5 Ways to Retain Retail Customers

Take, for example, you have started an amazing retail store selling exciting products for youngsters. You have decorated your space well, organized everything to catch visitors’ attention and sent out promotional messages to your prospects. Then comes those curious visitors one after the other who are interesting in knowing what exactly you are selling. Congratulations! You have successfully crossed the first hurdle in running a retail store, which is getting customers into your store.

Most of your first-time visitors like you and your store so much that they can’t resist but make a purchase. These customers are extremely valuable assets because they have got a good impression in the first time itself. Now comes the next challenge– you have to retain them. You have to make them keep coming to you. This is where most retail store owners fail, including many online e-commerce stores. But don’t worry, you can follow the tips below to retain your customers:

Connect with customers on a deeper level

It might seem hackneyed but personalization is the key to customer retention. You, as a store owner, have to consider your customers as people who have emotions. Try understanding their deepest desires and needs so that you can offer them a solution. Give them thank you notes, discount coupons, and other forms of on-boarding rewards so that they get a reason to come back to you for the second time.

Engage them on social media

 One good way to establish emotional connections with your customers is by reaching them on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, What’s App and a host of others. These platforms are now home to millions of users who you can reach in a matter of seconds and provide updates, discounts and offers. It’s even better if you can leverage location-based marketing for the purpose. Engaging your customers on social media helps you generate word-of-mouth, increase brand awareness and drive foot traffic to your store.

Consider their criticism

 You can’t please every customer that visits your store. There will be some who would be disappointed because of something or the other. Be open to such people and listen to their criticism. Whatever they say may give you an insight of what needs to change. You can use it to improve your store’s experience. Be open to their suggestions and ideas, and open a forum for them to come and express their opinions.

Hire passionate salespersons

You will be needing help to run a retail store. So why not hire somebody who can actually help you achieve your customer retention goal? Engaged and passionate salespeople who can communicate well tend to provide highly personalized experiences to customers. Train them on how to talk to customers and share your mission with them so that they are able to refine, motivate and dedicate themselves.

Increasing customer retention can be challenging during the initial stages. It’s particularly becoming tougher as competition in the market increases. But you can follow the aforementioned tips to make your first-time customers coming to you for more.

 

4 Proven Ways to Drive Foot Traffic to Your Retail Store

Are you an owner of a brick-and-mortar store? Then perhaps you may be concerned about foot traffic. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Driving foot traffic is a challenge that every retail store owners face. It’s clearly understood that unless people visit your store, you won’t be able to survive. You need to adopt certain strategies that will increase the visibility of your retail store and draw people towards it.

Foot traffic is actually a very important measure of success for retail stores. More foot traffic means more customer engagement, which ultimately contributes towards higher sales revenues. As store owners, you should strive consistently towards increasing foot traffic to your store. But how do you do that? This can be a tricky question to answer. Don’t worry, there are ways you can do this.

Here are five proven ways to increase footfall to your store:

Improve your store’s appeal

Before anything, you need to make sure your store looks great. While this is quite a subjective topic, you should at least ensure that your store is well-maintained. Keep it clean and organized always. Nobody wants to enter a store with peeling wall paint and broken window panes. Evaluate your store’s physical appeal and make repairs wherever necessary to make it look attractive and neat. This is one good way of getting more visitors into your store.

Use location-based marketing

Location-based marketing is becoming big in the present age of mobile technologies. Geo-fencing and geo-location services backing today’s mobile devices have changed the marketing process by allowing marketers to deliver targeted ads to audiences based on their geographic location. You can leverage location-based services to track a prospect located close to your store and deliver a push notification promoting your offer. This is seen to lure a number of people and encourage them to visit your store.

Focus on search

 Search engine marketing is becoming big these days. If you want to promote the visibility of your store online, you need to invest in search engine marketing. PPC and CPC advertising are good examples of search engine marketing, where rank of a website is pushed higher in the search engine results pages by creating keyword-based ads for a charge. You need to plan relevant search terms (keywords) which people can use for looking up your website, products or services. Search engine marketing is something no brick-and-mortar store can ignore for driving web traffic, which ultimately helps them drive more foot traffic.

