The future of retail with Hello Soda

The Future of Retail: Our Round Up

It’s been a few weeks since we held our panel discussion around The Future of Retail. We had an incredible line up of panelists, including Hannah Anderson, Director of Social & Creative at Media Chain and Founder of The Pud Store, Frances Bishop. A huge thank you to all eight panelists for joining us and making the event as fantastic as it was!

Here’s what we took away from the event.

The Future of Retail Marketing

The Future of Retail Marketing

In this day and age generalised blanket messaging results in low engagement and click-throughs, gone are the days of competing with price reductions and seasonal, overly generalised coupons and offers. It is now simply expected by customers that promotional tactics such as email marketing are not only relevant, but personalised.

Give your consumers a taste of what they want

Have you ever wanted to know when your customers dine out, what cuisines they like, or who they’re likely to go out with? All of this data is like a goldmine waiting to be discovered in their digital footprint. Below I am going to discuss a few ways you can leverage this data to adapt your customer communications for optimised timing and content to maximise your marketing ROI.

Today’s abundance of promotions and offers are driving 31%* of individuals to dine out at least once a week, but how can you tailor your marketing to make sure that they want to dine at your establishment, or order from your delivery service?

Know when your customers dine out

A huge 79%* of adults have dined out for their birthday, with a further 67%* doing so for a partner’s birthday, 61%* for a trip to the cinema, 47%* for a child’s birthday, and 28%* for a trip to a sporting event. Connecting to your consumers’ digital footprints with advanced text analytics tools can give you the insights that you need to predict when these occasions occur including real-time alerts for life events such as anniversaries, graduations, and birthdays.

Make their day

Payday is one of the prime times that people go out for food, with 18%* of consumers marking the date with a meal out. Predicting this key date in your customers’ diaries can accurately enable you to determine when they are likely to go out for a meal and time your marketing or offers for optimum engagement. As well as many other meaningful insights, with PROFILE’s advanced text analytics techniques, you can identify date of pay of your connected consumers and leverage this insight to maximise ROI. 

A social activity

Dining out is rarely a solo activity. With PROFILE you can identify who they interact with the most and predict who they would be likely to share your offers with. As well as this, you can also identify their social influence levels and target offers based on who has the most reach (after all, one in two consumers give recommendations to their peers and what better way to boost brand awareness than through a friendly recommendation?) 

Give your customers a taste of what they want

It’s not enough to just predict when your customers want to treat themselves, fending off the competition and ensuring that your establishment is the most tantalising option can be tricky. This is where interests and preferences come into play. Research from American Express has found that 34%* of 18-34-year-olds will go out of their way to used a customised offer. With PROFILE, you can identify their frequent and recent locations, their specific interests (for example if they love football and their favourite team is Manchester United, you could send an offer for when you’re showing the match), their favourite cuisines (so you can tailor marketing to make their mouth water), and even their dietary requirements (are they vegan?)

Each piece of insight available at your fingertips can be used to build a better, more complete picture of your consumers and tailor your marketing to drastically improve engagement and ROI.

Get in touch to book a demo or find out more




The value of customer loyalty and how to increase it

How to increase customer loyalty by leveraging consumer digital footprints to personalise offers

A Lack of Loyalty

The big issue with benefiting from the increased value of loyal customers is that, in today’s digital society, consumers are overwhelmed with options meaning that you have to do something different in order to win them over in such a competitive market.

One frustration is an inconsistent experience, with 7 in every 10 connected consumers feeling negatively toward brands that fail to deliver consistent user experiences, and 10% say these inconsistencies will make them stop interacting with a brand altogether.

How to increase customer loyalty

Although 57% of consumers are happy to share their personal data with trusted brands, 50% stated that they did not feel like they were benefiting from sharing this and expressed frustration in the lack of personalisation. With 89% saying that they would be more loyal to retailers offering benefits that they want the most, a clear way to boost loyalty is to use this additional insight wisely rather than continue to lose custom with the same generic marketing efforts.

By connecting to your consumers’ digital footprints (and with the right big data analytics tools) you can gain real-time actionable insights into aspects of their behaviour, personality and lifestyle that indicate their wants and needs so that you can customise communications and offers accordingly.

An individual’s online footprint holds a wealth of data which can be analysed to reveal key interests and hobbies, life events such as graduations or anniversaries, socio-demographic information like what family members they have and their age, recent and frequent locations, and even personality type. All of these can be utilised in the personalisation process, for example rewards timed to key life events and occasions, offers on products they’re more likely to be interested in, or even communications tailored to their personality. A study by Disney Research found that personality type can be used to predict the type of images that people prefer, meaning that marketers can use insights into consumer personality to tailor their visual advertisements to be optimised for maximum engagement.

The magic of loyalty schemes

Nine out of every 10 consumers say they want loyalty programmes, however only 11% currently offer personalised rewards. Considering that over half would give up on a loyalty scheme because the offers were irrelevant to them, it’s time to re-think your rewards and incentives and use the valuable insights mentioned above to earn your customers’ loyalty with rewards to suit them. Making offers more relevant to each individual has been shown to positively impacts revenue, with over 36% of consumers purchasing from that brand again.

