Category Archives: Loyalty Marketing/Frequency Programs

Restaurant Promotions: Are You Just Jumping on the Same Customer Loyalty Bandwagon?

Is Your Restaurant Willing to Stand Out From Your Competition When It Comes To Customer Loyalty Programs?

customer loyalty program for restaurants

Example of a Restaurant Loyalty Card from DownloadIncentives.com

I love to eat pizza- and in the past few weeks in my hometown of Austin, Texas, I have eaten at three different pizzerias–all doing the same loyalty promotion.

You hold a generic plastic customer loyalty card up to POS terminal and it reads the UPC code– and I get a point towards a free pizza.

I was so perplexed that I even asked one manager if I can use the card from one of the other pizzerias to keep accumulating points.

How effective is that? Not very.

Your customer loyalty program should be unique.

It does not need to be high tech.

After all, the goal of your customer loyalty program is to increase loyalty or increase per ticket sales–not to dazzle the customer with all types of bells and whistles.

Don’t lose focus of your objectives when creating a customer loyalty program.

If there is a learning curve to use the system, participation will drop.

If you are trying to impress me with your tech savviness- forget about it.  You are a pizzeria or sub sandwich shop, for Pete’s sake!! I’m not expecting fancy wizardry from you.

If I was shopping for a new smartphone, then I’d expect the latest in technology.

If your game pieces or customer loyalty cards are not personalized–big mistake.

How will I know that my scan card is for your shop– and how is that lack of advertising space reinforcing your brand? It is not.

restaurant-loyalty card example

Another example of a restaurant loyalty promotion game piece from DownloadIncentives.com

Keep your program fresh.

Keep it exciting.

Switch things out from time to time.

Give away a free 5-song music download card one time, and a free imprinted special water bottle another time.

Have these promotional items capture the essence of your shop.

Do not be a cookie cutter.

Customers aren’t coming into your restaurant because you are just another sandwich shop or pizzeria.

Brand your customer loyalty promotion.

Name your customer loyalty promotion.

And keep it simple!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Loyalty 101: Using Proof of Purchase Promotions to Drive Sales

Tips to running a consumer proof of purchase promotion

Proof of Purchase Promotions Can Help Increase Ssales

Proof of Purchase Promotions Can Increase Sales of Consumer Package Goods

Austin, Texas: Proof of Purchase Loyalty Promotions are one of the simplest ways for a consumer products company to increase sales that I am surprised they are not used more often.

Ideal for consumable products with a high turnover rate, these promotions can help rejuvenate old packaging by adding a special offer – thus increasing immediacy of action and encouraging bulk sales.

The simplest way to run a proof of purchase promotion is to attach a decal to your existing packaging – which can be peeled off and accumulated.

The offer can be promoted with shelf talkers, POP displays and even with a link to a website, which can explain the program in more detail.

Proof of Purchase promotions work to increase sales over a set period of time.

Another beauty of the program is it can be done on a short-term basis, in select areas or even tested with different point values to gauge consumer reaction.

One of the keys to the program is simplicity – so you can even have a unique variable code printed in a fold-over label, so the entire promotion can be done digitally- thus reducing your handling and fulfillment costs.

Downloadable digital incentives, such as music downloads, smart phone and tablet skins, free pizza codes, movie tickets, fitness movie downloads, magazine subscriptions and others — can all be distributed electronically – reducing the need for fulfillment, which can often add tens of thousands of dollars to any promotion.

Perhaps the best part of the proof of purchase incentive program is that it is based on sales performance – as opposed to a raffle, contest or other sweepstakes  offer.   Consumers also like the fact that they are an automatic “winner” — all they need to do is purchase your product or family of products.

Consumer proof of purchase promotions can breathe new life into any packaged goods-diving increased sales and improving loyalty at a nominal expense.

Due to slippage, breakage, or unredeemed proof of purchases, an exciting promotion can be created for a fraction of the cost of other incentive programs.

Looking to increase sales at the expense of your competition?

Looking to increase trials and sales of your products?

If so, now is the time to consider running a proof-of-purchase loyalty incenitve program.

Here is a link to some case studies of proof of purchase programs that have been run for consumer packaged goods.

Happy Promoting!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Frequency Marketing 101: It’s Not Just About New Customers Only

When Planning a Frequency Program, Do Not Fall Into the “New Customers Only” Conundrum

frequency promtions for new customers onlyAustin, Texas: You’ve seen the promotions:

Offer valid for new customers only.

