The Ultimate Real Estate Marketing Guide

location based marketing, Marketing in the Moment, Marketing Mavens, Uncatergorized

If you are hustling in the commercial or residential (maybe both?) real estate business then this marketing guide from FitSmallBusiness.com is a must read for you.  Writing in-depth reviews and how-to guides for just about every topic related to small businesses, I don’t think the editorial team missed a single marketing tactic in this one.

Useful, actionable and valuable, check it out now. Read here.

Designing a Great Customer Experience

customer experience, customer loyalty, location based marketing, Marketing in the Moment, Uncatergorized

If the idea of a creating an astonishing “customer experience” is too daunting or sounds frivolous to you, then I have a question. When was the last time you heard someone rave about something “average”?

Brands should be focused on delivering a consistent, cross-channel customer experience at all levels of their organization. In this 24/7 connected digital world, any lackluster customer experience has the potential to do damage to a company’s reputation and their bottom line.

Read how marketers are finding that improving a customer experience from merely average to something that “wows” the consumer can lead to a 30 to 50 % increase in measures such as likelihood to renew or to buy another product.

In the U.S., poor customer services costs businesses $41 billion annually. [4] This statistic makes sense when you understand customer behavior.

  • 89% of consumers stopped doing business with a company following a poor customer experience [5]
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online [4] and
  • 95% of consumers talk about poor customer service experiences with other people. [6]

Even if a poor experience doesn’t go viral, it’s still bad for business as consumers tend to trust word of mouth from a friend or family member above all else, especially above advertising.

The American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer demonstrated that 42% of consumers would try doing business with a new company as a result of positive word of mouth from friends and family. [6]  And Millennials spend nearly 18 hours a day consuming media, which is mostly user-generated content created by peers. [7]

More here  about how important a great customer experience is to your bottom line. 

The Total Customer Experience

All aspects of customer interaction with your product and service should be considered when creating a thoughtful customer experience. This includes the training, design and management of your –

  • Customer service call center
  • Email campaigns
  • Web Chat services
  • Website design
  • Face-to-Face (in store or in branch) experience
  • Social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc)
  • And Mobile channels -apps, text message

A well-designed customer experience will help build a deeper understanding of customer intent—what he/she wants, why she takes or doesn’t take certain actions and will –

  • Decrease customer churn
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Drive additional sales
  • Deepen engagement – on social media and face to face
  • Address competitive threats

Smart brands that are staying on top of technology are also considering how to deliver a great customer experience in real time, that is a peak moments of customer interest, when they are on your website, in your store, visiting a branch and technology can help find them with location based targeting.

For gym and studio owners, take a look at Class Pass

For hoteliers, check out JetSetter

Salon & Spas can fill their books with LookBooker

Makers of natural beauty products will want a listing on the Good Guide

We help brands design amazing customer experiences. Send us an email at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com to schedule a session to talk about your biggest marketing challenges.

Measurable Marketing and Customer Insight

Experiential Marketing, location based marketing, Marketing in the Moment, Measureable Marketing, Uncatergorized

Forget about the traditional market research model of surveys and demographics. The internet now has us measuring customer behavior in real time, closer to the actual moment of purchase.  Companies that can help your brand  discover how to give your customers what they want, when they want it –

Graph Effect  will help you find out more about your target audience than just what they give a “thumbs up”. Watch this quick tutorial on their Facebook page.

Companies such as RichRelevance, Certona, Baynote and Monetate all offer the ability to personalize information to specific audiences based on their online and in store behavior.

RichRelevance powers personalized shopping experiences for the world’s largest and most innovative retail brands, including Wal-Mart, Sears and Overstock.com.

Certona enables online retailers to personalize their entire customer experience by delivering individualized product and content recommendations in real-time, increasing average order value and revenue per visit.

Baynote equips ecommerce executives with new power to give consumers what they want, when they want it. Brands can understand buyer intent and engage consumers by offering the most relevant products and content as interactions are occurring – across chat, social, email, mobile and landing pages.

The beauty brand, L’Occitane explains how monetate has helped them integrate weekly promotions through their email campaigns and website pages.

Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Ertell,  explains how monetate works – taking data that we know about people and adjusting the customer experience along the path to purchase.

Promotions that Pack a Punch

brand reputation, grand openings, location based marketing, out of home advertising, social media marketing, Uncatergorized, word of mouth campaigns

Wouldn’t life be easier if all word-of-mouth referrals were happening online. The rapid pace of sharing information about your business would make it so simple to grow your sales. The truth is, word-of-mouth buzz is shared everywhere. Sure, online conversations about your services are increasing, but those same customers still live and share every day face-to-face. They share at the office, in the supermarket, on the beach, in the movie theatre and in the park.

