Business Tips

Customer eXperience and ROI in a Post-Pandemic Economy

Customer Experience (CX) and ROI in a Post-Pandemic Economy

Spicy Nugget symbol

SPICY NUGGET
Customer satisfaction means even more today in a digital economy.
But did you actually measure its impact on your ROI? Or do you just assume your organization delivers great CX?
— Adam E. Sene, CEO

Delivery gap and wrong assumptions

Customer satisfaction is way too important a business matter to merely assume that “your organization provides excellent service”.

The issue is first a matter of defining “good customer experience” correctly. How do key functions in your organization measure the degree to which their clients are satisfied?

In 2019, Bain & Company published a research study  in which they found that “80% of the 362 businesses surveyed believe that they delivered ‘superior experience’ to their customers”… while only 8% of their customers thought actually were”.

Delivery Gap: Executive assumptions don't match customer experienceClearly, there’s a huge disconnect. Bain called this the “delivery gap” and cited 2 reasons for its existence:

  1. Most growth initiatives damage the most important source of sustainable growth: a loyal, profitable customer franchise… [A business] compounds the problem when it tries to expand its customer base, as pursuing new customers distracts management from serving the all-important core.
  2. Good relationships are hard to build. It’s extremely difficult to understand what customers really want, keep the promises you make to them and maintain the right dialogue to ensure that you adjust your propositions according to customers’ changing or increasing needs.

Bain cites the case of Intuit, the well-known financial software company, which committed major blunders in their expansion strategy in 2003 and saw their online market share plummet.

We would compare it to the case of Harley-Davidson, the iconic motorcycle manufacturer. As the gravy train of the early 2000s waned, Harley started to see its sales decline progressively from 2008. The CEOs tried to expand the product range to hit new markets, both demographic and geographic, completely ignoring their loyal fan base. As a result, the brand was vilified in the biker forums by their core audience for a variety of reasons, including expensive dealer fees, vastly overpriced bikes, and plain bad customer service at the dealerships. In 2020, Harley Davidson was only $1.3 million short of reporting a net annual loss… on sales of $4 billion.

Overdelivering to outperform

According to an article penned by Blake Morgan in Forbes, companies that provide a great customer experience outperform those that don’t. Among the host of percentages mentioned by Blake Morgan, these 3 appeared partcularly relevant to our own team:

  • 84% of companies that work to improve CX report an increase in their revenue.
  • 73% of companies with above-average CX perform better financially than their competitors.
  • 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.

If you haven’t yet made an in-person check of how good (or bad) your customer experience really is, may we suggest that it’s time you play “Undercover Boss”?

The pandemic and post-pandemic paradigm

Come 2020, Covid-19, and the worldwide lockdowns. Businesses are forced to rethink extensively their organizational model, from HR to sales to marketing to shipping. Whether small or big, most businesses entered completely unchartered territories where physical proximity and in-person sales/delivery meant nothing anymore.

contactless delivery and customer expectationsConsumers found themselves home-bound, forced to rely on any information they could find on the web to make educated choices for almost everything they would buy. This is a new web paradigm: as the volume of ecommerce transactions is exploding, the volume and quality of content available to help consumers in their choices have both dramatically increased, and the number of reviews has followed a similar trend.

Now more than ever before, consumer reviews have become a nexus of information where retail clients and brands meet, with intersecting agendas.

The quantity of research available on the topic of online reviews and their impact on a business is mind-boggling. Enter the search query “statistics” AND “customer reviews” AND “2021” in Google, and you can start reading over 8 million web pages on the topic. Suffice it to say:

  • Tons of good reviews will help your business sell more, sell more often, sell to more customers, and sell at higher prices
  • Too many bad reviews will sink your sales, revenues and profits.
  • You’d better get your Google rating in the 4.0 to 4.7 star range (an Uberall study quotes 3.7-4.9 but this is a wide range and it ultimately depends on the local competition facing your business in its industry)

reviews reflect customer experienceNew reputation management tools have sprung into existence over the last couple years, with 2 major functions: (a) Get more reviews written as soon as the product or service was delivered; (b) Alert immediately the management of a negative review. Though these tools can’t “gate” reviews (i.e. delay the publication of a bad review until the seller does something about it, or avoid presenting the reviewer the possibility to publish her/his review on Google), they use navigation schemes and psycholinguistic triggers to allow customers to vent before their dirty review hits the web.

Quality of experience is the new benchmark

In times of hardship, who needs another headache, really? If a business is known online to treat customers poorly, when its competitors are walking the extra mile to support their products and services online, doesn’t it mechanically follow that a greater number of consumers (or businesses in B2B industries) will find themselves looking at more options, even more so than in pre-pandemic times?

