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Beth Schultz

Italy's DIY Leader Is Saying 'Buon Giorno!' to Marketing Analytics

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Maryam@Impact
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Re: The old days
Maryam@Impact   2/27/2012 11:18:23 AM
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Beth data append can also add a lot to the data they have already collected and help them model their consumers with more depth.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: The old days
Joe Stanganelli   2/23/2012 9:38:11 AM
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Hi, Beth.

Without knowing more than what you mentioned in that comment, I wonder how much of that "supporting Main Street" mentality is actually rationalization.

For instance, not only are the trips to the local store presumably quick, but you mention that they're for DIY projects -- whereas you relegate "major" purchases to Home Depot.  I wonder how much of that is a mental thing... the DIY projects are "small" and "no big deal," and to maintain that idea of them being "no big deal," you go to the smaller store, because they suddenly become a much bigger deal if you're in a Home Depot.

Similarly, by placing so much emphasis on the exceptional service you had at Home Depot for an appliance purchase, I might wonder whether you expected or are used to bad service or stressful shopping experiences for major purchases and projects (particularly given your sardonic "till somebody else there ruins the good feeling!").  If this theory is correct (and even if it isn't for you personally, it might be correct for someone else with similar shopping habits), big purchases mean stress.  By going to the local store, you (or our hypothetical person with similar habits) are psychologically limiting the stress of the purchase and the project -- because of the mental connection with big box stores and stressful experiences.

Anyway, just a thought about one particular type of "Main Street supporter."  Your experiences may vary.  ;)

BethSchultz
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Re: Customer Insight : Depends on Definition
BethSchultz   2/23/2012 7:15:33 AM
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@Lyndon_Henry, blogger Maryam Donnelly has written about using lifecycle email campaign management and how companies can find value in that. But I would agree, consumers involved in continuous home improvement may be difficult targets here.

Lyndon_Henry
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Re: Customer Insight : Depends on Definition
Lyndon_Henry   2/22/2012 9:16:06 PM
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Beth writes
I'm thinking "lifecycle" in terms of what stage of buying relationship the customer is with the retailer. If a commercial customer of a home improvement chain, for example, are they in pre-build stage on projects or build stage? Where they are would determine how much and on what they're spending, and a retailer who is aware of that can deliver better targeted marketing.



 

Well, the term is rather confusing in this application. Where I come from professionally, it's always referred to the life of, say equipment, and things like ... rolling stock. You know ... Buses have a life cycle of 12-15 years, electric railcars have life cycles of 25-35 years, and so on.

Now, applying this to a customer's relationship with a retailer ... I'm still wondering, is this a valid data input for something? I'll be in the pre-build stage, then build stage, then another pre-build stage, another build stage, over and over, with one DIY project after another, with retailers like Home Depot, Lowe's, IKEA, etc., etc. As far as I'm concerned, my "life cycle" relationship with them probably goes on and on, until either they close their doors forever, or I drop dead.

So I wonder what "life cycle" they would fit me into...

BethSchultz
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Re: The old days
BethSchultz   2/22/2012 6:25:01 PM
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@Joe, I think another factor that comes into play is simply wanting to buy "local" or from the small guy. In the case of DIY, for example, I'll go to the local Ace store rather than the Home Depot, Lowe's, or Menard's that are all within a short drive when I want certain items. The owner lives in the neighborhood, and I like the idea of supporting a neighbor. But for bigger items, I'll go to Home Depot. We had such exceptional service there for an appliance purchase last year that it'll be my destination among the chains till somebody else there ruins the good feeling!

 

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: The old days
Joe Stanganelli   2/22/2012 3:03:03 PM
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Precisely, Beth.  I -- and many other customers, doubtlessly -- are willing to pay a premium for superior customer service.  Part of that superior customer service is the company knowing us.

Case in point: Some time ago, there was a point when I was regularly asking for an extra straw from a drive-thru I had begun frequenting (because sometimes I might drop one on the floor, or it would be broken, or something else).  Eventually, the drive-thru attendant who worked that particular shift started to remember me, and would give me the second straw unasked.

This instilled me with warm, fuzzy feelings about the location, which made me want to go there all the more often.

Could you get your analytics to do that for you?  Sure, but it would probably be a very complex implementation, and it would certainly be little substitute in this particular regard for an attentive, conscientious employee.

BethSchultz
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Re: Customer Insight : Depends on Definition
BethSchultz   2/22/2012 2:43:12 PM
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Right, Joe. And understanding seasonality is another good thing analytics tools can help out with.

BethSchultz
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Re: The old days
BethSchultz   2/22/2012 2:42:18 PM
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Joe -- you make an interesting point, though, when you say, "Of course, in the old days of the corner specialty shop, the only analytics effort you needed was a mindful owner who took time to get to know his customers by talking with them every day." From what I understand in talking with the folks at Leroy Merlin, the corner shop is still very much a force to be reckoned with from bigger retailers. So I think it's that presence of the local hardware store, for example, that in part drives Leroy Merlin's need to get to better know each and every customer. 

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Customer Insight : Depends on Definition
Joe Stanganelli   2/22/2012 2:38:26 PM
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Indeed, Beth.  A customer buying plumbing supplies, for instance, unless he's a plumber or contractor, is probably working on a very specific, probably short project.  The customer buying lots of lumber, however, seems more likely to have a much larger ongoing project, or may even be a hobbyist.

(Lots of people work with wood as a hobby, but few work with plumbing as a hobby.)

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Customer Insight : Depends on Definition
Joe Stanganelli   2/22/2012 2:35:20 PM
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There may even be a seasonal element, Beth.  In addition to the obvious (DIY tax software the first few months of the year, sunscreen in the summer, cookbooks in November), there could be some hidden seasonal purchases.  For instance, people with Seasonal Affective Disorder may be more prone to make certain food purchases in the winter.

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