Don’t forget social media

 Digital marketing without social media is incomplete. Besides big brands, small retail stores are also leveraging the power of different social media channels to reach audiences and boost engagement. As a store owner, you can promote it on various communities on social networking sites. The choice of social media channels, however, will depend on your audience and budget. You can even get in touch with influencers on Instagram who would spread positive word-of-mouth about your store. Not only will this create awareness of your store’s existence but also inspire people to pay you a visit.

4 Secrets About Location Based Marketing That Nobody Will Tell You

Location-based marketing is not a new concept in the present age of mobile technologies. The Global Positioning System (GPS) present in smartphones and hand-held devices has made it possible for marketers to deliver highly-targeted advertisements to people based on their geographic location. But this requires people to opt-in for the ads by allowing a mobile application to access their location. Location-based marketing leverages the geofencing feature to send alerts and push notifications as a part of their mobile marketing efforts.

The objective of location-based marketing is simple: it seeks to capture the attention of prospective consumers and turning them into actual customers. Whether it’s a retail store, a restaurant or any other business, location-based marketing is a good way to boost reach, acquire more leads and increasing consumer footfalls. As such, location-based marketing is becoming an important part of brands’ marketing strategies.

If you are new to the field of location-based marketing, here are a few secrets about the domain you should know:

Mobile coupons are crucial to location-based marketing success

It’s actually rare to see people without a smartphone these days. Smartphone penetration has jumped considerably in the recent times, giving ample opportunities to brand marketers to reach a wide audience. Marketers can actually make use of people’s smartphone usage patterns and target them with attractive coupons. Such a strategy entices people to visit the store and make a purchase. Mobile coupons are, thus, important for the successful of location-based marketing campaigns.

Location-based marketing requires creativity

Just like any other forms of marketing, location-based marketing also demands creative thinking from marketers. Most of these campaigns use geofence, virtual boundary that limits a geographic location. Geofencing allows marketers to present a promotional message to consumers within a select space. It’s natural for brands to use geofencing close to physical stores. But a little creative thinking in setting target locations can actually help marketers reach a wider market.

Social media is powerful in location-based marketing

 Let’s face the truth: everyone seems to be on social media these days. Unless a brand leverage social media channels, it won’t be able to meet its marketing objectives. The success of location-based marketing largely depends on how a brand uses social media. For example, you can offer special incentives to those consumers who give a “check-in” status on their profile. Using social media is a surefire to boost brand visibility in the local market.

Personalization holds the key

 Last but certainly not the least, marketers have to strike a chord with consumers in order to succeed in a competitive scenario. The best way to do so is by optimizing reviews and push notifications. Positive reviews given by customers paint a good picture of brand and empowers its position. It can boost search engine rankings, drive website traffic and influence consumers’ buying decisions in a positive manner. It’s also important to pay close attention to the content, context and timing of push notifications so that the campaign proves effective in terms of reach and conversions.

Five Useful Out Of Home Marketing Tips You Should Know

No, out-of-home marketing is not dead. In fact, brands continue to supplement their television, radio and print advertising campaigns with out-of-home banners, billboards, point of purchase displays, street furniture ads and transit advertising. But the recent digital transformation has certainly changed the face of out-of-home marketing campaigns, making them highly efficient, transparent, measurable, and impactful.

Although traditional marketing principles continue to hold strong even today, brands have to up their game in order to get the best out of their out-of-home marketing campaigns. Designing a colorful and informative billboard and putting it up in a high-traffic area is good in its own place. But succeeding in the game of out-of-home marketing is a challenge for brands, especially with so many players competing for consumers’ attention.

