President Obama’s latest proposal to fix healthcare demands that every American carries health insurance. The legislation is controversial. It will soon be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, debated by talking heads, and contested on couches and in coffee shops across the land as the 2012 election unfolds.
Each weekend in August, I cross the Chesapeake from Washington, D.C. to Delaware’s beaches. And on the Sunday return, usually hit up a farm stand to gather produce for Sunday dinner.
It’s rural. Really rural. No phone service. Just cornfields and cicadas.
Boy did they have their act together. Upon checkout, the farmer whipped out an iPad2 and ran my card to complete the sale. I used my finger to authorize the transaction with a signature.
Seamless. It felt like an Apple store. Only the product was tomatoes and snap peas instead of tablets and smartphones.
The lesson here? Even if you’re selling to (or from) C&D counties–there’s still an opportunity to surprise and delight your consumer through technology.
Is your retail business keeping up with rural Delaware?
Join Brunner’s Shaun Quigley for Brunner’s latest webinar, “Realign your Digital Strategy” webinar.
A website overhaul can be expensive and time-consuming. Throw in all the factors like the convergence of mobile with social media, and you’ve got yourself a full-scale strategic initiative. Shaun will discuss the latest trends with website design and development as well as cover how to develop and optimize content strategy, take a deep strategic approach to planning, and align your social media properties.
Boxing promoters get paid big bucks for a reason–and it’s not to manage the bout. It’s to get people to the main event.
Most websites get lousy traffic because all the effort is put into the site and people forget about promotion. And if there is promotion–it’s typically a few wildly-thrown punches that never land, with no sustained strategy beyond that. Draw your own crowd with these website promotion best practices:
This article also appears on MediaPost Publications.
Probably faster than any other technology in the last decade, mobile is changing the game for brands. In a flash, we’ve moved from a communication-response scenario to one in which we can have interactions with people anytime, anywhere (except for us Neanderthal AT&T subscribers). No longer do we wait for customers to walk into a store or visit a site to connect with them. It’s all right there, in their pocket, ready to go.
It’s more than a smartphone. It’s a personal assistant. I get free chips and salsa at the pub just for checking in through Foursquare, pay for my venti-skim-latte at Starbucks (only at Target) and download a coupon as I’m walking through the parking lot. I can find the cheapest price using RedLaser. I can get the real product scoop through Stickybits. And I can read hundreds of reviews on retailer sites to help me decide if your brand is right for me — or if I should avoid you.
Mobile has raised expectations for consumers, who now have 24/7 access to your brand and the entire category landscape. The greater the bandwidth, the higher the expectations consumers have of our apps, our mobile sites, our emails and text alerts. All communications — especially mobile — are becoming smarter and faster.
Mobile has completely disrupted the conventional path-to-purchase and has caught most marketers with their pants down. That’s not all. What’s most compelling about mobile are the astronomical expectations around anticipated usage.
So can mobile supercharge your customer relationship management program?
In terms of CRM, the immediacy of mobile will transcend customer goodwill. Mobile’s convergence with social media lets consumers ask questions and voice complaints at the point of sale. Brands should be there, listening, ready to address the next customer crisis, answer the next question, or amplify the most authentically fabulous consumer experience. Plus, real-time decision assistance through mobile will make the purchase process easier for buyers.
But it doesn’t happen overnight.
A fundamental shift must occur. CRM needs to move from the database marketer’s desk to the CMO’s radar. It can’t be a back-office function; it needs to be a front-office, customer-facing strategy. And it needs to be social.
New channels have emerged, but the basic principles of CRM don’t change. When someone buys something (especially for the first time), he or she enters into an open-ended relationship with that brand. Brands must be ready to capture that customer’s experience and start to understand what makes them tick.
Choosing the right mobile touchpoint is key. And that largely depends on who you’re trying to engage. SMS, for instance, has the widest reach and loyalty apps can bring real value to the customer experience, but do they make sense for your product or service?
Consider not only whether you have a plan in place to obtain mobile data, but also ask these questions when determining the right mobile touchpoint for your brand:
- SMS: Do you have permission to engage with client/customers via SMS?
- Apps: Would an app make it easier or more enjoyable to do business with your brand?
- Foursquare: Are you in a retail or service industry where you engage with your customers in-person? On a daily basis?
- Twitter: Does your business service customers by addressing their needs? Product concerns? Feedback?
Overall, there’s probably a place for mobile CRM in your marketing plan. But it’s not going to supercharge anything unless you’ve got the basics in place. So start small, hire a trustworthy partner, test and scale.
John Cilli contributed to this article.
We get this question twice a week so here’s the big picture on making QR codes work for your brand.
What is a QR code?
Start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code
How big should they be?
As a rule of thumb, codes shouldn’t be much smaller than a postage stamp. For print, about the size of a checkerboard square. If it’s on a skyscraper in TimeSquare, larger. Perform a Google image search for “QR codes” and you’ll find myriad shapes and sizes.
What content should I drive to?
The content should deliver on your communications objective. Codes can deliver all sorts of things:
- Text msg
- Website URL – is it optimized for mobile?
- YouTube video
- Telephone number
- Email message
- Google map
- WiFi Login (Android only)
- PayPal Buy Now link
- Social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc)
- iTunes link