Are 2D Barcodes the Wave of the Future?

2D barcodes are a new way that retailers are implementing retail marketing today. But what are 2D bar codes? Are they QR codes? Are 2D Barcodes the Wave of the Future?In some cases they are the same thing,  but not all the time. QR codes are a type of 2D barcode, but not all 2D barcodes are QR codes and need a separate kind of reader. How can you use them?

Retail Marketing Potential

2D barcodes have a lot of marketing potential for all kinds of businesses. They are easily placed anywhere and can be easily targeted to your customers. They efficiently provide information that can be accessed via their smart phones. Consumers are used to the “point and shoot” aspect of using a scanning app on their phones to access information. That hurdle has already been scaled. There are other ones to overcome before you make the 2D leap.

The Downside

Adoption of 2D has been slow mostly because people aren’t aware of them and what they do. Then there’s the added step of a need for a separate barcode reading app. Another issue is that consumers have found that the experiences with them have been disappointing. Not any different from the hurdles faced when QR codes hit the marketing world, so consider the down sides temporary.

Overcoming Hurdles

Here’s how to overcome them.

Start by using 2D barcodes. Use them and place instructions around about them and what value it adds to their experience. The best part is that using them now is low cost to the retailer and that is a huge plus. The few extra instructions needed for your customers can be as little as your staff being excited about them and showing them off.

So ask your retail marketing company how 2D barcodes can be the wave in your future, then dive in and get wet!

Are Coupon Aggregators Like “Retail Me Not” Fair to Retailers?

Coupon aggregator sites like “Retail Me Not” and Groupon are big business, but not big for your business. They advertise that they drive sales to your door, but really all they do is line their pockets while reducing your profits.

Sites like Groupon or Retail Me Not offer unbelievable deals on services and products. Often they are for things like spa services or other services. Some are for products that you may sell. Customers can buy them for half off or better. Sounds like a great way to get them in your store, then upsell them, right? Not really.

Are Coupon Aggregators Like "Retail Me Not" Fair to Retailers?These sites basically work like this: merchants are asked to choose a product or service for their daily deal. They are asked to take at least 50% off the product or service. Once the deal is sold the site takes 40% to 50% of the already discounted price. That means the merchant is only making about 25% to 30% for that product or service. The idea is that they will make money if another product or service is purchased when the one they bought from the site is redeemed. If your business doesn’t have a big margin for taking that kind of loss, then it’s not such a great deal. In fact, the only way that most merchants make any profit is if a high percentage of people who buy the deals don’t redeem them.

The other problem with the site deals is the type of customer that you get. They tend to be the kind that won’t pay full price… for anything. That means that sites like Groupon give merchants the idea that they will make money back from regular sales that customers make when redeeming the ones they bought online. However most never materialize.

The “marketing” aspect of using coupon aggregators isn’t worth the cost to your business. Try other marketing efforts and make your own 50% off sales. At least you’ll get 50%!

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What is the Value of Trade Show Marketing?

What is the value of trade show marketing? Well, trade shows are a big expense. An expense of time, of staff and an expense of effort. Is that expense worth the value you derive from it? It is if you market yourself and make that trade show work for you.

What is the Value of Trade Show Marketing?Trade shows work, that’s a fact. If they didn’t businesses wouldn’t go to them or spend the money to have booths. But if you don’t pay attention to the possibilities and then market yourself accordingly, you will be throwing good money after bad. So here are some numbers: Per trade show, an estimated 110 million people attend more than 4,000 shows in the United States and Canada every year. Now, how many people do you see in a normal day? A few, maybe 20 during the holidays? The potential is enormous at trade shows.

So let’s say an average show has 10,000 people attending. In 10 hours you could see 1,000 people! Realistically you won’t talk with all of them, but even if you only talk to 25 or 50, that is a whole lot more than you would in a day elsewhere. Here’s a bit more to consider with those numbers. 86% of your visitors will be new contacts; 77% of visitors will remember your company for up to 10 weeks. Want some cost numbers? Try these on for size: Cost per lead from show averages $212.00; Cost per lead from field averages $308.00; Cost per sale from a show averages $705.00; Cost per sale from the field averages $1140.00. Of course these numbers will differ depending on your type of business, but it’s about a 40% difference.

