With March officially in full swing, let the "madness" begin. And no, I'm not talking about college basketball. Last week, the iGoDigital team met with some of the biggest players in the Chicago retail space. As they start to fine tune strategies for the year, we heard a number of ambitions and thoughts on how to make their team a "cinderella story" this year.
Here's Three Key Takeaways From the Roundtable
1. The best teams analyze data. In last years NCAA tournament, Brad Stevens and the Butler Bulldogs changed the way teams statistically analyze their opponents. What's the chance that a particular guard drives to the left? How likely is a particular player to shoot from the right elbow?
Translating the concept to the retail world, 1:1 data can be powerful. However, the way retailers chose to use the data is quite different. Much discussion was centered around a recent NY Times article on Target (enjoy here).
The message? "Figure out what you want to measure and construct a system to track it.. There is power in data - figure out how to leverage it. Mix up your messages (be it direct mail, email, or retargeting) with a combination of personalized ads and more general ones."
2. Come tournament time, you've play well in different environments. Tom Izzo of Michigan State hasn't made six final fours by making his team dominate at home. On the road, his teams are tough, compete and are comfortable in different environments.
What we heard from retailers in Chicago was similar. You've got to be where your customers are--be it Facebook, Pinterest, or on a mobile device...and more importantly, retailers must put their best foot forward. Here's a few ways Chicago retailers were preparing for different interactions:
- A mobile site must offer something more than the site regurgitated. Engagement, education, gamification, points, check-ins..the list goes on but at the end of the day, it must be something more than their online site.
-Good brands on Facebook encourage engagement through question driven posts.
- Match measurements with environments--for example, engagement metrics don't bode well in Facebook storefronts.
3. The best teams quickly prepare for the next challenge. In order for a team to win the NCAA tournament, it takes 6 wins in a row. After a big win, it takes the poise to prepare well for the next challenge, often just a few days away.
Chicago Retailers expressed similar challenges. Customer lifetime value involves engagement before and after a purchase. How can you accomplish that?
- Engaging transactional emails or triggered messages around product categories can prepare a shopper for their next purchase. One example: In the party supply space, lifetime triggered emails alert a shopper 6 months-1 year after a purchase. Triggers could also be sent to remind a shopper of an upcoming birthday or event if they purchased a certain category of items last yea.
- Reviews, social sharing, and other brand shares have positive effects. From SEO benefits to customer loyalty, at the end of the day all forms of engagement are a good thing.
With Boston, Chicago, and Seattle down, our next stop will be Austin, TX. A big discussion is in store. Check out more at http://roundtable.igodigital.com/Austin.html.