Posts tagged Marketing
Building customer loyalty can be tricky lately with so many industries, businesses, and individuals making budget cuts. Marketing is usually one of the first things to go when it comes to readjusting the budget. So for marketers, now, more than ever, customer acquisition should be of the utmost importance. Since acquiring new customers can be costly and time consuming, building customer loyalty should be at the top of every marketer’s list.
Keeping up with your customers certainly is time consuming, but doing so will be a benefit to your business. Consider the following tips and build a plan to help keep your customers engaged and interested.
Get referrals honestly.
One of the fastest ways to build your customer base is by showing others how your current customers feel about your brand. Referrals are the fastest way to spread the word about who you are and what your brand is about. Referrals help you garner where you stand and can help you gain personal insight into your customers, allowing you to build upon and expand those relationships.
That’s why customer referrals are such a powerful marketing tool. But it isn’t always the easiest thing to do to get your customer to take the time to sit down and write a quality referral. Sometimes you have to offer them a little something.
Offering a reward is a great way to instill customer loyalty. If you’re a business owner, thank your customers who refer you with a small gift card or a discount on your product. But a customer’s loyalty shouldn’t come at a considerable cost to your business.
Don’t go overboard. There is a long standing debate about loyalty programs and bribery. The thing to remember is that the best loyalty programs support a well-defined customer growth strategy, and use differentiated offers to retain and grow a customer base.
Tip: If you want to go mobile, consider a loyalty-card app through a service like Cardstar— which gives your customers one less card to keep track of and provides you with real time analytics.
Remember your followers offline.
Everyone loves to be thanked publicly. You can easily thank your Facebook and Twitter followers by tagging them in posts and tweeting about them to show your appreciation. That’s a great way to get re-tweets if that’s what you’re looking for (and who isn’t?).
But many brands have offline customers as well, and oftentimes those customers get forgotten. It’s hard to publicly thank someone without a Twitter handle. That’s typically where traditional print marketing comes in handy. If you are looking to thank your customers, a mailout card or newsletter is a great way to build a rapport. If you’re a larger brand, having a specific page dedicated to thanking customers in a printed publication is a great idea.
If you’re looking for something more simple, have the rules to your loyalty program available in a written format. That’s a great way to access both offline and online customers. Simply provide instructions on how to access your online program somewhere within the rules.
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I only began experimenting with Pinterest two weeks ago, but I was aware of the site’s growing popularity in November when I was working on a whitepaper about social media and tourism. At the time I wondered what the legal ramifications of using the site might be. I figured that pinning pictures and information from other people’s websites might consist of some kind of copyright infringement.
It seems that I was right. Pinterest has an unsteady relationship with copyright laws and for that reason businesses and individuals alike should be aware of the content they are pinning. There are several contentious legal issues that many brand owners and marketers might not be aware of when sharing photos.
Galen Moore, Web Editor at The Boston Business Journal, wrote an article last week about Pinterest’s fine print. Moore points out in his article that Pinterest’s service agreement gives the company the right to sell images that users upload.
Pinterest operator Cold Brew Labs’ terms of service outlines their right to publish your photos. Take a look at these two excerpts:
“By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.”
Unlike other social sites, Pinterest acts like a database. When you pin or upload a photo, Pinterest keeps a copy of it. In the terms of service, Pinterest asks you, the user, to affirm that that you are the exclusive owner/representative of your content and that you will be responsible for said content. This means that if you don’t have a non-exclusive royalty-free license to the photos that you are publishing, you could get in some serious trouble.
Pinterest is protected from potential lawsuits, but you are not. It would be easy for a client or brand to sue you if they find out that you have essentially given the rights to their photos to a third party.
If your client or brand has specific photos that they don’t want to sign over legally to Pinterest, then it’s best not to share them. If it’s something that could be a growing concern, talk to your client and make sure you have the authority (in writing) to share the photos with a third party.
However you go about using Pinterest, it’s best to be careful regardless. While Pinterest is really fun and offers something that other social sites don’t, the fact is that Pinterest is still a startup and that there will likely be more legal issues regarding copyright laws in the near future.
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