THE LOYALTY BLUNDER

Statistics still show that it costs a business about 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one. On average, those current customers of yours spend roughly 67% more than the new one. So, what are you doing to keep your customers coming back to your business? If you are a business owner that only dream to achieve the results, that of larger corporations, you can – your business will implement a loyalty program.


Many loyalty programs have been designed over the years, but if not designed right, to achieve desired results, businesses just continue to lose money on time and effort into the design, and customers get no more value from the businesses to which they are loyal. One third of loyalty programs go un-redeemed by consumers.

How many loyalty programs have you gone?

“Where do I sign up?”

Or better yet, when asked “Do you have a rewards card?” you’ve discovered you don’t and wanted to learn more, take that extra 10 – 15 minutes of your time and sign up there on the spot?

For me, I turn a blind eye to many of these things because (in my experience) quite simply, getting a $2 discount when I spend $50 or more just isn’t exciting me. And for the most part, loyalty is so diluted, it’s a term thrown around so loosely no one knows what loyalty really is anymore.

Time to reign it back in ………………………………

loyal-customers11

In our programs at Coterie  – through my experience as a customer, researching customer trends – we look at what loyalty program works for businesses specifically, how you can keep your business out of that one-third segment of unsuccessful – mediocre – programs, and how you can design enough additional value in your programs to keep your customers coming back.

It is important not to adopt the ‘one size fits all’ – ‘cookie cutter’ approach – and get to know what makes ‘your customers’ tick because in the end, what a business is doing down the road – across the state – might work for them but be of no interest to your money spenders.

To stand out in your market, it is ideal to create the feel of a community to your customers.  A great way to promote your loyalty programs, instead of selling, offer your customers a range of loyalty options.


“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.”
– Elbert Hubbard

 

Key points for building your loyalty program:

  1. Brainstorm some ideas with your team, particularly your floor team as they are the eyes and ears of every day operation
  2. Target 5-7 of your best customers and ask for some feedback or ideas (what would they like to see)

    NOTE
    : Don’t just expect your customers to give you their time, open up a win:win. Perhaps offer them a beer, a 10% voucher, glass of wine with their next meal. Respect their time and they will respect yours. And use this time to open up a ‘partnership’ with them encouraging this behavior
  3. Be Active – just start testing and measuring what does and doesn’t work. The longer you try to make it perfect before launch, your customers are already at another venue!
  4. It must be perceived VALUE.  There’s nothing worse than being offered a boring loyalty incentive, or an incentive that is completely unobtainable

“Huh? I have to spend $200 to get $10 off my next purchase?”

50-percent-or-half-off-blooper-ad

 

Have fun with your loyalty program because there are no rules, there are no boundaries – this is your place and your customers’ playground ………. make it uniquely yours!

My favourite Carrie quote (yes, that be me) – “Creativity has no boundaries”

Throw out the phrase “Loyalty Program” and make it a name unique to your business that creates a sense of belonging – community – exclusivity.  Remove the ‘us’ and ‘them’ feel and make all your customers feel like they are part of the same family.

  • (Hospo Business Name) Squad Member
  • Team (Hospo Business Name)
  • Beer Lover Program
  • Wine Connoisseur Club
  • Our Favourite People Club

I hope you were able to take away some points of value and start to build on the foundation that is already in placeor implement some new ideas and strategies straight away in your business.

I’d love to know your thoughts – experiences – or any questions so please do drop them below so we can have a chat.

Thanks for your time and reading …..

 

Cheers,

Carrie

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3 Factors That Influence your Promotion Campaigns

Running a campaign in your business isn’t a black and white, nor cut and dry process.  Having worked in and around many businesses for the last 16 years, particularly the last 10 years, I have witnessed many elements that leave gaps in the process when businesses design and implement promotions/ campaigns.

 

One great learning that I took with me, way back when – doing my marketing studies – ‘you have to spend money to make money’. Well I advocate this message, but within reason. You have to spend money, yes, but have a strategy to drive a desirable ‘return’. This is where the gaps start to appear – no ‘strategy’!

