Consumer-driven businesses need to stay on top of emerging technology, especially when they compete with giants like Amazon. And, in that context, sthe latest tools to attract and retain customers are wi-fi analytics and automated marketing platforms.
These platforms provide brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants advantages similar to those that the big online retailers enjoy, for collecting and using customer data for marketing.
Capturing customer information and personalizing the customer experience, after all, are the ways forward for retail and hospitality businesses. And a big part of this is triggered marketing.
So, what exactly is triggered marketing?
Some businesses confuse “triggered marketing” with loyalty programs and mobile apps. Certainly those efforts help drive traffic. But they lose some of their potential effectiveness when treated as stand-alone tactics, because for a loyalty program to be effective, customers first need to download your app or register.
When it comes to the plethora of online marketing tactics, then, the sum of all the parts is not nearly equal to the whole. Instead, the key is to align all digital marketing strategies under one umbrella solution that maximizes the reach and potential of each.
Baking analytics into your marketing mix
Here is where wi-fi analytics and automated marketing programs level the marketing playing field -- with new ways to attract and retain customers.
Specifically, wi-fi analytics and automated marketing platforms include three services: capturing customer data, analyzing the data and then delivering personalized content. Take the example of the Atlanta Bread Company (ABC), a 27-location chain that credits analytics and automated marketing for an increase in its companywide sales.
In the past, the missing link between traditional and digital marketing had to do with collecting the actual data that allowed a business to personalize its communication with customers in order to improve that relationship. Using data analytics, however, ABC has collected 33,000 customer email addresses automatically. More importantly, it's gained the ability to market to each one of those customers, based on his or her individual behavior.
Consider the fictional case of "Danny Diner." Danny comes into his neighborhood Atlanta Bread Company store every Monday and Thursday at around 10 a.m., logs onto ABC’s wi-fi and stays for an hour. How does the company know this? Its “smart” wi-fi tracks Danny’s behavior. This means that ABC can send Danny a deal to his phone at 10:10 every Monday morning, offering him $2 off a muffin and thereby increasing the likelihood that he will in fact, order a muffin.
That is how and why capturing customer profiles and tracking these individuals' behavior provides the chain restaurant with an opportunity to personalize its target marketing.
Knowing that Danny spends an hour using ABC wi-fi indicates his interest in the restaurant as a destination, where he is comfortable sitting and doing work. This lets ABC tell its brand story in a way that resonates with Danny himself, highlighting its comfortable seating and wi-fi speed.
In contrast, "Carol Caffeinator" dashes in to ABC and dashes right out again with her coffee every morning at 8. Catching Carol with a triggered daily deal at 7:45 am for an extra-large cup o ’joe will up her daily spend at ABC. That’s how communicating on a one-to-one basis with actual customers, based on their real-life needs, is a way to increase revenue and maintain their loyalty.
But, back to Danny
Why does he come in only twice a week? How does ABC increase this customer’s frequency by using real-time intelligence? Seems as though ABC has a real opportunity to truly individualize Danny’s experience and deliver dynamic marketing content to attract him other days of the week too. A deal sent to Danny on Monday offering him a discounted breakfast on Tuesday might get him to come in another day during the week.
Social media is the new word of mouth, and ABC can encourage Danny to share marketing content with friends and friends of friends. Perhaps he’d like to share his Tuesday breakfast deal with friends, to meet up with him to enjoy a meal and surf the web together. If Danny is inclined to tell his friends more about ABC, he might post a review through the ABC wi-fi landing page. In fact, ABC actually generated 5,000 customer reviews through its wi-fi marketing efforts.
But . . . uh oh. Danny hasn’t been at ABC for a while. And here again, wi-fi analytics can help by rescuing at-risk customers like him by knowing who they are, how and when they dine. If Danny has decided to spend his mornings elsewhere, ABC can trigger deals to bring him back and maintain his loyalty.
What you need to know
If you want to know how and when you should market to individual customers,you need to know what they do when they’re at your location. One factor that wi-fi presence-analytics measures is average dwell time at the physical location. This directly influences how and when to market to these customers.
Sending the offer for a muffin deal while Danny is enjoying his coffee at ABC is much more effective than sending it when he’s home and about to have dinner. Another way to improve operational efficiencies? The answers you obtain to these questions:
- How long do diners take to enjoy their meal?
- How much time did it take for them to complete their meal or shopping?
- How likely is it that an average customer will return?
- What is each customer’s projected lifetime value?
- What’s better than standard wi-fi?
The answer to the last question lies at the core of analytics and triggered marketing: It's smart Wi-Fi. Having the ability to engage customers like Danny and Carol at physical locations is an exciting new way to communicate with them and be at the center of their dining experience.
The overwhelming majority of consumers keep their mobile phones with them at all times. So, business should use smart wi-fi with marketing-automation platform triggers. That will mean that when Danny is at ABC checking his phone text, the restaurant can grab his immediate attention. In short: Give Danny a deal for tomorrow’s breakfast and he just might share it on his Facebook newsfeed.
Get Danny’s interest while he’s on the premises, and he’ll be back.
Smart wi-fi marketing reaps benefits beyond that of the usual on-premises experience. When customers register for in-restaurant or in-store wi-fi, that action enables customer-profile collection and simplifies third-party application onboarding, a.k.a. downloading the restaurant’s app. Therefore, using smart wi-fi enables a business to:
- Encourage customer reviews
- Drive social media engagement
From the sales perspective, smart wi-fi enables:
- Point of sales marketing
- Future event marketing
- Data collection
On that last point, once a customer is registered, data is collected whether he or she logs in or not. In addition, the restaurant or retailer is able to interact with a customer who does not have the locations mobile app installed.
Although online giants may have had the initial capabilities to leverage automated marketing, restaurants and brick-and-mortar retailers have even more opportunities to market to guests because they have the physical presence of the customer.
Customers like Danny Diner and Carol Caffeinator who have made the effort to go to the location are more committed to the brand at a personal level. From the business's perspective, then, it’s important to leverage this loyalty in every way possible, which is why knowing who that customer is and why learning about his or her behavior is so important to the marketing mix.
Hence, the importance of triggered marketing: Going the additional step to offer customers this type of deal, which will continue to engage their interest even after they leave is what will ensure return visits. And, that’s what wi-fi analytics and triggered marketing are all about.