Tag Archives: brand advocates

The Importance of Saying Thank You

If you are anything like me, your parents raised you to have good manners, be polite, and always say please and thank you.  And as a kid, you did your best to follow what you were taught – either because it made you feel good to do the right thing, or because you were terrified to find out the consequences if you didn’t!

With the current state of our economy, I’m here to tell you that remembering some of your childhood lessons – specifically the one about saying thank you – can pay off more than you might think.

Now I’m not talking about thanking someone who holds the elevator door open for you or carries out your groceries to your car – those are givens (and you’d better be doing them)!  I’m talking about sincerely and genuinely thanking your best customers for sticking with you during these tough economic times.  In today’s world, and in almost every category, it is critical to try and maintain your best customers and keep them doing business with you.  The 20 percent of your customers who bring in 80 percent of your business are your lifeblood, and you can’t afford to lose them or have them begin to look elsewhere.

We have assisted with several thank-you efforts for our clients over the past year, and the results have been positively staggering.  Some have been as simple as a well-thought-out phone call from a sales rep.  Others have been as complex as segmented direct marketing efforts with tiered levels of thank-you rewards or incentives.

The important thing is to do something, and make it relevant and meaningful to your key customers.  They’ll appreciate being acknowledged, and you’ll be keeping your brand top of mind (and keeping your competitors out!).  Just remember to be sincere and don’t require any purchase on the part of your customers.  The results will come… trust me!  Thank-you efforts we’ve executed for our clients during the past 12 months have netted ROIs ranging from 50 to 630 percent.

So go out there and test it for yourself.  I’ll bet you’ll see some great results.  And best of all… you’ll make your parents proud!

– Stephen Weinstein – Director of Account Management

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Even When Customers Aren’t Buying, Communication is Crucial

Marketing communications is not linear. Particularly not in today’s environment, when the average American consumer is exposed to more than 3,000 advertising messages per day. So how does a smart marketer cut through the clutter, especially when the product or service being sold is a considered purchase with a high price tag?

There is a distinct approach that marketers need to consider when selling products or services with longer life cycles in industries such as automotive, building products and financial services, just to name a few. We’ve used the methodology through the years and have found it to be very successful for our clients.

Consumers are rarely driven by a single source to purchase, especially if it’s a big-ticket item or considered purchase. Take, for example, a car. A typical consumer looking to purchase a car may start listening more closely to ads, talk to friends and colleagues, do some research online and visit a few dealerships.

If a consumer is not in the market for a car, he or she is not interested in what you’ve got to say; however, it’s still important to set the stage for when that consumer does enter the market. We refer to these consumers that have little or no interest in a particular product category, but may in the future, as passive.

Then a consumer’s car breaks down, or there is a baby on the way, and suddenly, that consumer needs a new car. This potential buyer has moved from the passive phase into an active one. He or she starts tuning in to ads, researching the product category and begins seeking advice.

Aaah…Nirvana! The consumer purchases and is now engaged. As a marketer, your job is not done. A smart marketer now desires to convert these engaged customers into brand advocates. As a brand advocate, a consumer will recommend your product to others, use service offerings associated with what they just purchased and become a repeat buyer.

While these different phases of purchasing take a unique understanding of where customers are at specific buying points, it’s not a linear process. Often, a consumer can be categorized into more than one phase at a particular point in time, so how do you handle that? Consistency is key when developing a communications program. It’s important that a marketer does not change the story once a prospect becomes a customer.

Think about how you are communicating with potential prospects in the passive stage. Make sure you take that same voice into the active stage, and lastly, be sure that your voice remains consistent once you convert these consumers to customers. Lastly, remember one critical aspect – your media is everywhere and everyone – even your staff, your channel partners, and the consumer. This is why engaging with everyone associated with your brand in a dialog is so vital – but that’s another blog post.

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