The true icing on the cake is that, not only do loyal customers give your revenue a boost with their repeat custom, they can also increase your reach with valuable brand evangelism (an organic word-of-mouth form of marketing.) When offers are personalised based on individual interests and lifestyle, 27% go on to recommend the brand to family and friends, in turn helping to increase your customer base.

PROFILE Personalisation delivers unique, real-time insights into your customers’:

  • Interests & hobbies
  • Life events
  • Location
  • Socio-demographic data
  • Personality

and more so that you can truly personalise communications, offers, and rewards to earn loyalty, boost reach, and in turn significantly increase revenue.

How to increase re-purchase rates with interest-based audience segmentation

Imagine being able to discover all of your customers’ likes and interests. Not only that but what brands they are talking about, what celebrities they discuss, and even how they feel about certain topics or companies, all by inputting just one unique identifier. Here’s how to increase re-purchase rates with interest-based audience segmentation.

With Discovery, you can identify in-depth interests and likes, personality, and sentiment for better targeted marketing including:

  • what to offer
  • how to tailor messaging
  • when to contact
  • which contact method to use

for maximum engagement. For example, you can find out that this person really likes sports, that they are particularly passionate about football and they support the Texas Longhorns. So instead of a generic social ad or email campaign, with Discovery you can tailor these to specific factors and – as a result – massively boost click-through-rates.

Say you are a major mobile phone company, you can identify which of your prospective customers use Apple, which of them feel negative about this, identify whether they are passionate about photography or music, and discover their favourite band or artist. You can then utilize these insights to tailor offers as to precisely why they should (and why they actually want to) move to your brand instead.

While standard social listening tools identify trends and hot topics – and can flag mentions of your brand or competitors – Discovery holds capabilities which go far beyond this, delivering real-time advanced breakdowns of interests, likes and personality (including sentiment) in a format that can easily be integrated with your existing CRM for more effective marketing.

You can gain these actionable insights through inputting any one unique identifier for each consumer that you look up (such as an email address or social media handle) in batch form for easy, more in-depth segmentation and more accurate targeting to maximize engagement and ROI.

Discovery uses this initial input as a jumping off point, and traverses from one piece of publicly-available data to another to thread together a detailed image of the individual consumer, all in real-time. We call this the ‘Hop-Hop’ method.

Personalizing marketing based on individual insights like interests has positive impacts on revenue, with 39% going out of their way to use a customized offer, 36% of consumers purchasing from that brand again, and 27% recommending it to their social circle

Turn the list of email addresses or Twitter handles into a plethora of detail with minimal effort so that you can segment your audience by specific or combined interests, what celebrities they follow, what their favorite band or football team is, or even by personality type so that your email campaigns or social advertising will be always be relevant to each individual recipient.

Discover more, with Discovery



How to leverage big data to improve customer experience

Enticing new customers and understanding existing ones in order to encourage brand loyalty is essential in every sector, and has arguably never been more important than it is today. Consumers are saturated with marketing when it comes to products and services of all types, and the financial services industry is no different.

Fintech start-ups have been appearing at an increasingly rapid rate, leaving consumers with plenty of options for lending, insurance, banking, and much more – rather than having to rely on the handful of traditional players.

With so much choice, differentiation is key in order to win new business. One reason for the popularity of many fintech providers, including online banks and lenders, is their seamless user journey. From using a smartphone to make contactless payments and being able to chat to an expert on demand, modern consumers demand quick and easy access to services they require. Too many steps before a payment, too many details to input into a form or a complicated user interface can each prevent a customer from using a service or completing a payment. Word travels fast in the digital age, and if a fintech company can make the customer’s life easy, it is bound to be popular.

Read the full article


Is digital marketing trapped in limbo?

Imagine if a customer walked into your store – let’s say a large department store – and you immediately knew that they were graduating in 3 weeks, they like American football (specifically the Longhorns), and that they go out with friends a lot. Armed with this knowledge, you could then guide the shopper through the store predicting what they might be interested in looking at, and therefore creating a more efficient and overall better experience for them, while increasing ROI for your business. Nowadays, with so many consumers, it is near impossible to know anything like this about who shops with you, let alone identify them when they walk in the store. However, with 51% of purchases now made online, there are ways that you can come close to providing this one-to-one high-quality shopping experience digitally.

Currently, digital marketing and user experience is stuck in limbo between reliance on traditional and demographic profiling, and more advanced interest and behavioural targeting. Forty-nine percent of consumers expect brands to customise offers to suit their needs and interests but demographic data provide nothing more than assumptions about the consumer loosely based on research into that age-group, gender, or location- assumptions which can often be wrong and lead to a largely generic shopping experience. Research has shown that when marketers rely on demographic data alone to reach consumers miss out on up-to 70% of mobile shoppers. The technology is out there in order to provide users with a bespoke and personalised experience based on anything from interests, to travel habits, to personality, so why is it that more businesses aren’t adopting it?