With new ways to do advertising, particularly with the Online Daily Deals introduction back in 2010, and many social media platforms – today – providing a ‘free’ media to reach greater audiences, it is most definitely not Big versus Small anymore. There is so much power in running or being part of a small business – technology has changed the game – and this creates a wealth of opportunities . But, the TRAP in tech advances, free platforms ………. People have stopped wanting to put their hand in their pocket and they have been seduced by numbers – dollars and people – they aren’t designing an actual ‘plan’;

  • Why are we doing a promotion?
  • What are we wanting to achieve?
  • Who are our ideal customers?
  • What is our budget?
  • Do we have the tools to measure the effectiveness?
  • Does our team know what we are doing and why?
  • Did we make a profit? Remembering, profit doesn’t always present in a financial currency.

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If you’re not prepared to ‘invest’ – this could be staff, time, materials (food, drink, merchandise), or money, with a ‘what is it going to COST me’ mentality – simply don’t bother running a campaign. Successful businesses have drop kicked the ‘transactional’ approach to their business introducing the ‘investor’ way of thinking. This too will assist you and your team greatly if you adopt as your philosophy.

I’d like to take you through 3 Key Factors that you should consider when designing, or even just exploring running a campaign in your business.

WHAT’S THE PURPOSE?

  1. Drive foot traffic into your business;
  2. Generate Cashflow;
  3. Drive profit
Each of these 3 key factors actually design different angled promotions.  You could in fact run the exact same campaign, but three different ways.  These aspects will determine ‘how’ you spend your money and how big – or small – your ‘budget’ will need to be.
  1. If you are driving foot traffic into your business, it is likely that you will run a RED HOT deal. Think about the Online Daily Deals – Red Hot Deals that drive traffic (please don’t focus on this media in isolation, just conceptually because there are many reasons why ‘not’ to use this approach but that’s for another blog, ha!) straight through the door. This could often be done at ‘cost’ or may result a bit below cost (not always necessary – I can teach you the tricks to avoid running below cost) to create hype and “NOW” engagement.

    Key Note
     – This strategy MUST have a ‘what’s next’ plan in place.  If you are going to fund a promo campaign, you MUST have a strategy to bring them back into your venue as a full-paying customer otherwise you will just bleed money all over the place.  This is a HUGE ongoing problem with businesses and we must stop the leaky bucket effect!. 

  2. If you are wanting to generate cashflow, again, this is likely to be a campaign that is going to be pretty aggressive with your offering and often designed around what you know already sells well and in volume – just give them what they want and they will buy with an easier forecast of sales conversion. 

    Key Note – Creating a bit of hype in your venue and with customers that already spend is not with the intention to breed discount hunters, it is about the objective, creating engagement, and building customer retention.  This is a great way to generate ‘cashflow’ – design a campaign around what already sells well. 

  3. Profit Generating Promo’s – Yeh BABY!!! We all want these type of campaigns, right? Of course! But, that written, results may present a little different when it comes to profit ‘focused’ approach.
  • Foot traffic can be lower
  • Price Point is often higher
  • The “Ra Ra” hype may be a bit more sporadic or lower key

If you understand what your objective is, your measurement barometers, you won’t fall into the disillusion of perception, “that didn’t work as well”

Basic RGB

I’ll give you an example
I had this with a client where they were running a 2 for 1 discount docket in their hospitality business.  Yes, it brought in a lot of foot traffic – but it seduced them away from what was actually going on.  They were ‘bleeding’ $80,000 running that promotion!! Yep, you read it right, $80K annually (This was already in place when we began working with them)

In one month we did a test –

  1. 2 for 1 promo voucher with a mass target
  2. Identifying their ideal target audience was young families, we created a campaign “Buy two main meals (full price) and the kids eat free”

The kids eat free promo ‘cost’ the business a lot more money to run. But guess what, in one month the “2 for 1 voucher” generated more foot traffic and $192 in profit. Whereas, the ‘Kids Eat Free’, less foot traffic, cost more to run …………………… and it brought in $4,500 in PROFIT! Plus, there was a return voucher to bring people back into the venue, at almost full price.

