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Corn, Watermelon and Customer Engagement

With the arrival of summer comes delicious seasonal produce - and the chance for my local grocer to try to change my habits.  But do they?  No.  Should they?  Absolutely.

As my family's designated grocery shopper, I find myself in the same stores every week: Trader Joe's for most of the stuff we need, Whole Foods for the rest.

I used to go to Shaw's, which is closer to my house, but for reasons I can't even remember, I stopped. And you know what? They never tried to win me back.

There are also two other grocery stores nearby, but I never hear from them.

With corn and watermelon arriving in the produce aisles, grocers have a chance to change my habits.  But they won't.  So my habits won't change either.  I'll keep going to the same stores--as they keep me engaged with mailers and emails that advertise recipes and new products.

Why did this get me thinking about customer engagement?  Because in this short little story there are examples of it working well, working poorly, and not working at all.
So how is customer engagement going for your online business?  Are you retaining customers?  Gaining new ones?  Missing opportunities?

Consider these important questions:

•    First, how do you develop customer loyalty?  If you're using more than one retargeting partner, do you know how much new value the second and third vendors are actually delivering?

•    Second, if you have a customer retention strategy, how do you determine the right medium? When do you communicate to ensure that your goal of retention is met?

•    Third, and most important, if you're only targeting current customers and users who visit your Web site, how do you connect to the universe of lapsed customers and prospects that you need in order to infuse continued growth for your site and your business?

The answer to all three is a customer engagement model, which will inform your online marketing goals.
-  Who do you to target -- active, lapsed, and new customers

-  What is your message to each -- segmentation + creative

-  How and when you should deliver that message -- the right mix of media

Remarketing is a hot area of online ad technology, but if you're only using remarketing, you need to expand by including prospecting as part of your overall strategy. You cannot afford to rely on one solution; you need to keep customers and gain new ones.

How do my local grocers stack up against these considerations? I don't even believe they're thinking about it.  They should, or they risk leaving big money on the table. And a lot of corn rotting in the produce aisle.

Avi Spivack is Product Marketing Strategist for Akamai

1 Comment

Similarly, SaaS companies should always be aware of their customers and their behaviors (i.e. when there's a decline in usage or a sudden increase in activity). Using customer success management solutions lets organizations keep track of new, lapsed and active users. It's important to engage each segment different because not all have the same experience. I really enjoyed this video on The power of measuring engagement

Great post!

Guy Nirpaz
CEO and Founder of Totango