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National Retail Federation Show Highlights
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Re: Own the customer
  • 1/29/2014 9:57:27 AM
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@Michael, yes, it's absolutely a thing. Companies don't want to spend marketing dollars where they don't have to. It's also a thing to understand when your marketing message will have an adverse affect on the customer -- resulting in the customer cancelling service or buying from competitor instead, for example. Companies use segmentation and lifetime value models for this purpose. It's not easy to do, from what I understand, but when done correctly the resulting lift and cost savings in marketing dollars is worth the effort. 

Re: Own the customer
  • 1/29/2014 9:48:18 AM
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Is that a thing -- not promoting and marketing to a customer because you know he or she is going to be loyal regardless? I'd think you want to at least nurture the relationship every so often -- otherwise the competition could sweep them away, no?

Re: Own the customer
  • 1/29/2014 8:17:55 AM
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Sure. And on top of that what they really want to be doing at the same time is understanding when the customer that they own is 1) not worth an investment in marketing (ie, they'll buy regardless of any incentive they might receive) and 2) not worth "owning" period (ie, they no longer have value to the company). In other words, they need customer lifetime value models.

Re: Own the customer
  • 1/28/2014 11:58:31 PM
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I'll concede that point, yes. But I think retailers want to take a long view and keep the sales coming in steadily over time, as opposed to grabbing one-off purchasers. Hence the ownership term.

Re: Own the customer
  • 1/28/2014 8:28:45 PM
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I wouldn't say owning the customer is the ultimate goal. Increasing sales is the ultimate goal... because you own the customer and can so thoroughly manipulate him or him with incentives and pricing and other personalized deals that make him or her spend, spend, spend. But the retail messaging, as you say, is about the customer experience.Whoa to the retailer who builds a marketing strategy around the catchphrase, "Hey, we own you!"

Re: Own the customer
  • 1/28/2014 10:40:46 AM
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I don't know that any of us likes the idea, Beth, but in retail, that's the ultimate goal. I mean, we could replace "own" with "create such an appealing experience that the customer will be loyal," but these videos have to be short. 

I've seen hard-sell sales professionals go after their leads with, "I am willing to do whatever it takes to close this deal today and get you behind the wheel of that car..." or whatever. This kind of technology brings it to each customer. 

And now I just had a flashback to haggling with vendors in open-air markets in Israel. Maybe the next-gen shelf labels will have a "make your best offer" button...

Own the customer
  • 1/28/2014 9:11:56 AM
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@Michael, thanks for a great wrap-up -- makes me wish I'd been there. It's hard to imagine what the shopper experience will be like in just a few years as retailers become more and more customer savvy and able to use advanced analytics to serve up personalized offers and services. I'm not sure I like the idea of retailers' "owning me," though. 



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