September 27, 2016

Data sharing: the pros and cons

Data sharing between consumers and business is vital for commerce

By Robin Sumner, Managing Director at Romax.

Fair use

Roma advocates the fair use of data, where organisations use data sharing to assist their customers by presenting appropriate services, products and offers that those patrons have a genuine interest in or propensity for; therefore providing a framework for relationship building. Proactive communication that is driven by previous interactions and transactions between client and supplier; or a properly researched and filtered approach to new viable contacts.

Highlight to clients how to opt in and out of preferred media

Clear ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ processes that provide clarity to the consumer, and the ability for any customer to, choose their preferred method(s) of communication, is key to generating positive interaction. The customer must feel that they are benefiting from the sharing of their data rather than them feeling pressured, bombarded or worse, ‘stalked’ by a supplier after sharing information.

Every customer has a different view on how their data should be utilised. The spectrum of client choice will range, like all bell curves, from those customers that absolutely refuse, to those that actively want to commit to data sharing and receive all and every message and offer. The majority of the population, however, opt for a median range between these two extremes.

Extreme clients

Clients at the extremes of this data sharing curve; those that opt out from all communication, are not necessarily ‘bad’ clients. They may well spend a lot of money with you and genuinely enjoy your products and services. They are difficult to classify from a marketing perspective, but they are satisfied clients, that perhaps react to alternative marketing messages, TV and media influence rather than direct marketing. Therefore less easy to track but no less important, these may be one of you most loyal customers.

Similarly, those customers that opt for every marketing message and offer available are often the ‘bargain hunters’ and are more likely to get offers from every supplier and wait for the best deal on their purchases rather than be persuaded by brand. These clients are costly as they drain resource, only react to discounts and offer no loyalty or lifetime value.

The realm of the direct marketer, therefore, is to understand and master your brand and relationship building communication through the appropriate use of data, aimed at benefiting your customer without alienating them through over contact or poor targeting.

Online marketplace

There is a big difference between the likes of Amazon who engage in online marketing using cookies, that track behaviour using algorithms to influence your purchases, often based on your previous search history, and those businesses that take a less aggressive online approach.

Nurturing your client relationships

Subtle use of search history tracking can aid purchase behaviour, but overuse can be perceived (despite most people’s acceptance of cookies and site T&C’s) as an infringement of privacy, similar to having your video taken whilst window shopping; or the overzealous shop assistant in a retail outlet that after greeting you, continues to follow you around the shop seeking the sale but causing discomfort to the browser.

A ‘fine-line’ but position your brand with the appropriate ‘online’, ‘above the line’ and ‘direct marketing’ approach to ensure that you attract your customer base, incentivising them to share their data so that you can build your relationship, learning their preferences over time to build on your brand message rather than alienating using inappropriate and overpressured marketing.

direct mail rocket ROI

 Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk, +44 (0) 20 8293 8550.

September 27, 2016

Data Sharing The Pros and Cons

Data sharing between consumers and business is vital for commerce.

By Robin Sumner, Managing Director at Romax.

Data security, fair and appropriate usage of shared data and respect for consumer rights create a sometimes contentious but always interesting, debate between what is legal, what is reasonable and what is intrusive. Weighing up your approach is critical.

Fair use

Roma advocates the fair use of data, where organisations use data sharing to assist their customers by presenting appropriate services, products and offers that those patrons have a genuine interest in or propensity for; therefore providing a framework for relationship building. Proactive communication that is driven by previous interactions and transactions between client and supplier; or a properly researched and filtered approach to new viable contacts.

Highlight to clients how to opt in and out of preferred media

Clear ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ processes that provide clarity to the consumer, and the ability for any customer to, choose their preferred method(s) of communication, is key to generating positive interaction. The customer must feel that they are benefiting from the sharing of their data rather than them feeling pressured, bombarded or worse, ‘stalked’ by a supplier after sharing information.

Every customer has a different view on how their data should be utilised. The spectrum of client choice will range, like all bell curves, from those customers that absolutely refuse, to those that actively want to commit to data sharing and receive all and every message and offer. The majority of the population, however, opt for a median range between these two extremes.

Extreme clients

Clients at the extremes of this data sharing curve; those that opt out from all communication, are not necessarily ‘bad’ clients. They may well spend a lot of money with you and genuinely enjoy your products and services. They are difficult to classify from a marketing perspective, but they are satisfied clients, that perhaps react to alternative marketing messages, TV and media influence rather than direct marketing. Therefore less easy to track but no less important, these may be one of you most loyal customers.

