CCG to Retail Loyalty Marketers: Spend Smart on 2015 after the Holidays -- Retailers Report How They’d Spend $50,000-- Download Customer Scoring White Paper

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Customer Communications Group (CCG) offers suggestions on how to maximize the 2015 retail marketing budget – including a customer scoring white paper to download -- and what do with a budget windfall.

Fall is a busy time for retailers. Not only is the critical holiday shopping season in full swing, there’s the added stress of having to quickly estimate the marketing budget for 2015 based on those holiday sales. To help with those decisions, Customer Communications Group, (CCG) the full-service loyalty and marketing agency, offers suggestions on how to maximize the 2015 retail marketing budget – including a customer scoring white paper to download -- and what do with a budget windfall.

“Knowing that our retail clients have to act fast on next years’ marketing budget by the end of this year, we tailor recommendations to fit their specific loyalty marketing needs,” said Sandra Gudat, president & CEO of Customer Communications Group. “This year we also looked at what could be done if retailer loyalty managers found themselves with an extra $50,000 in their 2015 marketing budgets. How could they use it and how could they get the most bang for their buck?”

At first glance, $50,000 may not seem like an amount large enough to make a difference, but if spent strategically, not only can it increase sales, it can also demonstrate the value of a new marketing project to senior management.

To help marketers brainstorm their own ideas, here is a list of top marketing ideas for $50,000:

1.    Test, Test, Test
Whether for promotional offers, price sensitivity or improving click-through rates, testing is a simple and highly cost-effective way to get the information needed to improve marketing results. For instance, using subject line testing to see what really motivates best customers.

2.    Invest in Data Modeling
Invest in data modeling that would predict which customers are most likely to become best customers. Then build a campaign to target them specifically based on past behavior and demographics. It’s a quick route to increasing the best customer base.

3.    Reach Out with Research
Use a simple survey or more-involved focus group to find out why less-active customers haven’t been shopping or spending as much. Simply reaching out in this manner can, itself, help re-engage customers. Plus, it can reveal valuable insights for future inactive customers.

4.    Boost “Co-operation”
Not enough co-op dollars to do the optimal promotion? Go back and talk to merchant partners — offer to boost the budget if they’ll boost theirs. It’s a classic win-win, helping each other to succeed.

What Retailers Say:

Here’s how several retailers answered the $50,000 question:

“I would mail deeper into our file for an already planned DM campaign. We are often limited by budget, not expected ROI, when pulling campaign volumes.”
— Mark P. Anderson, Director, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Zale Corporation

“I would use it to fund an analytics project to uncover hidden opportunities in the data being collected.”
— Dave Mueller, SVP, Sales and Marketing, Fred’s, Inc.

“I would probably allocate those dollars to my top tiers for a ‘surprise and delight’ gift.”
— Jan Mauldin, Director of Marketing, RackRoom Shoes/Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse

“Now that the Ulta loyalty program is mature, we would run a focus group to gather member ideas on how to keep it fresh and exciting for long-time members.”
— Paulo Claussen, Director of Loyalty, Ulta Beauty

Tweak Last Year’s Budget
Even if an extra $50K doesn't appear, retailers can still take advantage of these ideas by carefully looking at last year’s budget and re-allocate this year’s dollars where they’ll do the most good for loyalty initiatives.

Identify Top Customers to Spend Smart
Meanwhile, identifying top customer performers is an essential ability for businesses looking to spend their time and marketing budgets cost-efficiently. Make smart budget decisions by finding out how to score customers by their value to the business, read CCG’s “Have You Scored Your Customers Today? at

Customer Communications Group (CCG) is a full-service customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency that helps Fortune 2000 retailers and financial institutions improve their bottom lines by improving their customer relationships, loyalty and retention. Founded in 1977, CCG is a pioneer in the field of relationship marketing, offering expertise in strategic consulting, data-driven customer research, custom content, design and multi-media solutions ranging from print production to e-newsletters, social media and website development.

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Jim McNulty
StandPoint Public Relations
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