Google has picked up on the trend towards quality. Since mid 2021, their Google My Business unit is gradually implementing new quality tags in their review system. In certain industries and certain markets, Google My Business reviews now offer consumers to click on experiential criteria to bring more qualitative data to a review: “courtesy”, “professionalism”, “punctuality”, “product knowledge” are among these news tags. It is unclear at this stage how Google My Business actually uses the qualitative data in its ranking algorithms, but if past experience is any benchmark, it is safe to venture that at equal average rating (total number of stars/total number of reviews), Google will give an advantage in its rankings to the business getting the best qualitative data.

The Unique Selling Proposition is corporate-wide

Back in the late 1940s – early 1950s, legendary adman Rosser Reeves developed a new concept he coined the “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP). Reeves actually attributes the origin of the concept to his time in NY-based ad agency Ted Bates.

In his 1951 book “Reality in Advertising“, Reeves defines the USP along the lines of 3 principles:

  • Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer… Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit.”
  • The proposition must be one that the competition either cannot, or does not, offer. It must be unique
  • The proposition must be so strong that it can move the mass millions, i.e. pull over new customers to your product.

Cover of Reality in Advertising - The book that fleshed out the Unique Selling Proposition conceptBy way of example, Starbucks became what it is today because Howard Schultz’s vision was to make his coffee shop chain: “A Third Place Between the Office and Home.” In itself, the concept was brilliant, but for it to be workable, it actually had to find its incarnation in everything a Starbucks shop was.

A Unique Selling Proposition is not just product puffery or a brilliant slogan:
it is an actual experience offered to a customer throughout the entire chain of functions of the organization.

Jay Abraham, a direct mail genius of the 70s and 80s, said nothing less when he wrote:

“All your in-store clerks, telephone staff, receptionists, customer-service people — everyone with any public contact or customer interaction or anyone who makes any decision that impacts your business — must fully understand, embrace and believe in your USP. That passionate belief in your USP must become part of every employee.”

How does your marketing tie into a Unique Selling Proposition? How does every function of your organization support your Unique Selling Proposition? And how do you measure the results of the collective and individual efforts in terms of Customer Experience?

A team of result-oriented millennials

Building of Eden Ads Digital Marketing Agency TampaEden Ads is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Tampa, FL. Our team is young: we are all Millennials, except for our two old barbs, Jamie and Phil, who love to remind us of sound business principles from the height of their 30-year business experience.

Although we are Millennials, we place results first, feelings second. We take your experience as a customer very seriously, almost religiously. Our philosophy of “being in service” spans across and up-and-down our agency: from the technical specialists, to the Customer Satisfaction Managers, to the support staff, all the way to the execs.

For instance, our good clients have our personal phone numbers. They know they can reach us when they need us. We will walk the extra mile for them.

For the last 10 years, our Ads Management team has successfully created and managed clients’ ad campaigns using Facebook, Google, Instagram, Amazon and LinkedIn. We run successful campaigns of all sizes and our ROAS is 5-7x. Our web design team builds high performance designs for both local clients and national brands. Our SEO team applies cutting-edge techniques to rank websites in search engines. Our SEO team lead has over 20 years in experience optimizing websites for businesses in the U.S., Europe, and China.

Free independent evaluation

Eden Ads is a full-service digital marketing agency in Tampa, FL. Our team offers qualified local businesses a unique opportunity to have their website and digital marketing/advertising campaigns fully evaluated under multiple aspects:

  • ROI of Google Ads campaigns
  • Finding where you waste money in your Google Ads campaigns
  • ROI of Facebook campaigns
  • Search engine position checks on your 2 or 3 main keywords
  • General SEO-readiness
  • Adequacy of mobile design
  • Google speed scoring of your mobile website

This free independent evaluation can reveal weaknesses that hurt your site and prevent it to get to the top of search results. It can also highlights design issues blocking it from converting more visitors into leads. Call our web consultants today at (813) 940-5699 to request a free independent evaluation, and discuss your most pressing needs.

If you’re want results, speak with one of our Marketing Consultants to find out how we can help you! Call us at (813) 940-5699 or make contact with our team via our secure online form.

Digital Marketing Quiz:
5′ To Get a Free Visibility Makeover

Take our Digital Marketing Quiz
Get Your Visibility Makeover Plan for Free!

 

digital marketing quizTake 5 minutes to do Eden Ads’ Digital Marketing Quiz! Your answers will help determine where your business is at visibility-wise, and we’ll craft your custom Visibility Makeover Plan. Free of charge. Yes.

Eden Ads is not your garden-variety digital marketing agency. We are a team of young, passionate, result-oriented marketers, with a wide diversity of careers and experience.