Similarly, those customers that opt for every marketing message and offer available are often the ‘bargain hunters’ and are more likely to get offers from every supplier and wait for the best deal on their purchases rather than be persuaded by brand. These clients are costly as they drain resource, only react to discounts and offer no loyalty or lifetime value.

The realm of the direct marketer, therefore, is to understand and master your brand and relationship building communication through the appropriate use of data, aimed at benefiting your customer without alienating them through over contact or poor targeting.

Online Marketplace

There is a big difference between the likes of Amazon who engage in online marketing using cookies, that track behaviour using algorithms to influence your purchases, often based on your previous search history, and those businesses that take a less aggressive online approach.

Nurturing your client relationships

Subtle use of search history tracking can aid purchase behaviour, but overuse can be perceived (despite most people’s acceptance of cookies and site T&C’s) as an infringement of privacy, similar to having your video taken whilst window shopping; or the overzealous shop assistant in a retail outlet that after greeting you, continues to follow you around the shop seeking the sale but causing discomfort to the browser.

A ‘fine-line’ but position your brand with the appropriate ‘online’, ‘above the line’ and ‘direct marketing’ approach to ensure that you attract your customer base, incentivising them to share their data so that you can build your relationship, learning their preferences over time to build on your brand message rather than alienating using inappropriate and overpressured marketing.

direct mail rocket ROI

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us

September 20, 2016

Who’s most important to a business, Customers or Employees?

By Malcolm Saunders, Document Setting & Print Operative at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

So who is most important to your business, those who pay you, or those who you pay?

Is it your Employees?

It’s a simple obvious fact, happy staff, are always going to be more productive and loyal. If you put yourself out for your staff, it will be returned. Yet many businesses treat their staff like a number, expendable, easy to replace.

Speaking from personal experience, working at a company where staff were replaceable, never given acknowledgement when someone has put themselves out, or gone beyond and above what their job entails, can be massively dispiriting, and leave that member of staff doing the bare minimum they can get away with. This certainly isn’t good for any business, a whole workforce not working to their full capabilities?

Training is also very important, it makes an employee feel important, that they are part of ‘The Plan’. But what you really need to do before designing training is to go into the field and literally observe what’s happening. Go watch your people in action. Talk to them.  Hear what they have to say! Where do they excel? Where is there room to improve? How do they interact with one another?

It’s also important to make sure your employees understand the company’s vision, The truth is that your employees are the audience for your strategy. They are the people, if treated right and armed correctly, who will authentically translate your message, your vision, and your brand to the paying customers you’re after. So you better make sure they understand it and are emotionally connected to it!

Managers play a key role in making this happen, as they are the link between leadership and the front line. They can be most effective at bringing your vision and strategy to life in a fun, emotive way that will help your people come to their own conclusions about why it makes sense. This is the key to enabling employees to live your brand in every interaction with customers.

“If the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they’re proud of the brand, if they’re looked after, if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience. If the person who’s working for your company is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they’re not gonna do things with a smile and therefore the customer will be treated in a way where often they won’t want to come back for more.”

Sir Richard Branson.

It’s absolutely true.

Is it your Customers?

Romax Clients

Without customers, the business would not exist, and obviously, the purpose of the business is to fulfill the needs of the customers. Customer satisfaction is the heart of a selling process, it can cost five times as much to attract new customers as it does to keep an existing one, so therefore the relationship between the customer and business is very important. Approximately 95% of customers who have a bad experience will tell others, compared to 87% of those who had a good experience, the difference much greater for online reviews.

Conclusion:

Let’s face it, 99% of companies treat their customers as their most important asset, and there’s good reason for that as highlighted above, the customers keep the business alive.

But so do happy employees, again, speaking from personal experience, being made to feel part of the team, rather than a number, can improve your production and customer satisfaction by a startling percentage.

So, I have it as a dead heat……….both have equal importance, and both should be cared for, made to feel important and irreplaceable because a business cannot cope without either.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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September 12, 2016

Live Chat – why wait?

Live Chat for Improved Online Client Services

By Wes Dowding, Operations and Technology Director at Romax Marketing & Distribution.

At Romax we recognise that timing is everything when it comes to sales, which is why it’s so important to reach the customer at the right time, with the right message – something we help promote with our digital marketing communications offering. So this leads on for us to ensure we better engage customers, in real-time, while they are viewing our website.

This is why we decided to take the plunge and invest in a live chat facility on our website.

What is live chat?

