How retailers can differentiate customers

This photo was shared by the famous author, Susan Cain.  She noted “There’s an introvert on the customer services team.”

Her world view is all focused on explaining to the majority of the population who are extroverts how the minority (introverts) prefer to be treated.

Treat different customers differently by Sephora retail

Skilful marketers treat different customers differently

Face to face retail is different from online retail.  Online, the customer wanders where she wants, unhindered except by popups and tracking cookies – she’s unaware of one of these most of the time.

But in shops, it’s different.  Many sales assistants are paid on commission – this drives their behaviours.  And without a customer to speak to they risk not getting a commission payment.

When I worked the shop floor [Harrods, Burberrys] and now when I go to Trade Shows, I developed a technique which was successful for me.

I would make eye contact with the customer prospect, smile, and then look away first.  Sometimes I also said ‘Hi’.

Why did this method customer engagement work?

Firstly, I made the customer aware that I was there and could help if needed.

Secondly, by looking away first I left them in control of any future re-engagement.  They could choose to ignore me and I had signalled that this was fine, that they had no obligation to respond or engage with me.

Back to Sephora

A comment under Susan Cain’s post said

While I understand that we are not all extroverts, is it really that hard to say no thanks when asked if you require help? Perhaps it is? Perhaps one solution would be to changes the words. Red”Happy to be approached for you to assist me” Black “Thanks for not approaching me, I would love your assistance when I ask for it”

And this was my reply

It’s not the “hard” aspect that matters, Debbie. It is the quiet lack of interruption in the shopping experience and the energy it takes to interact when you’d prefer not to.

I am married to an introvert and I have had to do a lot of learning.

Plus, enabling ways for brands to “treat different customers differently” is not just about Susan Cain‘s introverts versus extroverts angle.  There are many ways.

I did a website design for a real estate agent.  2 buttons on the home page – I’m Buying – I’m Selling.  They go to separate customer journeys…. with different messaging.

Retail customer segmentation challenge

If you run a retail business, where can you enable simple ways to allow customers to self-identify into different groups who want / need to be treated differently?

corporate gift, holiday gift business,

Corporate gift innovations 2019

Early birds, it’s time to plan your Christmas holiday gifts for clients.  Branded gifts are still good, not naff and definitely give a good return on investment for existing clients and returning client programmes.

I took a look at some of the newer and older products available.  Get in touch to discuss your needs – no I don’t do a heavy sales push on this…

  • Branded bluetooth speakers – they came out last couple of years but they are STILL great value.
  • A waterbottle…. with a bluetooth speaker in the lid.  Yep, that’s right!
  • Novelty USB sticks – I love to pull the “head” off this lego man.
  • Wireless phone induction chargers and wireless power banks – a step up from just a battery-0n-the-go
  • A webcam cover – a little slider which slots over your web cam on the laptop.  Neat, cheap and valuable.
  • Reusable drinking straws (no, don’t ask me about inappropriate uses for these!)
  • And the usual enormous range of bags, hats, cheese boards, bottle openers, towels and coffee cups.
corporate gifts, B2B marketing, bluetooth speaker

Branded bluetooth speaker

Branded water bottle bluetooth speaker, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

Branded water bottle speaker

Branded USB, Key shape USB, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

Branded USB, Key shape pen drive

Padlock USB, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

Padlock shape USB

Branded power adapter plug, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

Branded power adapter plug

USB toy, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

USB toy

Waterbottle and bluetooth speaker, corporate gifts, B2B marketing

Waterbottle and bluetooth speaker

office view for copywriting inspiration

Anatomy of effective cold direct mail

I love getting really timely direct mail messages that are relevant.

This one came just in time to help me navigate a change to podcast categories.

Let’s analyse the direct message

Hello podcaster,

[Small fail here as they don’t know my name.  Implies a purchased list rather than an opted in CRM database.]

In case you missed it, Apple Podcasts have changed how they categorize podcasts. In short, new categories like True Crime have been introduced, old categories have been rebranded and lots of new sub-categories dedicated to sports, comedy, TV and more have been added!

[Opening paragraph – helpful link to contextualise in case I haven’t seen the news.  It’s a blog post on their website…. that’s good because it drives traffic and cookies my browser.  Nice bold text for likely interesting new categories to draw my eye.]

Unfortunately, some services as SoundCloud don’t support them yet. Spreaker is a platform dedicated to podcasting and we put the podcasters’ needs first.