Take the Quiz, then check out our profiles. If you like what you see, just call us and share your most pressing business issue with us: it could be advertising campaigns that are not panning out. Leads that don’t come in fast and furious. Your website doesn’t show anywhere near your competitors in Google. You have traffic but visitors don’t buy what you have.

Any problem can be broken down into its component parts and find the right remedies.

This Quiz and Visibility Makeover Plan is a free service we offer all business owners — whether you’re a client of ours or not. There is no cost and no obligation: feel free to share the love with as many fellow business owners as you’d like.

The Team at Eden Ads
(813) 940-5699

Eden Ads | Digital Marketing Tampa FL

How Much You Should *Actually* Spend on Your Marketing Budget

Spicy Nugget: Rightsizing Your Marketing Budget

“If you treated your marketing spend with the same importance as your electric bill—those funds in the hands of competent marketers would guarantee your business growth, just as certain as your lights would stay on.”

-Adam A. Sene, CEO

digital marketing budgetSo how much should you should be spending on your marketing?

The long and short answer is: Whatever you can.

The long answer requires a bit more thought, so read on if you’re ready to get formulaic and do some inspection into the technical nature of your business goals and marketing priorities.

Covering a Few Basics of Digital Marketing

By marketing we mean bringing your products or services to market. Back in the day, that would have meant literally bringing them to the marketplace, but these days things work a bit differently. Modern marketing refers to the ways we may our products known and available to potential buyers. There are thousands of ways to market, and as our world continues to evolve—so will the field of marketing.

By digital marketing we mean doing all that stuff above, just exclusively using computer technology, on the internet or wherever electronic media can be viewed—i.e. Facebook Ads, Google Ads, social media marketing, email marketing, etc.

By ad spend we mean how much money you spend on advertising. In our case, we are referring to online advertising via platforms like Google and Facebook. (That’s what we do!)

Recommended Marketing Budgets Based on Trends

Advertising online is one of the fastest and most effective ways to give your business a boost in terms of traffic, viewership, brand interest and online presence. In your tool bag of magic marketing tricks, advertising is a must.

Though there isn’t an exact number as to what your marketing budget should be, it is helpful to know what the ranges are in order to get started and hone it in from there.

The US Small Business Association (SBA) reports that businesses across America spend anywhere from 1% to 12% on marketing. With such wide variety, how do we even know where to start?

According to SmallBizTrends.com, the average American small business invests about 1% of their annual revenue back into marketing. (For example, if you made $500,000 per year, that would equal $5,000 towards marketing.)

SmallBizTrends also acknowledges that small businesses in retail (like jewelers and furniture stores) tend to invest a bit more, putting upwards of 4% of their annual revenue towards marketing.

Web Strategies, Inc. reports that marketing dollars have been steadily on the rise for the last several years, but again seem to stay within the range of 1-10% of annual revenue.

Further, companies whose services were business to business (B2B) spent less on marketing than those who were business-to-consumer (B2C). Even still, within the category of B2C persistent variety can be found. Physical product businesses spend an average reported 9.6% of annual revenue on marketing, whereas service-based companies spend closer to 12%.

So what’s the takeaway?

“In general, B2C companies need to budget more for marketing than B2B companies”, says Rieva Lesonsky, entrepreneurial author and guest writer for the SBA official blog.

You’ll also need to budget more for marketing when your business is just starting out, because you’re still trying to build awareness of your brand and attract customers. Once your business is established, you can reduce your marketing budget because you will have a steady customer base”, adds Lesonsky. “However, that doesn’t mean you can stop marketing—you’ll still need to invest in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.”

Because marketing spend varies as widely as it does, the SBA also recommends contacting your industry trade association or reading industry trend publications to see if they offer any benchmarks for setting a budget in your field.

How Much Should I Spend on Ads?

Advertising campaigns take time to optimize. In fact, you might consider the first 30 days strictly a testing ground. Although leads will begin to flow, the ad platform is just beginning its process of gathering data with which to optimize targeting. After month one some traction is visible, but this process continues for up to 90 days.

For brand new businesses who haven’t yet sold a single product from their spiffy (or not so spiffy) websites, we offer an advertising starter package. This allows traffic to flow through your brand so the wheels start turning, at a decreased rate. Where we see things really turn the corner is after about 90 days, at which we graduate our new clients to the Full Service plan.

The following are some approximate ad spend range recommendations that may work for you. (Please chat with us for a personalized recommendation for you!)

Brand New Businesses

Budget: $500 per month in ad spend for the first 60-90 days casting a strategically wide net, then optimize and increase spending.

Small to Medium Businesses

Budget: At least $1000-$3000 per month in ad spend.

