Whether you’re a retail site, visitor attraction, sports venue, or even a website, the ability to get people to where you want them to be is invaluable.

Using our experience of working with brands such as BMW, The O2 and Manchester United, we’ve put together the following five things to bear in mind in order to get people to where you want them to be:

1. UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMER

It’s imperative that you understand the people you want or expect to spend money with you. And it’s surprising how many brands fail to grasp the basics, such as demographics, habits, needs and wants of their customer.

In most cases it’s sensible to start with a piece of commissioned research. Consider carefully what you need to know. If budget is an issue, then an inexpensive survey can be conducted through Survey Monkey (or similar). Be ready to use your data once it comes in, and keep it up to date using social media, web and email channels, or even staff members on the front line. Old data is no use to anyone. Understanding your customers here and now will identify ways of converting them into repeat visitors, which immediately strengthens your commercial viability.

As you get a better understanding of your customer, perhaps you could think of your destination, product or service as “living”. How can you evolve in order to meet your customers requirements, and stand out from the competition?

Building a fuller picture of your customer will also give you a good indication of what the general market thinks, and so allow you to identify opportunities to find new customers, and exploit those to grow your first-time visitors.

It goes without saying that you should make sure your destination caters to both first-time and repeat visitors from a facilities and services point of view, as you don’t want to run the risk of promising an experience and under-delivering it.

2. TELL A COMPELLING STORY

Tell people why they need to visit your destination. The reason(s) should be simple and compelling, and gleaned from customer input and even perhaps that of your own staff.

If customers don’t have a very clear idea of what to expect from your destination, they are very unlikely to come. We are all time poor these days. We don’t want to waste this most precious of commodities….

3. HAVE A CONSISTENT MESSAGE

Today’s consumers are taking an omni-channel approach to purchase decisions. They have sophisticated expectations of product, service and environment. They are connected and empowered, and so it is important to carry your brand story across all touch points, online and offline. From advertising to staff uniforms, DM collateral to social media. Each touch point should reinforce your message.

Disney is a great example of a brand that runs a consistent brand message across all of its touch points. For example the provision costumes (along with wearing guidelines) and scripts for staff.

4. GET SOCIAL

We’ve mentioned that today’s customer is more connected than ever. This is a huge opportunity, as well as a huge threat. They can be your best or worst advocate. If you are not active in the social media space then you will not be able to understand, or more importantly control what your customers say about you.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Trip Advisor are the key social channels to consider, covering between them in the region of 95% of the social media space.

So have a clear social media strategy. Find a way to manage this, including evenings and weekends. Capitalising on an “of-the-minute opportunity” can pay great dividends, but it is even more important that negative comments or complaints are dealt with swiftly and properly, before they spiral out of control.

A staff rota can help share the load, providing anyone given the responsibility is capable and well-trained.

Planned content combined with spontaneous content will help manage the workload of an active social media account. Planning content in advance will ensure fresh and interesting content, but it’s also a good thing to keep an
eye on topical, newsworthy content which might help you broaden your destination profile.

5. ENCOURAGE CUSTOMER LOYALTY

It’s important to re-engage your existing customer base, finding fresh ways and creating new reasons for them to return. Calendar moments both small and large can really help, such as Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, or even National Sandwich Day – keep it interesting!

By tracking your customers and garnering data about them, it will become easier over time to make a personal connection, through tailored and personalised communications.

And don’t forget, once you have a customer, treat them right. Loyalty rewards or status upgrades for multiple visits will really help cement your relationship.


 

Our team at 438 Marketing are experts in moving people. In today’s busy, dynamic consumer-led world, we recognise the need to deliver distinctive, engaging and connected experiences that are relevant and valuable to the customer.

If you’d like to hear more about 438’s expertise and how we’ve helped the likes of The O2, Trinity Leeds and Chrysler, then contact Ian on 0207 653 1958 or ian.sykes@438marketing.com