How Can Companies Deal with Disloyalty?

Source: https://postfunnel.com/how-can-companies-deal-with-disloyalty/

Nearly two-fifths of consumers feel less loyal to brands and companies than they did a year ago and 32% of Americans claim they are more product-disloyal today than they were five years ago. Against this backdrop, brands are discovering ways to prevent consumers from departing. Beyond price and discounts, we’ll outline five strategies that can help you keep your customers loyal.

More from PostFunnel on Customer Loyalty:

Keep Your Customers! Use These 3 Engaging Loyalty Boosters
How to Win at Post-Purchase Marketing
Looking Back on 2018: What Have We Learned About Customer Retention?

Switch To Hyper-Personalization

56% say they feel more loyal to brands who show a deep understanding of their preferences. To respond to consumers’ desires, focus on upgrading from personalization to hyper-personalization. This paradigm shift will help deliver contextually relevant experiences to consumers in real time. Below are a few things to keep in mind when building a hyper-personalization strategy:

Build A Comprehensive Customer Profile: Collect data from multiple sources, including third parties, to create a single customer profile. Follow up with data enrichment to ensure your information is accurate and continuously updated, empowering you to make more informed decisions.      

Segmentation: To create one-to-one communication, use tactics such as intent analysis and purchase propensity in your segmentation strategy.  This will help you understand consumers’ motivations and shopping habits on a granular level.

Artificial Intelligence: An Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system delivers real-time, personalized experiences to consumers at scale. When deploying AI initiatives, select a platform that uses natural language processing (NLP) to deliver quick recommendations and algorithmically test every experience. Before investing, be sure you have enough first‐ and third‐party data to get the most out of the system.

For effective hyper-personalization, maintain transparency about how you collect and use customer data. Test and deploy customer experiences This could be allowing consumers to shop in-store without the help of sale associates (see Nike), or offering omnichannel delivery or instant self-checkout.

Invest in Innovation

There’s a reason Apple keeps customers hooked on their products. 17% of consumers are likely to repeat shop with innovative retailers. If you’re looking to set new standards with innovation, keep these tips in mind:

Give Your R&D Budget a Boost: Leading retailers direct a considerable amount of their budget to R&D. Innovation has been Amazon’s watchword as the company’s R&D spend rose from $1.2 billion in 2009 to $22.6 billion in 2017. To justify an R&D increase appeal to your CFO, align the portfolio of projects with corporate financial objectives and projected improvements to the business strategy. Devise clear goals and create metrics to forecast the ROI of your projects.

Fail Fast: Innovations tend to emerge from a series of successful and unsuccessful experiments. Manage every experiment as a portfolio and adopt a fail fast strategy. This will allow you to try new concepts and move on quickly if your ideas don’t work out. 49% of top retailers are working to adopt a “fail fast” philosophy to further innovation. To facilitate agile development, nurture a culture that encourages unconventional thinking and companywide collaboration.

Consider Value Drivers: Center your innovation around designing an experience that creates value for consumers. Allow consumers to test your product before launch and ensure your development team implements upgrades based on the needs of consumers.

Offer Customer-Centric Delivery

An excellent delivery experience can help you stand out and win big with customers. 61% of consumers say a positive delivery experience incentivizes them to shop with an e-tailer again. Improve your delivery experience and drive loyalty by embracing the following:

Flexibility: Cater your delivery plans to accommodate consumers’ fast-changing needs. 80% of consumers are likely to be loyal to brands that offer a range of flexible delivery options. Allow consumers to re-route their orders, change their delivery preferences after orders have been dispatched, or choose a particular day to collect their orders.  Follow Amazon’s lead and allow shoppers to choose when their order will arrive.

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Two-Hour Delivery: 55% of consumers say that a two-hour delivery option would increase their loyalty. Speed up last mile delivery by using an automated micro-fulfillment center in urban areas, and work with fulfillment companies to enhance your delivery capabilities. Looking for a step up? Experiment with crowd delivery. Walmart launched its own version, Spark Delivery, where independent drivers pick orders up from Walmart stores and warehouses and deliver them to customers.

Communication: For 80% of consumers, proactive updates on deliveries enticed them to make repeat purchases. Keep consumers in the loop by enabling them to track deliveries in real time, and let them know what time their packages will arrive. Inform them of any delays along the way to limit inconveniences or unwanted surprises.