[Natch!  a snipe at a popular competitor.  I use SoundCloud for my podcast and so this is relevant to me.  Could be a merge field – but not likely.  I think they may have targeted me from the SoundCloud platform.]

For this reason

  • our podcast platform already fully supports the new Apple Podcasts categories so you can improve your show’s discoverability
  • Spreaker allows you to set three categories – your podcast will rank in more than one category on iTunes at the same time – and fully customize the RSS feed tags
  • our service enables you to earn money with your podcast thanks to the Spreaker’s Monetization Program.

[Small quibble about supplying 3 reasons and not numbering them… and referring to “this reason” when it should be “these reasons”.  However, their nimble coding enabling the new categories quickly is encouraging when considering an alternative hosting platform.  Hopefully they keep up the speedy work.]

If you want to start using the new Apple categories and are curious about what Spreaker could do for your podcast – why not give us a try with our FREE, no strings attached, month-long trial.

All you need to do is click this special code: GETAPPLECATEGORIES

[Simple offer, clear time limit and a coupon code so they can identify subscribers from this campaign.]

If you need instructions to move your podcast over to Spreaker, you can follow this guide.

[More useful user guides to smooth a transition.]

We hope to see you on Spreaker sometime soon!

Template your own message

Follow the same paragraph structure when approaching your own prospects and try this for yourself.

Read more of our articles on copywriting and learn tips for your own marketing.

Customer Reviews – a reality check

The New Zealand Commerce Commission is investigating online retailers who they claim have manipulated customer reviews and testimonials in

“…conduct that was liable to mislead consumers by creating artificially positive impressions…”

NZ Commerce Commission website

What actions constitute “misleading consumers”?

Read more
podcast, economy watch, interest co nz, David Chaston, NZ Economy

Another Podcast launched

Today we announce the Economy Watch podcast by Interest.co.nz has launched. It’s a daily summary of the key overnight news that affects the New Zealand economy.

Short podcasts for news

In scoping the content and audience for this podcast, we decided that a short format podcast was a good choice. Listeners are on their way into work and can catch a 6-10 minute update quickly during their commute to work.

Authored by David Chaston, Editor and voiced by me (Rebecca Caroe), we are really pleased with the early listener feedback.

Please go and listen and tell me what you think. Appreciate it!

Tongue twister podcasting

Now here are the things I’ve found hard to say coherently in the episodes so far. See if you can spot them in the audio

German government bonds sold at a record low yield overnight. They sold 10-year Bunds [bund / bond]

India imposed higher retaliatory tariffs [why was retaliatory so hard?]

China’s Central government coffers [coffers was the issue here]

at the Japanese-hosted G20 summit [not sure why I can’t say summit]


seth godin, purple circle, marketing easter egg

Marketing using easter eggs

Little surprises that reward your customers are a really nice way of helping them to feel special.

Today I got a marketing easter egg from Seth Godin.

The benefits of careful reading

The message was short, barely formatted and it’s one I have waited a year to receive. Hidden in the fourth line was a surprise.

Don’t forget to look for the purple circle on the website to get the best price.

Seth Godin, The Marketing Seminar

…. and so I took a look.

It looked like a pretty piece of graphic art. But one of the circles had an embedded link. NICE….

Seth Godin, purple Circle, marketing easter egg, link hidden,
Hidden Marketing Easter Egg Link

How do you reward your loyal customers?

Sometimes I get frustrated when we make an offer and few people take it up. I think “That’s an AWESOME deal – why isn’t everyone paying attention and buying?” But I realise that I’m looking at it the wrong way around; I should be delighted that only the most savvy, the most loyal and most deserving customers are the ones who take up the offer.

I think of these as my “ultra-loyal” customers. They care enough to read. They don’t skip my messages and so I can give them a reward that others don’t take up.

Can you use an Easter Egg Marketing Strategy for your best customers?

Get insights into Seth’s thinking with his latest book This is Marketing – the course above is based on it.

semantic keywords, SEO, keyword indexing, natural search

Keyword tool tip for 2019

Happy new year everyone.  I’m loving being on summer break – but it doesn’t stop me researching and finding top new tools and ideas for digital marketing success.

Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords

Found this great site which can help you identify LSI keywords for your website SEO.

What are LSI keywords?

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are words that are commonly found together within a single topic and are semantically related to each other.