Larger Businesses

Budget: Anywhere from $3000 to $10,000+ per month in ad spend.

Mega Corporations

Budget: Usually no less than $20,000 per month in ad spend.

How To Tell if Your Existing Marketing dollars are profitable

Cost per lead x typical conversion rate = X

If you have no money to budget for marketing, start with what you can. After 30 days, examine your cost per lead and the rate at which they’re converting to leads/sales. Your marketing spend shouldn’t exceed X.

If your conversion rate is skyrocketing because your sales team is amazing, consider upping that spend. If your cost per lead is tanking the equation, that’s when it’s time to look at troubleshooting steps like lead optimization, improved targeting, etc. There are countless ways an ads team can (and should!) optimize a campaign on a daily and weekly basis.

If you’re doing no marketing at all but have a pretty good conversion rate on the leads/sales you are getting organically, remember that your conversion rate will likely decrease as the number of leads that you come into contact with increases.

If you are currently exercising a specific marketing budget but are wondering if it’s too much or too little, try that formula out and see where you stand in relation to X. (Again, your marketing money shouldn’t usually exceed X. If it does, it’s time to troubleshoot.)

Small Business Marketing, Simplified

If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking. There’s a reason that 90% of start-ups fail, and we would argue it’s largely because all too often not enough money is invested into the correct marketing strategy.

Treat marketing spend as a necessary investment. Skip the water cooler in the break room and opt for a tightly targeted audience of potential customers in your area whose interests align with the goods and services you offer. It has to be done.

As a business owner, you’ll have to spend money to make money. The above gives you the reins and hopefully a little peace of mind that you’re not just burning cash.

Give it a whirl! If you have questions or want a pro’s help, you can always put the pen and calculator away, eliminate the urge for day drinking and give Eden Ads a call instead.

6 Business Tips for Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic

You don’t need another article telling you about the specifics of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re living in the same world we are, you’re probably all too aware of what’s happening all around you. Operating a business under the circumstances of stay-home orders, state lock downs and major business closures is stressful and challenging to say the least.

Essential COVID-19 Business Tips

These 6 steps are simple, effective ways you can ensure your business survives this pandemic. All entrepreneurs, business owners and e-commerce professionals can act on these now, from the comfort and safety of a home office, to positively impact your business immediately and create lasting, positive effects once “normalcy” is resumed.

1. Continue promoting as much as you can.

If you sell online, this is a no-brainer. Use ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms to let the world know you’re open for business. Offer incentives and discounts to buy now. Those who are hurting financially will appreciate discounts which help them obtain services and products they need to continue their lives and their businesses. This will help them as much as it helps you.

If you don’t sell online, you should still promote offers online that are good for some months. Use creative design and messaging to make these look like coupons or vouchers. You’ll need those people to buy from you when you open your doors.

2. Take this opportunity to update your website and your social media pages.

Make the fixes you’ve been meaning to make. Update your profile and header images, spruce up your “About” copy with fresh content and create posts which promote your discounts and specials. Consider also a regular cadence of social media posting which educates, entertains and provides value to your audience. Americans are on their computers and mobile devices now more than ever.

3. Crate an email campaign (it can be as simple as a series of 5 email messages) and send your entire database.

While you may be aiming to promote and sell as a priority, be sure to diversify the content you send by including relevant information about your industry, news, tips, guidance as well as products, services and discounts. Produce and send content that might help them in any way during this crisis.

4. Contact your customer database and thank them for being your customers.

Give customers an update on what’s happening with your business. Offer them something that might help them if you can, but even a simple communication from the CEO expressing understanding and compassion for what they might be experiencing will resonate with them. You’ll be surprised at what you get back from a genuine, heartfelt communication.

5. Do everything you can to promote your company and tackle backlogs that require your attention.

Address that long-forgotten to do list and wrap up all the things that need to be squared away. Consider this time an opportunity to become more prepared for delivery, sales and production than ever before. Being prepared for when things get back to normal is something your future self will thank you for.

6. Lastly, because we are following the same advice that we’re giving you: If you need any help with any of the promotional activities outlined here, please reach out.

We’re here to help. Eden Court Advertising Co. provides expert service, marketing strategy and account management which will help you promote your business and gain a positive return on your investment. That’s all we do—help you make more sales and profit.

If you’d like to get 5 to 7 times the return on your ad dollars, speak with one of our marketing consultants and find out how we can help you.

And if you really have no budget for advertising right now with everything going on, we’re happy to jump on a call with you and talk through some strategy or offer any other ideas we might have.

Call us at -727-366-1243 to set something up, or send us a note and let us know how you’re doing. We’re stronger when we work together. Wishing you much success!

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