So here concludes my blog on 3 Key Factors to consider when designing and running your promotional campaigns in your business.  The ultimate result is to generate more money into the bank account, but there are a kaleidoscope of angles to do so, you just have to know:

  1. Where is the business at;
  2. What do we want to go;
  3. What do we have to do to achieve it?

and the BIG number FOUR – MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE !!


We run through these aspects in our Accelerator Programs as truly aqcuiring the education behind your business plans and decisions is what is absolutely vital and key for survival and success.

It is for this very reason it is my purpose, my passion, my mission …… to bring education to hospitality businesses and CLOSE THOSE GAPS, and drive MORE PROFIT!!!

Thanks a bunch for reading my blog. I hope you got some ‘take aways’ from it. I’d love to have your feedback and any questions, for that matter – please jump in below.


Happy Days!! 🙂

 

Cheers,

Carrie

 

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DO YOU EVER STOP TO BE PRESENT?

Being an Entrepreneur, Company Owner, Manager, Leaders, Team Member can be all too consuming at times.  We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life….. Do you ever just stop to be present?  Rising above, connecting with ‘you’, looking over at the impact you have on ‘your’ world?

 
Tranquil, serene, self-centered – being centered within ones self.  Key ingredients to a balanced life.  Not always the easiest to achieve, but always make it a work in progress ………..Business infrastructure is vital for a successful and sustainable business.  But to ‘be’ successful in business, you must have your ‘personal’ infrastructure balanced too.
Easier said than done, but so true and worth the investment.Be kind to yourselves and give yourself every opportunity to be the most AMAZING version you can be …….. this gets nourished with triggering happiness in all corners of your life.

Here’s to standing still, finding balance and be self centered  …..

Cheers!!

Carrie 


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SO THIS HAPPENED….

– Pushing Your Comfort Zone Limits –

Well, this is another moment of pushing my comfort zone in my Entrepreneurial journey – got in front of that bloody camera filming our sales and marketing adverts last week …….. Raaaaaaa, my legs and knees were killing me!

Well, avoided for a long time but it’s time to be on stage and in front of the camera – I chose this because I want to do what I love, and with that comes really uncomfortable moments for me in the process.

Do you have a really uncomfortable spot – perhaps something that makes you nervous but you know it’s for the greater good?

As a confident person, in a long-term Sales and Marketing career, one would expect jumping on stage or in front of a camera would be easy, not to mention I’m an Aries!

I can talk to strangers, pitch big business ideas to a board of Directors, talk to people of all different status’, not a worry! But public speaking, snapping a photo or getting in front of filming ……… I want to crawl in a hole and avoid at the best of times. ‘Apparently’ I hide it well. 😉

What I find intriguing in this journey of mine is that I know I need to do it, yet I have the ‘choice’ as to whether I do or not. I am my own boss (most of the time, ha!), make my own decisions, I can easily avoid the grueling experience that feels like it ‘could’ cripple me ………. Yet I still put myself though the pain, to push myself for progress, increased value output, and particularly personal growth. Am I a masochist ??? !!! 😉

Whether you succeed the first time or not, it is a true achievement to push yourself to do things you don’t want to do and then witness your own progress and be thankful you did it.

I wanted to share this with you all as we all face our wobbles in life, truly uncomfortable moments, but it IS worth considering what ‘may’ be on the other side if you push through the strain and/or temptation to resist.

This is my weakness, and I didn’t chicken out!!!!!! Moving into the media, I know, I have a BUCKET LOAD of excruciating, uncomfortable moments ahead. Gotta be in it to win it, right?

MASSIVE shout out to those prepared to challenge their limits, not limit their challenges. And as uncomfortable it may be, be thankful for those who push us for both professional and personal development.

Look out for our media channel coming soon ………… And you read it here first, whilst we may look confident on the outside, there’s every possibility we’re packing it on the inside, ha!!!!

