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Weekly Roundup #41 – Customer Loyalty, Experiential Marketing and Page Load Times

We’re here with week number 41, and we’re still fighting fit with the latest digital marketing news and resources, delivered straight to you in one single blog post. It doesn’t get much more convenient than this, let’s face it. 

Customer Loyalty: It’s Not Just A Store Card

We discovered an interesting think piece from Ben Pask at eConsultancy the other day, and he said something that really stood out: “How can it be the case that one person can amass 16 loyalty cards and not redeem any points?”. It’s a bit crazy to consider, isn’t it? Before delving into whether or not loyalty schemes work, it’s worth defining what customer loyalty actually is. In this case, it’s ‘a positive attitude and repeat patronage towards a brand’. Simple enough.

So to create loyalty we need to understand where it comes from. A recent survey from Marketing Week revealed that the drivers of customer loyalty are ‘brand likability’, ‘delivering on brand promise’, ‘product quality’ and ‘ease of use’. One good example of creating customer loyalty through these drivers comes from Nordstrom. Now, Nordstrom have a customer-first approach to loyalty and all staff embody three core standards:

  • – Why the service is of value
  • – The emotional response the customer should feel
  • – The expected method for accomplishing the service in question

Nordstrom is successful because every decision they make is based on encouraging an emotional response from the customer, just to make them feel good. By focusing on emotional reaction, Nordstrom makes loyalty a culture, and not a route to market. To understand what loyalty means, brands need to go back to understanding their customer’s or client’s needs, motivations and behaviours.

When it comes to the way loyalty is imagined, there is a lack of psychographic and attitudinal data to augment behavioural data such as customer lifetime value, frequency of purchase, etc. The problem with brand behaviour surrounding loyalty schemes is the assumption that ‘doing a loyalty scheme’ will make up for poor brand experiences. This, combined with the fact a lot of marketing departments are copy and pasting this leads to a market filled with ‘me too’ propositions. We need a customer-first culture that flows through the business and requires more than just a store card.

Cadbury’s Experiential Marketing

You’ll probably know Cadbury for its imaginative video ads, but lately it has been stepping up its game with a series of experiential events. So let’s give you a run through of what they’ve been up to –

Targeting Specific Demographics with Timely Events

Incase you don’t know, the last week of September is traditionally Fresher’s Week in the UK. so what better way to entertain the kids than with a fun slide, a ball-pit and of course – lots of chocolate? Aiming to have students “unleash the child within”, last month the Double Decker fun bus campaign done its rounds of university campuses up and down the country. The bus marks Cadbury’s aim of marketing its single chocolate bars such as Crunchie and Wispa towards a younger demographic. Cadbury was one of the first brands to experiment with Snapchat sponsored lenses and it continues to focus on the platform.

Aligning the Experience with the Brand

Earlier in the year, Cadbury launched the new Dairy Milk Medley bar with a pop-up event in Soho, London. They described it as “the ultimate experience for chocolate lovers” – a spa themed event, including a variety of treatments inspired by Medley’s textures and flavours. The beginning of 2016 also marked the opening of the Cadbury’s Creme Egg cafe, a similar pop up, allowing visitors to sample Creme Egg toasties and they could even play in a ball pit. Cadbury’s is great at cementing positive associations and they celebrate their products as being joyful and comforting in equal measure, so as a result the events are filled with experiences that reflect those feelings, especially with #tasteslikethisfeels – which perfectly encapsulates the notion.

Great stuff, we’d be interested to see how other brands can take inspiration from Cadbury’s experiential marketing tactics.

 

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Big Earners Are the UK’s Biggest Social Media Users

Digital agency We Are Flint’s August 2016 research questions some of the stereotypes about affluent UK consumers’ social media usage. It found that 87% of UK internet users earning £48,000 or more per year used Facebook, a larger proportion than in any other income bracket. This is currently dispelling the myth that better-off UK consumers shy away from some of the less practicable social media platforms.