Not valid for existing customers.

Really?!!?

Why the heck not?

Your present customers have gotten you to a certain level of success thus far.

If you are planning to run a frequency loyalty program of any kind and are thinking of excluding your bread-and-butter, most loyal customers, you are insane.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.  Remember this saying?  It has lasted for generations because it speaks the truth.

Your loyalty program should be designed BOTH to attract and retain new customers – as well as to reward your present, loyal customers.

It should never be an either/or situation.

Why should a loyal customer not be able to get a free car wash after buying 6 more?

10% discount for new customers only? Why?!?

Why shouldn’t a loyal customer be able to get 20,000 air miles for “rejoining” or “recommitting” to your program?

Loyal customers tell others about your company – and if they feel slighted, not only will they tell others– but they will leave you in the wake–only to take advantage of your competitor’s “new customers only” promotion.

Retain your present customers –while expanding your base.

Reward your present customers.

Recognize your present customers.

Cherish your present customers.

Respect your present customers.

Survey your present customers.

And also grow your base.

Next time you see a promotion that says, “for new customers only” – watch out!

That’s how you will be treated down the road once you become a loyal customer too.

Never take your present customers for granted – or give them any inclination that you only want new customers.

That is akin to being on a date with a  beautiful person– only to be constantly looking around to see if a better looking person becomes available.

It is an affront to your present date – and it looks ridiculous to anybody else you might have been making eye contact with.

Don’t make the same marketing mistake that so many others make.

Plan your next loyalty or frequency program with both new customers and present customers in mind.

Happy Promoting.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

When Trying to Creating Customer Loyalty, Don’t Forget About the Customer

Customer Loyalty 101: It’s About Your Customers!

Are your policies standing in the way of good customer loyalty?

Are your policies standing in the way of good customer loyalty?

Austin, Texas: I took a party of eight out to a nice Mexican restaurant for dinner last night to celebrate my wife’s birthday and asked the waiter to split a large dish for two guests.

He indignantly refused and said the chef refuses to do that.  I  asked him why the chef doesn’t like to offer customers what they want and he said “it’s the chef’s rules, not his”.  

When pressed further, he said all he can do is bring us a empty plate and we can split it ourselves.

We tried to split the dish ourselves.

With cream sauce spilling from one plate onto the table cloth, it was not a pretty scene.

It was my ninth visit to that restaurant in the past 16 months, but I will never go to that restaurant again.

Your Customer May Not Always Be Right, But You Need to Think About Them If You Want to Create More Customer Loyalty.

All the money spent on ambiance, location and food preparation and my loyal patronage were wasted on a stupid policy that might offend the chef.

Businesses are often asking us for ideas and tips to improve and increase their customer loyalty.

Best free advice: Are You Thinking About Your Policies From Your Customer’s Point of View?

Review your rules, procedures and policies and ask, What benefit does this rule serve my customers?

If it is not a benefit, consider changing or removing it.

Your customers are your lifeblood.

Make your business easy to like.

Make it easy to brag about.

Make your policies serve your customers — not your boss’ ego or tradition — and customer loyalty will increase exponentially.

Customer Loyalty 101: Put the word “Customer” back into “Customer Loyalty”.

Here’s to more repeat business.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Employee Training is Key to Successful Customer Loyalty

Train Your Employees for Best Customer Loyalty ProgramCustomer Loyalty is Not a Program. It is a Way of Doing Business

Austin, Texas: I read a blog post the other day espousing the theory that companies should create a new position called Chief Loyalty Officer.

I agreed with his basic premise that “Customer (and employee) loyalty should not be left to chance. It should be thought out and strategized.”

However having a department for customer loyalty is the antithesis of what customer loyalty is about– namely giving customers a pleasant and rewarding transaction on an on-going basis that creates a win-win for both parties.

Customer loyalty cannot be created in a department– it needs to be part of the core of EVERY department– from HR to marketing to production etc.

It cannot exist in a vacuum.

Every single touch point has to maintain a customer perspective with the goal of retention.

If you think you can compartmentalize the loyalty segment, then customer loyalty becomes just a gimmick.

Customers are too smart for that.

Top to bottom, customer loyalty needs to be exhibited and carried out on a daily basis.

