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Are You Prepared for the Digital Tsunami?

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3. Build a Great CRM System.  You must know who your customers are and where they are shopping.  The information must be must richer than name, address and email.  If customer by customer data is not available, then you must have customer profiles which define cohorts of customers with specific needs, desires and buying patterns.  You must know where they are in their decision process, where they have already shopped and where they are going.

4. Develop Predictive Customer Insights.  We have had well established multi-billion dollar revenue companies say “We don’t really know much about our customers”.  Of course, if you sell all your products through distributors or through large retailers who own the customer, you may not have a relationship at all. However, digital technology allows data to be collected and analyzed to gain detailed insights into predicting who and why your customers are buying and where they will look next.

5. You Must Have Great Content.  Love it or hate it, modern media channels are splintered and consumers are inundated with messaging.  We have becoming numb to advertising whether by phone, tablet, PC, TV or print.  Only highly relevant and highly engaging content with a strong story will get through.  Great 30 second television ads can only be part of a larger campaign. Lexus recently created 1,000 short videos for use in social media.  Content must be succinct, timely, engaging, relevant and value-added.

6. Loyalty Programs Retain Customers.  Retaining good customers is much cheaper than acquiring new customers.  Starbucks, Amazon, Hertz, CVS, BestBuy, Domino’s Pizza and Niemen Marcus have creative, interesting, easy loyalty programs that attract and retain customers, in some cases representing as much as 70% of total revenues.  Rewards range from enhanced services, discounts, birthday gifts and special shopping events.  And they work. Smart phones allow you to maintain and track the data and customers to track any number of programs.

7. Location and Timing are Key.  If you aren’t geo-tracking your customers and targeting them when and where they want your offer, then your marketing dollars are being wasted.  Out-of-home targeted advertising is booming.  Consider a company that sends a well-crafted email to the right demographic marketing stylish raincoats on a rainy day.  Companies are rapidly developing the technology to target retail customers when they are getting near a retail location.  There are billions of data points per day on the location of your customers – are you using these?

If you are addressing these seven survival secrets, you are preparing for the digital tsunami.  If not, your company may be in danger.

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Ted Pryor
Ted Pryor
Ted Pryor is a Managing Director with Greenwich Harbor Partners and focuses on senior level executive recruiting in Media, Technology and Business Services including general management, sales, marketing and customer service. He has over ten years of experience as a senior executive at GE Capital and over 20 years of experience in corporate finance. Prior to executive recruiting, he served as CFO and CEO of a venture backed start-up company.

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