Archive for the ‘Retail’ category

5 Ways to Get Positive Online Reviews for Your Brand

August 10, 2012

Positive Reviews as you may know are the ideal outcome marketers covet as a result of customer engagement with a brand’s product or service. With today’s online social community, Positive Reviews are gold and can mean the difference in your business making or losing money.

Positive Reviews

Positive Reviews are Like Gold

Why Positive Reviews Matter:

  • 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know
  • 44% of purchases are influenced by consumer reviews
  • 87% of people think the CEO’s reputation matters
  • 78% of people research a product/service online before purchasing it

These five secrets will help you protect your brand and build bridges to your next customers.

1.   Pay attention to the reviews you already have.

You can’t generate good reviews unless you have real customers to write them. Start by making sure to resolve any current complaints from your customers.

2.   Engage your customers on Facebook and Twitter

Create a Facebook group and Twitter account for your business. Younger customers in particular will share their thoughts here without any prompting.

3.   Respond quickly to bad reviews.

If a bad online review is warranted, thank the customer for their feedback and apologize   for the bad experience. Respond quickly and you turn a negative into a positive.

4.   Remember it’s a numbers game.

Even if you are providing the best product or service you can, some people will tend to     complain. The more reviews you get, the more likely you are to get one or more bad reviews so your goal should be a large number of mostly good reviews.

5.   Make reviewing as easy as possible.

Give customers easy ways to provide reviews and feedback on your website and on your social profile pages. If you are a bricks & mortar retailer-consider using mobile devices and QR Codes to gather reviews.

Enjoy and Prosper!

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital

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Is This the End of the Movie Theater?

May 26, 2012

On Monday, May 20, 2012 a Chinese conglomerate announced it will buy major U.S. cinema chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings, for $2.6 billion in China’s biggest takeover of an American company to date. Dalian Wanda Group Co.’s purchase will create the world’s biggest movie theater operator. The Beijing-based company said it will invest an additional $500 million to fund AMC’s development. AMC operates 346 cinemas, mostly in the United States and Canada, and says it has 23 of the 50 highest-grossing U.S. outlets.

 “We support AMC becoming bigger, not only in the United States but in the global market,” said Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin at a signing ceremony for the acquisition. Wanda said AMC’s American management will remain in place and the headquarters will stay in the Kansas City area. It said staff numbers were not expected to be affected. The company employs some 18,500 people. AMC has reported losses for the past three years.

Back in 1959, Mary Pickford, who was a Hollywood star and also cofounded studio giant United Artists and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science), claimed that cable TV would kill theaters. Then, of course, Jack Valenti famously said the VCR would be the “Boston strangler” to the movie business.

Yet, now, with home theaters, video on demand, streaming services and infringement, the theaters are once again insisting that this time theaters are really in trouble.

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So You Want To Open a Restaurant

May 16, 2012

How many times have you heard a family member or friend tell you they secretly wanted to own their own restaurant?

It may seem glamorous to those on the outside, but those in the know realize that it’s not. You will require an all-consuming passion for the restaurant and the patience of a saint. You will be open six or seven days a week. You will definitely start earlier than you thought and have later nights than you bargained for. It is relentless day in and day out with no sign of a break.

The strongest advice I can give is to work in a restaurant before you buy one. The most successful owners have waited tables, tended bar, worked in the kitchen and managed front of house and operations before investing.

Chances of Success

Restaurants fail at a 57 to 61 percent rate with the highest failure rate of 26 percent during the first year, 19 percent in year 2 and 14 percent in the third year. According to H.G Parsa, author of a study on restaurant failures and associate professor of hospitality management at Ohio State many restaurants close not because they couldn’t succeed financially, but because of personal reasons involving the owner(s) such as divorce, poor health or simply a desire to retire. “The successful owners were either very good at balancing their family and work lives or single or divorced.” (more…)

Spread the Word with a Customer Referral Program

April 15, 2012

A good Customer Referral Marketing Program is a structured and systematic process to maximize word of mouth potential. Referral marketing does this by encouraging, informing, promoting and rewarding customers to talk to others about you, your company, and the value and benefit your products and services and to reward them for the introduction.

A study conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, on referral programs and customer value which followed the customer referral program of a German bank that paid customers 25 euro for bringing in a new customer, was released in July 2010. According to Professor Van den Bulte, this is the first ever study published on the financial evaluation of customer referral programs. The study found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than normal customers. Referred customers had a higher contribution margin, a higher retention rate and were more valuable in both the short and long run.

On whether customer referral programs are worth the cost, the study says that it records “a positive value differential, both in the short term and long term, between customers acquired through a referral program and other customers. Importantly, this value differential is larger than the referral fee. Hence, referral programs can indeed pay off.”

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Is Brand Advertising Dead?

March 18, 2012

Is Brand Advertising Dead?

The most dramatic shift that is changing how we all do business is the rise of accessible information.

Only twenty years ago, our access to information was bounded by the books we owned, the TV shows we watched, and the newspapers we read. Today, because of the web, we’re seeing an exponential increase in the amount of information that we have access to.

Traditional advertising up until the early 1990’s tried to convert a customer at every touch point, taking them from brand awareness to customer in one fell swoop. Today, the age of brand persuasion at a single touch point is over, and instead most successful companies invest their advertising budgets in great content and in developing a relationship.

In an age of exploding social media, consumers rely more on the experiences of their friends and colleagues than they do on a TV ad or billboard. The influence of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, coupled with the instantaneous speed of smart phone text messaging in the last few years has changed the landscape forever.

The purpose of a piece of branded content is not only to grab the audience’s attention but to stimulate a positive conversation about the brand that becomes viral. In short, it is no longer enough for a brand to tell people it’s great, it has to encourage its customers to tell prospects it’s great.

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Pinterest Driving More Traffic Than Google+

February 1, 2012

This is a perfect time for this author to post an example of   Retail experience with driving traffic then and now, given I had never heard of  until today!

This virtual pin board and social network for shoppers already ranks #5 ahead of Google+ and behind only Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Yahoo in driving referral to retail websites according to Experian Hitwise US.

Back in the day, our retail clients collected email addresses from the back of store-coupons or in fish bowls at the register and assumed permission to send newsletters and e-coupons to bring customers back to the store. Overnight, retailers discovered that e-mail was one of the most effective and cheapest ways to create a CRM program that had a significant impact on customer lifetime value. The problem with email is that the cost/benefit of driving new customers to web sites or stores doesn’t work.

Enter social media…where Facebook, twitter and others provide a forum for opinions and recommendations of customers to  like minded, non-customers that promote visits to new websites. A very large segment of consumers (Facebook alone has 800+Million members worldwide) now rely on peer groups’ comments,  opinions and recommendations before they visit a retail website. Pinterest is just the latest in what is sure to be a fast changing landscape of social networking sites that continue to influence the way online marketers develop new marketing strategies to attract and acquire new customers . More on Pinterest here…

Steve Emory, co-author DM Deja vu

President, Managing Partner Emory Digital