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How Airbnb Created an Amazing Customer Acquisition Marketing Campaign

4 Feb

customer acquisition

This is an excellent new customer acquisition campaign from Airbnb.  Let’s take a look a few of the reasons this is such a great campaign:

A Clear Goal:

The goal of this campaign is obvious: entice new customers to try http://www.airbnb.com, to generate additional revenue for the company. One way to increase revenue is by adding new customers to your existing client database. It’s simple: new customers = additional revenue.  A secondary goal is to convert the new customers (promo/trial customers) to loyal customers  after the promotion ends.

 Defined Target Market

– Consumers who have never used Airbnb

– Consumers who use social media

Because the deal was announced via social media, it’s clear that the company is targeting consumers who frequent social media sites. I’m sure Airbnb has data that shows most customers discover the company via online search. social media, and word-of-mouth. It knows exactly where its target market is hanging out.

Also, because it’s such a great deal, Airbnb benefits from free advertising when people share the deal with family and friends – there is a viral element to the ad because it’s such a great offer. This reduces marketing expenses and increases the ROI for Airbnb.

Clear, Simple Offer

Does the offer make me stop what I’m doing to learn more? Is the offer worth my time?  Definitely.  If you’re going to make an offer, make sure it not only makes sense financially but also gets people excited and gets people talking. I suspect Airbnb allocated part of its marketing budget to pay for the free offers that would be redeemed. It avoided the high costs of advertising the deal via traditional channels (print & TV), and instead relied on its current customers to spread the deal via social media.  

Deadline to Redeem the Offer

You needed to book your trip between January 13th and 17th, travel by March 31st, AND book for at least two nights (first night is on Airbnb). I’m sure the winter months are a slow time for Airbnb. This offer was an attempt to generate revenue during the slow months, while also hoping that some of the new clients will stick around and try Airbnb next time they travel.

Is There a Way to Track Whether the Ad is Successful?

Yes. You must enter promo code: ONENIGHT to redeem the offer. This promo code allows Airbnb to easily track how many people redeemed the offer. Airbnb can also determine  how much revenue was created by not only this offer but also any future business from the customers acquired during this campaign. Armed with this data, Airbnb can adjust future marketing campaigns to maximize return-on-investment (ROI).

How Can You Apply Some of the Lessons from This Airbnb Marketing Campaign?

Before you create advertisements and marketing campaigns, you should always determine the goal of the marketing campaign. Is it to create brand awareness? Is it to acquire new customers? Is it to reward existing customers?

Also, take time to crystallize your target market. So many marketing campaigns fail because companies fail to clearly define the  target market. Who are the people we are targeting with this marketing campaign? Does our ad/message resonate with the target market? Are we marketing our product/service where the target market hangs out?

Is there a clear call-to-action? What do you want the target market to do after they view your advertisement? 

Is the offer irresistible? Is there a deadline to redeem the offer?

What happens AFTER they take advantage of your promotional offer? How do you follow up to ensure the new customer(s) become lifelong customers?

A successful customer acquisition campaign includes: a goal, a defined target market, an irresistible offer, a clear call-to-action, and systems to convert new customers to lifelong customers.

Good luck!

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Are You Making the Same Marketing and Sales Mistakes as My Local Gym?

31 Jan

Article highlights (continue reading for the full story):

  • The gym had a solid lead generation campaign – utilized both digital and traditional marketing channels
  • Secured my personal information – full name, email, and physical address
  • Instructed me to visit its out-of-date website (first breakdown)
  • Did not anticipate my buying cycle (I researched the company before I ever made contact)
  • Never followed up with me after I decided to redeem its offer of a 1-day free trial
  • Always anticipate/research what your prospect will do when it becomes aware of your product/service

gym marketing campaigns

I’ve been eating way too many burritos in the Mission District lately.  My friends joke that the first place they look for me is the taqueria down the street from my apartment.

As I munched on a burrito while watching college basketball, I saw a commercial for a free 1-day trial at my neighborhood gym. While many people believe using television as a marketing channel is outdated, it’s worth noting that Google reports that 60% of its search queries are the result of someone seeing an offline (print/television advertisement).  The television ad (call-to-action) instructed me to visit the gym’s website to redeem my free 1-day trial.