Customer loyalty is not given.  Customer loyalty is earned over time.

Train all you employees on the value and necessity of customer service, follow through and follow up, promptness, courteousness in all their interactions with customers and you will make them a aprt of your customer loyalty team.

Don’t train them properly and they will be your biggest enemies in establishing true customer loyalty.

The choice is yours.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Lead Generation Ideas for Increasing Sales: Learn from the Experts

I came across this article in Business2community.com and thought I’d re-print it in its entirety.  The information is well worth the time.

Ask the Experts: What Lead Generation Basics Still Need Mastering?

B2B PERSPECTIVE

By , Published July 15, 2012

Lead generation is the most important initiative in the B2B marketer’s list of responsibilities. The opportunity to improve and refine the volume and quality of leads is a never ending battle. That said, even as marketing technology, digital platforms, and customer behavior evolve, maintaining a firm grip on the fundamentals will remain critical.

To get a better understanding of the basics in lead generation that still need mastering, the team at Neolane asked several B2B marketing experts for their opinions on this question. Here are their excellent responses:

Two Basic Elements of Lead Generation

I think the most basic element of lead generation that is still questionable for B2B marketers is the definition of a lead:

  • A lead is not someone who fills out your form to download a white paper when this is the first contact he has had with your company.
  • A lead is not someone who registers for your webinar.
  • A lead is not someone who comments on your blog—unless they ask a question that makes that activity a reasonable interpretation.

A “lead” is someone who could become your customer at some point in the future, someone who has demonstrated a sense of heightened engagement with your products/product information, thought leadership content, and/or someone who has engaged in a dialogue with your company.

This doesn’t mean they have to be the decision maker, but that they could be a champion or influencer in the deal and work for a company that could actually choose to purchase and gain benefit from solving the problem your solution addresses.

The second thing I’d recommend for marketers to consider is the perceived value of the content offers that they choose to “gate” with the intention of generating a “lead.” This means they need to make sure that the value of the content is commensurate to the value the person places on their contact information.

A 3-minute video is not worthy of a form completion, for example, nor is a case study. I’ve seen both recently and have to admit the logic escapes me. Buyer expectations are changing and marketers really need to gain understanding about what the content prospects engage with can tell them about interest levels and intentions.

If marketers would just address those two basic elements of lead generation, I think they’d find a world of difference in the quality of the “leads” they are generating.

About Ardath Albee
Ardath Albee, CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc, is a B2B Marketing Strategist. She applies 25 years of business management and marketing experience to help companies with complex sales use eMarketing strategies to generate more and better sales opportunities. Ardath was also recently selected as one of the 2011 Top 20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management by the SLMA and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Sales and Lead Management.

Behavioral Data: The Missing Link for Successful Lead Scoring

Companies tap so many different tools and strategies to optimize their demand generation efforts, but many of them are still falling short when it comes to seeing ROI.

Here’s a key reason why: There’s a significant difference in the lead generation performance between companies that do behavioral lead scoring and those that don’t. Top-performing marketers, according to recent research by Vantive Media, were nearly four times as likely to use behavioral scoring as self-described laggard firms. Top performers also used an average of 22 percent more scoring criteria than laggards—and, as these data points suggest, that latter group is more likely to rely heavily on demographic scoring.

Leaders, the study also reported, “tie every lead, customer and revenue dollar back to the marketing program that created them” 50 percent of the time, versus 19 percent for laggard firms.

These are interesting indicators that marketers are going beyond traditional firmographics to target their messaging and to plan follow-up activities. That’s not a surprise, since behavioral scoring provides much deeper insights into a prospect’s behavior. Because firmographic data changes (and degrades) so quickly in fast-paced business environments, it becomes difficult to maximize the value of these initiatives.

So what does that mean for marketing and sales teams? It’s not just about alignment—it’s about working together to define the appropriate triggers and behavioral indicators that enable persona and profile development. In today’s buyer-empowered market, a progressive lead scoring approach therefore hinges on three critical objectives:

  1. Understanding the characteristics of your ideal customer
  2. Developing a blueprint for key purchase likelihood indicators, and
  3. Implementing cohesive follow-up action items for both marketing and sales to more systemically close deals.

Achieve these goals, and your B2B marketing team will be well on its way to a successful lead scoring strategy—and all of the benefits that accompany it.