Don’t limit your challenges, CHALLENGE YOUR LIMITS!!!

Cheers,

Carrie

 

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7 STEPS TO CREATING CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE

Of course, in business we would all like to think that our product and/or service is great so why wouldn’t anyone just buy? If it were that easy, we’d be a pretty boring species, correct? 🙂

Well it’s not that easy – the human mind isn’t all that basic – and like a great cooking recipe, a business has to have the right ingredients for it to rise to a success.

I have been involved with many business over the last 14 years. I’ve seen what does and doesn’t work – what requires a big financial investment, and what is a cost effective strategy – and what it takes from the inside out, in a business, for smooth operation.

From experience and knowledge, I have designed a recipe that works if you are serious about Creating Customers For Life.

It’s easy to get a quick sale, but how can you ensure that you’ll be successful in 5 years time?

Here are our 7 steps to ensure you create profitable customers for life:

  1. Your Community – be clear about what your business does and what your brand message should project. If your customers ‘know you’, ‘like you’, and ‘trust you’, you will start to build solid long-term relationships with your customers – impacting their lives – and they will assist in building your business.
  2. Customer Profiling – It is important to understand your market and design marketing plans that attract the profitable customers you actually want. If you don’t know the shape and colour of your ideal customers (the full paying money spenders) then you simply will not know what types of strategies will work and where to go looking for MORE profitable customers.
  3. Your People – this is a HUGE ‘make or break’ in a business. Your people are a fundamental aspect to success. But our philosophy is about creating a ‘game plan’ that drives profitable staff. Wages should not be a cost, rather, an investment. Your staff are not a commodity – engage, empower, and get a Return On Investment – get them making money for your business!
  4. Database Management – This is one of the most underused yet successful strategies to generate profit in a business, long-term. Having your own list of customers is one of the most valuable assets for any business and it has you in a position of power. Getting to know your customers, communicating with them how they want and offering them personalised value – watch your business grow. And look, you only have to pay your business overheads reducing your advertising costs by more than 50%. Many businesses turn to expensive marketing and advertising strategies when their most valuable asset lies within the business – warm to hot buyers!!!!
    BUILD YOUR LIST of customers weekly!
  5. Strategic Partnerships – this is one of my favourite aspects to business – who wants to be successful and alone! Once you have identified your ideal customers, you are then able to assess where else they shop, to go and fish for some more, right? Aligning your business with other businesses that target the same customers will have you offering more to your existing customers (keep it fresh and hot), attracting more of your money spending customers, and building your brand in the local community and your industry. It’s one of the fastest ways to grow your business and your ‘customer list’.
  6. Marketing – If you don’t have a plan, then you simply will be chasing your tail, compromising on price to compete with the other businesses dropping their own pants, and not really enjoy what you’re doing. Marketing is quite an in-depth process but can be kept very simple.

    Marketing is about understanding your business, your customers, and planning ahead the ‘right’ activity that engages and creates loyalty. And projecting your brand and message in the ‘right’ areas – your online footprint, events, in-venue promotions, strategic alliances, database marketing, referral marketing, loyalty programs ….. Marketing is definitely far an wide, hence why you need a plan to do it right and do it with ease.

  7. Customer Service – You can have the best product or service but if the service is awful, your customers always remember how you left them feeling. Customer service, again, is quite an indepth process, but also quite diverse. I’ve assessed and designed strategies that has customers service integrated into marketing activity, some really cool and creative ways to heighten the customer experience. You can have a lot of fun with it, and stand out from the average business by doing so – get chins wagging! The buck really stops with the team that connect with buying customers, and therefore there needs to be an ongoing strategy to ensure success.

7STEPS

 

These are the Coterie 7 Steps to Creating Customers For Life. It is a formula that works, and is very powerful. But it needs a plan, it needs a team, you will need to bring in the experts (on occasions) ……….. and it needs the customers that you WANT.

If you are intrigued by the Coterie mantra, would like to learn more, check out what we do and always feel free to come across and have a chat.

