Predict! Chicago: Five Retention Marketing Tips For Brands

May 26, 2015

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Better late than never. I finally got around to summarizing the learnings from a wonderful evening talking about retention marketing at the Kinmont Restaurant in Chicago.  We had executives attending from Vosgues Chocolates, Dick Blick Company, Earth Friendly Products, Blick Art Materials, Paper Source, Dyson, World Kitchen and Zoro Tools amongst others.

Here are the five retention marketing tips from the Chicago retail community:

1. Connect the dots on customer data

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Several brands expressed frustration with not having access to an integrated online/offline customer profile. There was a lot of talk about spreadsheets and siloed data. Some guests sell through wholesalers. Getting customer data is more challenging in that case but not impossible, especially when using product registration as a way to get in touch with end users.

2. Spoil your best customers

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Several brands send free products to test and review. Dyson has such program for new vacuum cleaners. World Kitchen recently sent Pyrex to customers for its 100th anniversary. We even received one several weeks after our dinner. We loved it and promptly created an entire photo series on Instagram with our new Pyrex. Thanks World Kitchen!

3. Put a real person on the phone

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Customers like to talk to a real human being, especially when it comes to important purchase decisions such as gifts.  I recently ordered a gift from Vosgues Chocolates for a business relation and made a mistake on the order. A phone representative promptly helped me fix the problem. I also received a postcard after the order with the name and number of my "personal concierge" since they picked up that the order was a gift made from a business address. I will be back!

4. Remember important dates

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If somebody shares with you their wedding date, or birthday for that matter, don’t forget! These are great opportunities for future sales.

 5. Segment based on customers, not products

Many guests agreed that triggering campaigns based on customer lifecycle should complement the campaigns focused on products: welcome campaigns, abandoned browse/cart campaigns, thank you campaigns etc. – and differentiate those by low, medium and high-value customers.

I have done many dinners this year, but Chicago was one of my favorites!