The Social People is awarded the Brand Leadership Award by the World Marketing Congress

In a recent event held at the Taj Club House, Chennai by the World Marketing Congress and CMO Asia, The Social People was awarded the “Brand Leadership Award 2017”.

This award was given away in due recognition to those brands and marketers who have achieved extraordinary success through innovative and effective marketing practices in the Chennai city. The Awards not only based on financial valuation but by consumer preferences also.

Majority of CMO struggling to unify online and offline

Majority of CMO struggling to unify online and offline

85% of marketers are having trouble joining together their online and offline customer data, new research by Conversant has found.

As part of its CMO report, the company surveyed over 60 international CMOs about the challenges they face in today’s data-driven market. The findings show that a minority of 16% were ‘very confident’ that they are capable of identifying an individual across multiple devices online.

61% said that they are aiming to build closer customer relationships. But while technology provides the tools to make this a reality, many CMOs are failing to use technology to reach customers on a personal level.

Only 15% of those surveyed felt confident that they really knew who their customers are.

“The word personalization is often bandied about by marketers, but few are actually doing it right,” said Elliott Clayton, VP of Media UK, Conversant.

“In fact, the large majority of marketers don’t have sufficient clarity to tell if it’s the same customer online and offline, or between their smartphone and laptop. Not only will this annoy customers, but it’s a waste of marketing spend – you could easily be advertising a product to a customer who just purchased it.”

Losing track

The main issue that seems to be hampering the ability of CMOs to forge tighter bonds with their customers is a lack of effective tracking. 65% said that they do not currently track online and offline sales, and less than a quarter make use of real-time customer activity to tweak and hone their digital marketing.

34% still use click data as the only way of measuring their channel impact.

“A big obstacle to delivering one-to-one marketing at scale is correctly measuring and tracking customer data,” continued Clayton.

“To see clearly and reach customers on a personal level, marketers need to analyse their customers’ purchasing habits and behavioural data online, offline and across devices.”

Recent ONS figures show that in the UK, 17% of all retail shopping is done online.

“It’s essential to understand what’s going on offline. Data is such a vital asset for this, but only if it is used correctly – it’s tempting to rely on lazy metrics like clicks, but these simply don’t gauge return,” Clayton said.

“And if you can’t identify your customers, nor identify incremental improvement from your marketing activity, then you don’t actually know who you’re communicating with and how these communications are affecting your business.”

Hospitality Industry to Move from discounting to loyalty in 2018

Hospitality Industry to Move from discounting to loyalty in 2018

It used to be the attentiveness of the staff or the free ‘nightcap’ at the end of the meal that attracted diners to a restaurant in the hospitality sector. Increasingly it is now the lure of a discount.

Rising inflation in the global markets has led to a tightening of purse strings, with dining out deemed a luxury. Restaurants on the high street are often competing for the same guests. Many restaurants view enticing potential guests with a discount as a reliable way to get guests through the door.

However, heavy discounting cannibalizes sales and isn’t sustainable. There is the risk that almost every customer coming through those restaurant doors could present a discount code at the end of their meal. Meaning restaurants may only make a profit through drink sales.

The main issue evident is that restaurants are focusing too heavily on fast sales. Rather than aiming for repeated sales from loyal guests. By moving away from discounting and instead putting a loyalty scheme in place, restaurants can begin to identify and understand their guests and use a variety of methods to encourage repeat visits. Without the need for blanket discounting.

The difference between discounting and loyalty

Consumers love great deals, especially when dining out. Offering a percentage discount off their bill, 2-for-1 on main meals or a three-course set menu for £12.95 is likely to motivate.

However, there is a fine line between creating compelling enough offers that your guests will respond well to, and pricing yourself out of profits all together. That is where the shift to loyalty comes into place.

“loyalty is about creating a personal relationship”

Loyalty is about creating a personal relationship and rewarding guests for visiting. One of the overarching aims of a loyalty programme is to gather information about guests, identifying different guest segments (for example parents, vegetarians, non-drinkers) and using that information to provide loyalty-based rewards in keeping with their personal preferences.