We all have come across a live chat window at some point during our online browsing. In a nutshell, it’s a customer service software that integrates with your website to initiate real-time communication with visitors to your site.

Live chat is extremely convenient for customers as it allows them immediate access to support, but it’s also a powerful marketing and sales tool that allows you to engage visitors to your site and start a relationship with them at the point when they’re most interested in learning more about you.

How does live chat work?

Typically a small customisable chat window (see image of our site above) will pop up on the user’s screen inviting them to chat with customer support while still viewing your website. The chat window is usually discrete, yet noticeable and designed to look like part of your website to give users the peace of mind that they will not be directed away from your site. We have also allowed the visitor to minimise the window so it does not “get in the way” of the website itself.

Live chat systems are more affordable than you think

The cost to add live chat varies from supplier to supplier. Most are dependent on how many licences or “agents” can sign in and answer enquiries. Within our solution, we have a dashboard that also gives some top line analytics, for example, number of website visits, chat history and visitors engagement path. However overall, the price is very low and the management, if built correctly into the website, is minimal. You can even have automated responses if the facility is left unmanned, for example, overnight.

Why choose live chat?

According to a survey conducted by eDigital live chat has the highest satisfaction levels for any customer service channel, with 73%, compared with 61% for email and 44% for phone.

Live chat is a powerful way to communicate with customers immediately and can reduce your need for phone support and works complementary to other channels such as social media.

The speed of response is the Live Chat’s greatest asset, prompt communication in a chat window will keep your visitors engaged and creates a greater potential to convert them into clients.

Screenshot 2016-08-30 at 13.00.12

How to optimise your live chat

Live chat communication should be warm and friendly to assist customers in their website experience. One simple way to do this is by using photo avatars that customers can associate with chat representatives as a reminder that they are chatting with a real person. Something to avoid is “robotic” responses so if you have automated responses make sure they are warm and friendly too.

What are you waiting for?

Live chat is a powerful and cost-effective way to get a leg-up on the competition, tap into your website visitors to get them out of research mode, and convert visitors into clients. Still unsure? Read this great case study from Roku here

If you would like to discuss any of our direct marketing services please complete the form below or live chat us!

 

direct mail rocket ROI

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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September 6, 2016

Membership and Brand Loyalty Management

Membership and Brand Loyalty Management

By Charlene Plows, Head of Client Services, Romax

How often to you interact with your subscribers or customers? Every week, month, quarter, yearly, or just when you remember? How are you creating brand loyalty?

Membership and subscriptions are vital for the survival of many companies.

Regular communication with consumers is paramount in creating mutual benefit. Subscribers to your services should be informed of upcoming events, incentives, renewal dates and general day to day updates.

An initial welcome pack to new users of your service is usually taken very well and there are many benefits to sending these out. Welcome packs can create a positive first impression with your new audience in a way that helps nurture a good perception of your organisation. They provide a great platform to promote other services along with presenting useful information to your patrons that they can store in a convenient and accessible way. Welcome packs are an inexpensive and practical way of starting brand loyalty.

Corporate Brand Building

Membership cards and member benefit offers are important elements within marketing programs designed at building brand loyalty. Consumers and business customers can apply for membership cards offered by companies that sell products or services that they buy frequently. The cards provide customers with such benefits as discounts on future purchases or such privileges as VIP access to events. Membership cards may be free to customers or may incur a charge if they offer high-value privileges.

Membership cards provide companies with an opportunity to add value for their customers. Members, for example, may receive exclusive offers or rewards in the form of loyalty points that they can exchange for other products or services.

Companies can structure their membership programmes and discount offers to encourage higher spending. They may offer tiered discounts or additional rewards to customers who spend above a certain level. Companies can also offer different categories of membership to customers who commit to spending at an agreed-on level. The scheme might offer silver, gold and platinum membership cards, each with corresponding levels of benefit.

Retail Sales and Loyalty Creation

Membership cards that incorporate magnetic strips or micro-chips enable companies to capture data at the point of sale and build a picture of individual customers’ spending patterns and preferences. These data enable them to develop a detailed understanding of their customer base and create personalised marketing campaigns that build stronger customer relationships. A retailer, for example, might offer individual customers a series of discount vouchers based on their most frequent purchases.

Provided the scheme offers benefits that customers value, membership cards can strengthen brand loyalty. Customers who receive personalised discount vouchers, for example, are likely to continue purchasing the same brand to take advantage of the offer. Membership cards can also solidify a customer’s connection to a company, particularly if the customer enjoys high-value privileges.

 

Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

Contact Us