The last mile delivery experience is key to building customer loyalty. Invest in warehouse automation robots and micro-fulfillment centers, and partner with shared delivery platform to deliver a customer-centric delivery experience.

Make an Emotional Connection                                        

Consumers are surrounded by choices. Make choosing your brand an easy decision by fostering an emotional bond with shoppers. Emotionally connected customers have 306% higher lifetime value and stay with a brand for an average of five years. While winning the heart of consumers isn’t easy, these tips can help you form a connection:

Focus On the Right Emotions: Not all emotions drive customer loyalty. To find the right emotion that prompts consumers to make a purchase, use techniques such as direct reporting, facial coding, or speech analysis. Make sure the emotions you use are authentic and highlight the emotional and functional benefits of your brand in your campaigns.

Be Purpose-Driven: 77% feel a strong emotional connection and are thus more loyal to purpose-driven companies. When activating your brand purpose, involve customers and employees to identify shared values and areas where your company can truly make a difference. Align your brand purpose with your beliefs and values and use your brand purpose to guide all your actions.

Before using emotion in your marketing, consider whether your audience requires an emotional appeal and target emotionally connected consumers.

Improve Your Customer Service

Customer service continues to play an important role in a business’s success, as 95% of consumers say customer service determines their loyalty to a brand. It appears, however, that brands aren’t delivering on their promises to customers: 61% of consumers have switched brands due to poor customer service. If you’re losing business on account of your service, overhaul your policy with the following tips:

Hire Knowledgeable Staff: 46% of consumers will abandon a brand if its employees are not knowledgeable about the products. Give customer service reps access to customer profiles and purchase history to help them to resolve issues in a single interaction. Use intelligent routing to connect consumers to the right agent based on their interests, preferences, and needs.

Offer Self-Service Support: Supplement human customer support with self-service portals that give consumers access to account details, answers to questions, and enables them to report problems. You can also feature support forums or a knowledge base to help solve any questions they may have.

Adopt an Omnichannel Approach Since consumers interact with brands on multiple channels, it’s more than reasonable to have an omnichannel customer service plan. To nail this strategy, identify the channels consumers prefer and create a presence on them, ensuring seamless integration between channels. Monitor each platform in real-time so reps can quickly resolve queries. A cloud contact center will connect the various channel support systems and smooth out inter-channel navigation for consumers.

No Silver Bullet

Customer loyalty is fragile, and brands need a dynamic approach to retain customers. While there are various strategies you can use to prevent consumers from defecting, there’s no silver bullet for customer loyalty. Research the greatest retention drivers and disloyalty levers that entice consumers to try something new, and use those insights to create a stronger loyalty base.

The post How Can Companies Deal with Disloyalty? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Why Your 2015 Organic Search Engine Optimization Strategy Isn’t Working Anymore

Source: https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/why-your-2015-organic-search-engine-optimization-strategy-isnt-working-anymore

What You Need To Do To Upgrade Your SEO Work To 2020 Standards

Did you know that Google updates its search algorithms 500 to 600 times a year? Most of those updates are minor and have little impact on your approach to driving organic rankings.

But roughly eight to 10 times a year, Google releases more significant updates that should at least get your attention. It you want to see all of the latest updates, click here.

This article isn’t about those updates, but we did aggregate the changes we’ve made to our SEO strategy for clients, and those changes do take into consideration the updates over the past few years.

With so many clients under management and most of them engaged in an effort to drive more organic visitors to their sites, these changes are based on our practical experience driving results, not a list of best practices curated from the web.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I’m pleased to announce that I am now represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing. They are an exciting agency that have a some great production experience and a team with really diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here 

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Sunglass Hut vs. Warby Parker: A Marketing Vision or Eyesore?

Source: https://postfunnel.com/sunglasses-hut-vs-warby-parker-a-marketing-vision-or-eyesore/

You may not remember your first pair, but we’re guessing you remember your favorites. Right about when the snow begins to melt and those winter jackets become redundant, out come the sunglasses. As much about blocking rays as they are about making a statement or going incognito when it comes to picking out our shades, it’s personal. We put a popular direct-to-consumer brand and an eyewear giant to the test to see if their retention efforts were a marketing vision – or an eyesore.