The success of Nando’s in the UK, for instance, is a by-product of its effective loyalty programme. Nando’s never entices its guests through discounts or set menus.

Through its loyalty scheme, it can track who’s coming in, how much they are spending, what they are eating and how frequently they are returning. In turn, Nando’s rewards its guests with chilli’s. Every three chilli’s equals a reward in the form of food.

Dangers of discounting

Understandably, the benefits of discounting include quick and easy sales. Offering discounts ensures tables are relatively full. A quick email to every guest who has registered to the restaurant’s website offering them a discount code or voucher is sure to work. But it’s short lived.

What’s more worrying is that restaurants are now offering discounts to everyone, not just targeted segments. This includes providing discounts to loyal, frequent guests who will always visit, regardless of a discount code or not. Cannibalising full-price sales in one fell swoop.

Another danger is that guests become accustomed to using a discount code every time they visit a particular restaurant. These guests simply won’t visit the restaurant without one. Once the restaurant stops the discount, those guests will look to other restaurants instead. An instant loss in revenue.

How to seamlessly move from discounting to loyalty

Moving from discounting to loyalty isn’t a speedy process. But it is worthwhile.

Low-frequency guests are the ones to target, those that visit occasionally, but visit other restaurants more. The potential to move low-frequency guests into a higher-frequency segment is where the value of any successful loyalty programme comes into play.

“low-frequency guests are the ones to target”

Tracking these guests can be easy. It starts with selecting a loyalty technology partner that is integrated with the ePOS, followed by buy-in from the top down for the programme design, then motivating front-of-house staff to invite guests to become members.

Once the loyalty programme is established, guest segmentation can occur to identify low frequency, medium frequency, and high frequency guests. Along with their menu preferences and visit habits, to name just a couple.

The benefits of loyalty

A loyalty programme can bring many benefits to restaurants, including a greater understanding of guests’ purchase and visit behaviour. Servers soon get into the habit of asking guests if they have a loyalty card or app.

Encouraging them to do so if they don’t. In turn, restaurants become more agile, are able to make informed decisions on promotions, and can ultimately win guest loyalty through relevant engagement. It’s a win-win situation.

End of B2B/C Marketing & rise of H2H

End of B2B/C Marketing & rise of H2H

When I first began my career, I’d hear people say things like “business is business,” which they would use as an excuse for treating people badly. Today, more people are realizing that business is actually just people, which completely shifts the paradigm. Your approach should shift with it.

Marketing has traditionally been segmented into two categories — business to business and business to consumer – also known as B2B and B2C.

Even these names imply an impersonal, transactional approach to customer relationships – and that’s exactly what we saw. Fortunately, business thinking is evolving and there’s a better approach – human to human (H2H).

H2H starts to say:

“I’m not a business and you are not a business or a customer. We’re both human and we’re going to have a conversation about something which will hopefully benefit both of us.”

Think of H2H as simply talking to someone, communicating the same way you would if they were standing in front of you. In a conversation, you share information that needs sharing and you can expect some immediate feedback. And while technology often feels less personal – think spam emails and robo-calls – it’s now giving us the opportunity to turn that around and be more human.

Human conversation

Imagine I go into a restaurant and receive poor service. I might fill out a comment card and, based on my experience, I expect that comment card just to go into a void. I never actually expect the company to talk back to me.

“every single email those customers receive is an attempt to sell to them”

Today, we have online review pages, and many restaurants have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. If I leave a message there for a company, I’m much more likely to get a direct response. Since the restaurant can see who I am on social media, they can provide a personal, immediate response. And that response shouldn’t be pro forma marketing-speak. It’s more like a conversation with a friend who you let down. Offer to make it up somehow. Sorry you had a bad experience. What can I do to make it up to you? Can we offer you a discount on your next visit, or a refund for part of your meal? That’s treating the customer as a human.

Too many companies still haven’t figured this out, and it’s worse among companies marketing to businesses. They have all the same channels as consumer marketers – email, social media, phone, along with ample data about their customers, but much of the language they use is still purely transactional.

