Beware the unintended consequences of marketing automation gone awry.
Even one or two misdirected emails has the potential to threaten the customer experience and brand goodwill that your company has worked so hard to build.
For example, imagine my surprise to see this Planet Fitness email after I returned from the gym last night:
Wow. Guess I was lucky to get in.
Good things can happen when you listen to customers.
Consider Hostess Brands, which “has nurtured retail sales of its products nearly back to their pre-liquidation level of more than $1.3 billion in 2012” as reported by Julie Jargon in The Wall Street Journal.
Credit: Captain Cupcake1 Flickr
This summer, the company expanded the Hostess brand product range with white and wheat bread along with hamburger and hot dog buns.
Why is Hostess getting into bread? They listened carefully to customers and realized there was a business opportunity. Continue reading
“It’s important that I not be recognized when scouting. I have Bubba teeth to dive to another level. The goofier you are, the more folks don’t care about telling you stuff.” Kent Taylor, Texas Roadhouse CEO
Photo: Texas Roadhouse Facebook.
Getting closer to your business operations, employees and even competitors doesn’t require a trip to your local pop-up costume store. Save that for this year’s Halloween shopping.
Kent Taylor, the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse provides a funny reminder that business leaders need to avoid the ivory tower syndrome and get out into the market for real learning. Continue reading
Don’t be afraid to ask your customers how you’re doing.
The alternative is that maybe one day you won’t have the same number of customers to ask.
I’ve written about the importance of customer learning and market research before, including posts titled A Cure for We-know-it-itis and Ask Your Customer.
My latest “Ask Your Customer” example comes from the retail grocery industry.
ShopRite is a leading northeast supermarket retailer with 250 stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. It’s the primary consumer brand for Wakefern Corporation, “the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States,” per the company.
Wakefern has a sophisticated marketing and merchandising operation.
At the same time, they deploy this simple customer learning tool (picked-up in a NJ store):
I especially like the following two questions because (1) it’s about time good people get credit; and (2) it’s an opportunity to learn something about the product assortment selection: Continue reading
Photo: Stranger & Stranger.
Packaging is often an under-appreciated and under-utilized marketing asset.
I’m not talking about the marketing joke with the basic theme that every new brand manager wants to change the label design. Rather, let’s explore how packaging (both structure and design) can become part of the actual concept and go-to-market strategy.
A California winery has just launched a new range of wines, that in my view, addresses a fundamental issue with buying wine: more often than not, consumers lack basic wine knowledge and are thus intimidated, confused and uncomfortable buying wine. But it’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the wine industry. I speak as a former wine importer and distributor who used packaging to address this hurdle. Continue reading