Don’t worry if you are struggling to make your OOH campaigns more effective. Here are a few tips that can help you get the best out of your efforts:

Craft crisp and effective messages

The copy of your out-of-home advertisement is perhaps the most important element to focus on. Given the short attention span of people, long ad copies can simply kill their interest. Your copy should be crisp enough for people to be able to read it at one go. You should try communicating your message using minimum number of words. Creating a concise copy with six or less words can actually create the right impact on people.

Keep the design as simple as possible

 While it’s a common practice to clutter billboards and banners with too much information, simplicity in design actually creates the real magic. Out-of-home marketing, whether traditional or digital, should be direct to the point, and focus on a single convincing idea. A perfect out-of-home ad contains a properly-chosen image or graphic, a brief copy highlighting the brand’s USP and the company’s name, logo and contact details.

Make a strategic choice of locations

The choice of location is extremely crucial for succeeding in out-of-home marketing. Brands nowadays pump in whopping sums of money into advertising media in order to increase reach of their advertising campaign. You, as a brand owner, need to ensure that your advertisement is put up in a space where it’s likely to grab the maximum eyeballs. Doing so will help you maximize your returns from the investment you make in OOH marketing.

Leverage social media

The effectiveness of a single banner ad can be increased ten times when it is run on social media. Digital advertising panels are highly beneficial for brands because they establish real-time connections between marketers and social media feeds. Leveraging social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will not only increase visibility of a brand by increasing reach but also provide necessary data to measure campaign performance.

Always know your competitors

Last but certainly not the least, you have to keep pace with your competitors. While it’s always recommended that you stay original, you cannot completely ignore your competitors’ strategies. You cannot put up an ad that contradicts your brand’s core values and ridicules your competitor. Rather you should draw inspiration from your competitors and do something which is closely in line with their strategies.

Here Are Reasons Why We Love Experiential Marketing

With so many players competing to increase their market share, how does an individual brand stand out? It sounds like a tricky question but the answer, as always, boils down to having the right marketing strategy in place. At the core of a brand’s success lies customer engagement, which increases brand awareness and brand loyalty. But how to engage customers? By giving them an experience that imprints the brand’s image on their minds forever. While there are different ways to do so, experiential marketing seems to lead the way in creating meaningful brand experiences.

There are plenty of reasons why we brand marketers should allocate some portion of their budget to experiential marketing. It is something we should love doing because:

It helps us connect with our consumers

While traditional marketing gave us a chance to connect with consumers only virtually, an event can actually bring us together on one platform. It’s rare for busy brand marketers to get time to have a face-to-face, two-way conversation with their consumers. An experiential marketing campaign does this job for us. It gives us a chance to know our consumers better by observing their reactions during the event. Not only does it help us know what our consumers like or dislike but also see what our drawbacks are.

It immerses consumers

The main objective of experiential marketing is to provide consumers a memorable brand experience. Experiential marketing activations like events and concerts are liked by a number of people, who wouldn’t mind being a part of the campaign. As such, brand marketers get a chance to give first-hand knowledge of their product or service to consumers and immerse their senses in the entire experience. It gives consumers a better idea of who they are, what they do, and how they do it.

It helps us create some noise

We marketers are constantly thinking of ways to cut through the advertising clutter. It’s perhaps the most challenging part of our job. But experiential marketing campaigns gives us the opportunity to be unique and creative, which helps us stand out from the rest. An event, for example, help brand marketers create a buzz around the product or service and attract a suitable target audience to it. It just lets us be a little different, which is why we love it so much!

It allows product sampling

Who likes to give away things for free, but we brand marketers have to provide product sampling opportunities to our consumers. This is the only way they can make a purchase decision. An experiential campaign lets us do so. The smiling faces of happy customers who tried our product is certainly a matter of great joy for marketers. The positive reviews we get from consumers gives us a sense of satisfaction that our efforts paid off. Not only does it trigger positive word-of-mouth but also gives us an edge over our competitors.

Experiential marketing is fun if marketers know how to implement the right strategy. It’s a surefire way of boosting engagement, generating leads, and pushing up revenue figures.

