Three Things TV and eCommerce Have in Common

November 24, 2014


In my line of work, I’m constantly surrounded by incredibly intelligent data driven marketers, data scientists, and business analysts who are leveraging machine learning to identify patterns within billions of rows of data.  It only seems appropriate that I’ve personally started to notice patterns and similarities in my personal life as they relate to work.

The other day, as I was sitting on the edge of my couch waiting for the season premier of The Walking Dead, I realized that I’m hooked! Rewind 5 seasons and I would of never thought of myself as a consumer addicted to a show filled with gore and “walkers.”  I initially thought nothing of this other than the good story line, but the next day, as curiously opened a promotional email from Betabrand revealing all their new releases of fantastic gear made locally in SF, it hit me.  Great ecommerce is a lot like getting hooked to a great TV show!  So here are my top three reasons:

1.  Acquisition is expensive but key: Ok, the amount of commercials, banners, late night cameos, and facebook ads for a new show are pretty overwhelming.  Whether you’re advertising the next pilot or a brand new fall clothing line, capturing the attention of potential consumers is vital. The trick is to spend your time and money on the right audience.  I don’t care how many times you tell me about the View, I’m just not the right audience.  Same goes for retail, so think about using lifetime value by channel and/or keyword when building your acquisition strategy.

2.  One = curious, two = intrigued, three = repeat for life: OK, you got me to watch your show, but at this point, there’s no guarantee I’ll watch another episode. However, if I watch a few episodes, I’m hooked to the story line and just have to follow the series to see what happens.  Similarly, if I buy a shirt from you that rocks, a matching pair of pants, and then a new belt, chances are I’m coming back for my next purchase.  Both media companies and savvy marketers capitalize on this with “scenes from the next episode” or “product recommendations” in promotional emails, e-reciepts, and on-site personalization. So don’t miss an opportunity to turn that one time viewer/buyer into a lifetime consumer by that all too important post purchase message.

3.  Once I’m gone, I’m gone: If I miss an episode or two, you might be able to get me back since I can catch up on Netflix or OnDemand.  But if I miss a whole season? That’s a lot of binging to catch up for the new season or I may just watch something else.  Similarly, if I miss an email or two from your brand and haven’t clicked/browsed/bought in the last couple of weeks, it’s not panic time yet. However, wait six months before you try to re-engage me and chances are you’re not gonna see these size 10s again. Be proactive and have your at risk/re-engagement campaigns built out, customized for each individual, and automated. Don’t take the rear view approach and just blast your inactives every six months! 

So remember, 1) acquisition is expensive which makes it even more important to leverage a data driven approach to acquire the right audience. 2) A repeat engagement is what builds loyalty so customize your post purchase messaging with user to product recommendations, and 3) don’t wait until it’s too late to re-engage.  Re-engaging your existing customers is always cheaper than acquiring new ones!

Oh, watch out for those Walkers!

*Disclaimer: Betabrand is an AgilOne customer and I’m an actual Betabrand customer.