We bring you our latest Brand Prix!

But first, here’s a quick reminder of what Brand Prix is all about: Check our previous articles in the series.

Introduction

In this series, PostFunnel will follow two competing brands to assess their customer marketing performance. For each case study, we’ll enact a customer journey with the respective brands, document every customer interaction sent to our testers, and share inputs and insights from our experience with the companies.

The Companies

If you’ve visited a mall anytime during the 90s-now, chances are you stumbled upon a Sunglass Hut. The world’s largest eyewear company was founded in 1971 and now operates 2,000 stores in 20 countries. It’s owned by Italian eye company Luxottica.

Warby Parker is an online retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses. Founded in 2010, the company mainly sells their eyewear online, though they do have stores scattered throughout the US. Unlike its competitors, Warby Parker designs their products in-house and orders their own materials, effectively cutting out those middlemen.

Methodology

For this round, we gave our tester $300 to shop with each brand. She engaged with both brands for roughly six weeks on a few different platforms. The PF editorial team and marketing experts then graded the performance based on personalization, promotions and offers, user experience, and overall engagement during all life cycle stages. We based our analysis on metrics that speak to the data-driven marketer, moving beyond traditional tactics and instead, approached the shopping experience from the marketer’s POV.


We had high expectations for both brands; both are popular, well-established sunglasses retailers. The reality, however, was far from what we envisioned. Let’s start!

Personalization:

Warby Parker mainly focused on retargeting through LinkedIn and Facebook. At first, the ads showed sunglasses we’d searched for or added to our cart (among other items), but after we purchased the glasses, the items changed.

Although they were consistent with social media retargeting during the first month, this was only via LinkedIn (not FB), which we’ll admit is a strategically odd decision. When selling sunglasses, LinkedIn isn’t traditionally the best platform to focus on. Have you ever bought sunglasses on LinkedIn?!

After we abandoned cart, Warby Parker sent us a useful reminder email with a gentle nudge, highlighting their free shipping and returns policy.

We noticed onsite targeting while browsing an article on a news website. The banner included glasses left in cart. Well played, Parker.

Unfortunately, the transactional emails were not personalized at all. What happened to the effort they put in with the banners?

Sunglass Hut showed no personalization efforts whatsoever. Not in their social, retargeting, or emails. Nothing. We waited and waited, but were ultimately left disappointed.

Personalization Stage Score:

Warby Parker – Limited personalization, including retargeting on social media, but nothing on the emails front. 5/10. Sunglass Hut – In what has to be a first, there’s nothing to add here. 0/10


Promotions and Offers

Throughout our journey with Warby Parker, we weren’t offered any promotions or discounts. We’ve seen many companies embrace this marketing tactic before—discounts and promotions don’t tend to attract the most loyal customers. It’d be interesting to explore whether Warby Parker offers these kinds of perks to their veteran customers.

Our communication with the brand was based mostly on transactional emails: a nicely designed welcome email and two mailers the week after account creation. At no point did this direct-to-consumer brand attempt to upsell or cross-sell after we purchased, which seemed like an oversight.

From our POV, Sunglass Hut demonstrated one of the major faux pas left over from the early-mid 00s—spray and pray. There was zero personalization anywhere, nor were we offered any promotions or discounts. Communication was based mostly on transactional emails, and even the welcome email was too simplistic and bland for our liking. It seemed odd that a major sunglasses retailer with stores all over the world would still neglect to properly pursue its customers.

Sunglass Hut did promote new releases in the sign-up confirmation email they sent us. But as with Warby Parker, they made no attempt to upsell or cross-sell after we’d purchased from them. We received two promotional emails during the testing period, but alas, one of the links inside the email was broken. Overall, a very confusing experience.

Promotions and Offers Stage Score

Both companies failed miserably here, with very little communication between visits, no special promos or offers, and transactional emails far too simple and impersonal. Joint Score   2/10


User Experience

Our relationship with Warby Parker began with a fairly uninspiring account creation experience, with no onsite or promotional encouragement. And this is one of the brands known for disrupting the eCommerce industry?