Five Factors That Affect Experiential Marketing Longevity

Experiential marketing is actually fun: it brings marketers and consumers together on one platform where the latter is given an opportunity to experience the brand in its true sense. From billion-dollar Fortune 500 companies to fledgling start-ups, brands across all domains have started recognizing experiential marketing as a major influencer of buying decisions. Promotional events, trade shows, and other on-ground activations help create memories of the brand that resonate through the psyche of consumers for a long time, thus driving consumer loyalty and forming positive brand associations.

At the same time, the experiential marketing game isn’t so easy to master. If you are a brand owner who’s getting into the waters of experiential marketing, perhaps it’s time you know the following factors in order to survive in a competitive marketing world:

Creativity

Given the short attention span of consumers, creative events tend to be more successful in creating a memorable impression on people. You should get your consumers excited about your event and give them enough reason why they should attend it– of course in your own quirky, interesting way. Your campaign should intrigue consumers and push them to attend the experiential event. There’s nothing wrong in going beyond the conventional for doing so.

Innovation

While the marketer has to come up with out-of-the-box ideas, they also have to make sure their ideas are innovative. You should think of innovative ways to execute the idea so that people remember your brand. Experiential marketing campaigns will only succeed if they are able to grab people’s attention and encourage them to interact with the brand. Marketers should, therefore, focus on making executions more innovative by leveraging new channels and increasing their interactiveness.

Influencers

Your brand is likely to benefit immensely if a high-profile personality associates himself or herself with it. Not only will it increase your event’s visitors but also ensure that your brand gets relevant consumers. But you have to make the right choice of influencers because they are the ones who your consumers will look up to. An event will only be successful if your influencer is popular enough and has traits that reflect the essence of your brand.

Authenticity

An authentic brand succeeds in getting all the respect and appreciation as an authentic person. Consumers will prefer your brand over your competitive only if you come across as a trustworthy and real. Your event will only have visitors if your promotions are genuine and your offer is actually relevant to people. Your visitors should feel that you are catering to their needs instead of robbing them off of their hard-earned money.

Implementation strategy

Last but certainly not the least, an experiential marketing campaign will only last long if it is implemented properly. You should ensure that every aspect of the event is executed according to plans. You should also leverage the power of social media for creating a buzz around the event and keep user up-to-date with the latest happenings. Unless an implementation strategy is engaging enough, experiential marketing campaigns will not be able to survive the cut-throat competition.

 

The Hidden Agenda of Location-based Marketing

The magic of location-based services

 It’s not uncommon today for your smartphone to beep with a notification, which is nothing but an appealing offer from a nearby store, restaurant or shopping center. Ever wondered how it happens? How on earth does your smartphone know that you are close to it? Well, it’s the magic of location-based services, which have become an intrinsic part of brand marketing strategies these days.

Ever since mobile devices with geo-location features entered the marketing world, marketers found a new way of targeting consumers and providing them with an offer. They are now able to leverage location-based services to provides advertisements to consumers based on their geographic location. But what is it that marketers actually want to achieve through this form of advertising? Let’s try to understand this here:

Drive foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores

This is perhaps the first objectives behind location-based advertising campaigns. Since the ad is targeted to people within a geographical distance, the store is likely to get more footfalls. It won’t be wrong to say that location-based marketing creates a “pull” for consumers and brings them to the store. A hungry consumer would love to visit a nearby restaurant if he or she is provided with an alluring offer from it. So, the objective here is to make an offer to people located within the proximity of the restaurant and drive them to drop by for a meal.

Acquiring relevant prospects

Location-based marketing allows marketers to combine location data and other consumer data such as preference information and demography. This helps them to reach the right prospects and convert them to actual customers. It touches particular pain points of consumers and lures them with a relevant solution. For a cosmetic store, for example, it would be beneficial if it leverages data about styling preferences of women and their location data together while delivering ads. This would help them attract women in that locality who would actually find the offer relevant.

