I’m subscribed to more on-line retailers and loyalty programmes that I can remember these days, but I never cease to be amazed at how badly these companies manage their data. Its been years (I mean more than twenty) since I started getting my clients to build relationships with their customers by acknowledging dates like birthdays that are important to them, but I can’t remember ever receiving a birthday reward from anybody other than MoonPig and then, of course, it was someone else’s birthday they were reminding me of.
I was reassured therefore by my mother’s delight at having received a £5 shopping voucher for her birthday this week from, of all people, Matalan. I’ve always wondered why the retailer didn’t appear to do anything much with the data they collect when they register their customers. Especially as you are strong-armed into subscribing to their loyalty programme at your first visit to one of their stores. It seems that having hit rock bottom in recent years the retailer has addressed issues well beyond their dowdy stores and stock. Well done Matalan for showing UK retailers how its done!
Posted in below-the-line, brand, brand community, brand development, Brand promise, branding, brands, brandships, CRM, customer service, customer support, customers, efficiency, Full Effect, Full Efffect Marketing, loyalty, loyalty programme, loyalty programmes, Matalan, phil darby, Retail, Retail marketing, The Full Effect Company, UK retailers, Uncategorized
There’s increasing emphasis lately on what’s called “experiential marketing”, but like many things in our marketing world there’s nothing new about it – apart from the name. These things just used to be referred to as “promotions” and looking through my archive of case studies that fall readily into the “experiential” category, I’m reassured to see that there have always been clients who recognise the value of this kind of initiative and are good them.
Take a client of mine from 2002/3. A telco from Central Europe, now absorbed by a global operator, that had made headlines for having built a powerful and successful (by any measure) consumer-based brand and was trying to build on the values that had made them so successful with private subscribers and repeat that success in the business sector.
Our target was successful, entrepreneurial businesses, which in a developing market meant SME’s and Sole Traders. We found a dozen (who we nicknamed “The Daring Dozen”) that had already succeeded and produced a book of case studies and a series of ten-minute TV programmes profiling each. National TV, eager for local content were happy to run these in pre-evening-news slots. We then launched a national campaign called “The Thirteenth Chair” throwing down the gauntlet to would-be entrepreneurs to take their place alongside these successful small businesses.
The red swivel-chair that we used throughout, photographed empty and in a spot-light, became the campaign icon and the key competition and the book was promoted through trade associations, on the telco’s web site, in their stores, using viral and press media with links at the end of the TV segments, and in the book, to the campaign web site where candidates could register and subscribe to the campaign pack. The mechanic was straightforward enough. Candidates completed a business plan using a template that we provided and each submission went through a short-listing process, culminating in a chosen few being invited to a “show and tell” like “Dragon’s Den” where a panel, made up from the twelve original entrepreneurs and representatives of my client, voted to contribute to financing to one of the plans.
From there the winning candidate was filmed as their business evolved throughout the next twelve months. Press coverage was phenomenal during the run-up and after the award was announced and we were almost fighting applications off with a stick (although, as you might expect from a developing market, there were rather a lot of “spoiled applications”).
Was it one of those “big ideas” that I tend to ramble on about? – Well, yes, I guess it might qualify. Could you repeat this event in a more mature market? – Probably not, certainly at the level of investment we were making back then, but with the new mobile technologies that are now available, there would be a whole lot of additional elements and valuable mileage to be gained if you could. It just goes to show that “experiential marketing” isn’t something that was just invented and I’m sure that it will be with us, whatever its called, for a long time yet.
Posted in below-the-line, Big Idea, brand development, Brand promise, branding, brands, central europe, communications, experiential, Full Effect, Full Efffect Marketing, integrated marketing, marketing, mobile operator, phil darby, telco, the big idea, The Full Effect Company, Uncategorized
I have never been able to resist a bargain. That is why I love guerrilla marketing – Hey its usually free or almost free, who could say no? Especially when you can build it into any integrated strategy to such good effect. I have never understood why so many organisations look down on guerrilla as though it was appropriate only to small businesses. I was working with an on-line publisher last year and came up with a neat little initiative that demonstrates just what can be done.
Our target was English-speaking businessmen with an interest in Central European markets. The problem was one of awareness and the need to increase subscriptions. I’m not a great fan of trade shows normally, partly because the cost of running a stand that is professional enough to give the right impression, more often than not, makes the idea non-viable. However, if you don’t need a stand …
There was no doubt about it, major Central European trade shows were the most likely places to find the people we were looking for in any numbers, so we identified those with the highest visitor numbers from the most appropriate sectors of industry and called the organisers with a simple proposition – We would run advertising for their event in exchange for a free go-anywhere pass for our group of promoters and the go-ahead to distribute a card promoting a free offer that was bound to enhance the value of the show (In fact we ended up with a whole lot more than that). The offer was a free limited period subscription to our publication (providing local CE market intelligence), which, if people signed up to it, would give us a great database and the opportunity to up-sell to paid-for subscriptions or just add permanent free subscribers with limited access who would add value to our offer to advertisers and sponsors. The show organisers, to my surprise and delight, nearly snatched our hand off!
