Misc. Post: Just Dazzled by ShoeDazzle.com

Emma, my seven-year old daughter, just told me about this cool website shoedazzle.com. She had seen a TV commercial and lead me to their website. She even knew the secret pink shoe to click on for a special offer.

Their approach is fascinating. They have you take a shoe personality test of sorts. 24 hours after you submit the questionnaire, they have a personalized shoe boutique created for you.

They welcomed me, by sending an e-mail that included a 20% coupon for my first purchase from my personalized shoe showroom. I haven’t seen what they’ve created for me yet, but I’m definitely intrigued to see how well they match products from their assortment with my style and preferences.

MyHabit.com uses a similar approach, but ShoeDazzle seems much more tailored. I’ll let you know what I think, after I see the items they put in my showroom.

Post #2: Marketing Copy Cat: A To Do or Taboo?

Recently in working with a small business, it was clear that some business owners don’t have the time, money or expertise to build out and execute a robust marketing plan. Given all the contemporary marketing tools, it becomes even more overwhelming for a small business owner to know where to start. This got me wondering about the value of using a copy cat strategy.

The strategy would involve following the marketing of key competitors in order to try and understand their marketing plan, and then figuring out which elements to copy. Especially, if the competitor can afford to partner with a external marketing agency, then it’s likely the types of marketing they’re doing are the ones that have proven to be most effective. This strategy would not only help a company define their own strategy, but would give them insight into what they need to do to be competitive.

Of course the company would need to develop their own unique marketing messages, but at least they would know where to focus their energy and how to position their message against their competitors.

So what’s the verdict?

Do? Or Taboo?

Post #1: Marketing Research for Free!

Yes, there is a way to find out what and when customers are interested in something, minus the investment of research.

Based on The New Rules of Marketing, by author David Scott, the key to modern day marketing is being able to engage customers and potential customers in a variety of ways, such as social media, blogs, new releases and online video. However, the key to being successful in these spaces requires that a company first knows what is most relevant to their target market. Before investing in a robust marketing plan, companies must first know what their customers care about and what will provide the most return on investment. This is typically the role of marketing research. Over the last few years, a new source for this information has emerged that allows companies to answer these questions, without having to make a major investment in research. It is the information that is found by reviewing the search logs of a company’s website. …It’s information that’s at a company’s fingertips.

When a customer comes to a website and conducts a search, they’re telling the company what they want, in their words. This provides an unfiltered view into customers’ needs and wants. Search data is a gold mine of information that can be used to drive product, assortment and promotional planning, as well as providing many other insights about customers.  For example, the data could tell a company when customers start looking for snow boots or swimming pools. The data may also reveal that the customer is looking for something that the company doesn’t sell. It also can highlight a major customer service or product issue.

In addition to providing insight to what customers want and when they want it, the data can also suggest the level of demand for an item or topic of information. As a result the information can be used to help a company decide what to focus marketing efforts on or what issues need more immediate attention.  

Similar information can be found through data offered for free by Google. However, the Google data will tell you what customers are looking for in the broader context of the internet. The search data from a company’s website is much more relevant and specific, because it reflects the things that customers are coming to their website looking for.

What’s more exciting is that it’s a source of information available to any company that has a website or mobile app with a search feature. So even a small business can gain powerful insights about what their customers are looking for. It’s marketing research for the masses!

And did I mention it’s all free!  

Welcome!

Hopefully you will find the postings here interesting enough that they stick with you and compel you to comment. ~Just like when pasta sticks to the wall, when it’s fully cooked. 

Misc. Post: Off to a rocky start!

Today, was the first day of class. All day I felt anxious. I was convinced I needed to call a plumber for all the grumbling going on in my belly. To make myself feel better I showed super early for class. As the class time neared, no one else showed up. It was 30 minutes before class, then 15 minutes and then it was time for class to start and I was all alone. It turns out I was in the wrong spot for class.

LESSON: Check your e-mail before the first day of class. Then double and triple check the location for the class.

How embarassing!