Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices

Monday, February 17, 2014

6 Multichannel Takeaways from Best Buy’s Marketing

Challenge: Marketers are having a tough time maintaining engagement with today’s multichannel, multi-device consumers.
Best Buy AppAccording to ShopperTrack, which uses a network of 60,000 shopper-counting devices to track visits at malls and large retailers across the country, retailers got only about half the holiday traffic in 2013 as they did just three years earlier. However, online sales increased by more than double the rate of brick-and-mortar sales this holiday season. According to the study, while shoppers visited an average five stores per mall trip in 2007, today they only visit three.
One company that understands this is Best Buy. While the company’s online sales of $1.32 billion for this past holiday season were up 23.5% from a year earlier, it was not enough to pull out a win overall due to lower in store sales. Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam noted in a conference call with analysts that expanding the company’s online presence will be a top priority in 2014.
The company has also made great strides in moving into the mobile space.  Amy Halford, senior digital brand manager of interactive marketing and emerging media at Best Buy noted in an interview, “we have the opportunity to better connect and be relevant to customers whenever, wherever they might seek us.“
6 Takeaways:
Here are 6 lessons Best Buy learned by listening to their multichannel customers. These can help you as well:
1. Keep customers’ rapidly changing needs and behaviors at the forefront of your strategies.
2. Provide the capability to easily research products and connect with you. This is critically important to customers. Many want to do more than simply transact.
3. Customers expect a consistent experience regardless of which entry point they access, be it online, phone, or store. 
4. Test frequently, learn quickly, and scale appropriately.
5. Reinforce all marketing efforts across media channels, including those conducted for specific audiences, such as Spanish language campaigns.
6. It’s critical to focus on meeting customer needs from a multichannel perspective, and not focus solely on growing a particular channel.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Macy’s Rewards Customers for Providing Tracking Permission

Challenge: New technology allows companies to track consumer’s every move. However, caution must be taken to ensure that permission is gained before tracking commences.

Macys AppIn a new IBM study of more than 30,000 consumers it was found that consumers are willing to share their personal information if they feel they receive value in exchange;

» The percentage of consumers willing to share their current location via GPS with retailers nearly doubled year-over-year to 36 percent.

» 38 percent of consumers would provide their mobile number for the purpose of receiving text messages and 32 percent would share their social handles with retailers.

This same sentiment has been confirmed in our Voice of Customer (VoC) research for Fortune brands regarding willingness to opt-in based on Reciprocity of Value expectations.

Macy’s opt-in based multichannel customer engagement

Today’s customers are multichannel. Therefore marketers have to follow their lead.

Macy’s PromoAlert program allows customers to opt-in to receive push marketing via email or text as well as through an Android or iPhone mobile app. Additionally the company allows customers to opt-in to receive information on specific events, bridal registries, and more.

Macy’s has also begun testing Shopkick, an iBeacon/BLE-based Bluetooth signal at its Herald Square, New York and Union Square, San Francisco stores. The app automatically welcomes shoppers as they enter a store and shows location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations and rewards. The app can also tie in at-home browsing to an in-store benefit—if a shopper “likes” a specific product in the app. The Shopkick technology ties into the retailer’s own app.

The company has established complete transparency in their opt-in mobile tracking technology. Macy’s offers details on their PromoAlert program on their web that allows customers to both sign-up or opt-out.

4 Takeaways:

1. It cannot be emphasized enough that transparency is essential in order to get active opt-in from customers.

2. Retailers need to develop all tracking technologies in a way that preserves trust and delivers personalized benefits in exchange for their willingness to provide increasingly deeper levels of personal information.

3. Improve customer loyalty through personalized brand experiences. Customers who opt in expect that the information they receive will dramatically enhance and improve their overall experience.

4. Integrate digital and physical stores to enable a seamless shopping experience for customers. Every aspect of your marketing needs to reinforce your overall brand and customer experience.