Multi-channel marketing and Retail Applications

The other day I was asked “How can retailers leverage loyal shoppers to increase share of wallet across touch points?”  Beyond getting away from consultant-speak, a few thoughts came to mind.

Specials and promotions delivered across a range of media is probably the most obvious, but I think that at a more subconscious level, this is about moving from loyalty to advocacy.  I might be loyal to a company but that loyalty can be purely transactional.  It’s at the point of devotion that I become an advocate. That doesn’t come from simply providing tangible “stuff.” Everyone is providing obvious incentives. It is about creating a “family” and tools that allow people to engage in the exchange of psychic and social capital.

Take Doc Marten’s.  They have a small retail presence, but their stores have become destinations for subcultures, people who were part of a subculture and are now looking for nostalgia, and people aspiring to appear somewhat on the fringe. Their digital presence is designed to push product online and in retailers to whom they sell, of course, but it also provides location-based incentives and the ability to post information about yourself (and your new shoes or boots) to the world.  The point is that they recognize there are a range of customers that buy in a range of venues. People buying for themselves and others.  Rather than addressing them in a way that segments according to channel, they use multiple touch points to drive the experience, enhance the brand and take advantage of a limited brick and mortar footprint.

Know your customer as something beyond a sale.  Know they contexts that shape their lives and then worry about how the different channels can be used to talk to them.  And to increase sales.

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