The perception of Brick and Mortar retail is that it is dying. In the last two calendar years alone, we have seen massive closures even from financially dominate brick and mortar institutions (Starbucks closed 150 stores in 2019 alone).
While the Starbucks model does play very well into our belief of an immersive branding experience, stores and brands that are void of delivering an emotional and immersive experience for visitors are dying out.
Master the Basics:
A very wise SEO Analyst once referred to the simple factors of SEO as “blocking and tackling”. Everyone who has played a sport knows that the first few days of practice are spent on the basics or fundamentals. John Wooden, one of the most prolific coaches of all time would spend the first two full practices on properly wearing two pairs of socks and tying shoes with a double knot to prevent loose laces.
In order to build a sound and scalable foundation, you have to make sure that the basics are covered. We believe that there are two very important factions for brick and mortar clients to pay attention to and master: The Customer Experience and Customer Data.
We believe that by mastering the fundamentals from consumer aquisition, to the consumer experience, and consumer data, you can establish a predictable ROI from your marketing efforts
The Customer Experience:
The customer experience is simple. We have a list a mile long of clients that have paid us to generate leads. We then went and applied our knowledge and technology to increase client visibility and lead generation, but the client has not previously implemented a customer experience model.
There is no better example of this than our clients and our competitors in the Automotive Repair Space. The automotive repair market is becoming heavily consolidated. The companies that have the ability to expand are following a model rich with customer experience and retention. This allows them to use traditional automotive marketing tactics but the experience and post-visit retention program insures that the attrition rate of new customers is kept to a minimum.
The companies that are falling by the wayside in the automotive space have a poor customer experience model. Either the men and women at the counter aren’t passionate about their job or the people they serve, or the lobby isn’t up to par, or the quality of work isn’t satisfactory. If anything is out of line, it negatively impacts the customer experience, and the “earn, churn, burn” consumer model is already defunct.
Avoid The Macy’s Model:
The Macy’s Model was simply to engage the customer database to encourage customer visits by only using a discounted transition as the call-to-action. Now that consumer data can be examined in real time, and the actions taken by our customer databases feeds directly into our Marketing Automation and Social Media Marketing campaigns, consumers will receive offers when the Marketing Strategy deems discounted offers necessary. If you find yourself using a consumer discount model to incentivise your current client database to come back in and shop with you, it’s pretty clear that you haven’t analyzed your consumer data, created personas, and tailored your marketing outreach specific to the consumers that know you, love you, and trust you.
Don’t be Afraid to Connect Personally:
The reason we have seen so many large retailers go out of business, or at the very least consolidate, is due to the lack of personal touch big-box stores were known for. Salespeople that barely cared about their job, messy showrooms, and nameless/faceless managers that carried the same attitude of the sales people. As you build a brick and mortar business, it is vital to connect personally with your customers. This doesn’t mean that you need to go around to each table like Rocky Balboa and tell old fighting stories. It does mean, however, that you shouldn’t be afraid to say hello, write a newsletter, or at the very least, employ a general manager that has the ability to connect with consumers and follow the Customer Experience Model.
As you connect personally, you become a friend, you become trustworthy, and you become a thought leader. We see this trend really taking off in the service industry. For a perfect example, look no further than Starbucks. Sure, the customer experience model is something we all can aspire for. For years the premium was on uniformity – is there a uniform look, feel, smell of each Starbucks? Then came the musical suggestions, itunes free-plays, and even CD’s for sale. They wanted the experience of walking into any Starbucks in the country to interact with your site, smell, and sound senses.
Shortly thereafter became the most strategic move Starbucks made to enhance their customer experience model: They began to learn and remember our names. They became the only franchise that I can think of that wanted your experience to feel like you were walking into Cheers. Sure, at Moes, they say “welcome to Moes” sometimes…but the premium that Starbucks put for their baristas to remember our names is a gamechanger.
Make Your Consumer Data Work For You:
We don’t intend to harp on this at every possible moment, but it literally is THAT important. Businesses spend SO much time, money, and effort to earn foot traffic, and earn an initial transaction from a first-time client, and 99% of them never think about trying to retain that client for years to come.
We have talked about the importance of establishing an LCV (or LTV) goal for each newly earned customer. For our High-end Women’s Boutique Owner clients, they try to establish a $5,000 transaction mark over two years for newly earned clients. If we can average 60 new clients per week, and we have fully vetted out the Earn, Churn, Burn equation, all of the necessary information is there to calculate (within reason) forecastable ROI.
The key to establishing predictive ROI is to continuously put emphasis and effort into perfecting the ways in which you obtain consumer data. Consumer data is more valuable than a birthday email or newsletter, you can actually track all conversions back to marketing. In doing so, you can establish what marketing solutions work, what solutions don’t, and what solutions need to be tweaked to maximize profitability.