There’s little or no attempt to understand the person they’re talking to, or where they fit it into the purchasing process. They treat every person as if they were the decision maker, so most of what they’re sending falls on deaf ears. They are in the company’s customer database, but they’re the wrong people. They’ve moved to a new job or even to a new company. And on top of all that, every single email those customers receive is an attempt to sell to them.

This results, all too often then, with the wrong message, being sent to the wrong person, through the wrong channel, in the wrong tone and at the wrong time. Hardly a great H2H experience!

Instead of sending constant sales pitches, how about trying to establish a relationship with your potential customer? Start by understanding the person’s role at the company. Once you know what he or she does, you might decide to send relevant content about industry trends and best practices in their area of expertise.

Remember: they’re a human. And you wouldn’t just walk up to an unfamiliar human on the street and say: You’ve got to download this thing, here’s what it costs. You need to build trust with that person first.

Human understanding

Today, familiarity and trust can be created more quickly using data and information that is readily available. At FullContact, we research prospective customers using internal tools that help us understand them as individuals – as humans.

we need to think differently about each interaction we have”

Let’s say we find that a prospect is a fan of the Green Bay Packers and that they also graduated from UC Berkeley – as did Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. As a way to introduce ourselves, we might send her a care package through the mail, which includes some fun Aaron Rodgers paraphernalia. We are a company with great insights on humans.

We like to get to know our potential customers as humans as well. We think this gift demonstrates both of those things.

As you might imagine, we get some interesting responses. Some people are a little surprised that we can actually get that much data about them. Other people think it’s fantastic that we took the time to understand who they are, and they want to discuss how that approach might help their company.

Forward thinking companies are getting much better at relating to their own customer as a person as opposed to a number. And as people become more aware of how companies can use their data to deliver better service, they will come to expect more out of their relationships with those companies.

But collectively, we’re still at a very early stage on the journey to meaningful H2H customer communications.

To get there, we need to think differently about each interaction we have with a customer. Every web comment, every email, every Tweet about a product is an opportunity to engage with a customer on a one‑to-one level. It’s time to retire B2B and B2C and embrace H2H.

Your customers will be glad you did.

Myntra woos customers with hassle free returns, instant refunds in its ad campaign

Myntra woos customers with hassle free returns, instant refunds in its ad campaign

Myntra has kicked off a 360 degree marketing campaign to underscore its service offerings, targeted at uninitiated shoppers across the country with a special focus on non-metro cities and small towns.

Myntra’s research into the online shopping habits of people in non-metro cities indicates growth potential due to the presence of a high number of internet users in these markets who do not shop online. Myntra aims to augment its position through this campaign by emphasizing upon important propositions such as seamless returns and instant refunds to help drive adoption among new customers.

Commenting on the campaign, Gunjan Soni, CMO, Myntra & Head- Jabong, said, “Non-metro cities are very important markets for Myntra as we see our next phase of growth coming from there. Our research shows that over 30 million SEC A internet users in non-metros do not shop online and as a market leader we have launched this campaign to drive adoption among them. We see about 25% of our daily acquisitions coming from this cohort and with this campaign we are looking at acquiring half a million new customers from this target group over the next three weeks.”

As part of the campaign, Myntra has released two TVC’s that will highlight some of its key service features, such as easy returns and instant refunds with an aim to acquire new customers. The ad films exemplify the hesitancy among shoppers from smaller towns to avail certain services or features related to online shopping, owing to their environment and showcase their unpretentious acceptance of such overtures.

Neeraj Kanitkar, creative director, Taproot Dentsu, Mumbai, said. “Myntra is undisputedly one of India’s most fashionable shopping outposts. Some shoppers though, especially from non-Metro cities, worry about the practicalities of the service features. Will my return be accepted? Will my return have to meet any requirements? When will I get a refund? And as a result simply stay away from shopping for fashion online. This campaign addresses these questions in a thoughtful, warm yet joyful manner. Which will hopefully get them to try Myntra, because once people try Myntra, they really do love it.”
The 360 degree campaign leverages TV, digital, online and outdoor effectively to maximise reach.

Campaign credits:

Creative Agency: Taproot Dentsu, Mumbai
Director: Shirsha Guha Thakurta
Producer: Ramya Rao
Production House: Oink Films