Providing personalized experiences

 The best part of location-based marketing is that it allows brands to create personalized services. The use of beacon technology in malls is one good way of providing personalized location-based advertisements to shoppers. For example, if a shopper walks through the formal section of a clothing shop, the beacon technology will deliver a push notification to the consumer, presenting the latest offers on formal clothing. Location-based marketing, thus, seeks to take personalization a step higher.

Increasing consumer loyalty

A brand that continues to solve consumers’ problems is likely to enjoy their loyalty. For example, if a restaurant continues to use consumers’ location data and provide amazing discounts and offers on meals at relevant times of the day, its likely to create a memorable impression on its consumers’ mind. Consumers would love to remain loyal to such a brand that knows them so well and provides exactly what they need. Thus, increasing consumer loyalty is one important objective that marketers seek to achieve through location-based marketing.

 

The Modern Rules Of Direct Response Marketing

Although the marketing domain has undergone tremendous changes in the recent times, the fundamental rules of the game continue to remain the same. Marketers nowadays are adopting different forms of marketing along with traditional forms in order to create a memorable impression before consumers. Amongst the many marketing forms, direct response marketing is gaining increasing importance in today’s competitive business world.

Direct response marketing aims to evoke immediate action from consumers. It can be subscribing to emails, calling for more information, or making a purchase on the website. Given the personalized nature and trackability of direct response marketing campaigns, marketers are likely to benefit greatly from audience segmentation and data mining. But success in this field requires marketers to follow certain rules, which are as follows:

Making an offer

Every direct response marketing campaign has an offer that pushes consumers to react. The campaign is likely to be more effective if your offer is appealing, interesting and relevant enough to your consumers. Making a solid offer is the basic rule of direct response marketing.

Eliciting immediate response

Just making an offer is not enough. Your offer has to be appealing enough to evoke immediate responses from your consumers. A plain offer can make consumers lose interest in you. But giving them a reason will certainly take them out of their skepticism and make them respond immediately.

Making instructions clear

Unless your direct response channel, whether it’s a flier, website, sales letter or email, has clear instructions for consumers, the campaign is likely to fail miserably. The campaign should provide instructions as to what consumers need to do, how they can do it and what happens after doing it.

Crafting appealing copies

A lot of direct response marketing’s effectiveness is dependent on the ad copy. Instead of creating long, boring copies, you should keep it crisp, creative and straightforward. Your copy should reflect the benefits that consumers are likely to get from your offer. It should appeal to consumers and push them to take an action.

Tracking and measuring performance

Like all other forms of marketing, direct response marketing requires regular performance tracking and measurement. You need to leverage the power of data to know how your campaign is performing and your ROI is increasing. Not only will this help you improve performance but also allocate your marketing budget to campaigns more effectively.

Following up 

After you send out your message, you need to follow up with your prospects. A smart marketer will ensure that he or she maintains regular contact with prospects and foster long-lasting relationships with them. Unless you follow-up with your prospects, your direct response marketing campaign will get lost in the clutter.

Getting tougher 

Last but certainly not the least, you need to become a discipline and tough marketer if you wish to succeed in direct response marketing. You should focus on clearing the junk of your business and focus on aspects that actually work. You should create a regime and stick to it dedicatedly if you wish to get results.

 

Eliminate Your Fears And Doubts About Cross Platform Targeting

 

Cross-platform targeting is essential in a mobile world 

Gone are the days when online marketers focused just on increasing traffic from desktop computers. Now is the era of mobile technologies, which are completely revolutionizing the way brands and consumers communicate with each other. The strong foothold that smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices have gained in the recent times has pushed brands to devise strategies to reach out to consumers on all these platforms.

This has paved the way for a new concept– cross-platform targeting- to emerge in the marketing world. A consumer these days owns about 3.64 devices on an average. As such, marketers have to use cross-platform targeting in order to serve advertisements to consumers across different devices and platforms. But, more often than not, cross-platform targeting seems to be an intimidating concept for most marketers, who lack clear understanding of it.