Business is meant to be fun, and there’s likely to be a few layers of fun that hasn’t even been triggered yet – within your business, within your team, within your community – and there’s never been a better time to have the business you want, to be in the business that you want to be in, and start having a big impact on the lives of your customers and spreading joy all over the place.

We’d love to share that with you …….

 

[ File # csp3337184, License # 2425210 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Andres

 

Cheers,

Carrie and #theteamatcoterie

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THE POWER OF SOCIAL PROOF

The human mind is wired to be influenced by our peers. I”m not suggesting that as a matter of ‘we are not free thinkers’, rather, we take on board what our ‘trust network’ says to us.

Statistics still present that you are 4 times more likely to convert a new customer if they are referred by a friend. You are also of greater likelihood to convert a new customer at full price when referred.

Existing and prospect customers don’t buy into what you are ‘going to do’, but what you have done. If you and your business has had success stories, by all means, share it with your community. What am I trying to say here ……. start connecting with your community and share recommendations and testimonials. If you are amazing, your business is amazing, you deliver great value and impact your customers lifestyle, I sure want to know about it, and so will your prospective customers.

If your target market don’t know about you, then they simply don’t know what you do. Social proof is a very cost effective marketing strategy that delivers a great conversion rate.

You might be asking “well how do I do this?”

*Promote a testimonial*

  • Facebook
  • Newsletter
  • Website
  • LinkedIn
  • Promotional advertising – add a short testimonial on the poster

*Guidelines to be mindful of*

I have been asked for a number of testimonials in my time, but what I hate, when I am asked in a manner that it is ‘expected’. A testimonial should be treated as a reward, much like a monetary tip. As a business owner and operator, we don’t simply just ‘deserve’ them, ‘entitled’ to them, it is a honor to receive.

“Send me a testimonial” or “Can you give me a testimonial”. How that has made me feel “it’s all about them” with minimal connection to our relationship.

Asking if your customers would be interested in sharing a testimonial MUST come with asking for some feedback. You must articulate that you value their opinion, and more importantly them as a customer, and I often follow up with a small gift to say thank you.

In closing, you may have started to see a trend in my philosophy, and the message I share – Don’t close a sale with your customers, but rather, open up a relationship and create customers for life.

If your business has raving fans, get them to start raving about your business.

I hope this has been valuable for you and triggered some ideas that you can implement in your business straight away.

Chat again soon,

Carrie

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WANT CUSTOMERS TO SPEND WITH YOU?

Not everyone is your customer, and that is completely fine. And trust me, you don’t want everyone to be your customer as it defines less boundaries, is harder to solve specific problems, and develop ongoing personal relationships. As much as a consumer can choose who they want to connect with, you can also sculpt your ideal customer. Read more

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY STORY

I’ve always loved people and sales, so it is no surprise how my career has taken a journey of sales, marketing, business development and coaching.

Starting my first job at the age of 16, in retail, I reached my first management position at the age of 18 and this taught me about good customer service straightaway. Given that I am a people person, it was no chore for me to apply this in business, and today I stand firm in advocating that good business really stems from the core of customer service. A product or service means nothing if it is not connecting and serving consumers well.

I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunity to manage businesses and teams of people at such a young age, with this shaping me on the critical aspects of good business. After my studies in business and marketing, I went into the exciting corporate world working with alcohol, and the creativity began. You may be familiar with brands such as Jacobs Creek, Stoneleigh Wines, Baileys, Smirnoff, Jameson, Chivas Regal, to name but a few. I was working with the best!! Whilst it is a favourite social activity for many of us – the tantalizing flavours of beverages, sneaky little drinks after work, a good barbeque catch-up with good friends – I spent eight years working with two separate global leading companies. In that business environment I developed my grasp on the importance of branding – creating products and developing services that customers actually want and how we could impact their social experiences. It was perfect for me because I was in a career path that the majority of us lived for – to have fun!! It was funny how many people’s eyes lit up as soon as I answered the question of “what do you do with yourself?” Alcohol appears to be very interesting, especially when you spend your working day designing good ties for your friends and family. 🙂

Whilst my job was about selling products and making money, I looked at the wines, spirits, and events that I worked with and focussed on how and why my customers were going to love it. So, you see (in my opinion) that it takes more than money to really be successful; it’s about how you will impact people’s lives.