So they help you understand the connections and correlations between groups of words and phrases – so you can select good ones to use on your natural website SEO.

Testing LSI Keywords

I did a quick test for a client and found a list of over 10,000 [seriously, who needs that many?] to download.  The site asks you to list up to 10 “seed” words before it runs the analysis.

semantic keywords, SEO, keyword indexing, natural search

Latent Semantic Keywords

And then I reviewed the listings and found a lot of non-relevant words – so I refined the seed words to improve the outcome, downloaded and got my list.

Next step – back to the Google Analytics query to assess the current search results and revise / review and improve.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Case Study: Multi Language Website

New challenges are what we thrive on and so the opportunity to work with a client on migrating them to a Multi Language and Multi Currency website was exciting.

Specifying the Minimum

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

WordPress Multi Language plugin logo

Key to getting a great outcome was the first step of the site adjustment – what was the minimum viable site which would work?

The site has three main parts – a membership area, an online shop and a blog.  We decided to start with the blog and shop.

Creative Agency Secrets used our Sub-Contracted Services to find a great developer for the job.  It was important that they had already used the plugin we selected – WordPress Multi Language (WPML).

The most visited pages were prioritised for translation and the migration plan included adding shop products in descending order of popularity.

Integrations with MailChimp were also planned and a range of marcoms tactics to publicise to the existing user base.

Currency choices

Stage two was to add multi-currency to the site.  Since German was the language we added, it was clear the Euro currency was needed.  Finding a good plugin wasn’t hard – but customising the display to suit the site made usability better.

The default install is below – the user has to notice that the flag doesn’t match their country and then click the down arrow to find alternatives.  This was clumsy and not very obvious since nothing actually mentioned that this related to payment choices.

Woocommerce. multi currency shop,

Drop down currency choice

 

Our improvements were made with two changes – firstly displaying the currencies side by side in a grey bar and secondly by adding a label “Change Currency”.

label to improve currency selection visibility

Change Currency label

Lastly we recommended the client pay for the fully functioned version and add many more currencies – we selected these based on the countries where website visitors come from.

woocommerce, Full multi currency list

Full multi currency list

Unexpected outcomes and challenges

Here’s our list of things which we found challenging and which should help you shortcut your own learning.

  • Back end is duplicated now in each language – but you have to select each page or post individually for translation
  • Creating new landing pages for each language means that the URL needs to also change, making the site structure more complex
  • The tags and categories can be translated, listed for the translation team to work on or left untranslated
  • Categories lists (created alphabetically in English) are listed differently in other languages
  • The media library is common to both – but labels, naming and searching is in each language
  • Publicity tools like OneSignal work across the whole site and were sending out updates in both languages.  Customers noticed and told us they didn’t like this.
  • Mail Chimp allows editing of database field labels e.g. “Subscribe here” but we found that a lot more work was needed to update all the messaging with subscription confirmation emails, unsubscribe messages etc.

Overall we found that we needed to create “rules” for the teams using the site – marketing, translation, web and merchandising so that it was clear where and how we expected any product, image or article to display and be included in the taxonomy.  Many of these rules could not be anticipated and so necessitated detailed checking of each others’ work to identify mis-matches.

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight savings promotion ideas

Twice a year you get a chance to run a promotion themed around the biannual clock changes in spring and autumn (fall).  We call it daylight savings or “summer time” but either way, the clocks advance or retreat an hour.

Here are 5 themes for promotions you can run in your marketing

cleaneze, carpet cleaning, Auckland carpets

Daylight Savings promotion for clean carpets

5 Daylight Savings Promotions

A reminder – some products change over time and so using this clock change as a reminder can help your customers.  Toothbrushes need changing each season; Carpets get cleaned twice a year – a campaign we did for Cleaneze carpet cleaning.

Something to do – A new activity which reflects the new season we move into.  Start a sport in Springtime.  Or new clothes for winter.

Stopping doing something – This is great for diet products or changing habits – if you swim in the ocean in summer, you could move to pool swimming in winter.

A change of routine – working with children and particularly small babies is challenging getting them to sleep.  Promotions for Sleep remedies, child care advice and behaviour coaching.

Modern clocks are often automatically set to change – but how about all your old manual clocks – could you offer a service to show how to change the clock on your car dashboard?

Meanwhile, what could you customer be doing with the time saved?  Send her a stress ball, a gel eye mask to relax with, a new book or magazine voucher or a coupon for a free coffee and a muffin.