Posts Tagged ‘ROE (Return on Experience)’
January 25th, 2010
Recently, IMAGEHAUS stepped out of our every day routine and challenged ourselves to become even better at what we do. The result was the creation of Hi-Industries, a new company that will develop products focusing on elevating a moment into a memory. Our primary goals in this initiative were to provide us frontline insight into the obstacles clients deal with everyday and to learn about the power of social media. This real-life experience of what it is like to walk in our clients’ shoes has already made us smarter. Our first product is Toast-its, wraps for wine bottles that replace ordinary wine bags and greeting cards. IMAGEHAUS created 25 designs (available at toast-its.com ) that uncork your compliments, letting your gift of wine speak to any occasion.
Through much discovery, research and gut, we realized Toast-its would be popular if we could reach the desired audience. Additionally, we knew the product had a good balance between Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Experience (ROE). After all, it is not a new idea, but a smart improvement of an old stand-by—giving the gift of wine.
Strategically, we decided that we would use only social media to reach the target audience. The day after we launched the site, I posted a message about Toast-its including a link on my personal Facebook page and the entire team at IMAGEHAUS followed suit—driving all of our friends and family to the site. That same day, we started to receive orders. Our next step was to launch a campaign of Facebook Ads. This is where having a simple niche product proved to have a ton of value as it was easy to identify the potential Toast-its audience. We started by targeting fans of wine publications and home entertainment. Later that week we released an eBlast to our IMAGEHAUS contact list. At this point we have spent next to zero dollars and, in the first two weeks after launch, we achieved an average daily spend of $46.00 from a product with a unit retail price of $3.99.
Since our launch one month ago, these efforts, small as they may be, generated the following results: featured on 19 design/lifestyle blogs; found by and featured on Jasmere.com (a site dedicated to gaining national exposure for lesser-known specialty items); and listed on The Dieline as number 1 package design for the week ending 1/15/2010. Lastly, will be featured this Thursday, 1/28/2010, on Daily Candy, the leading trusted resource for the best new products and activities that reaches over 3 million subscribers.
The biggest insight I got from this experience is, when it comes to effective online social media marketing, you will have the most success if you make sure you are talking with your audience, not at them. It is not about selling, but more about sharing. Sharing a good idea, a solution to everyday problems. By making an impact on someone’s life. Which brings us back to the word of mouth being one of the most powerful and cost effective ways to increase brand awareness. It makes ROE as important, if not more important, as ROI.
January 21st, 2010
When it comes to change, the online world is often the first to adapt.
As a matter of comparison, look at the progression of traditional businesses over the last century. The physical store model still exists, big box retailers are still using the same basic store design, and distribution networks, while significantly more efficient, still run using the same basic principles.
Then look at the online world. In the space of ten years, the entire landscape of online business has changed. In 1999, the most powerful online properties were owned by major software companies and those that had a head start in the online world. Today, Google, a company that is not even fifteen years old, is the biggest brand in the world. As a microcosm of commerce, the online world moves much more rapidly than any offline industry.
With the recent move towards open social media platforms, marketers are left with a new question: where will the next turn be? For years, internet marketing was about banner ads and pop-up commercials. This was a version of the traditional, outbound marketing model. Inbound marketing is the next step in the evolution. It is about connecting with users directly and building communities. Social media is not yet fully developed and the next few years will bring many changes and developments. I feel these four changes could stand apart from the others.
Social media will make marketers more accountable.
There is a certain risk that comes with giving everyone the power to broadcast their thoughts and feelings about you, your business, or your product. For great companies, it’s something to embrace—they have people marketing for them, a dedicated following, and a long-term solution. For marketers that get by on deception, it is certainly not good. If social media changes one thing, it will be accountability. When anyone can publicly post their opinion of your business, priorities change. It is no longer about the short-term profit but about long-term perception and greater customer satisfaction.
Consumers will gain more power, and smart companies will embrace it.
The power dynamic is rapidly shifting between company and customer. Twenty years ago, the only way to get a message out was to invest in direct advertising and mass media. Now, all it takes is a post on a message board and a public message on Twitter by your customer. Smart companies are embracing the low cost of communications and are encouraging their customers to talk about them whenever possible.
The truly remarkable will outlast the big and standard.
Mass media allowed large companies to bully the small into compliance. Without a big advertising budget, it was impossible to communicate, and without that communication, the market leaders set the terms. Now, a more important currency than size is remarkableness. Businesses that attract attention naturally can coast by on free exposure, while large companies lacking innovation are at a permanent cost disadvantage.
Viral will take on a new meaning.
Today, viral means something that spreads throughout a few million people quickly, allowing a company to piggyback on exposure and generate free marketing. 20,000,000 views isn’t viral. Not for long. Social media is spreading wider, and, as more people become connected, the value of a great viral marketing campaign will swell exponentially.
