Posts Tagged: customer loyalty

Brands and retailers benefit from added value promotions

When Tesco created its Every Day Low Price back in 2002 it, probably rightly, claimed that all anyone wanted was to get their shopping at the cheapest possible price. As initiatives like this have developed throughout the industry so the awareness from consumers to search out the lowest possible price has increased, making it more and more difficult for brands to gain differentiation in the market place.

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Britons enjoy mouth-watering savings thanks to upturn in ‘discount dining’

One of the more positive trends to emerge from the recent
recession is the advent of the discount dining culture. Where regular
meals out used to be the preserve of the rich, it now seems that
restaurants are opening their doors to a new breed of clientele who are
only too happy to eat out once or twice a month, if there’s a discount
involved.

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Ash cloud chaos could have silver lining for UK tourism

As the UK’s airports begin to tentatively open their doors to the
public following a week of travel chaos, experts are beginning to
calculate the cost of unprecedented disruptions to British air travel.

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The Voice of Truth

A sign of real celebrity is that a voice is often worth more than
actual services. That marketing truth came to mind upon hearing how
Hyundai – due to advertise on this Sunday’s Academy Awards – was told
that their commercials weren’t quite acceptable.

No, no nudity
or inappropriate content. This is Hollywood we’re talking about after
all. No, it turns out that Jeff Bridges did Hyundai’s voice-overs, but
as a nominee for Best Actor, the sponsor has to make sure that ads
featuring celebrities (or celebrity voice-overs) don’t run near a
segment of the program that might feature that celebrity. Apparently,
trying to schedule where seven ads could run without violating Oscar
rules was too complicated so seven other celebrities got hired to read
the ad copy. This last-minute casting raises some questions.

Is
this just a tempest in a teapot? How would hearing the voice of a
nominee affect the outcome of the already-completed Oscar voting? Do
the voices of celebrities really increase brand engagement, or is that
just what the agency tells the client? Do celebrities tell a better
“story” than unknown yet skilled actors?

OK, it is pretty cool
to sit in the studio and get your picture taken with some star you’d
otherwise never meet. But the truth is that most celebrities view this
kind of work as an easily earned new income stream. Some celebrities,
like Sean Connery or Julia Roberts, will only do voice-overs, not
deigning to appear too commercial by actually showing up in an ad.

But
that said, it’s equally true that most “celebrity” voices really aren’t
as recognizable as, say, Garrison Keillor or Orson Wells or James Earl
Jones or Winston Churchill (or an unknown yet skilled actor imitating
Winston Churchill). And if you hire a celebrity to read copy, what do
you get besides bragging rights, an autograph, and the chance to shake
hands at the recording studio? Did you increase loyalty or engagement,
make more sales, or larger profits? Will you settle for recognition?

Let’s
see how resonant that recognition is. Below is a list of actors who
earned $1million + paychecks for lending their voices to commercial
ventures. Can you match up the voice to the product or service? Answers
appear at the very end of this blog.

1. Jeff Bridges
2. George Clooney
3. Sean Connery
4. Richard Dreyfuss
5. Gene Hackman
6. James Earl Jones
7. Queen Latifah
8. Julia Roberts
9. Christian Slater

A. Oppenheimer Funds
B. Honda
C. Panasonic
D. Pizza Hut
E. AOL
F. Budweiser
G. Duracell
H. Level 3 Communications
J. Verizon

Thinking
about those products and services, did the big name (or the big name’s
voice) mean anything to you? Did the celebrity voice engage you better?
Did you even remember the voice at all? Or did you check this all out
using loyalty and engagement assessments to insure that your brand’s
values were reinforced and you actually got a real return on your
marketing investment?

There’s a Native American proverb that
says it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. But today it
can take only one to bust the budget.

Answers: 1I, 2G, 3H, 4B, 5A/F, 6J, 7D, 8E, 9C

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Is this the end of the sale season?

As Morrisons announce an underlying profit before tax up 22% to £359m (2008/9: £295m) and the Halifax reporting that house prises rose another 0.8% last month there are now definite signs that the recession is slowing and maybe even that the end of our current economic problems are on the horizon. What does this mean for businesses and the average consumer? Will consumers maintain their spending ransom on businesses, forcing them into drastic recession solutions or will we eventually see the end of the sale season?