So what did I do after watching the commercial?

I ‘Googled’ the gym to find out more about not only the free offer but also learn about the gym – from pricing to reviews to staff.

Keep in mind: the company INSTRUCTED me to visit the website.  The website was outdated.  The blog was last updated about 6 months ago and it lacked dynamic content that would have allowed me to learn more about the gym.  If you’re going to instruct people to visit your website, you should at least keep it updated.  The company did a great job of directing me to the site; however, the website content should have been targeted to new prospects researching the gym. Anticipate what prospects will do when they land on your page.

gym-marketing-campaigns

After I surfed the company website, I bounced over to Yelp to read the reviews.  I was satisfied with the reviews, so I decided to redeem my 1-day free pass.

The online sign up was simple: I entered my first name, last name, and email address.  When I hit submit, the instructions told me to visit the gym to redeem my free pass.  I walked the two blocks to the gym to redeem my free pass.  I was greeted at the door and asked to complete a liability waiver.  Sure, I’m happy to sign my life away if I drop a dumbbell on my head.  As I was working out on the elliptical machine (is that manly?), feeling the burrito grease leave my skins pores, I thought: “The gym spent a lot of effort and money to entice me to try its services.  It even secured my name, email address, and physical address (from the liability form). It’s not easy to secure my contact information. I bet they have a really good sales system to ensure I don’t walk out of here without a fight.” What happened when I finished my workout? I walked out without any fanfare. No sales pitch. Nobody asked me for feedback. Nobody made an offer.

The owner/marketing team should have anticipated and planned a sales process for prospects that redeem the free trial offer.  Instead, they let me walk out of the door without signing up for a monthly plan.  Why not create an incentive to sign up that day.  For example: “If you sign up within 24 hours of redeeming your 1-day trial, you get the first month free and a 1-hour massage.”

But they let me walk away.  Not only did they let me walk away, but also they still haven’t contacted me about my experience and/or whether I want to join the gym.  The company spent lots of money (advertising, marketing plan, store front, salaries) for my trial.  It’s a shame that its follow up strategy is ‘hoping’ I’ll decide to sign up for a membership.  It should have systems in-place to ensure I sign up before I leave and follow up sales systems for 30, 60, 90, 120 days.

  • No incentive to sign up that day.  They could have closed the sale by offering me a one month free deal if I signed up that before the end of the day
  • The company could  follow up with an email/snail mail campaign:
    • Did you enjoy your time at the gym?
    • Thank you for the trial – did we mess up?
    • Last chance to save 30% on a yearly package?
    • Free Massage?

If you’re going to spend lots of money on an integrated digital and traditional marketing campaign, it’s wise to anticipate what the prospect is going to do along the buying decision.  The company paid a lot of money to get me to try the service, why haven’t they followed up with me?

What can you do to increase your chances of  converting your prospects to clients?

Good luck!

What a Hair Salon Can Teach You About Quickly Increasing Referrals and Sales

20 Nov

As we opened the door our senses were immediately overwhelmed: The sounds of soft reggae music; the smell of freshly brewed coffee and hair products ; the sight of a clean, modern designed lobby, furnished with leather chairs and flat screen televisions.  There was even a small bar in the corner.

long-curly-hair-back-view

I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!!

The Arrival Experience 

“Can I get you something to drink? We have coffee, beer, soft drinks, tea, and wine.”

Brianna requested a glass of water.  “Sparkling or still?” Seriously?

My only thought: Did we enter a hair salon or a five-star resort? We were at a hair salon….  Yes, I accompanied Brianna to the hair salon.  It’s a long story….don’t ask.

As Brianna disappeared behind the large glass wall for her two hour hair appointment, I settled in the nice, comfortable leather chair.  The receptionist brewed a fresh cup of coffee for me and insisted that I enjoy the free Wi-Fi.  SportsCenter was on the flat screen television directly in front of me.  I could get used to this setup. 

The Money Transaction Experience 

“Oh. My. Goodness!!!!! It looks awesome! Turn around, let me see the back!!!!!”

I can’t tell you how many times I heard a variation of this phrase.  Each time a stylist finished a client’s hair and led her to the front to checkout, other stylists and clients in the waiting room fawned over the new hairstyle.