Another great thing about initiatives like this is their flexibility. We had no idea how this would perform so we opted for a two-month test-phase with an extended programme set up and ready to go the first month looked good. Buoyed by the enthusiasm of trade show organisers, we decided to test a secondary target – employees of international firms that congregate in the large office complexes that you see around major Central European cities – and approached the largest property management companies with an offer similar to that we had made to the trade show organisers – free advertising in exchange for access to the lobbies of their buildings at peak times. Same result!
That gave us two full months of promoter activity, with the office complex element filling in between the trade shows, which made maximum use of the promoters that we hired and trained for the client specially for the campaign. Of course, the design of the material that the promoters were handing out and their sensitivity in selecting targets from the thousands of visitors to these shows and offices were critical factors in the efficiency of the first level of the campaign, but from there by funnelling responses through a carefully constructed CRM programme, we could generate revenue from subscriptions, boost readership/site visits and therefore enhance our value to advertisers, as well as sell ongoing advertising to show organisers and exhibitors. Every card we handed out carried a unique promotion code designating where and when it was handed out, respondents entered the code to sign up for their trial, which gave use useful data too and we used that to strengthen our argument to the trade show organisers and exhibitors when we sold them advertising. We also included all respondents in our new “recommend a friend” promotion, which caused a snowball effect. We did the whole thing for the kind of cost you could cover from petty cash – literally and the payback was way beyond anything that marketers would expect from a traditional campaign.
Guerrilla marketing definitely isn’t the reserve of small businesses and I’ve used all forms in many different ways over the years. Taken seriously and partnered with the capability in other areas that large organisations always have, the effect of any investment can be magnified many times over. Elements such as those that we used on this initiative have such a high pay-back level anyway, that they can’t help but improve the average ROI of any marketing strategy.
Posted in below-the-line, business development, business strategy, central europe, communications, CRM, efficiency, Full Effect, Full Efffect Marketing, Guerrilla, Guerrilla marketing, integrated marketing, integration, marketing, on-line publishing, phil darby, publishing, strategy, The Full Effect Company, Trade shows, Training, Uncategorized
It seems rumors of the jingle’s death have been greatly exaggerated … by me at least! Having waxed on last month about how great life was when we all had a few jingles to hum as we went through our day, I had my attention drawn to an organisation that has brought the art into the 21st century.
Meet Now House, a business that not only proves that music is a viable and valuable contemporary marketing communications tool, but makes a strong case for integration, DM, social networking and The Big Idea in one neat initiative.
I say this because I became aware of Now House from their Christmas card, which I arrived at via a link from James van Etten’s Clippings and the card was one of those that not only could you forward to your own contacts, but was a rare example of one that you might actually forward without permanently destroying your street cred or losing all your friends.
I suspect that I am not alone in dreading the pre-holiday mailbox full of gag-inducing, unoriginal, dross that most people pass-off for Christmas greetings. I always find myself wondering how apparently switched-on companies can waste such an opportunity to underline their innovation, by demonstrating the opposite so dramatically every December. Because one sign of a well-run business is that they don’t waste free communications opportunities, my advice to any client who is looking for a business partner for any purpose, is choose the one that didn’t give the job of designing their Christmas card to the tea lady (not that I have anything against tea ladies you understand!).
The “big idea” is a constant theme of this blog and my little talks. Basically, my point is that however great your delivery vehicle may be, it has to be delivering something useful and in this world of marketing noise one of the essential attributes of a decent campaign is “cut through” – without the big idea your media costs are going down the toilet.
I was involved a few months ago in a debate about viral. Someone (I can’t remember who now) suggested that viral marketing is a great way to piss money away and they are right. Isn’t automation great? Now you can lose a shed-load of cash and never leave your desk! If you consider most of the viral campaigns you see, its clear that their originators think that being in this goovy new media environment is enough in itself. They don’t stop to think that its a double-edged sword that’s gonna demonstrate what twats they are to gazillions rather than just millions of people if they don’t use it right.
What Now House did with their Christmas card was use the delivery vehicle in a way that demonstrated their skills, reinforced their brand charater, was worth taking the time to open and seeded a viral chain that I am now, in January, still perpetuating – now that’s efficient marketing!
The sub-text to this is that if they are this switched on and still doing stuff with music then there must be something in not only this jingle thing, but the guys at Now House.
Posted in advertising, below-the-line, Big Idea, brand name, branding, brands, communications, CRM, difference, efficiency, Full Efffect Marketing, Guerrilla marketing, innovation, integrated marketing, Jingle, marketing, Now House, phil darby, the big idea, The Full Effect Company, Uncategorized
Guerrilla or Gorilla? is the title of one of the sections in my Full Effect Marketing seminars. I have had a great deal of success with Guerrilla marketing, from dressing up actors like pantomime characters and placing them on public transport where they proclaimed the benefits of a product loudly and at length to packed carriages of travellers to scattering red shoes around a city and creating a treasure hunt, but I always love to see other people’s ideas.
This is the folk art of marketing communications and massively undervalued by most organisations. I never get tired of the ideas that other folks come up with and found this on Speak Marketing and Sales I coudn’t resist sharing it with you.
Posted in below-the-line, Full Effect, Full Efffect Marketing, Guerrilla, Guerrilla marketing, integrated marketing, marketing, phil darby, Roaching, strategy, the big idea, The Full Effect Company, Uncategorized, you tube