Today I am trying something a little different – posting various “bits and bobs” (as they would say in the UK), related to marketing, to get you thinking. Let me know if you find this useful (apparently delurking week was last week, but you can use this opportunity to drop me a comment and say you de-lurked!), and perhaps I will make it a more regular feature. Here goes…
Too Many Customer Choices and Opportunity for Marketers?
C. B. Whittemore from FlooringtheConsumer had an excellent post recently about what she sees as the problem with too many choices – and the opportunity for marketers to help. See the post for lots of quotes and links to thinking on the subject. She summarizes as follows:
If as marketers and retailers, we simply create a laundry list of options and expect our customers to do their own sifting, then shame on us… But, if we use our brand, knowledge, reputation, expertise and passion to organize all of that material, edit and make sense of it all, then we will earn our customers’ eternal gratitude and loyalty. And, our brands will truly be adding value to our customers.
This makes a lot of sense. Marketers can help their customers by making it easy for them to decide between the choices in front of them. The value-add takes place when marketers focus on understanding customer drivers of behavior and meeting customer needs, which may be different depending on which hat the customer is wearing at the time.
Social Retailing: The New Way to Take Your Friends Shopping
Since I am such a technology geek, I love this post by Doug Meacham over at NextUp on virtual dressing rooms. Using a special mirror with a touchscreen panel, shoppers can “try on” clothes just by calling up the image of the item they want to check out. They can also have their friends on MySpace or Facebook see it on them (virtually) and give their opinions via IM, right on the mirror. Additionally for the retailer, Doug points out the following:
There are also RFID and data-mining components in the system that help retailers monitor inventory in real time and collect data that provides valuable insight into customer mindsets, behaviors and evolving needs. (emphasis mine)
If and when this comes to a retailer near you, it will indeed give that retailer a competitive advantage. The retailer can see which types of clothing are being tried on, which are not, and if they have a customer “log in”, they could keep track of which items are preferred not just by demographics but by individual customer. They could even expand this into a service for their customers by helping remember details of their “fitting room” sessions and perhaps giving them a place to start next time they come in. Certain items could be recommended based on what they have tried (and liked) in the past. Also, if their friends, who can shop virtually with them, want those jeans also, the retailer can just get the size and send them out. Lots of options with this one… what do you think could be done to service the customer with this idea?
Todd’s Power 150
Todd Andrlik has put together a very snazzy listing of the top marketing blogs. He uses an algorithm which incorporates Google page rank, Bloglines subscribers, Technorati ranking, and a subjective category Todd And points (assigned to blogs with frequent, relevant, creative, and high-quality content – I scored a 12/15 on that one, thanks, Todd). I am very pleased to say that CustomersRock! made the list at position #99. I originally started out at #84 last Thursday when Todd first posted the list, but other worthy blogs had inadvertently been left off and moved me down; great to see them added in, though! I really have to thank Mack Collier for all his help getting me going, as he put me on the original Z-list. When I started, I had only about 7 links; I now have 160 blogs linking to me. Thanks again, Mack.
Check out the icon in my side bar to get to The Power 150 list directly.