About Us

Littleton, CO, United States

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Customer Loyalty Quiz - What is TOMA WOMA? (Part 2)

Ah...we have a new President Elect so no more political ads for a while. We should all be happy about that! Ok, let's get back to what we are actually here about - TOMA WOMA! Last week we discussed the importance of, and steps to increase, Top-of-Mind-Awareness (TOMA). Alone, it can pay off handsomely for your business.

Let's talk WOMA here... to refresh you, WOMA is Word-of-Mouth-Advertising and we all know it is the holy grail of marketing. All businesses crave those customers who become avid promoters of your wares because, as you learned in Marketing 101, it is the most effective form of advertising. It is the cheapest way to advertise and results in the highest amount of sales. Who wouldn't benefit from a little WOMA love?

The real question is, as a business how do you drive WOMA and how do you measure it to know it's really working? (Technically, that's two questions, but give us some slack here). Here are a couple of simple ways to drive word of mouth business:

1. You must have great customer service! Obvious but true. Noone will ever recommend your business if you have poor customer service, regardless of how great your product is.
2. Employ methods of making your customers feel desired. Invite your best customers & their FRIENDS & FAMILY to exclusive shopping hours, or early bird sales, etc.
3. Create a "Bring-a-Friend" promotion. One of our clients recently offered a 25% discount to anyone who brought in a friend or family member. They had to join their loyalty pogram of course but what a great incentive and an perfect example of WOMA!

Those are just a few ways. Remeber to use your WOMA to drive TOMA and vice versa - if nothing else, you can add a few fun buzz words to your vocabulary!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Customer Loyalty Quiz - What is TOMA WOMA? (Part 1)

TOMA WOMA; It sounds like a bad rap song or perhaps an acronym used by text messaging experts. That's partially correct as fellow marketers will point out, but do most retailers (particularly the small & medium sized ones) know TOMA WOMA and the power behind it? Me thinks not, and in this post we will focus on customer loyalty and TOMA - next post will focus on WOMA.

Enough babble - TOMA = Top Of Mind Awareness; WOMA = Word Of Mouth Advertising. Did the light bulbs, bells and whistles just go off in your mind? We hope so because having a strategy and, more importantly, a systematic approach to TOMA WOMA can help your business grow.

Let's first discuss TOMA by asking a simple question. When a consumer thinks of buying a product/service in your segment do they think of you first; are you at the top of their mind? For example, if you are a pizza restaurant and my family wants a pizza, are we going to think of your restaurant first? Hopefully the answer is a resounding "yes!"...but how do you know, what steps do you take to maintain TOMA with your customers?

With the worst economic conditions we've faced since the 1930's, you must be extremely savvy with your marketing and make sure your customers come back to you and not buy from one of your competitors.

Here are a few simple ways to maintain TOMA:
  1. Use an precisely targeted email marketing program to send regularly scheduled communications.
  2. Give every customer a promotional offer for a repeat visit within 2-3 weeks. This can be a simple coupon handed out at the time of sale.
  3. Start tracking customer purchases including dates & amounts - very easy to do with a loyalty/rewards program.
  4. Based on purchase behaviors send highly relevant communications by email, direct mail and SMS (if you can - if you can't there are tools out there that will).
It's time to get really serious about your marketing and make sure every dollar spent provides a healthy return back to your bottom line. If you don't focus on TOMA and have a system (ANY kind of system) to make it happen you are selling yourself, and your customers, short.

Next week we will discuss WOMA and how to really make it work for your business. We all know referral marketing is highly profitable, we'll take it a few steps further and give you a few new strategies...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Are You a "Copy Cat" Advertiser

Quit copying me or I'm going to tell on you! Ok, now that you are in touch with you inner child, let's chat about how un-clever most advertising really is these days.

Recently, in my mailbox I received a coupon pack from a company that specializes in sending coupons to consumers - I won't say who, but their name rhymes with "Zal-Pak". Normally, the whole pack finds its way to the garbage, but since consumers are responding more to coupons these days (and, let's face it I'm also a consumer) I decided to look at the offers.

This brought in multiple-personalities (no comments please) as I looked through the pile:
1. A consumer
2. A business owner
3. A consultant.

As a consumer, I felt overwhelmed. As a business owner, I chuckled and as a consultant I laughed out loud (figuratively). Why?

I counted 5-6 coupons from competing companies (in several industries - auto service, house cleaning, pizza).

As a consumer I looked for the best deal and discarded the rest. As a business owner, I thought of how horrible it is to commoditize my business down to the lowest common denominator (price) and would have been quite upset with the advertising person as my coupons are up against my competition...IN THE SAME MAILER!

As a consultant, I'm continually surprised at how companies continue to "copy" their competitor's advertising and expect to grow their market share.

"Copy Cat Advertising" only commodifies your products & services to price-only considerations.

It is time to think outside of the mailbox and get smart about how you communicate with your customers.