About Amanda F. Batista
Amanda F. Batista is the Managing Editor of DemandGen Report and Associate Editor at G3 Communications, Inc., a Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. firm specializing in digital media and custom content. Follow Amanda on Twitter@AmandaF_Batista

Moving Beyond the “Hows” and the “Whats” to Uncover the “Why?”

Somewhere back in 2002–2003, I was in a meeting with a CEO, VP of Sales & VP of Marketing at a local software company. The Marketing VP mentioned developing “thought leadership content”—the first time I’d ever heard the phrase. To be honest, the attendees, myself included, had a good laugh at the notion. It seemed such a contrived and awkward concept.

Fast forward 10 years and, my, how the world has changed. Somewhere along the way, however, an important piece of the puzzle was lost. A key cornerstone for “thought leadership” stills needs mastering:

Start with “Why?”

So much lead generation content focuses on answering “How?” and “What?” (e.g. “10 Sure Fire Ways to Here or There” or “The Latest & Greatest Guide on Thus & So”).

We are making the assumption that our buyers are already on our bus. And that now they care about the “Hows” and “Whats” of our categories, our approaches, and our solutions.

While this is often the case, it isn’t always. My favorite example is the iPod. Thinking back to 2001, I didn’t know I wanted 1K songs in my pocket until Steve Jobs told me I could have it.

So here’s my advice: Show your prospects why the way they’re doing things today should be improved. Tell your bigger story.

This isn’t just about generating demand from the already convinced and ushering them down the funnel.

Starting with “Why?” is about sculpting new demand with the power of your ideas.

About Trish Bertuzzi
Trish Bertuzzi founded The Bridge Group with a mission to help technology companies build highly successful Inside Sales teams. Since 1998, The Bridge Group has helped Sales & Marketing Leaders from 200+ B2B technology companies build, expand and optimize their Inside Sales strategies

Basic Lead-Generation Tactic Most Marketers Ignore Achieves a 45 Percent Higher ROI

After much pestering, an eager young suitor finally convinces his dream girl to give him her number. He gives her a call, makes some small talk then pops the question:

  • “Will you marry me?”
  • He is answered with a resounding “No” and then a dial tone.

This silly scenario illustrates the importance of probably the most valuable, yet most overlooked, lead-generation tool: Lead nurturing.

Sales professionals are not unlike the hapless suitor when they call prospects to “touch base” to merely lead up to the big question, “Are you ready to buy yet?”

Only 5 percent of prospects are ready to buy immediately; however, those who say “no” represent 80 percent of your future sales.

You can capture these sales by demonstrating your value. So don’t discard them, nurture them.

Lead nurturing regularly provides prospects with information they want and need to know—information that will benefit them even if they never buy from you. This includes content like newsletters, articles, videos, and white papers that they’re eager to read and share. Instead of calling to see if they’re ready to buy yet, sales professionals can have a meaningful, relevant discussion around a white paper, analysis, or article that’s important to the prospect.

These charts from MarketingSherpa’s just-released 2012 Lead Generation Benchmark Report (free excerpt at that link) demonstrate the potential of lead nurturing:

  • 59 percent of organizations with a complex sale do not have any kind of lead nurturing program.Therefore, a lead-nurturing program will launch you your company far ahead most of your competition.
  • You’ll end up with a much higher return on your lead-generation investment as well. Organizations with lead nurturing campaigns achieve 45 percent higher ROI.

Clearly, when you take the time to create relationships built on trust, more prospects will say that magic word: “Yes.”

About Brian Carroll
Brian Carroll is Executive Director of Applied Research at MECLABS and CEO of InTouch, part of the MECLABS Group. Brian is a leading expert in lead generation and he’s profiled and regularly quoted in numerous publications.

Mastering Three Lead Generation Basics

Although there are many lead generation basics that still need mastering, here are three that come to mind:

