Retailers’ Journey to Meet the Expectations of Today’s Consumers
Imagine a world where you could sell a product to a consumer who’s looking to buy exactly what you sell. If you feel like the struggle of satisfying qualified prospects and leads to become a customer for yours is becoming harder and harder, it may be time to face reality. It may be because the way you do business and marketing is no longer relevant. Thankfully, we have data along with tips and suggestions that should help you get in line with what consumers are looking for in their buyer/seller relationship in today’s market.
Today’s ‘Consumer-in-Chief’ has taken empowerment to the highest level and everything retailers thought they knew about satisfying their customers has changed. With apps, social media, geo-localization software, and voice-enabled digital assistants, shoppers have become much better informed and, as a result, they demand dialogue with brands and not a salesperson.
Mass Marketing vs. Unique Preferences
Mass marketing no longer works. There is a reason Facebook lets you target your ads based on parameters such as age, gender, race, income, geo-location, preferences on other hobbies, their “likes”, marital status, and more. Mass customer engagement is an outdated play in a retailers’ playbook because it is ineffective. On top of that, 62% of all consumers say they like retailers to provide product recommendations based on their purchasing history and that number goes up to 75% for millennial consumers.
Watch, Listen, Learn
You should be watching every action taken by your prospect, visitor to your website, or person in your shop.
At every action, think about how you can give them new, relevant content that they will be interested in and in a context they will appreciate.
In order to embrace behavioral marketing, you will have to track what prospects, subscribers, and customers are doing. The most common behaviors to look for are:
Past Purchases: Analyzing past purchases of your customers allows you to create better product recommendations, send discounts on gear or other scuba equipment you might be phasing out that fits their preferences, and promote dive trips that interest them based on a course they have taken or past trips they have been on. This is exactly how you start personalizing their experience and increase loyalty.
Device: At SDI, we understood the importance of having a mobile-friendly platform that fits the sizes and shapes of all devices automatically and implemented this when we re-launched our eLearning courses. Be sure you understand what devices your divers are using and make sure the content you are sending out is appropriate for those devices or you may be alienating consumers without even knowing it.
Clicks: Where are your customers clicking? Where are they engaging? Which CTAs (call to action) do they seem to respond to? This information allows you to create more relevant messages. If you aren’t measuring these metrics and collecting data, you are missing out on valuable information that may cost you a new diver from contacting you rather than your competition.
Start Being Relevant Again and Find Out What Your Benefits Are
Behavioral marketing represents a new way to carry out the marketing strategy for your dive center. By taking into consideration the behaviors of your visitors, customers, and divers, you can offer more relevant content that encourages them to make purchases of the products you sell and the courses you offer. Stop advertising to the masses and start branding your dive center to the hobbyists out there that are looking for you. You will reap the following benefits by taking advantage of this strategy.
The ability to understand your customers exceptionally well
Knowing how your customers behave online as they interact with your website is important for many reasons but, besides the obvious fine tuning of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it will allow you to offer a personalized service through your virtual storefront by offering them what they need. By staying customer-centric, you will be able to fine-tune your marketing efforts to be more effective across the board. Being able to recommend services and products that your customers truly want is the most powerful tool in today’s buyer/seller relationship.
The ability use marketing efficiently
Emails will no longer be trying to cater to everyone (and appealing to no-one as a result). The ability to identify consumer interests, habits, and patterns provides key insight into your ideal customer, while also allowing you to innovate through additional offers that are crafted around their interests. If you are a small dive center with a low marketing budget or even a larger Professional Development Center wanting to maximize your marketing dollars this means wasting less time and money
The ability to innovate and improve your email strategies
Do you know where your divers travel to? What gear configuration they prefer? Where they live? What they do when they are not diving? Are you using this information or letting it slide by without using it to grow and innovate? Did you know that 39% of marketers stated that automatically sending emails based on triggers is the most effective way to improve email engagement?
How to Get Started
Define your goals
When defining your goals, try to analyze which is the main purpose of using behavioral targeting: do you want to have short-term ROI by launching holiday specials, do you implement it for branding your dive center, do you want to increase the traffic of your website for your online sales, or do you want to attract new customers or retarget those who have already been to your website? Clearly defining your main goals will help you easily create customer segments, measure success, and set the right expectations for your team.
Find the right data
Behavioral marketing functions based on data. Data can come from internal sources like your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software or from external sources like Google Analytics Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you the data to get started, especially if you are using AdWords to help you with marketing.
Follow your customers on social media platforms
Social media has become a platform for most consumers shopping online. Facebook has about 1.5 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 100 million daily logins, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and Instagram now has 800 million monthly active users and 500 million daily active users with over 40 billion photos shared. Social media networks are a great source for marketing campaigns to get information about their customers’ behaviors. Check out some online tools made available to help you track your customers on social here.
Everybody who brings traffic to your website uses tracking codes which are essential for any behavioral marketing strategy. For instance, there are many companies who have Facebook pages and who get traffic from it, but sometimes they neglect to leverage all the data, just because they are posting links. When you just post a link on Facebook, Google Analytics only tells you the fact that traffic came from Facebook, but when you start using tracking codes, it will tell you much more about the traffic. So, detailed tracking is a crucial part of any behavioral marketing strategy. If you would like to overcome the deficiency, make sure to use Google URL builder and train your staff to use it for the next marketing campaigns and social media posts.
Segmentation is all about putting your customers in different groups based on their behavior, interests, actions, and preferences. Defining segments in a way that relates to your conversion goals is considered to be a great behavioral marketing strategy. For example, if you want your customers to buy your products/services, you can define your segments by their behavior and customize the right marketing decisions. Some examples:
First time visitors: show an ad with 10% off a dive computer with purchase of an SDI Open water Course.
A visitor from Germany: show ad “eLearning now available in German”.
Customers who purchased a month ago and again visited the website: coupon with free nitrox fill.
Customers who purchased a month ago and didn’t visit the website: email coupon with promo on your next dive trip to Galapagos.
Create different segments and assign different actions to those segments to implement an effective behavioral marketing strategy. Find out which actions have a positive result and repeat them.
Define success metrics
Unless you know how you are going to measure success, you won’t know whether your behavioral marketing works for your dive center or not. What are the success criteria for you: is it the number of visits, conversion rate, increased ROI, new divers, or something else? If you have such criteria you can do a better job measuring the results.