Here’s what happened when the excitement died down:

1)      The stylist hugged the client (seriously, every client got a hug) and left the payment transaction and next appointment scheduling to the receptionist.  The stylist is there to cut and style hair (what they do best), not handle administrative transactions.

Side note: If my barber went in for a hug it would be  beyond a little strange.  

2)      The receptionist verified all contact information:

“Is your email still…..”

“Is the number to reach you still…”

This is to ensure the client receives not only a reminder for her next haircut but also so the client receives all future marketing communications from the salon.

3)      The receptionist asked, “When would you like to schedule your next appointment? Becky recommends 6 to 8 weeks, how does that work for you?”

4) Also, the client was invited to an ‘invitation only’ event featuring a semi-famous make up artist.  Complimentary food and drinks. FABULOUS!

hair-salon-art

The Getting in Your Car and Leaving Experience 

Needless to say, the client feels like a million bucks. She will probably tell at least 3 to 5 girlfriends after they comment about how good her hair looks (referrals).  This awesome customer experience is not an accident.  Management took the time to not only design and implement the experience but also train the team to execute the experience.

What’s your plan for delivering a memorable customer experience?

1)      Start by identifying the touch points your prospects and customers have with your business. Examples of touch points: your store front, your office, your website, your social media pages

2)      Pretend your a client.  Shop your own business from beginning (entering the office/store) to middle (sales process) to end (when it’s time to pay for your products/services)

3) Focus on the details – colors, design/layout, greeting, logo, furniture, music, offerings

Make each step of the experience memorable for the prospect/client. It will lead to more cross-sell opportunities, lots of repeat business and increase your referrals. All of which will put more $$$ in your pocket.

Good luck!

Marketing and Wine Attract Leads But Procedures and Workflows Convert Leads to Clients

7 Oct

Wine Marketing

“I’m sorry; our event coordinator is not on location today.  Would you like to leave a phone number and I will have her call you?” said the bartender at local winery.  I looked straight ahead, hoping I would just disappear, I knew the potential customer (lead) would not be pleased with the response from the bartender.  All I wanted to do is enjoy my glass of wine.  I didn’t want to hear an argument.

“So you are telling me I drove all the way out here for nothing?” She was not happy.  Dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase, the woman explained that she drove 30 minutes to meet with someone face-to-face at the winery.  She wanted information about how much it would cost to rent the venue for a private party of 50+ people.

The winery is located about 20 miles outside of Charlottesville, VA.  It’s not a convenient location to simply come back at another time.  Do you really want to rely on/tell a lead to come back at another time? No.  Should the lead have called to see whether an event planner was available? Maybe.  However, when a lead walks in your place of business during normal business hours, there should be a procedure that ensures an outstanding experience for the lead, so he or she becomes a paying client.

The winery spends a lot of marketing dollars and resources on attracting highly-qualified leads.

Marketing

The winery should create a procedure for event inquires – something like this:

A potential customer asks the bartender/staff member for information about private events

  1. Is the event coordinator available?

i.      Yes – Politely introduce the event coordinator and the lead

ii.      No – Explain that the event coordinator is currently not available at the moment

  1. The event coordinator, along with the management, should create an information packet that’s distributed when the coordinator is not available.  The packet should contain frequently asked questions as well as how to contact the event coordinator (email, phone, LinkedIn, etc.)
  2. Offer the lead a glass of wine (on the house) and ask if he or she would like to review the packet at the bar – staff member, who has been cross-trained, can either collect information from the lead to give to the coordinator or answer questions about events at the winery. The staff member should have access to the event coordinators calendar, to schedule a meeting

While it’s great to spend resources and time creating marketing campaigns that attract leads, it’s equally important to have procedures and workflows in-place to deliver a WOW experience that converts those leads to clients.  Don’t leave this to chance.

It should be fairly easy to predict how a lead interacts with your company:

–          Your website

–          Email

–          Phone

–          Your social media channels

–          Your digital ads

–          Your parking lot/front door/showroom

–          Your print ads

You should have procedures, workflows, and cross-training for your staff to ensure those leads are nurtured so they go from leads to clients.

Good luck!

Remember: Create Marketing Campaigns for Your Target Market….Not Your Team!

19 Aug
Patonback

We love our new marketing piece….