But perhaps it’s time that you let go all your fears and doubts about cross-platform targeting, and make it a part of your targeting strategy. Cross-platform targeting is simpler than most marketers think. At the same time, it’s also one of the most beneficial ways of reaching out to customers in an omnipresent mobile age. Here are a few facts that will clear all your doubts about cross-platform targeting:

It lets you target people, not just devices

Online marketers should know that people interact differently on different platforms. Once you know who your target audience is and what they like, you can come with more effective campaigns. Cross-platform targeting allows you to target people and create unique interactions, but still maintaining the connect to the previous campaign. It also increases your conversion rate as compared to single-device targeting.

It lets you make informed budgetary decisions

By knowing which platform or device your target consumers are using, you will be able to focus your investments on that particular platform. Your marketing budget will be based on data reflecting consumer behavior, which tends to make budget allocation more effective. Not only will this help you make informed budgetary decisions but also make your ad campaign more effective.

It lets you track marketing expenditures

Besides making the best use of the marketing budget, cross-platform targeting also helps you in keeping a track of different marketing expenditures. By separating consumer insights and channel-related information, you know exactly where your money should go. This level analytical system is all you need for determining the amount of money you need for converting prospective consumers.

It creates touch points for consumers

Last but certainly not the least, cross-platform targeting creates touchpoints, which are specific areas where your users can engage with you in a personal manner. It allows both brands and consumers to come together before, during and after making a purchase. It helps you take your consumers on a memorable experience by establishing unique interactions at every stage of their journey.

Cross-platform targeting is something no marketer can ignore in today’s digitally-driven marketing world. It surpasses traditional marketing practices and strategies by providing a more memorable experience to your consumers.

 

How To Be Successful In The Digital Marketing Industry?

Ever since the world came under the clutches of digital transformation, people who sought to build a marketing career found a gamut of opportunities. Marketing over the internet, known as digital or online marketing, came forward as a prime discipline in business schools focused on imparting knowledge on the marketing domain. Social media marketing is yet another domain that’s on the checklist of people pursuing a career in digital marketing.

Digital marketing is a lucrative career option for marketing pursuers because it gives enough scope for critical and analytical thinking, networking and not to forget, creative expression. But it’s also important for them to know that the industry requires a high degree of competitiveness and skills for sustenance. Unless one keeps up with the latest trends and facts, surviving in a competitive digital marketing industry won’t be possible.

If you are one of the many people who wish to build a strong digital marketing career, here are a few success tips you should follow:

Acquire enough knowledge on the digital space

Terms like SEO, KPI, SMM, CTO, and CTR to name a few can seem very complicated if you don’t know the head or tail of them. As a digital marketer, you have to have in-depth knowledge of these concepts. There are a number of tutorials online that can provide a step-by-step guide to master different aspects of digital marketing. It’s only after knowing about the digital space that you can run effective campaigns and deliver results.

Always have a learning mindset

The digital space is changing by leaps and bounds, and no marketer can afford to lag behind in terms of information. In order to be creative, you need to have an open mind, meaning you need to learning always. You should be passionate about learning new things and coming up with interesting ideas. Follow digital marketing experts on social platforms or go through different websites to know about the latest developments taking place in the industry.

Network

As someone who’s pursuing a career in digital marketing, you need to put your social skills to test. Networking has always been an important aspect of marketing, and professionals have to do so in order to get new business. You should surround yourself with people from your industry and start conversing with them on a regular basis. You should also attend conferences and meetups to foster relationships with other digital marketers.

Take up a personal project

As a digital marketer, you should know what exactly is it that you are learning. The best way to do so is to start a personal project that requires different aspects of digital marketing, whether it’s SEO, social media marketing or content marketing. Doing so will help you gauge your practical knowledge and excel at your job.

Take up a course

Last but not the least, you can consider taking up a certified digital marketing course, which provides a clear understanding of different aspects of the domain. A certified course also adds weight to your resume because it shows you as an expert. This will also help you compete better with other professionals in the industry and succeed in a competitive scenario.