How it all began…
29 years ago I was sent by my employer, Bejam Group PLC, to Templeton College Oxford to attend an Advanced Retail Marketing Management Course.
There I met with David Walters, a Templeton College Fellow, and the Co-Director of the Oxford Institute of Retail Management plus his colleague and co-author David White.
I was fortunate indeed! What I took from that course changed my life.
The Environment of Retail Marketing
The 2 David’s wrote in chapter 1 in their book ‘Retail Marketing Management, about ‘The Environment of Retail Marketing’ subtitled ‘A Period of Rapid Change’. They gave four primary causes one of which resonated with me in this time of national and international uncertainty. It was entitled ‘The Expressive Revolution’
Right now we are living in a time of expressive revolution. David Walters and David White described the elements making up the ‘Expressive Revolution’ in today’s society I paraphrase for modernity as follows:
• An expectant quality of life.
• A free life style.
• Participating in management.
• Blending nuclear families.
• Greater questioning of authority.
• Increased individuality.
I think the two David’s were spot on. Just look around at what is happening in the world right now. We, as business owners, are targeting this breed of ‘expressive’ people with our offers whether we like it or not.
Are you aware of the 4 distinct strategies that can help your business flourish in uncertain times?
To be aware of exactly what these ‘Expressive Revolutionaries’ want to buy and how they want to buy it is the key to keeping them buying our products in these uncertain times. When confidence in a settled future is low consumers delay their buying or investment decisions. Recession often follows.
There are 4 distinct strategies, if concentrated upon in marketing terms, that will shore up your company from recessionary forces. They are:
• Getting more business leads.
• Achieving a higher percentage conversion rate of leads to customers.
• Increasing repeat transactions.
• Encouraging customers to spend more.
Increasing each of the 4 elements described above by just 10 percent, year on year, will lead to a 46 percent increase in revenues each year. I think you will agree that that is worthy of note!
So how do you go about achieving this?
1. Ensure your marketing material or website is simple to use. Readers or visitors do not like confusion or fiddling around unnecessarily. Make it easy to buy.
2. Your marketing material, articulated sales argument, or website must command attention, generate interest, stimulate desire, and motivate action.
3. You must concentrate on articulating what you do for your customers as opposed to just describing what you sell.
4. When describing what you sell you must stick to tangible features, advantages, and benefits. Meaningless platitudes just fog up the offer. We call them ‘So what’s!
5. Obviously, be competitive with price but remember; offer great value for money. Avoid being the cheapest.
6. Drop ‘Customer Service’ and in future use the term ‘Customer Care’. Why? Service is just a function. Care is an emotion. Really care for your customers and they respond and will rate you highly. Good ratings equal more referrals and transactions.
7. If your marketing generates inbound sales phone enquiries ensure that your ‘Customer Care’ team are trained to professionally assist the enquirers to buy and give truly remarkable customer care. This will drive up average order values.
8. Finally, but not least importantly, invest in marketing and establish a ‘return on investment’ target. Target your ‘suspects’ using ‘Target-Offer Copy’ marketing strategies to bring increasing numbers of prospects to convert, achieving lower acquisition rates. If points 1-7 above are in place, then your conversion rates will improve, driving up sales revenues. Improving your conversion rates will further drive down the cost of acquisition. Resulting in greater profits.
The alternative is to carry on as if nothing has changed. You may lose 10% of your leads and your leads to customer conversion rate may fall by 10% too. If transactions and average order value fall by similar amounts it may not seem that significant. When you do the maths though, you will find, to your horror, that dynamic multiplication has taken place and the overall result could be a 46 percent loss in revenues and a 61% loss in profits.
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