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Top ten UK & Ireland city breaks – the rewards for consumers and businesses

With Brits spending more and more time holidaying at home on ‘staycations’, I wanted to explore the UK and Ireland to find my favourite city break destinations, seeing what there is to entice tourists there and which businesses are potentially profiting from this increased trade. There are so many different areas in the UK and Ireland, each individual in what they have to offer tourists. And as companies such as The Rocket Marketing Group launch discount clubs like the 241 Hotel Club, which gives members 2 nights for the price of 1 at over 300 hotels, the UK and Irish tourism trade really can now compete with the rest of the world for offering affordable yet interesting and unique holidays.

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Can the British holiday boom last?

There have been many surveys and reports this year indicating an increase in the number of British people taking their holidays in Britain. Travelsupermarket.com conducted research back in July, showing that 50 % of British holiday makers said that they were most likely to book a holiday in Britain in the next 12 months. The ‘staycation’ as it has been dubbed is a new fashion that is fantastic for the British economy. But as we begin the ascent out of recession, can the British hotel trade continue to compete with the allure of foreign holidays that offer the probability of good weather and escapism from our everyday life?

Read more on Can the British holiday boom last?…

Waitrose… Pizza Express … does aggressive discounting destroy the brand value?

It seems like all people want at the moment is the cheapest deal, and that lowering prices and putting huge sale posters up is the only way to entice consumers into a shop/business. But with sale savvy shoppers and the help of internet comparison sites how far can this go? Have prices finally reached rock-bottom and how has this aggressive discounting damaged the perceived value of these items/services? Have we allowed the financial panic to reduce brands’ value? The possible recession solutions have raised so many questions for marketing professionals and as we start to see light through the economic gloom the answers are starting to become clearer.

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Confused retail targeting? Blame it on the kids

Many retailers have got their act together when it comes to extending their reach from the High Street into customers’ homes. If my family’s collective inbox is anything to go by we seem to have most of the big retail names emailing us on a regular basis, with offers in various shapes and sizes. Some of these are driven by loyalty schemes; some are the result of online shopping and data collection, while others are ad hoc service or sales messages following some kind of customer service experience.

These are communications that we have, in theory, opted in to at some point and so should be of relevance and interest. But the more we get, the less relevant the messages seem to become and the higher the proportion that hit the ‘deleted’ pile. Many of these are from brands that used to have a much higher conversion rate to click through or even sale but whose relevance has been steadily diluted over time. So who should we blame for this? My money’s on the kids…

Effective one-to-one marketing has been the holy grail of many direct marketers for years and the intelligent use of data has played a major part in achieving this. But for many retailers using online communications, it’s becoming increasingly hard to use familiar methods to target accurately. This is largely because the roles involved in the buying process are becoming more blurred in households, especially in relation to (teenage) children.

Kids have more and more spending power – many also now have their own debit cards and no longer need to rely on parents for online or in-store purchases. Others, however, are still reliant on parents to act as both banker and buyer which can complicate the targeting of good communications, especially if transactional data is consolidated through loyalty schemes or cards. Mums end up buying war games and Superdry clothing for sons, as well as ‘young’ make up and Abercrombie and Fitch for daughters, all on loyalty cards bearing their name. Little surprise that they’re not then interested in messages offering the latest in zombie-killing wargame technology or fashion suited to those 20 or 30 years younger.

Understanding the different roles of influencer, decision maker, buyer, banker and ‘loyalty’ member is becoming increasingly important if we’re to improve the hit rate of right person, right message, right time. This is further complicated by multiple email addresses being associated with the same postal address through transactional data. Digital marketing can play a key role here in engaging individuals and persuading them to provide richer data – as long as additional insight is used effectively to drive more targeted marketing at both personal and household level, which can only serve to reinforce brand loyalty…and family harmony.

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Cost-effective marketing during recession

Advertising is expensive and whilst it is essential, it becomes increasingly difficult for a business to advertise through the traditional mediums when advertising budgets are being slashed. Companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to promote their brands. There are lots of marketing options and some can prove to be just as effective. This is in part due to the changing times (people absorbing media in different ways) and the improvement of the channels for advertising online etc. This is compounded by the fact that most people now spend time looking for the exclusive discounts available not just the brands they are familiar with.

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