We all know that the oldest form of advertising is word of mouth. What I find most interesting is how we as a society have found a way to come full circle, albeit much faster and on a much larger scale. I say it is time to embrace it, and start getting back to our authentic selves.
September 30th, 2009
We’ve all been there. Standing amidst a sea of choices for something as simple as hand soap. Anti-bacterial or antimicrobial? Foamy or liquid? Lavender or sun-kissed orange? Dermatologist tested or kid friendly? There are so many options, your brain starts to short-circuit a bit.
Customer choice has long been a dependable strategy in business success principles. The theory is that the more choices you give your customers, the more likely they’ll buy. However, recent research shows that too many choices actually hinder instead of help…fatiguing their brains and causing them to freeze and flee—empty-handed.
“Making decisions takes work,” says Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. There are over 200 varieties of biscuits, soups and cereals alone at our supermarkets. When consumers were asked to compare chocolate chip cookies from a jar of ten and a jar of two, the jar with two cookies scored higher than the jar with ten. Although the cookies were identical, the choice from the small range was perceived as more valuable, desirable and attractive.
“Clearly there are costs to having too much choice,” says Kathleen Vohs, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota. In her years of studying the effect of choice on consumers, she says too many choices leads to “decision fatigue,” which makes even pleasant choices mentally draining.
When customers are faced with option overload, they feel paralyzed because it’s harder to make that “informed” decision. This also leads to buyer’s remorse as the variety offered is a reason for consumers to be unhappy with the decision they made. Many people would rather not choose than make a complicated choice.
So what’s a business to do?
Create a “less is more strategy.” Be selective with your offerings and don’t overwhelm with too many choices. In a study on jams, researchers offered either a selection of 6 or 24 flavors. When 24 jam flavors were offered, only 3% of customers walked away with a purchase. When 6 jam flavors were offered, over 30% of customers bought jam. Lesson learned—reducing the amount of choice can be a simple, cost-effective way to increase inventory turnover and up sales.
When working with Schmidty’s, a salon for men, IMAGEHAUS put this strategy to work. We narrowed their five different facials for men down to one and facial sales increased by 42%. They also reduced the cost of inventory they needed to have on hand.
Choice is an effective marketing tool that requires balance and fine-tuning. In today’s economy, companies and consumers are being forced to make “more of less” every day, making this balancing act a very important consideration. A consideration that just might make the difference in your bottom line.
Variety may be the spice of life, but overdoing it can be too much for most to handle.
April 6th, 2009
Why are we all screaming value? Times are tough and the need to focus on value is evident. But it’s the interpretation of the meaning of value that has me concerned. When did value only become synonymous with “cheap”?
Let’s step back and look at the true meaning of value as it relates to your customer. Value is defined as: “the quality of anything that renders it desirable or useful.” Digging a bit deeper, we discover that “perceived value” is “the customer’s opinion of a product’s value to him or her. It may have little or nothing to do with the product’s market price and depends on the product’s ability to satisfy his or her needs or requirements.”
And, is it Worth What Paid For (WWPF) – defined as “the customer’s judgment on the satisfaction derived from a purchase? It’s determined more by the item’s perceived value than by the price of contents or materials.”
According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), it’s vital for retailers to understand the tried-and-true Consumer Value Equation. Consumers are driven first by emotional factors like trust, concern for family, stress reduction and experience. Rational factors like price, quality and convenience are secondary in importance.
“Anyone can sell product by dropping their prices, but it does not breed loyalty. It’s such a short-term strategy,” said Simon Sinek, president of the New York-based strategic consultancy Sinek Partners.
I’m afraid we’re missing the boat when we focus too hard on price points, discounts and black-and-white ROI in these tough times. We lose sight of our ongoing opportunity to elevate the ROE (Return on Experience) - and engage the emotions that continue to drive purchasing decisions.
Let’s take Viva paper towels for example. Personally, I love them. When I make a mess, I can clean it up with a single towel versus three or four of a cheaper brand. So, even though they’re the more expensive option, in the long run the cost is really the same. And, my ROE is very satisfying.
So, why are we all screaming value? Shouldn’t ROE be something we focus on every day to be successful and build our brand’s value? Not just in tough times? Shouldn’t we strive to find fresh yet effective ways to elevate the customer’s experience by focusing on their needs? To continue to build a relationship that remains strong through any economy?
Our answer is yes, yes, yes. What’s yours? What is the Return On Experience your service or product can provide to the customer? How valuable is the return the customer gets on that experience? Honestly answering those questions and delivering upon them is my challenge to you and to us here at the HAUS. What’s discovered – is priceless.