The way to ensure that you make those kinds of numbers, you need to market your booth and business. Make sure to staff it well, have good giveaways and get the word out to your mailing lists early and often. The better you do to make your booth the best booth at the show, the better the value will be to you.

Making Marketing Relatable To The Generations – Sell with the Correct Imagery

Marketing is more than words, more than being descriptive. It’s also imagery. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes, is never more important than in marketing. One visual can take a person to a time when things were better, happier, or the opposite. Each generation has their visuals, so keep them in mind when working on your marketing efforts.

Making Marketing Relatable To The Generations - Sell with the Correct ImageryToday we are going to talk about the two large generations that we primarily market to: the Boomers and Gen Y (while Gen X is a great generation, their numbers are too small to be a true focus for us!)

Baby boomers are the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Their generation has some of the most iconic photos, good and bad. These photos define them as a generation and remembering how these images affected them can help you figure out what will appeal to them. Some of this imagery appeals to their hope that they would be the generation to effect great societal change. Imagery of societal change is a great marketing tool to use for boomers.

The photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his “I have a dream speech on August 28, 1963 reminds them that they fought the good fight against racism. The pictures of The Beatles arriving in America and appearing on national TV show the hope and a teen’s love for rock n’ roll. Neil Armstrong bouncing out onto the moon shows the way boomers took up the challenge and became the generation to be the first to put a man on the moon.

Younger members of the boomer generation remember the photo of one lone man standing against a tank in Tiananmen Square or photos of the Berlin Wall tumbling down, and remind them that they were also the generation to stand up to tyranny and bring it tumbling down.

Generation Y, the generation born between 1982 and 2004 have very different visuals to remind them of their generation. Internet and phone imagery, computer logos like Apple and IBM and visuals like that bring to mind how technology have always just been a part of their everyday lives.

Other iconic images are a little darker. Images like the firefighter carrying an injured child from the Murrah Building after the Oklahoma City Bombing show valor in the face of great loss. That theme seems to continue to the defining event for this generation: The terror attacks of 9-11. Photos of first responders rushing into buildings, or any others of the horror of that day are overshadowed by the iconic photo of firefighters erecting an American Flag on the rubble of Ground Zero. It highlights the spirit of we will not be daunted, we will rise again.

Marketing imagery for Boomers and Gen Y should be easy to use as so much happened during those decades.

Some Customer Demographics to Consider When Marketing

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding how to best market your business. Customer demographics are one area that should be top of the list. Customer demographics are things like gender, race, age, income, educational level, home ownership, employment status, and so forth. They are used to target the audience for your marketing efforts.

Some Customer Demographics to Consider When MarketingUsing customer demographics means you need to collect the data needed to find out what those demographics are. But what should you be collecting? At the very least, purchasing habits should be top of your list. Also other blocks of information which round out who they are. Having it all will help you gain the knowledge you need to make your marketing plans as effective as possible and also strengthen your relationships with your customers.

So here’s what you should be collecting for customer demographics:

  • Individual Information: birth date, marital status, age, ethnicity and purchase history.
  • Household information: address, phone number, presence and age of children, length of residence, own or rent, and location of neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood Information: Know the socio-economic indicators and general ethnicity.

Other information you may want to try and gather is information about the size of the home, mortgage amount, etc. Customers may be uncomfortable giving this information (unless they have filled out a credit application for an account with your business), but it can be obtained through public records.

All of this information can tell you a lot about your customers. It can give you an idea about what kinds of products or services that you should be targeting to them. It can also tell you things like language to market to them, if they have kids and things they may be looking for educationally, etc.

Knowledge is power. Use the power of customer demographics to your advantage when marketing your business.

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