Jan. 18, 2017
Uplift is more than a number; consumers must be inspired to move the needle on sales
It’s a new year, time to wipe the slate clean and set goals for ourselves and our marketing efforts. As we assess the past year’s performance and look ahead to increasing new metrics—sales, units, customers gained—we need to look at uplift, an increase in engagement, action and, in turn, sales.
A key to these often-overlooked metrics lies in determining how we moved the needle and what marketing efforts worked best together to make it happen. We test and learn our way to the best marketing mix to capitalize on uplift and reach performance goals.
On a parallel path, the new year is also a time when consumers are looking to better themselves; they are focused on personal and financial goals and considering how to accomplish more in their lives. This is a communication opportunity for marketers. Inspiration is key in an effort to create an emotional connection with consumers.
Companies seeing continued growth are not only focusing on uplifting customers, they are working to understand them so intimately that they can anticipate what they want, where they want it and how they want it. Companies are innovating, testing with customers and getting ahead of where the consumer wants to be.
Think about Amazon. Its new Amazon Go functionality allows consumers to scan their account as they enter a store, grab items and go without waiting in a checkout line or fumbling to pay. This is a simple concept with so much convenience: you grab it and you go. Ideas like these have continued to produce a 22% compound annual growth rate for Amazon over the past four years.
Many companies aspire to be forward-thinking and customer-focused. Here are three things to keep in mind to chart the right course for 2017 to uplift your consumer.
1. Make sure the customer has a seat at the table.
We have multiple seats at the decision-making table when we are talking budgets and strategies. And we should ensure we have the most important point of view at the table, that of the customer. Let this be a constant reminder that we should all be acting on behalf of our customers and considering our efforts from their perspectives. Consider the customer need for the decision you are about to make. Are you helping them save time or be inspired? It’s time to get to know customers better and take the time to do deep research. Talk with them, sit with them and share their experiences. Addressing these needs will ensure the customer has a voice in the partnership we foster in our business each day.
Starbucks is constantly incorporating customer feedback to create new products to satisfy demand and capitalize on new opportunities. During the holiday season, Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Salted Carmel Mochas are Starbucks’ key product offerings. These are customer-inspired drinks based on customer feedback and are seasonal in nature, therefore more coveted by the consumer. The seasonality of these products creates a customer buzz of its own, generated by social sharing and word of mouth from the customers themselves. Consequently, Starbucks has seen continued growth over the past four years of 12%.
2. Create a seamless customer experience.
Now that the customer has a seat at the table, integrate their insight and inspiration into everything you do. Customers are often satisfied at one or two touch points throughout their customer journey, but when they evaluate the experience as a whole, it falls flat. Mapping the customer journey will ensure each engagement with the customer counts and is seamlessly connected.
Disney is a company that understands customer experience better than anyone. It knows families are escaping their day-to-day routines to a magical place to connect with one another and create memories. It even has a “magic band” that guests wear to link their travel plans and payment method allowing them to seamlessly access the entire Disney experience through one touch point. With this band linked to each customer, Disney can collect personal data and optimize each guest’s experience further. This type of seamless customer experience contributed to Disney’s revenue growth of 7.5% on average the past four years.
Harvard Business Review further proved this connection to customer experience. It found that across industries, performance on customer journeys is 30-40% more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction than performance on touch points. It was also 20-30% more strongly correlated with business outcomes (such as high revenue, repeat purchase, low customer churn and positive word of mouth).
3. Don’t be afraid to show your personality as a real company.
It’s the company’s personality that comes across in every interaction with the customer. The fact that major corporations take the time to talk to customers in a personalized, meaningful way makes a difference in their lives and creates an emotional connection. Making a large company feel like your friend or neighbor goes a long way with customers, so much so that they will thank you for it, come back again and tell their friends. These moments add up to driving greater loyalty from customers and enhancing the customers’ experience.
Stitch Fix sends five items of clothing or accessories to your mailbox based on your schedule and criteria. You try the items on at home, keep what you like and send back what you’re not interested in. Stitch Fix’s “Partner in Personal Style,” knows what each customer wants and needs to look good at work, at home and out on the town at a comfortable price point for that individual. This startup with personality has seen impressive growth over the past couple years, nearly tripling its staff, and is said to be valued near $300 million.
Along with the high level of convenience and customization, the company sends personal e-mails to customers telling them to update their profile as their box is being assembled so it will be exactly what they are looking for. The excitement of unwrapping fashion selected specially for the individual with a personalized letter and outfit recommendations from their “personal” stylist mimics the humanistic aspects of commerce consumers crave.
2017 could be the year to bring our uplift goals together and find the emotional connections that inspire consumers and, in return, provide an uplift in sales. Keeping the customer at the center of everything we do and operating at a high level of consistency in message, service and personalization throughout the customer shopping journey will not only help customers succeed, but it will aid our success.
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