The Market Council specializes in increasing your brand’s reach with 360 degree marketing strategies that create high-value visibility and profitable demand. This includes pre-opening promotions that pack a punch and engage customers where they are most likely to respond.

This is a post about small business marketing with ideas that will help local consumers find you on-line and help you manage your reputation before you even open your doors. It’s about building a perception about what’s to come and getting your local markets excited and talking about your new business.

Our agency is responsible for the national branding and local marketing support of a growing franchise company.  We build their brand through editorial coverage in major national media outlets and we spend considerable amounts of time supporting each franchise in their regional and local markets. And we start early.

We help new franchisees promote their business even before they begin construction on their new location(s). This includes acquiring and retaining customers while managing their online reputation.

Whether they are based in San Diego, Chicago, Orlando or New York, we have created a first year marketing plan that begins with a strong promotional push from pre-opening to grand-opening and that continues into their first year of business.

Promoting your new business on a local level should begin at least 45 days before your doors actually open with –

  • Special offers on your coming soon window treatments to excite and lure in new customers.
  • Local offline media promotions including newspaper, magazine, radio and outdoor advertising; promoting the same pre-opening offers (it’s important to research what forms of advertising and promotion really work in your local area).
  • Establishing a digital presence before opening with strategic advertising and listings in web-based directories.
  • Creating digital profiles in social media channels that are specific to your location (like Google), as well as profiles with consumer ratings like Yelp and business pages and places on Facebook.
  • Developing printed marketing material for on the ground networking (because contrary to what you may be hearing, consumers do not live in the digital world 24/7) as well as meeting with local charity groups, the chamber of commerce, main street associations and other small businesses and networks like yours before you actually open.

We also assist and support getting the word out by building a local landing page on the brand’s website for their new location and begin search engine optimization for their local territory before they service their first customer.

We send coming soon photos for their Facebook Places (linked to our national branded Facebook page) and we begin to follow those living and working in their region by tweeting pre-opening promotions.

And most importantly, we measure the success of each promotional opportunity on a continual basis to discover the best and most cost effective forms of local marketing for each franchise.

This formula of success can be tweaked and used by any business for pre-opening success. Need help creating the right promotions that pack a punch for your brand?  Give us a call or drop us a line. We are here to help.

Friends with Benefits & Word-of-Mouth Referrals

customized promotions, future of marketing, location based marketing, Uncatergorized, website design, word of mouth campaigns

refer a friend program at http://www.themarketcouncil.com

When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product”  71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence(Harris Interactive, June 2010)

We created a website referral program for one of our client’s that has proven to be a very successful marketing program. We know that word of mouth referrals are one of the best promotions our client has (as with most businesses), so when we redesigned their website, we thought of every possible way to get these customers to refer friends online right from the home page.

1. Customers are prompted to offer referrals by clicking on the home page “Refer a friend” button. This simple pop-up takes all of ten seconds to fill out  and allows these customers the ability to refer friends to a location nearest them while earning reward points.

2. Even better, the auto response email then thanks that customer for the referral (via email) and directs the new referred customer (via email) right to a location that is convenient with them. The new customer also receives an automated email letting them know that a friend referred them and the benefits of our client’s services.

3. Thirdly, the location that was “referred” gets an email notifying them that this new customer should receive 10% off their first time service.

You can check it out here.

Our newest client, a cosmetic dermatologist, liked this idea so much he wants something similar for the new website we are going to design for his practice.

How Popular is Facebook Places?

location based marketing, online marketing, social shopping experience, Uncatergorized

Location based services like Facebook Places and Four Square usage is still too nascent to take away any real analysis. Could it be that consumers are concerned about their privacy and sharing where they are at any particular moment? Possibly.

Seven of the top 10 check-in sites for these services are airports, according to a study by Wildfire Interactive, with the top 10 including airports, Disneyland, Times Square — and Facebook’s headquarters.

Studies show that only seven percent of all mobile users currently use check in services and businesses are struggling to determine how big of a deal these services really are and how much of it is just hype.

Only time will tell. Regardless, local business should claim their Facebook Place pages and consider listening to what their customers are telling them about what is most interesting and noteworthy about their products and services. This will enable them to tap into that conversation stream and use it to inform and entertain prospects about new launches and offerings.

And although free local pages could give businesses an initial viral boost, Facebook will continue to lure these businesses to ad placement on their site.