customers

Marketing Messages – What Really Gets Customers Through The Door

Would you buy your wine from Dan Murphy’s because they take “pride” in “offering the lowest liquor price guarantee?” Your new plasma TV from Retravision Online because they “guarantee to beat any advertised competitor price?” When your nephew or niece’s birthday arrives, will you purchase your present from Toys R Us because they promise their “prices can’t be beat”, and that they’ll “match any advertised price?” These retailers wouldn’t lie to you… or would they?

According to the University of East Anglia, lowest-price guarantees can actually work against consumers, potentially pushing prices up and discouraging them from shopping around. So, in fact, lowest or best price guarantees are not good indicators that a store is cheaper than its competition. Why, then, do we keep returning to and buying from these businesses? Well it’s pretty simple – you’re a marketing message sucker.

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the small print. We as consumers don’t bother reading that: “In some cases there are prices which Retravision Online cannot match,” “The competitor store must be within 10 kilometres of Dan Murphy’s,” or that the Toys ‘R Us guarantee “Excludes competitor’s category or storewide discounts, conditional sales, package deals, discontinued lines, loyalty or third party offers, fire or liquidation sales, clearance/warehouse outlets.”

Marketing messages should excite customers with what you can do for them.

Our eyes and wallets are dazzled by lowest price guaranteed slogans. So what does this mean for the average business owner? You need to think about what you are selling to your customers. Retravision, Dan Murphy’s, and Toys ‘R Us aren’t telling consumers they’ve been in production for however many years, who they’re owned by, where they source their materials from, or where they hope their business will take them. Why? Because people just don’t care.

Most consumers have one thing they care about more than anything else. You need to work out what it is and sell it to them – whether it’s getting the product to them quicker, being cheaper than your competitors, or by ensuring that the quality is the best on the market. So, if your business has been running since 1969, don’t give them a history lesson from that year – it’s useless and frankly, it’s boring! Instead, mention that with over 40 years of experience under your belt they won’t be paying for you to learn on the job.

If your production takes place locally with locally sourced products, don’t just focus on the fact that this supports the community. Tell your customers because it’s right next door, it’s fresher and faster! In the event there is a problem, you’ll be able to solve it a hell of lot quicker because you have the part right on your shelf – they don’t have to wait weeks for shipping. And, in years to come when a part needs replacing – you’ll be able to do it for them – they won’t have to scour eBay for a part that hasn’t been manufactured in years.

To ensure your business can compete– you need marketing messages that excite customers with what you can do for them. Instead of dropping your pants on prices that might see a short term spike in sales, opt for something that will provide you with long term growth. Find the most compelling features of your business, and sell them.

– Steph

Video and your marketing strategy: a match made in online heaven.

What was the last video you watched on YouTube? Perhaps it was highlights from the EPL soccer game you missed on the weekend. Maybe it was the film clip for Rihanna’s latest chart topping/scandal inducing hit. Maybe it was even that massively cute video of the emotional baby. Whatever it was, you’re now a member of the ever-increasing online community which is embracing video as a quick, simple and massively effective means of communication. So good on you!

So why is it important to know what YouTube video you watched last? Well I want to explain to you how simple it is to use video as part of your successful marketing campaign.

Let’s have a little look at Pepsi.

Pepsi is a multi-billion dollar company which relies heavily on celebrity endorsement of its product but they’re also fairly cluey about this whole online video thing. In 2012, Pepsi released the first of their Uncle Drew videos. In the video the character of Uncle Drew, an older gentleman, heads down to his local basketball court and joins in a game when someone gets injured. The real kicker? Uncle Drew is actually NBA superstar Kyrie Irving. Uncle Drew’s unwitting opponents are dumbfounded when he absolutely wipes the floor with them. Big deal right? Well the first Uncle Drew video has notched 28 million views. That’s 28 million potential consumers who’ve seen Pepsi’s logo associated with a video they like. When the latest Uncle Drew video was released social media was abuzz with excitement. The video started appearing on Facebook feeds, Twitter feeds, on reddit, everywhere!Uncle Drew

What’s my point? Well rather than spending millions of dollars on paying for advertising that only a determined number of people will see, Pepsi have managed to capatalise on the effectiveness of having your consumers sharing your advertisements for you. Having a consumer share your video adds credibility to it and now 28 million people have cemented Pepsi’s position as a leader in online marketing.

It’s not just corporations jumping on this train. Degage Ministries is an American not-for-profit organisation which aims to help homeless and disadvantaged individuals. They recently engaged the services of filmmaker Rob Bliss to make a video about the transformation of a homeless veteran into a well-presented go-getter aiming to get his life on track. The simple video has now racked up 12 million YouTube views and is making headlines on news websites across the internet. 12 million people now know who Degage Ministries are and Rob Bliss Creative have exposed themselves to an incredibly large audience.

The beauty of video as a marketing tool lies in its simplicity as a medium and its sharability. A viewer only has to move their mouse mere centimetres and click a few buttons to share it with their online network and the credibility this can add to your business is close to priceless. In terms of content, video is a marketer’s dream because it can say so much in such a short time.

So what does that mean for you? Well making videos might not be as simple as sharing them. And that’s where you have to start trusting other people.