64% of UK internet users in this income bracket said they used LinkedIn also, well ahead of other groups but you’d expect that for a business-oriented social site. However, the research also found that Snapchat was also more common in this group than any of the others – 42% said they used it vs the 22% of the next-closest income bracket.

Ipsos MORI offered a more tempered view of social media use among higher earners in Great Britain. The study was less granular in its segmentation, combining the National Readership Survey defined AB and C1 sociodemographic groups and it specifically consider video and photo sharing on social platforms. However it did find that such sharing was less common among the higher earning income brackets for all platforms except Twitter and strangely enough Snapchat – 21% of respondents in the AB/C1 grouping said they shared content on Snapchat against the 20% of those in the C2/DE group.

So it looks like UK affluents look to be more common than you think, and the “Snapchat generation” might not actually be limited to millennials after all.

 

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Social Media Presence During the Holidays: Does It Matter?

holiday season social media

Source: Hawasuae.com

 

July 2016 research revealed that a brand’s social media presence can affect holiday purchase decisions. More than half of US social media users polled said it has at least some influence on whether they’ll buy from the brand during the holidays. G/O Digital is responsible for the data, which comes from a survey of 1,373 US social media users who had used Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in the past three months. Nearly one in five social media users said that the presence of a brand on social media influences their purchasing decisions.

7.4% of respondents said it was an important factor in their holiday decision-making process. It’s a small percentage, but it’s not insignificant. While a brand’s social media presence can influence holiday shopping, it doesn’t really mean that it actually does. An overwhelming percentage (44.7%) of users said that their social media presence was irrelevant to their decision making.

Perhaps some of the more usable data they acquired, was that most consumers turn to Facebook and Pinterest for shopping ideas during the holiday season. 37.9% of respondents are most likely to turn to Facebook for holiday shopping inspiration and 31.6% are most likely to turn to Pinterest. So if you’re going to use any social media this holiday season, looks like those two are your best bet!

 

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Smartphone Users: What Do They Buy?

So what do smartphone users actually buy? It depends on your location, apparently. xAd and Millward Brown surveyed 5,048 adult smartphone users worldwide about their shopping preferences and respondents in the UK (64%) were most likely to say they buy clothing and apparel on their smartphone, with groceries in second place. On the other side of the coin, smartphone users are the least likely to buy leisure and sports products.

It appears that US consumers are beginning to buy groceries more digitally than before. In another study from Adobe, spending on online purchases from baked goods and vegetables in July 2016 few more than 100-fold over the same time in 2015. Apparently the biggest geographic difference in the xAd and Millward Brown survey though was in overall likelihood of purchasing in any of the categories. In China, all but the two least popular categories were at least likely to be purchased as the most popular category in the US. Smartphone users in China are more likely to purchase apparel, groceries and home goods – more than respondents anywhere else.

 

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How Do Redirects Affect Page Load Time?

Tyler Hermanson recently compiled a study and explored a few key questions on understanding how redirects affect page load time:

  • – How much do redirect chains impact page load speed?
  • – Is page load speed affected by the order a redirect is listed in an .htaccess file?
  • – How much does the number of redirects listed in your .htaccess file impact page load speed?

How did he do it? He’s written a TL;DR section, which is handy:

 

“Using the Sandbox SEO About page as the destination for all experiments, I updated the .htaccess file with 18 different redirect combinations. I used the Waterfall tab of GTmetrix to measure the page load speed up to the phase where the About page request was completed. For each scenario, I calculated the incremental time by subtracting the recorded time from the baseline, which was established by running the About page through GTmetrix without any redirect. Finally, I ran the incremental times against a few sets of variables to measure the correlation”.

 

In conclusion he says that chain redirects don’t just lead authority and waste crawl budget, but their effect on page load speed is losing money for websites. The number of redirects listed in your .htaccess or web.config files may or may not be contributing to a slower page load speed, though he says more testing is needed on the subject. Why don’t you go check out his testing, it’s interesting work.

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by:

Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.