Most businesses are lazy and passive
Businesses are lazy and passive. Let me explain.
Just this year alone, I’ve bought a car at a dealership. At least 30 pairs of shoes (no, I’m not Imelda Marcos – I have six children). Furniture. Banking. Petrol. Fast food. Slow Food. Manchester.
Let me continue. Hotels. Motels. Clothing for men, women, children, teens. Books. School supplies. Computers. Music. Lamps. Office supplies. Coffee here, there and everywhere.
Some of the food establishments I frequent have given me a loyalty card.
However, I have no loyalty. I just collect cards. My children laugh at me because my wallet is stuffed full of cards, offers and coupons. On the other hand, I’m rarely, rarely, rarely ever asked a simple question.
Who Am I? I pay for everything on credit card – from my $400-plus weekly Pak'nSave grocery bill to a $2 Whitcoulls purchase.
Businesses are lazy and passive. How could I have lived, shopped, interacted with and bought from so many businesses and retail outlets in the past 20 or so years – and only rarely been asked for my personal contact details for further "personal" communication with me?
I’m not talking about the hundreds of lazy "connect with us Facebook logos" I can click.
Again, I’ll say lazy and passive.
Your knowledge of your customers and prospects is one of the most important and least used of assets. The only ones with that knowledge are the credit card companies due to extensive credit and cash card usage.
And Flybys with point-of-sale systems you can measure what is sold, but you have no idea to whom. Or how you can bring them back again.
Local retailers cannot compete with the corporations for budget. So you have to work smarter.
National retailers have large budgets aimed at getting people to the front door. But while they succeed in this goal, they make a fatal mistake. The tap is turned off.
Almost universally in New Zealand retailing there is too often no money, no thought and no time invested in trying to get information from customers with the goal of bringing them back repeatedly.
Conversational social media should not be the only communication mechanism in 2012.
I recommend a three-step process to marketing programmes:
Communication: What can you say to your customers – in a manner that they will value – that will either bring in more money or improve their feeling of satisfaction with your company based on your service/caring.
Information: What information do you need to collect so you can roll out your communication strategy, as above, in a targeted manner. For example, you don’t want to advertise children’s clothes to a senior unless you know they have grandchildren.
Automation: The marvellous fact is that you can use everyday software inexpensively to weave your information and communication together to create stunningly targeted, personal, "what’s in it for them" communications. The choice of distribution is up to you – social media, email, sms or post.
Debbie Mayo-Smith is one of the most sought-after speakers in Australasia. For a free quick tip newsletter, a vast collection of "how-to" articles and other resources to help you work smarter and save time, visit www.debbiespeaks.co.nz