Being Remarkable · Customer Growth Strategy · Customer Insight · Customer-centric · Engagement · Growth · Loyalty Marketing · Retail · Winning on Experience

October 5 Webinar: Reset! Engaging Customers in the New Normal.

With all the talk about the “new consumer” mindset, marketers are left asking what it all means.  Slow category growth and heightened competition put a premium on leveraging consumer insight to inform customer-centric growth strategies.

Next Tuesday October 5 at 1PM Eastern, Jon Giegengack of Chadwick Martin Bailey and I will conduct a webinar on this important topic.  Learn the 8 key strategies you can employ to take your customer engagement to the next level.

For more information–and to register–go to:

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Customer-centric · Engagement · Loyalty Marketing · Retail · Uncategorized

“At Risk” Customers

Do you know who your “at risk’ customers are?

Unless you have a remarkable and highly relevant new business model—or have a retail concept that allows you to open multiple new units every year—the majority of your profits will come from existing customers.

Each year most businesses lose substantial revenue from customers that defect.   Of course any customer-centric company should track customer defection rates, understand their root causes and take action to improve customer retention rates.

This is helpful and essential analysis.   But it is also a look in the rear-view mirror.   What is especially powerful is identifying customers that are at risk of defecting and taking proactive action to retain the ones you wish to keep.

A basic step is to monitor decreases in spending activity among key customer segments—you do have an actionable customer segmentation right?—such as overall purchase frequency, change in duration between purchases, “trading down” to lower price points, shifts in promotional shopping rates.   Other useful metrics involve more subtle engagement indicators such as web browsing rates, email open rates and customer satisfaction/net promoter score changes.

With a “customer dashboard” that is relevant to your business, you can potentially identify at risk customers and take action to save them.  Most of the time it’s a lot easier to retain a customer than to find a profitable new one.

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Engagement · Fashion · Loyalty Marketing · Luxury · Retail

Members only? Or “Members Only” jacket?

A powerful component of customer engagement is providing scarce, exclusive and relevant experiences that reinforce your brand positioning.

“Members Only” or “By Invitation Only” marketing programs can be compelling messages that tell your customer that you truly appreciate their business.   For years leading luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s have feted their best customers with private lunches, exclusive parties or access to fashion designer “meet and greets.”  More accessible retailers like J. Crew and Nordstrom use their loyalty programs to reward members with unique privileges such as free alterations, early notice of new merchandise arrivals or special shopping hours.  In all cases, the customer is granted access based upon some meaningful qualification, typically spending level or loyalty.

But another kind of marketing seems to be gaining momentum, and it’s best illustrated by the flash-sales sites such as GiltGroupe, HauteLook and BeyondTheRack.  These businesses are growing dramatically–RueLaLa recently reported that their sales doubled year over year–and one of their hooks is that their low prices are for “members only.”   So what does one have to do to qualify to be a member?  Having a legitimate e-mail address is just about all it takes.

In the early 1980’s “Members Only” jackets quickly became all the rage.  If you wanted the world to know how cool you were, a “Members Only” jacket gave you quick access to an exclusive club.  But it wasn’t long before just about everybody had one and what propelled the brand soon eviscerated it.

There is ample evidence that, for a while, you can get away with hooking customers with faux exclusivity.  But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  Deep levels of engagement and loyalty are not built on smoke and mirrors; rather they are built on forging relationships rooted in respect and trust.

Authenticity matters.

Does your marketing look more Members Only or more “Members Only” Jacket?

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