January 31, 2014

Leverage Loyalty Fundamentals In a nation that loves to eat out, restaurants ought to be CRM learning laboratories. Unfortunately they’re not. But Jim Daleen, CEO of Appsuite, hopes to change all that. Restaurateurs commonly skimp on marketing. They don’t think about connecting their brand to their customers. Many assume that the food and the ambiance will do it for them automatically, saving an investment in technology or marketing people. But this state of mind ignores the key psychological factor that underlies loyalty. People want to be known and recognized in their favorite restaurants. Personal customized service pays off whether it’s a free drink, a bonus dessert, an amuse bouche or just a bit of public schmoozing with the chef. A loyal restaurant customer will spend $10,000 over five years if they eat out once a week and spend $40. So if that’s the average lifetime value of a fan, it’s well worth managing the customer relationship. In constructing his app, Daleen focused on 3 critical building blocks of customer loyalty. Utility. His app enables patrons to book a table, either directly or through Open Table, order a take out meal, divert themselves during wait times with menus, games and fun food facts, check in on Foursquare or share the menu or their review on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook or Twitter. The app synchs with common customer behavior. It provides a helpful service and is designed to be used in context. Useful value exchange is the foundation stone for building consumer loyalty. Connection. You can’t stimulate customer traffic and repeat purchases if you aren’t connected to your customer base. The app creates a virtual private network (VPN) between a restaurant and its patrons enabling personal, targeted pushed messages. Cueing best customers about specials, reminding them its osso bucco night or delivering a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day offer creates momentum and reinforces the sensation of belonging or of being an insider that consumers treasure. Rewards & Incentives. The app has a built-in points system that connects to a restaurant’s POS system. Not only can restaurateurs track orders, food or wine preferences and dollar value, they can reward selected purchases, incent social sharing and enroll their best customers as brand advocates. Each restaurant can set up a cadence for rewards using business rules to deliver rewards, coupons or offers directly to patrons’ phones. Loyalty is a function of brand familiarity, utility, connection and rewards. Jim Daleen’s AppSuite leverages these fundamentals. So maybe soon restaurants will be at the leading edge of CRM practices. Related articles AppSuite, the Hospitality Technology Experts, Layout the Future of Customer Loyalty
The State of Media Mixology If I had a dollar every time a client asked about media mix or tried to define which channel accomplishes a particular marketing task or objective, I’d be as rich as Mark Zuckerberg. In spite of an explosion of channels, media and marketing strategies, there are no rules of thumb and there is no consensus on what does what. This gets confusing quickly when you consider the continuously evolving array of digital, social and mobile options. As a result, marketers chase this illusive beast in search of a framework for allocating time, effort and money and for measuring key performance indicators (KPIs). In theory, most channels can accomplish a variety of tasks from creating brand awareness, to generating leads, sales or buzz or reinforcing brand loyalty and advocacy. The tricky part is crafting and parsing the key message and then delivering it through multiple channels at the right time to the right people in the right way at the right price. Media mix modeling tends to focus on media efficiencies and getting the best prices. They are generally used as a planning and negotiation tools. I haven’t seen a model that can accurately predict consumer activity or that can produce a behavioral (or sales) forecast that can be measured. The challenge is to build a model that considers business goals and consumer behavior and then ranks or weights the relative impact of messages and media versus the relative investments during a fixed campaign time frame. In the old days, TV was the universal reach tool. Print extended reach, added frequency and vertically reinforced the message. Radio was the mobile reminder medium with a local personalized appeal that reached hard-to-find audiences, like teenagers. Out-of- Home was the LBS of its time. Direct mail got you one-to-one targeting and FSIs delivered coupons. Life was simple and satisfying. Now that’s all gone. Writing in The New York Times, David Carr says we live in “an age of individualized media cocoons … each of us is building our own little campfire on our phone, tablet and big screen at a time and place of our own choosing. “ Consumer media use, which used to be predictable by demographics, has gone ka-fluey! Finding and aggregating a sizable audience at a decent price at the right point in the customer journey now takes much more time and effort than ever before. Orchestrating messages and media to achieve widespread penetration and persuasion is still much more of an art than a science. The alchemy changes product by product and target audience by target audience. No wonder agencies, media firms and marketers are trying to isolate and package discrete audiences so that they can replicate or adjust the formula to achieve cost efficiencies and profit margins. Marketers are faced with the need to orchestrate campaigns where attitudes, behaviors and devices are dependent variables. Reach frequency and impact/activation are still the critical objectives. But like Mozart, marketers have to construct the symphony from the ground up. Most use search as a baseline and call on TV, web or print to express the melodic line. Then message variations and alternative channels (apps, online display, mobile and social media) have to be creatively integrated in time. And while I don’t have a simple one-size-fits-all solution, here’s what I’m learning along the way. TV/Cable/Video. These media are becoming almost indistinguishable from one another since consumers use them all and use them idiosyncratically. TV still can reach millions, especially live broadcast events like the Super Bowl, but finding the right mix of programming and time slots to resonate with a tight psycho-demographic and to leverage the multi-channel viewing/commenting/tweeting phenomenon is still a big challenge. Longer form video resonates with a range of audiences who view them at random times on a broad array of devices. This is where the potential for virility and massive earned media exists, if you can hit the right sensibility with the right meme at the right time. Organizing a “road block” to slam home a message or introduce a product or service is a very difficult task. TV and video messages are effective at driving web, #hashtag and 800 number traffic if the CTAs are prominent and the timing and frequency are right. Online Display. Banners are the default medium touted by publishers and widely ignored by consumers. Brands load up on these to fill TRP goals and to “go digital” without regard for their lack of impact and attention. Rich media, page takeovers and inventive combinations of...

Danny Flamberg

I am a veteran marketing consultant working with leading and emerging brands

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