Are You Ignoring Your Biggest Marketing Asset?

You would think being in marketing, we are impervious to glossy sales flyers and special offers, however I did something totally out of character a few weeks ago. I found a flyer sitting on my kitchen bench advertising tailored business shirts from the UK. With no idea where it came from, the offer was pitched just right and before long I was ordering 5 shirts off their excellent website.

I realise I am a marketers dream right now.

I had an outstanding experience from purchase to delivery, constant email communication letting me know where my shipment was and when I exchanged the sizing (free of charge) — the customer support was second to none. By now I am thinking, ‘this is brilliant!’ and planning my next purchase with this company.

Then the brochures started coming.

One by one, every fortnight I received an expensive 20-page brochure sealed in plastic wrapping brimming with new deals and offers – for men. Now in case the above impulse online shopping story hasn’t tipped you off, I am in fact a female. A female who now also receives weekly digest emails from this company (which I still gladly open in the hope that one day they might remember I buy women’s apparel) – but they don’t.

How many times has this happened to you?

Worse still, how often are your customers thinking this about you?

“Why are they sending me stuff about bingo? I don’t care!”

If only there was a way to just hit a button on a computer and magically generate a segmented list of all the people who had visited your venue by their age, their postcode, their spending patterns …. Oh wait, there is!

So with volumes of useful data at our fingertips, why do venues continue to throw good money after bad on ineffective tactics? With recent figures showing the total cost of AEMP as a percentage of total club revenue increasing to 11%, when will we start working smarter and stop spending harder?

Sending the same communication to every member on your database can do more harm than good. In the age of online engagement, there is an expectation of individuality and personalisation, by delivering an email about bingo to a 30 year old, you are simply saying “You are not important to my venue!”

Your database is the most powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Utilising the information gathered, you can build up a detailed picture of customer tastes, needs and buying habits. This in turn enables you to segment your customer base into groups of buyers with different tastes or budgets, and target them with different marketing messages and offers devised just for them.

Personalised customer communications, based on data in your existing database, can increase customer retention, loyalty, cross sales, up sales, positive reviews and referrals. Utilising a customer focused business strategy you can optimise revenue, profits and customer satisfaction. The more you understand your customers the easier it is to target them effectively, boost your bottom line, and decrease your marketing spend.

Database marketing begins with collecting information. For example, if you owned a club, your database information could come from:

  • Membership cards that record details of where your members live, what they purchase when they are in your club and how often they visit.
  • Contests you run to collect additional information about your customer’s age and how they spend their free time and money.
  • Email newsletter you use to update members and visitors regularly, but also to send out surveys in which you collect additional information concerning internal venue promotions.
  • Internal customer tracking and analysis tools for where they spend money and on what.
  • Facebook account that doubles as a flash promotion tool and customer service hub where you listen to the good and bad of what your followers are saying…and then respond.
  • Customer service reps on the floor who know all about Sarah’s daughter getting married in Noosa next month and how she hates black tea.

As you collect (and document) this data, start to look for opportunities for your venue like the best days to run a promotion, or which live performances garner the most interest and attendance.

Ask yourself: Who are your customers and how you can turn these customers into raving fans of your venue?

If you are interested in developing your database marketing strategy to improve customer engagement, increase revenue and decrease marketing costs, contact Samantha Litfin on candice@dws.net.au or (07) 3878 9355.

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