Contributors: Angelo Zammit & Ami Pancholi Angelo Zammit & Ami Pancholi are regulars on the Radio Talk Show Price of Business & Co-Founders of the multi award winning marketing agency East Coast Loyalty
What has marketing come to? Is it good or bad that we now have pretty much done away with traditional advertising and marketing? Traditional as in newspaper, flyers, direct mail etc. Well, seeing that new marketing methods have found a way to break down the communication barrier that once made customers feel harassed and misunderstood, we are now able thanks to technology to get more in tune with each individual customer on a personal level and figure out their shopping habits.
Text message or mobile marketing has become the most effective form of marketing in 2017. Millennials have adopted a whole new way of engaging with each other whether it be on social media or via text and it seems they prefer their marketing the same!
Marketing has for sure played a significant role in some of the leading top corporate businesses development and growth throughout the years. Companies like Starbucks for example have mastered the art of customer loyalty and customer engagement. But the issue we found was how does the small business owner who owns the local coffee shop on the corner compete with such powerful companies?
It’s simple; loyalty is the key in any business’s growth, hence the reason companies such as Dunkin Donuts and most recently RaceTrac have implemented their very own Loyalty Rewards Program. In fact they have spent millions upon millions of dollars developing such platforms, all in attempt to retain and draw repeat business utilizing existing customers. They do this by enticing them with an offer or discount of some sort to get them to opt-in to their loyalty program via customers mobile number. Thus allowing the business to now engage with their customers via text with all their greatest deals, offers, discounts, promotions, events etc.
See, what corporate companies have realized that the small business owner fails to is this; existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers. To add insult to injury, More than two-thirds (70%) of respondents agreed that it’s cheaper to retain than acquire a customer. Sounds crazy right? But it’s facts!
Just to touch on the small business owner for a moment I’d like to say and in our defence, it hasn’t always been very cost effective as well as simple to implement such a marketing strategy. In the past, we used what we call the paper punch card. Well, there in itself lies a downfall. Allowing one to have possession of a paper card with reward incentives encouraged most to cheat for a lack of a better word. Customers would punch extra holes in order to gain a particular reward much sooner, or even go as far as saying they lost their card with one punch away from a discount or free item. Not to say most customers didn’t lose their Cards because that was another enormous issue with the loyalty punch card, but you get the point. And that is just two of many arguments I can share in the paper punch loyalty rewards debate.
Lucky for you, the world has taken a huge leap of faith into the new era and technology has dominated the planet in the past half-decade or so as far as loyalty programs go. They have become much more affordable with companies who are dedicated to the small businesses like East Coast Loyalty. Point is, ECL has taken the traditional punch card and digitised it into an app and tablet or kiosk check in based program. All customers need to do now is opt-in via mobile number via tablet (kiosk) and wait for a customized automated text message to get sent withing a fraction of a second to the customer’s mobile phone prompting them to download the businesses loyalty rewards app to their cell phone. Then it’s all uphill for both involved from there. Businesses can reach their customers in real time, anytime with a simple push of a button with a text message incentive that’s designed to bring customers in on days they normally wouldn’t have come in to shop. This creates a great relationship between both the business owner and the customer, the customer now feels appreciated for their loyalty and the business owner is increasing customer visits which in return increases their overall R.O.I.
This sums up my thoughts on text message marketing via loyalty programs and although I only provided limited information on this particular topic, I feel as though my point was made. Businesses must adjust to the customers habits and the change in marketing strategies otherwise they will fall behind the trend and get lost in the mix. Customers nowadays need to be spoon fed information because it’s become so accessible to them in recent years online, and your competition, especially corporate companies is catering to their every need. Companies are paying millions of dollars a month, even a day to get what they want put in front of the right audience. The only way to compete and keep customers loyal to your BRAND, is to build a personal relationship with each and every person who walks through that door and make them know that you appreciate them as much as they appreciate the quality in your product(s) or service(s).