We asked Sarah Broadwater, director of marketing at Winmark Corp. (Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, Style Encore, Play It Again Sports, and Music Go Round) what technologies she is using to understand her customers, improve their experience, and keep them coming back. Here’s what she had to say.
In marketing, you can’t depend on one vehicle alone to ensure your message is being seen and heard by your customer base; you’re always implementing a multi-channel approach. The same can be said with technology. You can’t rely on a single piece of technology to give you the data you need to move the business forward.
At each of our resale brands, the key piece of technology that helps us understand our customers and improve their experience is our proprietary POS system. It’s integrated with third-party software that tracks key information with each sale, so it tells us a lot about customer trends as well as other data that’s important when determining customers’ needs and what we need to do to meet those needs.
The email marketing and loyalty programs we have in place allow us to segment our customer base better for personalized messaging. Outside of competitors, there is still a lot of noise you need to cut through, so it’s important that the messages you do send are relevant to the people receiving them. When it’s not particular to them, the messages often get ignored, and you’ve missed out on an opportunity to engage your audience. Using these technologies and segmentation ensures the messages being sent are not only relevant, but timely to the person receiving them, which increases the likelihood they’ll engage with us, respond positively, and return to one of our stores.
Further, digital marketing and website analytics help us to better understand our web and social media traffic and consumer interactions in a digital landscape. Regularly analyzing this data provides us with the opportunity to hone in on how people are responding to our messaging on the various platforms we use. This assists us in making the improvements and changes necessary to reach consumers more effectively.
One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of technology and marketing is that they are both ever-evolving. A thorough understanding of how technology affects your business and customer interactions with your business allows you to reach customers in new ways in a constantly changing environment.
Thanks to technology, consumers have marketing messaging right at their fingertips any time of day. You need to make sure you’re using a variety of tools to reach them so that you have a presence where they’re spending their time.
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