Do You Know Why Your Customers Choose You?

customer-loyalty-mj-experiaWith more and more competing services spreading around the world, it is becoming easier to create look-alike companies and services. And yet, standing out from the crowd is one of the most important requirements of any company. Being different gives customers a good reason to choose your company over one of the many lookalikes.

There are many ways to be different. Offering a unique and better service is a good place to start. However, adding layers of innovative services or developing a brand with special attributes can also make you look and feel different.

One of the most important roles that market research can play is to find out what your potential audience wants and needs, and use these findings to help differentiate your company or service offering.

With almost two decades of market research expertise, I have outlined below a few compelling reasons as to why you should survey your customers. As for the process of creating the survey, how the survey is conducted, and what methods can be used to follow up, I’ll leave those for another blog later in the month!

Customer Loyalty: Understand the magic – what they like about you and what they dislike. Knowing what keeps them coming back over and over again is the secret to your success. Loyalty is the magic when they start talking about you and referring you to others.

Customer Satisfaction: Satisfied customers are those who do not have outstanding negative issues concerning you on their mind. This doesn’t mean everything has always been perfect. Sometimes things may not have gone all right. In all such situations you gave your customers a chance to talk to you. Sympathetic listening to customers is essential. An online survey, or better yet, a personal phone call from a third party, provide an excellent way for your customers to have a chance to get their side of the story out without being interrupted. A second essential is follow-through. Proper tools of analysis will help you segment your customers into different categories based on what you need to do in return. Then show them you “heard” them and are putting their words into action.

Effective Communication: By inviting customers to talk to you through careful design of your survey or asking key questions in a telephone conversation can effectively inform your customers about things they may not know or remind them of important changes or innovations in your organization. This is clever because customers will take your survey more seriously than most other communication you send them.

Spotting Trends: Beyond understanding the drivers behind loyalty and satisfaction of your customers, you can benefit from the wisdom of the masses by asking them for their ideas and spotting patterns in their feedback. Spotting such trends ahead of competition could offer you a significant advantage.

Think about your own loyalty as a customer and why you choose certain brands or companies to work with – heck, knowing what your customers value is what’s behind those great beer commercials who put their customer in their brand experience! Listen to your customers; let them show you what they value and once you act on their input, enjoy watching your business grow!

When was the last time you conducted a customer survey? Did you send out an online survey or did you call your customers? Did you follow up on the customer feedback and if so, how? Do you feel you did a professional job or do you think you should have hired a marketing firm to conduct it for you?


Marketing Resolutions To Keep for 2015!

HNYWith the New Year upon us, most of us are taking the time to reflect on the past year and look towards the next. Everyone will soon be talking about how 2015 will be the best year yet – without it actually having happened yet! But it doesn’t have to be all talk. Here are four resolutions to keep in your marketing plan for the coming year:

  1. Check out the competition: See where your competition is spending their money, you could learn something! Are they focusing on branding themselves? What keywords do they use on their website? Knowing this information will inform your marketing strategy and will help find ways to help you stick out from your competition.
  2. Explore your social platforms: Find what platform works best for you and engages your target audience the most. If your subject matter is image heavy, don’t be disappointed if you’re struggling with success on Twitter – it may not be where your best audience is. Try Instagram instead!
  3. Invest in measurement: Whether you’re looking to launch a national campaign, book an ad in a magazine, or start a blog, make sure that wherever you choose to spend your marketing dollars on has the best ROI.
  4. Increase your curiosity: Never stop trying and testing new campaigns or messaging! You will not only keep your content fresh, but over time you will refine messages to your current target markets, and find new ones. Digital advertising is one of the most flexible mediums for messaging and testing new content. Get out there!

2014 wouldn’t have been the kind of year it was for CreativeWorks without my incredible clients! Thank you. Your businesses inspire me and I look forward to working with you in 2015.

To those of you following this blog or engaging in my discussions on LinkedIn who are not my clients, thank you for your interest and engagement. In 2015, I will continue to bring you hands-on, thought-provoking insights and case studies based on my personal experiences as the owner of a Canadian marketing agency.

On behalf of all of us at CreativeWorks Marketing, I wish you and your family the very best for the holidays and New Year!

Are there any topics you’d like me to write about in 2015? Please share your questions and comments below.

Case Study: The Toronto Raptors Build Brand Community with #WeTheNorth

prizingAlthough I have been in the marketing game for many years, I can count on one hand how many times the term “brand community” has come up in conversation. All of that changed earlier this year, when the Toronto Raptors were in the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2008. To celebrate, and promote Raptors as Canada’s Team, the team rebranded and launched “We the North” — a campaign that aimed to showcase the Raptors, Toronto, and Canada, in a way that NBA fans have been unfamiliar with.

Think back to spring – the Jays were off to a weak start, and Canada only had one team in the NHL playoffs. Meanwhile, the Raptors were playing on point and Sid Lee saw an opportunity to take the city, and the country, by the throat and they redefined a brand.

Before, the Raptors had been labeled as NBA outsiders, partly because they are the only NBA team in Canada, #WeTheNorth, launched by Sid Lee, flipped the public’s perception of the Raptors from negative to positive. The campaign launched with success, and embraced the things that have always made the Raptors outsiders – “We are the North side, a territory all our own. If that makes us outsiders, we’re in.”

Redefining what it Means to be a Canadian Basketball Fan

The first campaign video was released on social networks in the days leading up to the first playoff game on April 19th. Drake and Justin Bieber both retweeted the video, and in two days the video had 500, 000 views. That was the tipping point.

Following the launch, the Raptors transformed from an irrelevant squad, to one that won the Atlantic Division and secured them a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. We The North is now every Raptors’ fan’s basketball mantra.

The Raptors truly built a successful brand community, by first understanding that the brand’s future community will be made up of a homogenous group of people with different wants and needs. By considering the diverse possibilities of who could be in this homogenous group, the brand is better situated to serve the various wants and needs of the community, and respond to the community more effectively. To that I say, well done Raptors, well done.

Please enjoy watching their campaign video:

What do you think of brand community building? Can you think of another brand that has successfully built a brand community aside from a sports team? What do you think has made these other brands successful within those communities? Share your thoughts in our comment section.