We are launching a new feature of our widely read blog Ernan’s Insights on Marketing Best Practices. It is called:
4 Questions for Marketing Innovators.
The goal is to provide a quick read filled with meaningful insights from marketing thought leaders. Each column will feature one innovator who will address 4 questions;
- What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
- Why is this so important?
- How will concentrating on this help improve the customer experience?
- How will concentrating on this help improve the overall effectiveness of marketing?
In 2007, Alexis and a founding team conceived of and built Gilt, and in doing so, revolutionized the landscape of luxury ecommerce and the way millions of people shop online.
Alexis also serves as Director for National Audubon Society and for Girls Who Code. Alexis, together with Gilt co-founder Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, is the author of The New York Times bestseller book, By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop.
Gilt is an innovative online shopping destination offering its more than 9 million members access to top designer labels, at significant discounts and exclusive local services and experiences.
We caught up with Alexis at the recent DMA Annual Conference, where she was inducted into the DMA Hall of Fame. Here are her marketing insights;
1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?
At Gilt, here’s how we approached it. As we set out to build this deeper personal relationship with our customers, my cofounder Alexandra Wilson and I put ourselves out there and made sure we interacted directly with our base on many fronts.
Firstly, each city we visited for personal or business travel we'd meet our 10-20 top customers. We heard first hand what they loved about Gilt, what they would like to improve.
The conversations soon turned to recommendations on travel destinations, favorite restaurants and even to our families or common passions. We realized that by having the two of us engage directly and frequently with our members, we started building a recurring dialogue with our customers, or in other words that “Face" we needed to emerge from that anonymous world of the internet.
We began to foster that dialogue in both small ways and in large ways. Smaller ways included series of local events in key cities where we could speak to hundreds at a time; we inserted personally signed thank you notes in all outbound boxes; and we made sure we too answered customer support calls and emails regularly.