  • Funnel—Just when organizations were getting a handle on their funnel, SiriusDecisions went and changed their Demand Waterfall. Change can be good, though, and the new waterfall delineates inbound and outbound inquiries, and more accurately reflects the role of inside sales and sales in the lead management process (e.g. generation, qualification, etc.). It’s a good reminder that effectively managing and optimizing the funnel requires not only good definitions for each stage (and sub-stage) but good processes that account for all possible scenarios while making the best use of each team’s time.
  • Content—While we’re on the subject of the funnel, it’s worth emphasizing the need for full-funnel content—that is, an appropriate mix for each phase of the buying cycle. In their unbridled enthusiasm for inbound marketing, many marketers overlook later-stage content that helps prospects overcome the last few hurdles on the path to purchase. At the same time, those who haven’t jumped on the inbound marketing bandwagon—and are still focused on product-oriented content—may not be doing enough to feed the top of the funnel.
  • Social Media—It seems like nearly every day, there’s a new social media darling (SlideShare, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). Although each site offers unique opportunities for educating and engaging audiences, far too many organizations simply push the same content indiscriminately across social media. Marketers need to create a unique value proposition for each digital property, giving prospects a compelling reason to like/follow on multiple sites and thereby strengthening relationships.

About Ed Hadley
Ed Hadley is a marketing and communications professional with a decade of high tech experience. Ambidextrous as a child, Ed pulls equally from both sides of his brain as a marketer, combining creative and analytical thinking to deliver exceptional results.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable: Focusing and Improving on Key Lead-Gen Areas

Even the lead generation basics sometimes need to be remastered. Because the marketplace continues to evolve quickly, marketers cannot afford to think that any one area has been—and will remain—mastered today.

Here are three of the fundamental areas in B2B marketing and lead generation that marketers need to continue focusing on and improving.

  1. Delivering Valuable Information
    Marketers have been blinded by the mandate to create content; however buyers don’t need content, they need information.You need to understand the information your buyers need and deliver it in a way that is easy for them to access and consume throughout the entire relationship with your company.
  1. Creating Demand
    Today, too many marketers are focused on a lead, or a contact record in their database that meets certain criteria.Creating demand requires changing what is in your buyer’s mind, not what is in your database. Until your marketing efforts create a level of demand, you are not setting your sales team up to succeed.
  1. Long-Term Planning
    Buyers needs do not turn on and off like sporadic marketing activity. Your information and solutions need to be available and easily discoverable whenever buyers are in learning or buying modes.

The recent rise of inbound marketing is, in part, reflective of the new buyer that is in control of much of the buying process. Now marketers need to bring this long-term audience-centric mindset to all lead generation activities.

We’ve become far too comfortable with the things we feel we have mastered. Instead of getting comfortable, B2B marketers need to view every aspect of their lead generation programs as an area for potential improvement.

About Eric Wittlake
Eric Wittlake is a B2B and digital marketer. He runs the media group at Babcock & Jenkins and writes about modern B2B marketing on the B2B Digital Marketing blog.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Re-Purpose Your Products for Increased Sales and Revenue

Can you repurpose or reintroduce any products to your marketplace?Austin, Texas The Wall Street Journal had a recent story about how old videogames are coming back as apps for iPhones and tablets–bringing with it easy riches for the companies that are dusting off old treasures.

Sometimes as marketers, we are too quick to jump on the “next big thing” instead of reminding ourselves of our own bread and butter products and services.

Everybody wants something new- or at least that is what we are told.

But how many downloads of Donkey Kong, Pong, Sonic the Hedgehog and other games will be downloaded this year–reaping the original companies tens of millions of dollars?

There are companies that buy old brands and re-introduce them– such as candy bars, beers, etc. People feel a certain comfort level from seeing a “familiar” brand – even if that familiar brand hasn’t been around in 30 years.

Do you have any products that can be re-introduced?

Look through your warehouses.

Browse through old catalogs.

Look through old invoices and customer records and see what treasures may be hidden in your own company.

Can it be reintroduced as-is — or with a slight change to the packaging?

Can the artwork and graphics be modernized – or is it good as is.

Can you re-purpose it from analog to digital?

One of our oil distributor/c-store clients recently re-introduced their old punchcard loyalty programs recently– using an actual physical card and physical hole punch — and customers loved it. They plan to roll it out on all of their stores.

Call it nostalgia.

Call it “taking our country back”.

Call it going back to the basics.

Call it what you will.

But hopefully you will call it profitable.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

What is Your Biggest Piece of Unfinished Business Still to Do This Year?

Any big projects on your to-do list still needing to get done?A few weeks into the new year and many of the resolutions we had hoped to start on are still not getting done.

But how about last year’s goal?

Is there one piece of unfinished business left over that you can charge at full force- and complete early this year?  If so, what is holding you back?

As entrepreneurs and business leaders, we have  a great deal on our plates– but feel of sense of incompleteness when one of our big plans go unchecked and do not get achieved.

