Using QR Codes for Coupon Redemption
Thursday, 09 May 2013 08:00
QR Codes, or those black-and-white puzzle-like mobile barcodes that, when scanned, take consumers to a website or allow them to conduct some other online activity, can be a marketer’s best friend. Why? Because one of consumers’ favorite things is the coupon, and the number one mobile commerce (m-commerce) activity is to download coupons.
According to an April 2013 report, 57% of media-savvy respondents said they have used their phones to redeem a coupon, code, or voucher by mobile ; and according to a March 2013 FTC report, 27% of consumers overall would like to use their phones to receive and manage discount offers and coupons. QR Codes are an easy way to do this.
While QR Codes are often used to send people to mobile landing pages with marketing copy, they can just as easily be used to send them to online coupons that can be redeemed manually or scanned at the point of sale. When one of your customers is standing in the store making a purchase decision, that coupon can make the difference in whether they choose to make the purchase or not.
Where QR Code offer unique value over other forms of coupons is that offer can be changed at will. Even if the marketing copy on the product packaging, shelf talker, or point-of-sale remains static (“Scan here for a valuable discount offer!”), you can change the page to which that QR Code points at any time. You can also add additional marketing copy, customer reviews, or other information to help them make that purchasing decision.
When you are thinking about QR Codes, think beyond the landing page. Think about consumer shopping behavior and how QR Codes can be used to influence that behavior, including the use of online coupons.
 “Mobile and Money: Consumer Awareness and Adoption of Smartphone-Based Financial Applications” (IAB, InMobi, and Viggle, April 2013). Survey of Viggle’s user base.
 “Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2013” (Federal Trade Commission, March 2013)
Avoid These Mistakes on Personalized URL’s
Thursday, 02 May 2013 16:42
One of the powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal is the personalized URL. These tools allow you to assign each recipient his or her own unique landing page. These pages can be personalized by name, interest, and other demographics. Typically, they also include some kind of survey or information form that allows you to gather more information on the recipient in exchange for some kind of incentive.
Personalized landing page surveys can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Gathering or updating the recipient’s contact data
- Asking about the recipient’s current interests and needs for future targeting
- Providing some kind of unique or customized offer based on answers to the survey questions or something the marketer knows about the recipient
Like any data-based tool, personalized URLs are only as accurate as the data you are starting with. One mortgage company, for example, was recently criticized for sending out mailing kits encouraging people to log in to personalized URLs to see refinance offers based on their geographic location. The offers were contained in very high quality, four-color kits. The marketing copy was compelling. Unfortunately, many of the location offers were wrong. People were given information for states in which they didn’t even live!
How to avoid such mistakes?
- Make sure you are starting with clean, current data.
- Make sure that your business rules are properly set up so that the document is pulling the right data into the right place.
- Produce a test mailing using “seed” names to test your data and ensure that your personalized URLs are working properly and you don’t end up with unexpected surprises!
Personalized URLs are powerful tools, but like any tool, they need to be used properly and tested so that they are giving you the results you expect.
Data Mining Demystified
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:59
Data Mining Demystified
In order to produce a successful 1:1 printing campaign, all you need is a great database, right? Not quite. Producing a successful 1:1 print campaign starts with having a great database, but once you have the data, you have to figure out what to do with it. Often, that means data mining.
Data mining. The very phrase strikes fear into the hearts of marketers, but in reality, it is simply the process of finding patterns in large data sets. That doesn’t have to be a daunting proposition. In fact, you can do simple data mining in Excel.
There are three steps to data mining:
- Know what data is available.
- Ask questions about that data.
- Look for useful relationships.
This is something you can do from your own desktop. The first step is simply to understand what’s in your database. The next step is to start asking questions of that data.
If you are a retailer, for example, you might ask, “Which customers purchased hardwood flooring last month?” Then you might ask, “What else did these same customers purchase?” You might find that these same customers also purchased area rugs and floor conditioning products. Now you can ask even more questions. When do they typically make purchases? Is there a pattern by time of month?
Over time, you will start seeing relationships that will be highly useful in your 1:1 marketing. That’s data mining! And it’s well within the grasp of any sized marketer. So get curious!
Some Different Ways To Use Variable Data
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 07:49
Some Different Ways To Use Variable Data
When someone says “variable-data printing” (VDP), what do you think about? Personalized postcards? Customized newsletters that address the customer by name and provide headshots, signatures, and maps to the offices of your customers’ individual sales rep or agent? If so, you’re not alone. Most people do.
But “variable data” can refer to any document that is produced uniquely on a digital press. While we tend to think in terms of marketing and inventory management, VDP (or 1:1 printing) can also be used to save money and improve the bottom line in different ways, as well.
Here are a few ideas you might not have thought of:
Serialized coupons: Try using VDP to serialize coupons for a specific promotion. By serializing, you can create large numbers of coupons with usage limits and randomly generated coupon codes that allow you to closely target and monitor coupon use.
Use VDP to create product tags or shelf talkers for standalone businesses or individualized for each store within a retail chain. You can see an example of this at http://bit.ly/QHLPfd
Simplified production: If you’ve been using multiple print processes to add personalized content onto full-color offset shells, try using full-color digital production to print on plain paper stock in a single pass instead. This allows you to save cost, time, and eliminate unnecessary inventory.
Transpromo: Are you sending statements and invoices with lots of unused white space? Use that white space to promote or cross-sell your products and services. Transactional + promotional = transpromotional!
The ability to combine data and print, in full-color, on plain white paper at high speeds opens new doors for flexibility and effectiveness in a wide variety of areas of production management and marketing.
Have an inventory management, tracking and measurement, or inefficient or cost-ineffective production challenge? Today’s VDP workflows may just offer a solution you hadn’t thought about. You just need to ask.
What is Big Data?
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 17:38
What is “Big Data”?
You may have heard the term “big data.” What does it mean? By the sound of it, it might appear to be referring to the huge data sets held by large brand and corporate marketers that can number in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of records. Yet “big data” refers to more than just the number of records a data set holds. It refers to the growing number of sources from which that data is now coming.
Think about all the sources you have to gather data on your customers. You have your mailing list, customer transaction history, call center logs, personalized URL logins and responses, email responses, online forms, customer social media behavior, responses to QR Codes, and more.
All of these data tell you something about your customers. In order to get a 360-degree view of who those customers are and what they need, it requires aggregating this data into a single database. Then integrating, managing, searching, and analyzing all of these data sets. That’s big data.
So how do you navigate the complex labyrinth that has become the world of data? Here are some simple suggestions:
1. Know what question you want to answer.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of data. Before getting lost in your data sets, have a well-defined question you are trying to answer or goal you are trying to achieve. This will allow you to focus your efforts more efficiently.
2. Ignore irrelevant data.
Some data points will help you in your marketing. Others won’t. For example, if you’re trying to sell swimming lessons to children, the gender of the child may be irrelevant. But if you are trying to sell gym memberships to adults, gender is critical because it impacts the services the recipient is likely to desire. Know what data sets will help you achieve your marketing goals, then tune out the rest.
3. Know which customers are top performers.
How do you determine which customers are the most valuable to you? The ones who buy from you most frequently? The ones who spend the most money? Those who have been the most loyal over time? Know how you define customer value and figure out who your top customers are. This will help you target your efforts and get the most out of your data-mining dollars.
Big data doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You just need to know what you are looking for.
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