It’s the start of a New Year, which means that businesses will be challenged to keep up with the latest trends in technology and innovation to drive customer activity. But instead of mass online marketing like we’ve seen in years past, 2015 will focus on more personal connections to keep customers engaged and visiting your business. Businesses of any size will need to employ this new focus in order to stay ahead of competitors and to grow and retain their customer base.
We’ve put together a list of the top marketing trends for 2015 and what your business can do to stay ahead.
Individualized Messaging Customers have learned to tell the difference between an email that suggests personalization and one that is truly customized to them. Lisa Arthur, CMO at Teradata Marketing Applications says, “….customers will become less and less satisfied with mass personalization; they’ll start expecting true individualization – messaging and offers specific to each person’s behaviors, needs and preferences…” In order to keep your marketing efforts from getting sent straight to Trash, take time to create messaging that will make your customers care. Did your salon start carrying a new line of hair care products within the past 2 weeks? Tell that to your customers who haven’t visited in a while, but don’t bother communicating that to those who visited more recently — because they already know! Belly’s Campaigns tool segments your customers based on their visit history making it easy to target your communication strategy.
Powerful Storytelling According to Ann Hadley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, “…the smartest small businesses will focus not simply on content and storytelling but they will focus on telling true stories well.” How are you letting the world know about your awesome business and the even more awesome loyal customers you have? Rely on social media for this! Share photos of your most loyal customers and their experiences at your business. Tap into your Web Command Center to see which customers visit you the most and the next time they’re in, ask to feature them on your Facebook page. Record a quick video of them on your phone when they’ve redeemed a reward – by showing real people who love your business, you’ll add a human element to your enterprise which will attract even more customers.
Reputation Monitoring The most frustrating part of the “Information Age” is how easy it is to spread negative information. If a customer has a poor experience, or even just a less than expected experience, all too often they’ll take to the internet to leave a bad review. In 2015, reputation monitoring will be extremely important. “Monitor what people are saying about your organization online. We can no longer get away with not monitoring.” (Gina Dietrich, Arment Dietrich, Inc & Spin Sucks). Make an effort to check your business’s online reviews and acknowledge any that are less than satisfactory. By putting an emphasis on customer service, you’ll show that you value the customer experience. It’s equally important to encourage your best customers to share their positive feedback about your business. Belly’s Campaigns tool allows you to send an email with a link to your business’s online review page – ask your customers spread the love about the last time they stopped by.
Trackable Customer Acquisition / Lead Attribution Marketing efforts of the past consisted of advertising dollars being thrown into various channels, blasting those channels with noisy offers and hoping to attract new customers into your business. Not very cost effective or strategic. Todd Ebert, Chief Marketing Officer at ReachLocal says, “We’re at the start of a new trend – one where business owners adopt lead conversion software that enables businesses to automatically capture, follow-up with, and convert more leads into customers by staying top-of-mind until they are ready to buy.” The beauty of Belly is this aforementioned conversion software is built right into the program. Target new customers who have never visited your business before with Belly’s customer acquisition tool, Bites. Send Belly Members near your business an enticing offer to drive them in-store and measure how often they return. Follow-up with a reminder email to invite them back in; for the first time, you can track repeat visits and determine which offers resonate the most with customers.
Customer Retention Loyal customers are happy customers. However, establishing that loyal customer base takes a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth focusing on this year. Dive into the data you’ve collected through your loyalty program and invite your most loyal customers to come in for a customer appreciation event. If you can show how important they are to your business, they’ll return the favor through their continued loyalty and support.