What do you need to know?

When it comes to what data you should get to know as a marketer, everything from personality traits to where they go on holiday can hold advantages, and together make for a winning combination. Knowing when a customer’s anniversary is, when and where they usually go on holiday, and what they’re interested in can help you predict what they want and when, and gaining insights into their personality type and most active channel of communication can help you predict how is best to market to them.


How can you utilise it?

One example is driving loyalty through personalised incentives and rewards. What makes Starbucks rewards program so enticing is that it plays on exclusivity – members have access to regular rewards and one-off offers that non-members do not get, and once these members purchase at least 50 barista drinks per year they are upgraded to a ‘Gold’ account, for which they get access to more rewards and even more exclusive deals. The idea that you, as a consumer, have access to something that not everyone has access to makes you feel more valued and drives you to purchase more from that company. While this example doesn’t utilise behavioural or interest-based profiling, it shows exactly what consumers like- unique and exclusive experiences- one-size-fits-all just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Why is personalisation so vital?

56% of consumers say that receiving personalised incentives would improve their brand loyalty – with insights into their interests and more, you can create incentives and rewards exclusively for them. This could include 10% off online purchases for their birthday, the chance to win tickets to Man United (or Liverpool, or whichever team they support), 2-for-1 on swimwear the week before they go on their summer holiday, and half price birthday cards leading up to their son’s 10th birthday.

These insights into your consumer base shouldn’t just be used at one touch point (like a digital advert or a marketing email), they should be used throughout the user journey to ensure that each customer feels valued throughout the entire relationship. A huge 85% of Millennials are more likely to make a purchase if it is personalised to their interests, regardless of whether this is in-store or online, and 39% will actively go out of their way to use a customised offer.

Interest-based targeting is now a very-much achievable goal. People live their lives through the internet, with 3.17 billion internet users and the amount of data available is continuously growing. Not only is there an exponentially growing pool of digital data, but consumers want to leverage this data in return for personalised experiences. Now is the time to invest – and benefit – from personalisation.


The future of marketing and how to make your brand stand out

Imagine being part of a generation who grew up with the ability to get anything they wanted from the touch of a button. That’s Generation Z. Now imagine trying to market to them.

When considering the future of your marketing methods, it is important to not only consider current spenders, but future spenders as well. On average, a loyal customer is a lot more valuable to a business than a new customer, with many sources saying it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than to sell to an existing one. With this in mind, it is vital to build a meaningful relationship with your customers from the first point of contact, which will likely be when they first start spending.

Generation Z are the cohort born after 1996, meaning the eldest of which will soon be turning 20. The late teenage years are the time when people start to take control of their own finances, and with many heading to university at the age of 18 or 19, this might be the first time that they have had to consider things like gas and electric providers, internet companies, bank accounts and credit cards, as well as getting their first job and having full access to shopping without parental oversight.

That being in mind, there is a huge opportunity for these businesses to commence potentially lifelong relationships with these consumers, but how do you stand out from the crowd when the crowd is so huge? There are 37 Gas & Electric providers listed on Which? in the UK alone, and 131 internet providers on the ISPA. To get a customer on board with you from the beginning, you need to tailor your approach to give them what they want and what they need.

This generation have grown up with personalisation being standard among services like Netiflix and Amazon that it is increasingly expected as the norm. They don’t want a bank that will block their card because they are abroad longer than they said they would be, they want a bank that can recognise that they are stuck in Egypt following the ban on flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh and extend their overdraft to help them out while they are there. Personal touches like this can mean the difference between that customer being long-term and loyal, and leaving you for a bank that will make them feel more valued.


So how can you make this happen?

Personalisation seems like a great idea, but how do you actually go about it? The good news is that this generation has grown up with the internet, as have many Millennials, meaning that there are vast amounts of data available to utilise in order to better understand your customer base, all you need is the right tools. 99% of consumers are happy to share data with brands in return for personalised communications, provided that they do it with their consent.

Big data analytics tools provide a particular advantage in that they take into account all available digital data with the consumer’s consent; they don’t scrape social media, and they are not social listening. This poses huge benefits for consumers and businesses, by offering more privacy and decision-power to consumers, and providing more detailed and predictive insight to businesses.

An easy mistake to make is personalising the acquisition process, for example through targeted marketing, without following through the consumer journey. Understanding consumer behaviour based on personality, interests, and life events gives you key indicators of what products and services they might be interested in. Imagine you are a T.V. and internet provider for example, with real-time insight into life events, you can identify if one of your customers is going back to university and therefore market your services as a student bundle, ideal for multiple users streaming at once. Likewise, a coffee shop can identify which of its customers have upcoming exams and offer them a revision deal of a ‘skip the library: get your 2nd coffee free for a stress-free revision session at Coffee World.’.

By harnessing the power of big data you can personalise the user journey from sign-up, throughout the entire relationship and adapt alongside your consumer’s ever-changing needs. Personalisation isn’t just offering a football fan football tickets, its offering a football fan tickets to their favourite team on their birthday.


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