It’s always nice to hear from the ECRS sales executives and gain insights on what they are hearing from our retail customers. Chris Green, one of the newest members of the ECRS Sales Team, shared the following insights with me. It is a good piece of thought leadership and I agree that one goal for a retailer is to provide what their customers need through good, consistent, and effective communication.
How to Make “Hey, I’m Over Here” Marketing Work
by Chris Green, ECRS Sales Executive
What kind of conversation are you having with your existing and prospective customers?
While customer outreach is a good thing, what exactly is the conversation you are having with your customers?
As a professional salesperson working with the retail community, I have several detailed conversations about how retailers are communicating with their customers. Many are investing a great deal of time and money into what I call, “Hey, I’m over here” marketing. This consists of techniques like printed sales flyers, email coupons, postings on social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and content on their website. While customer outreach is a good thing, what exactly is the conversation you are having with your customers?
Regularly, I receive printed coupons from a national grocery chain. In the last mailing, I received coupons for cosmetics (I’m male), baby food (would have been useful 12 years ago), and hand cream (nope). I received a few useful ones for butter and other household items, but it made me think about how much better their promotions could have been. If the promotions were based on my actual loyalty and sales data, I would have been so much more engaged. While receiving those coupons for items that I don’t purchase won’t stop me from going to that store, it certainly doesn’t increase my “connection” to them.
If the promotions were based on my actual loyalty and sales data, I would have been so much more engaged.
ECRS Sales Executive
- You could talk to your customers in a more meaningful way?
- You knew their spending habits?
- You knew which departments in your store they visit, and which parts they don’t?
- You knew when they last shopped, or if they just haven’t been in for a while?
The ability to access real-time data that covers multiple retail touchpoints is a great start for developing a “better conversation” with your customers. One that is more personal, more pertinent, and makes your customers aware that you know them. This is how you move your customers from strangers and turn them into friends. Keep in mind, most people regard messages not directed towards their needs or interests as SPAM, and the only thing you want to do with Spam is sell it.
This is how you move your customers from strangers and turn them into friends.
At ECRS, our customers use CATAPULT® (our flagship retail management system) to run special promotions for their customers using specific, historical sales data. Got a customer who regularly spends $50.00 in your meat department? How about offering a coupon for your produce section when they spend $65.00 or more? If you have the right data, you could have just boosted their basket spend and encouraged them to visit a different area of the store.
How about customers you haven’t seen in awhile? One of the most successful loyalty features is what we call “invite back” campaigns. Our retailers can review data on their customers’ shopping frequency and then set up automatic email triggers targeting only those who haven’t visited their store within the last 30 days.
Imagine receiving a personalized email from your grocer:
“Hi, Mr. Smith. We noticed you haven’t been by in a while. We’d love to have you come back to our store! Here is a coupon just for you where you can automatically save 10% off your next purchase.”
Our retailers can even set up a follow-up campaign which will automatically runs at 60 days increasing the incentive. However, without the data, you don’t get to have that conversation with the customer and they may never come back.
The next time you want to reach out to your customers, make it a conversation relevant to their needs and get them engaged. Use real data to create a personalized experience for your customer. As you know, there is never a shortage of competition and this is one way to make sure that YOU WILL WIN!