Tag: loyalty

Consumer Power

If your of a certain age, you may remember some of the great TV ads of the 70’s and 80’s.. Smash, PG Tips, Hovis amongst others all had brand defining TV adverts running pretty regularly during that time. They based their TV spend on sales generated in bricks and mortar stores as a result of the brand recognition they generated by their decade defining adverts.

Fast forward to the present day and we have changed massively as consumers, technological advances have given us a plethora of devices and channels with which to communicate on and there has been a concious move away from print as a daily key targeting channel.

We now have on-line channels like social media, mobile devices, tablet devices, apps,  text messaging, emails, TV and traditional media et al.. and we have to manage our brand presence and positioning across all these channels and devices in a convergent manner.

However, there is one huge change that often goes overlooked when putting together an overarching marketing strategy for your brand. In decades past, we were TOLD what to buy, how good something was or tasted etc… by traditional media channels. We made key purchasing decisions based very often on nothing more than remembering a really cool advert or a familiar jingle on the radio that made us remember a product or service business. You could call this the age of “Marketing Power” – we were told what to buy by repetitive marketing providing passive product knowledge and little or no ability to talk to other brand advocates / users.

Of course now we are in the age of “Consumer Power” we can talk to millions of people on line in seconds.. we can share reviews on our brand experiences, tell our peers where to get the best value for money and what the best deals are at any time, anywhere on the planet.  Passive brand knowledge has been replaced with active brand presence – I can become a brand ambassador / critic without leaving my kitchen table… (McDonald’s has 59 million fans on Facebook alone – all talking about their likes and dislikes of that mega brand)..

I can tweet, post and otherwise disseminate my thoughts about a brand, product or service and have a multiple way conversation with both the brand and other followers alike in real-time.

As a brand owner you need to be able to connect with me as your customer, not just today but tomorrow and in the future.  You need to engage and have a two way communication with me, give me variation in your brand communications so I don’t get bored and reward me for staying engaged with your brand on a regular basis.

Whilst the consumer has more power than ever before, they also give brands more opportunities to connect with them too. The tricky part is offering an engaging, targeted and rewarding experience to your consumers on a one vs one basis. Its only by truly understanding who your customers are and what they want as individuals that you will be able to fulfil your business goals, increase your brand coverage and grow your business and revenue.

Gaining customers is the easy part in today’s omni – channel, always on, consumer driven world, keeping them is the real problem. You have to analyse the data you have from your customers, from the website, from an app or plastic loyalty card, from on-line orders, basket analysis of purchases etc.. etc… and use this information to create compelling digital promotions and rewards that encourage interaction, purchase activity and the sharing of more customer information.

If your ready to discuss targeted engagement solutions for your business or you want to discuss the best way to create a reward or loyalty scheme for your customers then get in touch.

In my next post, I will talk about “Traffic Analysis” and how you can use this to increase your customer knowledge and preference information.




Near Field Communications – Whats it all about?

NFC is a wireless communication technology a bit like WIFI or Bluetooth, it allows the transfer of data between two devices like a mobile phone and an NFC Tag. You might use NFC to pass data from an NFC enabled mobile phone to another NFC enabled mobile phone, from a mobile phone to a payment terminal or from an NFC tag to a mobile phone.

NFC  is  used for things like contactless payments, loyalty and rewards offers and coupons, security controls, marketing, events and even product identification are all able to use this technology. And the great part is that all of these applications require just an NFC enabled mobile phone to get started.

The beauty of NFC is in its simplicity. Once the tag has been encoded with the desired information or action, the tag is ready to use. The user simply touches the back of the phone against the tag, this will launch the URL or service encoded. No lining up cameras with barcodes or anything to download.
NFC technology works only at close distances – typically about 3 centimeters away. This close range makes NFC perfect for interaction and means that tags can’t ‘accidently’ be read or used for unwanted tracking. The ‘tap’ action is quite specific and part of the appeal of NFC as opposed to other longer range RFID technologies.
Almost all new smartphones now have NFC built in. In fact, nine out of ten of the top mobile manufacturers have now adopted NFC. Apple’s iPhone is the only major smartphone without NFC support. However, there still remains a question mark over how long NFC will take to become mainstream given the amount of phones that are still out there that where made prior to 2012.

Data Capture by NFC devices

In particular, the GSMA is focused on driving the standardised deployment of mobile NFC using the SIM as the secure element to provide authentication, security and portability across many different handsets. Adopting SIM-based NFC as a global standard will also ensure economies of scale and interoperability, which will be critical to the widespread adoption of NFC, enabling people around the world to benefit from NFC services, regardless of their operator network or device type.

Capturing data by NFC is very simple and in general you don’t have to ask permission for the data as it is freely given at the point of contact with the sale, the big concern here is what you do with the packet data received from the mobile device. Where is it stored? Are you ISO 27001 certified? Is your solution provider? Are you in the UK or abroad? What are you doing with the data once you get it? Are you marketing to it? If so normal marketing rules for SMS will apply regardless of them giving their consent at point of NFC adopted sale.

Potentially a data minefield if you don’t get this right and in the short term without wireless capability you will lose many potential customers who don’t have NFC enabled on their older phones but nevertheless NFC can provide a fantastic user experience and generate much needed stickiness for any brand.

Mobile Vouchers

Whilst Smartphone Applications continue to hog the headlines in the mobile consumer space, over 60% of respondents in a recent industry survey said they would be happy to interact with retailers via text.

One large Mobile Operator has taken this a step further, launching SMS vouchers and messages via text to its “opted in “consumers. Using GEO – LOCATION and time based targeting, the messages & vouchers “hit” the consumers mobile as they walk past or into certain high street stores.

Are we seeing the beginning of retailers embracing mobile marketing to conduct two way communications with customers on the move?

Are we seeing plain old text messaging playing an important part in delivering this two way communication?

The answer is YES….

In a recent study by this is money.co.uk website, statistics show that people spend an average of two hours pricing up large household and lifestyle items before buying…and the average adult in Britain uses five vouchers every month to save money on food, meals out and day trips – equaling 239m vouchers used a year, or 8m a day!

The study by promo-codes found that most people believe vouchers and discount codes are more socially acceptable and ‘cooler’ than they were 20 years ago.

Customers are 71% more likely to shop with you if they receive money off coupons first. Traditional methods of doing this, (sending paper vouchers out in the post, downloading from the internet etc) involve links in your chosen message formats and this can lead to traceability issues and lack of understanding of who even opened your communication.
Mobile is totally traceable, from initial send through consumer click through action to a sales end point and it’s immediate!!

More than just a customer driver, it’s a loyalty programme, an interactive catalogue, a coupon or voucher dispenser and a payment device all rolled into one.

As retailers start to realize that the mobile channel is a great way to drive consumers through their “bricks and mortar” stores what will you do this Christmas to increase your bottom line?