Let’s not deny it; 2011 was a tough year for most of us in retail marketing. And this was for good reason. Many of the tried and tested activities that we used to have ready to rollout just didn’t have the impact we would expect. We saw some retailers discounting their products heavily, only achieving flat year-on-year sales at best.
Many premium brands devalued some of their core assets by running voucher offers for short- term gain, which didn’t introduce lifetime customers. At Strand we were able to demonstrate for one client how they had two main types of customer: the regular and the discount hunter. Discount hunters have no loyalty to anyone and are happy to shop around for the best deal. Watch a retailer introduce a ‘loss-leader’ and these discount- hunters can quickly put the business in difficulty.
So what have we been working on that has seen a positive return on investment? Well, the best place to start is the Customer Insight Projects. These are a short-term solution to find some immediate revenue opportunities. Retailers have been providing us with whatever sales and marketing data they can get their hands on and we’ve been unlocking some areas where targeted focus could deliver exciting results.
Also, we’ve never seen such demand for Partnership Marketing. Retail brands are always looking for low-cost marketing solutions and this is one of the best; we identify like-minded brands with a similar profile to your own and introduce your business to their customer base. Experts say it’s always much cheaper to speak to existing customers than find new ones, and I suggest this approach finds new customers for the cost of speaking to your existing ones!
Meanwhile the ‘Sniper Approach’ is something we’re working on every day for luxury brands. However, this can also work for anyone in high-street retail too. Our grander term for this is ‘Bespoke Communication’ and I’ll explain a little more about it. If you’re familiar with CRM, you’ll understand that it is about driving relevant communication to your customers based on your understanding of them through data. We’ve been taking this a step further, segmenting retail customers by ‘opportunity to grow’ and designing targeted offers to do just that.
Have you considered lookalikes too? We’ll analyse your customers and provide you with the addresses of people with a similar profile who haven’t visited your stores yet. It’s a great way to maximize the response from a mailing campaign.
If you’re already doing all of this, here’s another suggestion. Rather than lowering the cost of your core offering, have you considered a diffusion line?
Wishing everyone a prosperous 2012.