Christmas shopping is a nightmare. I don’t know anyone that enjoys the pressure (both financially and mentally) of finding the right gift for every family member and friend you should be buying for.
This day I’d decided to head to a local department store, who had emailed me earlier that day letting me know there was a 10% discount on a particular makeup brand ‘for a limited time only’. Bingo… that’s my sisters’ presents sorted, just have to make it there in time to get the discount!
It’s still difficult though - the sheer choice is excruciating, and although everything looks lovely on the shelves in their carefully devised orders and colour schemes I always worry that when you take that £25 lipstick out of context, it’ll look underwhelming, small and lonely once it has been unwrapped.
The curse of a professional marketer is that we are constantly aware of the psychological games businesses play with their consumers - down to the choice of music, the room temperature, displays etc... Everything you could possibly think of has been thoroughly considered to provide the highest chances of a person shooting down the consumer purchase tunnel and parting with their cash.
That’s where the importance of brand and trust comes in.
Both the brand and the department store in question had previously connected with me. The email from the store offering me 10% off products they most likely knew I’d be interested in. I was thankful of this as the timing could not have been better. The makeup brand is world renown with luxurious black and white packaging and advertising pasted on the pages of every fashion magazine and website you can think of – I TRUSTED the authority, value and esteem of the products and that’s why I knew they’d make perfect gifts and would be worth the money.
Every aspect of the consumer purchase funnel was considered in my purchase. I had a high level of brand awareness of the products due to their extensive advertising AND I had been captured close to the purchasing by the local department store’s cleverly timed and targeted discount email.
They had got the marketing mix down to a tee and it was more than enough for me to work and feel good about it working! Let’s hope my sisters’ like their new bronzers….. (I just hope they don’t read this before the 25th!)
To find out more about E-newsletters and display advertising click HERE
Do you know how long the average person spends with their digital devices per day?
According to a recent report its 8 hours and 41 minutes. What a shocker. And to put that into context, its 20 minutes more than the average nights sleep.
So, just for once, I put the Iphone down, switched off the Kindle and went about buying a book I’ve been after for a while. I’m into local history. I won’t bore you with the details but I thought it would be a nice bit of respite from swiping a screen just for once.
Having picked the Iphone up again in order to find the nearest stockist (oh the irony) I came across a wholesaler who told me they could send it through to my local high street book store within a couple of days for me to pick up.
Yes, Amazon could have delivered to my door in a flash, but I had the week off work, had little planned and actually quite relished popping into the shop for a browse anyway. There’s nothing like the smell of a good book shop.
So how disappointed was I when I wandered down the high street and found it was closed. I thought the owner might be having a late lunch so hung around town for a bit, but still the shop remained in darkness.
The next morning I popped back. Still no sign of life. Pulling the Iphone out of my pocket (we will never get away from them will we…) I quickly found the shop in question on Google.
No opening times. Bummer.
But hey, a phone number to call…
I expected at least an answering machine. I didn’t even get a ringtone. It was clear this phone number was incorrect.
Hey, link to the website…Oh wait, link is broken. No website.
Eventually I found another phone number…a mobile. This time I did get an answer. It wasn’t the calm, vocal-serenity you expect from the owner of a book shop. Rather a gruff Glaswegian who sounded like he’d been woken from the world’s worst hangover. I apologised and hung up.
As the rain started to fall I made a dash back to the car…on the way, making two clicks on the Iphone and buying the book from Amazon.
Local traders must make it easy for consumers. Some do a brilliant job on a budget one millionth of what companies like Amazon spend on marketing in a week.
Others seem to have given up.
Keeping your digital presence accurate and up to date is easy and cheap to do. There are products that automatically straighten up your opening times, phone numbers and address details, removing broken links, filling in the blanks and validating your company info.
It’s even more crucial if you want your business to be found online. Search engines will mark you down if your info is inconsistent in the 50+ places it appears across the internet.
We all know in tough times, personal service is the cornerstone of the local high street. It’s why people don’t go to the big boys.
So don’t fall at the first fence. Ensuring your business is consistent right across the internet makes it easy for customers to find you, trade with you, build a relationship with you…
whilst making sure Rab C Nesbitt soundalikes get the beauty sleep they need without the unnecessary disturbance.