There were more blunders along the way. After abandoning the cart, for instance, we noticed it was empty when we returned to the site; this could have been an easy win. When we sent back a pair of sunglasses we’d purchased, there was no recognition of the return. They also missed the chance to engage a second purchase, a pivotal opportunity and basic marketing move.

On the bright side, their tone was lovely and welcoming, and they did send an e-card confirmation immediately after we bought a gift card. The on-site creatives were interesting, colorful, and appealing. This is all subjective of course, but such is life.

Sunglass Hut delivered the same tepid onboarding experience. After creating our account, we received no onsite or promotional encouragement.

Here, our items were saved in the cart when we came back to the site after leaving. Nice, but it hardly made up for the various other slipups. When purchasing, for instance, our personal info wasn’t acknowledged and we had to provide our details all over again. The irritation experienced as a result will surely be universally acknowledged. Additionally, after purchasing a pair of sunglasses, we received a promotional email recommending we buy the very pair we just purchased! Not a good moment for SH. As in Warby Parker’s case, we received no recognition after we sent back one of our purchases.

As we consistently used gift cards, it’s also worth mentioning that Sunglass Hut only offers physical cards. This is 2019—how incredibly old fashioned! Another miss for the brand.

When compared to Warby Parker’s customer engagement, Sunglass Hut’s lack of forethought and tone in their UX was clear. Everything from design to language was basic, quite traditional, and overall – pretty boring.

User Experience Stage Score

Nothing to take proud of, as both companies so it seems, did the bare minimum here as well. One point extra for Warby Parker for the appearance of effort: Warby Parker – 4/10, Sunglass Hut – 3/10.


Content Marketing

This is a section we don’t usually test, as it comprises a broad scope, but it was easy to see the difference between the two companies via their approach to content marketing. Warby Parker put some thought into their storytelling: they feature a blog and offer a nice quiz about sunglass wearing habits on their site, although contrary to our expectations, nothing “happened” after we completed it. Sunglass Hut’s site focused more on sales, with no blog, newsletter, or interesting story to share.


All this brings us to the winner: Warby Parker

Overall, the CRM efforts of both companies were quite rudimentary, but we still observed a difference between Warby Parker’s efforts to the almost non-existent retention plan Sunglass Hut demonstrated. Both companies have lots of room to improve when it comes to CRM strategy. Personalization, social media, technology… take your pick. The retention efforts can only go up from here.

Think we got it right? Or should we have picked another winner? Leave your comments below and tell us what you think, or join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook by using the #BrandPrix hashtag.

Contributor: Liz Berenholtz

More retention tips? Check our Powwow series for insights from top CRM practitioners

 

The post Sunglass Hut vs. Warby Parker: A Marketing Vision or Eyesore? appeared first on Post Funnel.

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Is AI a Solution, a Technology, or a System…and Why Should I Care?

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/BusinessAnalystTimes-BusinessAnalysisHome/~3/riENVSR_Ud4/is-ai-a-solution-a-technology-or-a-system-and-why-should-i-care.html

is-ai-a-solution-a-technology-or-a-system-and-why-should-i-care Written by: Elizabeth Larson

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Is It Time For A CRM Upgrade? Take This 10-Question Quiz And Find Out In Minutes

Source: https://www.square2marketing.com/blog/is-it-time-for-a-crm-upgrade-take-this-10-question-quiz-and-find-out-in-minutes

CRM And Sales Technology Have Changed In The Last Few Years; Is Your CRM Outdated?

You go to the doctor for your annual checkup. You take your car in for regular service. You have your insurance policies reviewed regularly, and you talk to your financial planner annually, too.

But how often do you review the state of your sales and marketing technology? Not frequently enough!

Today, there are over 10,000 marketing and sales technology tools. This is far too many for most of us to keep up with. The features, the tools, the reporting, the insights and the ability for these tools to help you drive revenue change every single day.

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NEWS // New Representation: Tea & Water Pictures

Source: http://focus52.blogspot.com/2018/06/news-new-representation-tea-water.html

I’m pleased to announce that I am now represented by Tea & Water Pictures in New York, London and Beijing. They are an exciting agency that have a some great production experience and a team with really diverse but complimentary backgrounds, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

They’ve also done a little interview with me which, if you’re interested, you can read here 

Read more