Here at Messages On Hold we’re tremendously excited about a new venture we’ve launched called VideoUpdate.me.  We’ve been on this video train for a few years now and we want other businesses to start enjoying the benefits of adding video to their marketing strategies.

Our On The Money series of videos which focus on accounting and finance are already being sent out from accounting firms across Australia, helping these businesses tell their clients the latest news in the industry and actually engaging them at a more sophisticated level.

Every business should have something to say about itself and if you can tell that to potential clients through video you never know just how many people might end up seeing it.

– Sophie

Customer Service Begins With A Smile

We all have days when we feel flat. You might be tired. You might be having a bad day. It might be something as small as skipping that morning coffee you so desperately need. On days like this, it’s harder to wipe a smile across your face and give 100% genuine customer service.

Quite obviously, when you’re having a day like this you run the risk of letting down a customer, or potential customer, and costing yourself a sale. But I like to look at the situation a little differently. When you’re having a day when you’re not quite feeling yourself and you let yourself stay in that sulky, grouchy mood, you’re actually denying yourself a chance to let customer service cheer you up. On the other end of the spectrum, a potential customer could also be having a bad day – by providing friendly, genuine customer service you could improve their day, and in turn, improve yours!

Perhaps this picture of a little ducky will make you smile.

Perhaps this picture of a little ducky will make you smile.

In the copywriting department, we’re sometimes given the opportunity to speak to our clients over the phone, to really uncover what they’re hoping to achieve with their On Hold production. We love our clients at Messages On Hold, and every once in a while a special client comes along who’s so happy and enthusiastic that just chatting with them brightens our day. For me, it’s the client who can have a laugh with you and actually talks to you like a real person. They call you by your name and they’re enthusiastic about what you’re telling them. When you get off the phone, you’re genuinely excited about starting their script because they put you in such a good mood. If their phone manner is any indication of their customer service skills, I’m willing to bet they’re damn good at their jobs – simply because of how nice they are!

Our Managing Director Kym Illman produced an episode of Mastering Marketing which focused on how people tend to do business with people they like. By letting your mood change and enjoying interactions with your customers, not only are you giving your them what they deserve, you’re actually benefiting from it as well! If you make the sale, great, job well done. If not, there will be a next time because you will have left a positive impression on the customer so next time they need what you’re offering, they’ll have your smiling face at the forefront of their mind and they’ll come back to you.

Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps; open yourself up to the opportunity that great customer service offers. Take some advice from a legend like Peter Glen and let your own great customer service turn your frown upside down.

– Sophie

The Tills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music

More and more businesses are realising that having the right music playing in their retail space can make shoppers linger longer and purchase more. But can it really have an effect on someone over the phone? The answer may surprise you.

TasteInMusic

A lot of thought and research goes into selecting the right tracks to play to customers in retail environments – the same amount of energy should go into selecting music to play to waiting callers.

No matter how great your taste in music may be, it may vary wildly from what your target market listens to. Even if you go middle of the road and play something that’s as inoffensive as possible (commonly referred to as “light and easy” music) you’ll never be able to please one hundred percent of the people, one hundred percent of the time. Savvy business owners accept this fact. They also realise they need to dig deeper and ask themselves a few creative questions in order to find out what music will keep callers not only holding for longer, but willing to spend more.

If you’re in the same boat, you might ask yourself:

● What do my customers listen to?

Your target audience may prefer music that’s very different to your personal preference.

● What do I want them to think and feel about my business?

Do you want them to think you’re a big time corporate outfit or energetic & young.

● What do you want them to do?

Do you want them to stay on the phone until you can reach them, etc.

When a new client comes on board with us, the Creative Coordinator arranges a phone consultation between the client and one of our copywriters. This phone consultation is key in determining what will make their audio marketing effective.  During the conversation, the writer will focus on four key areas: tone, content, voices and music.

Now some customers have a good idea of what kind of music will suit their brand and listeners. Others are happy for our expert team to recommend tracks. Recently the CEO of a commercial steel barn manufacturer sent us his latest radio ads featuring country-style acoustic guitars. We browsed our extensive music library (1600+ tracks and counting!) for background music tracks to match the radio ads, and then made recommendations which the client happily accepted.

Sometimes, determining which music is right goes much deeper than simply ‘matching’ tracks. A study conducted by Milliman (1982) exposed restaurant patrons to fast (90BPM or higher) and slow tempo music. Milliman observed that individuals tended to stay longer when listening to the slow tempo tracks compared with the fast tempo alternative.

On Hold, however, we’ve found mid-tempo music (approximately 100BPM) to be most effective at keeping callers happier to hold longer. Our ambient music tracks, which range from 60- right up to 130BPM, are produced in-house by The Groove Gallery. What makes these tracks unique is that they’re composed specifically to comfort listeners, not distract them. Another few things to consider, in addition to BPM, when choosing the right music tracks is what your callers’ average wait time is and what their music preference might be.

To bring us back full circle, it’s no longer satisfactory to simply play radio or CDs to waiting callers. There is a real science behind the music you select, and those businesses that invest a little time and thought into what they expose their listeners to bank the benefits.

– Lachy