Getting On The Tech Bandwagon

Business and TechnologyI have had a realization within the last week.  And that realization is that not everyone, including business owners are on the technology bandwagon.

Last week, I wrote about the reasons why restaurants should have a mobile website.  And I posted the link to the blog post on the Restaurant Network LinkedIn group to share my blog and opinion.  Typically when I do this, I will get a fair amount of traffic to this blog and occasionally I will get a comment that reiterates what I have stated or thanking me for the post as they got something new out of it.  However, as of the writing of this post, there are 23 post.  And not all of them agree with me. Read more of this post

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Using Customer Information to Keep in Touch

Customer At RegisterI find it fascinating (and nerve racking) how companies do not have any form of customer database.  This is especially true of small retail stores and restaurants.  “It is always easier to keep a customer than get a new one,” is an old saying.  But even with this maxim, a majority customers do not do a good job by continuously keeping in contact with their customers and the data provided by them. 

First, you need to capture just the most basic of information.  Make sure that when you collect it, your customer is for your purposes only to keep them aware of upcoming events and that you are not selling it to others.  Make sure you get:

    • First & Last Name
    • Full Address
    • Phone Number
    • E-mail Address

Once you have this information, look into a system like iContact or Constant Contact to easily touch base with them.  Here are two quick and easy ways to stay in contact with them. 

  • E-mail Newsletter
    • Sending a regular newsletter (not an advertisement) about something related to your business. For example, if you have a nursery, send a newsletter about great colorful plants or how to use fall leaves in art projects. You could also include a map of when the peak color changes happen in the United States. Ideally, make this a regular (monthly/quarterly) send out.
  • Announcement & Specials
    • Coupons, specials, and unique events are all great draws for customers.  Make the campaign relevant to your customers at that time and always have a “call to action”, an opportunity to buy.  These can be infrequent and varied on timing.  Just do not overload the email boxes as your customers will trash them immediately, or worse yet, unsubscribe to all your mailings.

How do you keep in contact with with your customers so that they keep coming back to you?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their customers though a variety of market research strategies.  He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes.  He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research.  He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“.  If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your customers, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

Using Customer Data in Market Research

Birds of a Feather“There are a lot of companies that have data, but not information.” 

I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of that quote at an event during Triangle Entrepreneurship Week in Raleigh and Durham, NC a few weeks ago, where I met a great group of entrepreneurs and small business owners.  The unfortunate aspect of this quote is that it is very accurate.

Being able to utilize data from customers is of the upmost importance when trying to find more of them.  “Birds of a feather flock together.”  Well, this is true in regards to customers.  Similar customers buy similar stuff.  By understanding who your customer is, where they are, and (most importantly) why they buy, you can use that information to attract more  customers just like the ones you already have. 

Today’s market is much more complex and less receptive to media and advertising messages.  However, by narrowing the target of your customer, you can send targeted advertising specifically to them.

How does your marketing process gather intelligent information on your core customer’s needs?  And how do you use this information to target other potential customers?

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their customers though a variety of market research strategies.  He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes.  He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research.  He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“.  If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your customers, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

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