I recently had a meeting to discuss marketing strategy with an extremely successful small business owner.  He was concerned about his most recent marketing piece  – it wasn’t generating leads.  The brochure looked extremely professional, complete with stock photographs and technical language that would make any English professor celebrate and break out the Carlton danceIt was slick.

His staff loved it and gave it rave reviews—his entire team thought it was a home run – so why was it a total flop?

The target market was thoroughly confused by the ad copy. The brochure was too professional. Also, his target market is price sensitive. When they looked at the slick design and professional, stock photos, they quickly determined that my client’s company must be way too expensive.

You need to speak the same language as your target. They likely won’t stop to look up that fancy lingo that’s only used only by the people in your profession. 

The lesson I took away: Don’t rely solely on your team for feedback.  Ask a few people, preferably your target market, what they think of the piece before you spend more money.  Do they understand the marketing piece?

Remember: You’re not trying to sell your products and services to your team; you’re selling to your target market. 

Good luck!

How a Bail Taxi Driver Differentiated Himself from His Competition

10 Jul
Bali Sunset

Bali Sunset

I was fortunate enough to spend time in Bali, Indonesia last month.  What a life changing experience.  If you’ve ever visited Bali, you most likely had the phrase, “Taxi? Taxi? Tomorrow?” yelled at you.

Providing transportation services in Bali is an easy way for locals to make money.  The start-up costs are relatively cheap: they need a car or motorbike; and they can market the service by sitting on the sidewalk and yelling “Taxi? Taxi? Tomorrow?” at tourists.  It’s a pretty inexpensive marketing campaign.  Taxi drivers literally line the sidewalks in some tourists destinations like Ubud.

So how did one taxi driver stand out from the rest? He didn’t yell at people as they walked passed him. He stood next to his vehicle with a sign that read, “Air Conditioning, Bottled Water, and No Hassle Rate. In Bali, you can negotiate the price of anything.  It gets to be a little tiresome, especially when you’re not sure whether you’re paying too much.  How refreshing to get a ‘No Hassle Rate.’ And Air Conditioning? Heck, the majority of his competition had air conditioning but nobody else was advertising it.  Air conditioning is huge when you’re walking around in 90+ degree heat.

Once we entered the cab, the customer/user experience was excellent.  He held the door for us.  He made sure we were comfortable.  He asked if we wanted bottled water or a soda, free of charge.  He asked what type of music we wanted to listen to; he even made suggestions about where else to stop along the way to our destination—again, free of charge.

When we arrived at our destination, he double-checked the car to ensure we didn’t leave anything behind.  He also provided us with his business card to call him directly if we needed a ride while in Ubud.  The result of his marketing efforts? We called him four more times during our stay in Ubud.  He secured a customer for life.  I also gave his contact information to another friend staying in Ubud (referral).

What can you do to stand out from your competition? Are you providing a unique, unforgettable customer experience?

Good luck.

How to Create a Unique Marketing Campaign: 3 March Monthly Observances to Crush Your Competition

5 Mar
Happy On-Hold Month!!

Happy On-Hold Month!!

 

We all know St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in March, but did you know the following are also celebrated in March:

1)      On-Hold Month

2)      Eye Donor Month

3)      Craft Month

Guess which March event your competitors will likely decide to advertise?  Yes, St. Patrick’s Day- just like everyone else.  What happens when you advertise/reach out to customers and prospects at the same time as all your competitors and their mothers? You get lost in the clutter.  You are the same.  You are ignored. 

How many companies mail holiday cards to customers?  Tons.  Almost every household either has a basket to collect the cards or the cards are taped to the wall in the kitchen.  Now, how many companies mail cards to customers to celebrate On-Hold Month? I don’t have the data, but I’d be willing to bet very few.

So why not stand out from the crowd?  You should create marketing campaigns around unique monthly observances to stand out!

Create a campaign around “Craft Month.” Send an email/create a blog post/share on social media/mail a letter to your best clients: Happy Craft Month! To celebrate, we’ve CRAFTed (see what I did there? yeah, pretty lame) a deal……then offer your deal/promotion. 

Can you think of any unique monthly observances/wacky holidays to create for next marketing campaign, and crush your competition?

Good luck!

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