial times also drive people to connect to one another. High unemployment levels also contribute by giving people more time to connect. Motive, means and opportunity equals the perfect storm.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Experience Stories of the Year

Posted by December 24, 2009 by myadminComments

In our last entry we warned you about the coming onslaught in this, the season of lists. Today, we look at another one on retailcustomerexperience.com called the, "The 5 biggest retail customer experience stories of 2009." This list is predicated on the observation that consumers' relationships with brands has changed significantly in 2009. Only in the New Year will we find out if these changes are permanent. Here are the stories offered up in the list.

"An emphasis on value." Walmart was the big winner in 2009. Their approach defined the term "value" as being synonymous with "saving money."

"Private label brands take center stage." It's no surprise that consumers turn to store brands during tough economic times. However, this time around appears to have staying power as half of the consumers polled said that they found the product better than expected and 41 percent said that brand names are not worth the money.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Customer Service is the New Marketing

Posted by December 22, 2009 by myadminComments

The end of the current year and the beginning of the new always bring many different kinds of lists: wish lists, shopping lists, resolutions, top stories of the year lists, etc. This story in Small Business Trends offers up a list of things to look forward to in 2010. It calls the customer experience the, "new marketing," and the, "only truly sustainable competitive advantage." Here are a few items from the story:

The coming year will be a good one for marketers to imprint upon their employees who interact with customers. Why? High unemployment levels will encourage employees to hold onto their jobs by being good at them. They will try harder.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

The Loyal Shopper Principle

Posted by December 21, 2009 by myadminComments

Pareto's Principle states that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes. In modern times, that's been altered by many to mean 20% of the people do 80% of the work. A recent study by Concept Shopping, Inc. has found that the thoughts of old Vilfreto Pareto and his observations may extend to shopper loyalty.

A story in Progressive Grocer reports on an analysis of over 2 million grocery shoppers. The results are that 10% of the store customers visit the store over twice a week and are responsible for almost 40% of the store's total sales. These customers spend over $39 on each visit.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

How Fresh and Easy Listened to the Customer

Posted by December 18, 2009 by myadminComments

Tesco's Fresh and Easy concept in the U.S. provides a vivid example of a company listening to the customer and making almost immediate adjustments based on that feedback. It has been almost two years since the stores started to appear on the West Coast. In that time, the company has, "done a lot of listening to customers." This interview with Steve Ryder, Store Design & Planning Director at Fresh & Easy Tesco's US operation, outlines some of the activity.

Based on customer feedback, 60 stores engaged in a re-fresh program in which stores were made more inviting and informative. Additional banners, more messages and more color was used to address what the customers were calling a "sterile" environment that made the stores appear to be "too discount" for the U.S. shopper.

Read More

Topics: Blog

Grocery Grasping at Social Media

Posted by December 14, 2009 by myadminComments

A frequent topic on this blog has been the acceptance and use of social media as part of the marketing mix of CPG companies. Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) issued a report that says marketers are still in the very early stages of the process and are wrestling with just what exactly they should be doing on this new frontier of the customer experience.

Read More

Topics: Blog

Raised Stakes for Customer Service

Posted by December 10, 2009 by myadminComments

A survey conducted in the UK found that the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to leave a brand or company due to poor customer service. Research by Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories along with Datamonitor and Ovum found that each generation of consumers has a different and heightened idea about what good customer service is and should be. In business, it's said that if you aren't growing, you're dying. Based on this research, the same can be said for how you interact with your consumers, both now and in the future..

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

The Sin of Omission

Posted by December 9, 2009 by myadminComments

The customer experience is a multi-faceted and sometimes complicated opportunity for brand marketers and retailers. But in many respects, it is remarkably simple. A survey was introduced today that reports more than 25 percent of the time, customers feel ignored. If true, this is a call to action for all involved. We must train store and service personnel to proactively see service opportunities.

Read More

Topics: Blog

Bridging the Customer Web Experience Gap

Posted by December 7, 2009 by myadminComments

Internet sales are being credited with providing some measure of relief for lagging sales at the country's top retailers. Cyber Monday should be proof that your web presence and its usability are critical to the overall cross-channel customer experience. The challenge for brand marketers and retailers becomes how to turn the focus and attention of the company web site back to marketing, since the evolution of many e-tailing sites began with IT departments and not brand marketers.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Facing Up to Facebook

Posted by December 4, 2009 by myadminComments

The Big Money.com has published their list of 50 companies that are making the best use of Facebook called "The Facebook 50". Incidentally, they also have a "Twitter 12." Not surprisingly, many top brands and retailers made the list.. Coca-Cola stands at the top. According to a story on the PROMO Magazine website, these companies are using the technology to raise the bar on establishing loyal customer relationships, key to a brand marketer's success.

Read More

Topics: Blog