But how? Here's a couple of steps:

Need help? Yes, we can help. Don't need help but have worthy commentary? We'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Loyalty Programs...The New Black?

Have you heard the latest news? There are these new things called "Rewards/Loyalty Programs" and they are all the rage. All the cool kids have them and you know you want one too. What size & color should you choose...remember, black is slimming :).

Ok, Rewards/Loyalty Programs are NOT new; however with new technology developments that allow small and large retailers to use customer purchase data effectively, perhaps we are seeing a new spin on the old programs as they evolve. Think of it as "Marketing Darwinism" (we are going to trademark that so if you say it you owe us $0.25).

So, as consumer buying patterns continue to evolve how can businesses adapt and stay relevant with their customers? Sure you can look at peaks and valley of your revenues based on seasonality, new product launches, etc., but that is old news - history as they say. By the time you act on that old news, your consumers are on to bigger and better things..think of that as "Purchase ADD" (yes, we want $0.25 for that too).

That's the "New Black"...actionable customer data that you garner through your loyalty program. Don't have a loyalty program and a way to collect customer purchase data? Call us, we have the answer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Economy Tsunami - 3 Steps Your Business Can Use to Stem the Tide...

This just in...the economy is in the tank! Will loyalty/rewards programs offer a glimmer of hope to help retailers communicate relevantly with their most prized assets - their existing customers - and keep us buying?

All businesses, from SOHO to F500, are leery as consumer confidence continues to wane. As consumers, should all crawl into our respective holes, pull our money out of the banks and stop "consuming". What should we call ourselves if we are no longer "consumers"...hmmm, what is the antonym for consumer?

As business owners, retailers, marketers, etc. what practices will you employ to combat The Economy Tsunami? It's time to sink or swim and if your business is relying on what we call "pay & pray advertising", we'll see you next to the Titanic (cool exhibit if you get the chance to see it - again, I digress).

We hear it already "So, you with all the answers, what do we do?" Glad you asked! Here are your steps to riding out the wave:
1. Start identifying your customers - You must find out who your faceless/nameless customers are.
2. Stop marketing to all your customers the same way (segmentation!) - We're not talking about poor customer service here, you should always have great customer service. We are talking about distinguishing between your High Value Customers and Low Value Customers. NEWSFLASH - Your customers represent different economic values to your business, some high and some low (a customer portfolio really). Speak to, and offer promotions, to each customer segment that reflects their value to your business. Would you sink millions into a low value stock - duh! Don't sink your precious dollars into poor performing customers.
3. Automate as much as possible - Yes, we have the tools to help you do just that and much more - come and take a look!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Death to "Band-Aid" Marketing & Advertising

The Sky is Falling...The Sky is Falling!!!

Alas, was Chicken Little overreacting or prophetic in his frantic ranting? Well, if you are looking at (and who isn't) the recent economic blunders it does appear as if something is falling...mainly consumer confidence.

So, what's a merchant to do? You could apply a "Band-Aid" fix and start rampant discounting or you can apply a more strategic approach a la John Deere amidst The Great Depression. What did they do? Glad you asked, with business at a standstill they emphasized product development and actually extended credit to farmers (who had no money by the way). They must have been crazy...like a fox!

Today, John Deere is stalwart in terms of brand loyalty and extends through multiple generations. Can you imagine telling your grandpappy that you are reading a Blog about loyalty programs and cite John Deere as an example? He'd probably wash your mouth out for saying the word "Blog".

But I digress; what can today's businesses glean from John Deere? Several key items. First is to apply a strategic approach to current conditions (all things come to pass). And, secondly, be creative on how you foster loyalty with your customers.

With the great database marketing tools available today (insert plug for our product here ;) www.dataRM.com) and the low barrier to entry to offer a loyalty program you can speak to your customers in ways that defy thinking even 20 years ago. Use what is available to you today and if you don't know how, contact us. We can help rip off the band-aid and offer a cure!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Will Retailers Fight the Recession?

75 % of Americans polled say we are in a recession, according to a recent study. Big-box retailers typically have the resources to withstand the slowdown but even they have to be inventive.

The real question is how do entrepreneurs and small & medium sized businesses creatively build their companies in a slow economy? What proactive, low-cost, "guerilla marketing tactics" will they use in order to keep their customers coming in? And how do you communicate with your loyal customers?

Time to wake up and smell the fava beans (maybe with a nice Chianti)! Businesses who rely heavily on print advertising, and other difficult to measure media, are doomed to diminishing returns. We've all heard the 80/20 rule where your top 20% of customers generate 80% of sales (thank you Mr. Pareto for that little pearl!). The problem is most companies, large & small, have a very limited view of who those top 20% really are, let alone the next 20%, the 20% after that and so on. Customer segmentation is the key!

So, we extend a question to the blogosphere - what guerilla marketing tactics work best in a bad economy? Come one, come all and make your voice heard!

Is Traditional Advertising Dying?