Think about the one biggest piece of unfinished business– the one that is on your mind in the shower, in your car, when you lie down to sleep — and get it done.

Just get it done – and move on with the rest of your marketing and business plans for 2012 with a clear mind.

You’ll feel a lot better for doing so.

I just finished mine yesterday. It was like  agiant weight was lifted.

How about you?

When will you get your’s done?

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

What are the Top Loyalty Trends of 2012?

Put Data Capture at the Top of Your Loyalty Wish List

customer loyalty trends for the coming yearAustin, Texas: There has been a great deal of discussion these days as to the newest loyalty trends for 2012.

The strongest new platform seems to be Near Field Communications (NFC) which allows smartphones and similar devices to communicate with one another when their distances are very near. I think this system shows a great deal of progress and will be making strong inroads over the next 12-18 months.

Location-based apps have had some success but I think newer technology will overtake it. Other than Foursquare, which has captured critical mass, most of the others will fall by the wayside.

Mobile wallet also seems like a trend that will continue to grow, as consumers are feeling more trusting of their devices for making payments. People have been purchasing music and apps through their smartphones over the past few years with little pushback, so the barrier for higher ticket purchases is not too real.

As these trends continue to build momentum, the one area that many businesses fail to put their most significant time and effort on is data capture.

By capturing and analyzing your customer data, you can more easily pick up trends, test market products and pricing based on your own pre-defined criteria and you can measure success.

Testing and measuring– these are the cornerstones of any social media campaign, as well as most marketing campaigns.

With proper data capture, you can target specific niches based on previous purchases or promote add-on sales to go along with previous purchases.

You can track which customers are loyal based on pricing specials alone vs. those that are loyal out of habit or for convenience.

Data capture allows you to target a specific loyalty program to specific audiences–making your offers more appropriate and more desirable to each subset.

Everyone tends to fall in love with the loyalty program itself — the big prizes, the exciting media campaigns, etc.

Few people get excited over data capture…..except the most savvy marketers. 

This order should be reversed.

Spend your time on the back end (data capture) for a more successful incentive program on the front end.

Happy Promoting!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Creating Loyalty Out of Free Offers & Coupon Programs

aim for loyal customers, not price shoppersAustin, Texas:  Anyone who has read my blog posts over the past few years knows that I am not a big fan of using coupons to attract a loyal customer base.

Coupons may be an ideal way of introducing your company or moving slow-sellers, closeouts or year-end merchandise, but it attracts the wrong type of customer for which you can build a successful business.

 

Coupon offers tend to attract:

1) Price shoppers.

2) Bargain hunters.

3) Coupon Cutters.

4) Low-Profits.

These are all nice folks, but you need loyal customers, not someone that only buys from you when you have the lowest price and offer merchandise at below-cost prices.

You need profitable customers.  Not just customers.

That being said, many companies are still offering coupons and free offers as a marketing opportunity–in the newspaper, on websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, etc.

If you will be using couponing or free offers as a way of building traffic, at least put a loyalty program vehicle into your customers’ hands.

Make it the focal point of the transaction.  For example, “Thank you for trying our sub.  Here is a loyalty card to encourage you to come back again…and here are three free punches to get you started.”

Or, “Thank you for ordering XYZ online.  Please click here to enter our Frequent Shopper Program.  You will be awarded with 20 Free Points just for enrolling….”

Do not let this opportunity pass you buy.  You are paying dearly for this trial usage.  You might as well capitalize on it..and give yourself a shot at creating loyalty.

One division of our company has done thousands of grand openings for convenience stores in the past, and too often the stores would fail to utilize a loyalty program at this time.  They might have spent thousands of dollars on radio spots, free hot dogs and cokes, clowns, raffle prizes, decorations, newspaper ads, etc. – but many would come up short in offering these customers an opportunity of coming back with a loyalty reward.

When we had tracked the stores that ran a loyalty program at the time of the grand opening to those that didn’t, and same-store sales increases were over 22% for the first six months of the store’s opening vs. the stores who did not run a loyalty at the time of opening. Why run a slow opening when you can have immediate impact on your bottom line?  Your rent and labor costs are the same whether you have a line of traffic or none at all. 

Think loyalty from the start.

Encourage trial of your product or service…but without loyalty, your business is doomed for failure.

Happy Promoting!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.