My journey moved onto online advertising after eight years in the liquor industry. I was personally ready for more challenges – State Manager at Scoopon South Australia – and by golly did I get what I wished for. I soon landed myself in a domain that was all about bringing together everything that I had learnt since the day I started working – creating a great product, building a great team, connecting with our customers and working out a way that Scoopon could design and bring to life a platform to grow my clients’ businesses with new customers.

The best part of my employee career was my time working in the Online Daily Deals industry. It delivered a lot of excitement and a different approach to business, connecting with new customers, and bringing joy to their lives. That’s ultimately what you want in business, right – to make people happy?

Wired with creativity and working at Scoopon, I loved having the freedom of sitting down with my clients, working out strategies on how we were going to have large audiences raving about their deals, and we succeeded. Through the pure joy that it brought to each of my clients, their team, I got a real kick out of the relationships I shared under my management.

As time went on, a consistent message kept going through my mind, flashing before my eyes – the small business industry was in desperate need of education. All of these great products and services to sell and more customers to buy are great, but if you don’t know what to do with that, it either causes damage or doesn’t progress.

I started to connect more and more with my purpose in life; that being to empower people to achieve their success, and my passion in doing so is in business.

In 2011, I became an entrepreneur. At the age of 16 I was taking my baby steps in the workforce, followed at age 22 by working for global leading liquor companies, and then receiving the great opportunity in 2010 to launch Scoopon into South Australia and lead the team. By 2011/12, I was approached to start up my own company. I decided that I had done enough as an employee (I have made millions of dollars for my employers and the businesses I served). It was time to coalesce my business skills and start to pay forward all my years of knowledge, experience and expertise across many business segments. Today, I am here to empower small to medium businesses, to educate them and to offer the support that I know they want and believe they deserve.

I bring a strong focus on business that is centred on loyalty. I start by looking at the end {desired} result and work backwards on how we are going to achieve it. I take a lot of my philosophies drawn from my time in the Online Daily Deals industry – not for discounting, but understanding key components:

  • How to understand and manage a large market amongst strong competition
  • How to prepare your customers and your business with promotional campaigns safely and successfully
  • The power of Strategic Partnerships
  • Experiential marketing – creating an experience that eliminates transactional business operation and builds a foundation of long-term success.
  • Systems – you have to have a systemised business that can work without you in it!!

Like elite athletes, you have your time ‘doing’, but when you decide to retire, what do you do with the raw talent and all of that valuable experience? You pay forward to younger generations and share knowledge and skills, often as a coach or a mentor.

Having been an elite netballer in my younger days, I went on to coach after I retired from playing competitively, and I saw first-hand the effectiveness of paying forward everything that I had learnt, to my players. Although I didn’t play anymore, I still had skills that would help other netballers reach their best, and some reached great heights.

I have adopted this same philosophy in business for the Australian hospitality and business industry. It is an industry that I know the right and wrong, how to design successful strategies and business plans and, most importantly, how to create profitable customers for life. This is my time to support your business and to share with you!!!! As Mark Bouris, one of Australia’s most successful businessmen once said to me, “It is not about any secrets, but about what it takes”.

Coterie – my brain child – is about being a game changer. As an Entrepreneur, I’m always looking for better ways to do business, to make your business more successful. We bring a different flavour to business and I can’t wait to share with you a couple of new projects that we are about to launch.

A saying I love and one of our mantras – Creativity Has No Boundaries.

2015 (for Coterie) is all about loyalty, the experience, education, culture and passion. Put them together and people will buy into your story and you’re on the road to having a successful business …..

Thank you, in advance, for reading part of mine.

Carrie

Coterie’s Mum, your Senior Marketing Chicky – Profit Angel

 

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We’d love for you to share your thoughts and opinions…