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6 Digital Platforms Your Business Should Add to its Toolbox

October 28th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

GetintheLoop is riding the digital wave. We created Canada’s leading mobile offers platform to provide businesses with the ultimate digital marketing solution. It makes sense that we would also embrace the use of digital technology in our own workplace.

More and more digital tools to solve business problems or take your business to the next level are available than ever before. Our headquarters team uses numerous digital tools to organize our projects, create marketing materials, reach our target audiences and communicate with our fellow team members.

Here are six digital tools GetintheLoop uses that your business may find value in:


1) Sprout

It can be difficult to effectively manage multiple social media accounts. By using Sprout’s social media management software, businesses can access all their accounts in one place and create content, schedule out posts, view analytics and interact with their audiences. Multiple team members can access the software, which leads to better collaboration. Sprout stands out in the market due to its user-friendly design: each social account is easily accessible from the top navigation pane. Users can also conveniently view analytics without having to download a report.


2) Canva

It’s important for your company to have a professional look. Canva is a simplified graphic-design tool website that allows companies to create visually appealing designs by utilizing a drag-and-drop format and accessing a wide variety of photos, images, graphics and fonts. It’s a great fit for entrepreneurs with no design background, but can also be utilized by professionals who are looking to operate more efficiently. Companies can ensure consistency in their design through Canva by creating brand kits and saving templates in folders.


3) Mailchimp

Email marketing campaigns are effective ways to reach potential customers and engage existing ones. Storing contact lists on spreadsheets and manually sending out emails isn’t practical when managing multiple campaigns. Mailchimp gives businesses the ability to manage all aspects of their email campaigns. Businesses can maintain multiple contact lists and create professional looking emails with a drag-and-drop software and image bank. Mailchimp provides advice on the best time to distribute emails, while the analytics function allows businesses to monitor important stats including the open and click rates.


4) G-Suite

It’s important for companies to be able to collaborate digitally and G-Suite makes this process easier for businesses. Team members can connect via Gmail and stay on top of each other’s schedules with Google Calendar. They can create everything from docs to spreadsheets and effortlessly share them with fellow employees. G-Suite allows team members to share large files amongst each other through Google Drive and businesses also have the ability to manage users, devices, and data securely and easily.


5) Slack

The traditional means of workplace communication aren’t effective in today’s digital society, as more employees are working remotely or may not have a traditional office space. Slack is a cloud-based proprietary instant messaging platform that allows team members to message each other in real-time and share files. Businesses create channels with various categories so the appropriate team members can have a digital conversation. Slack enables team members to communicate without breaking up the flow of their work. There is also a comprehensive search function to browse through old threads.


6) Monday

It can be difficult for a company to manage the many projects it has on the go and assign tasks to employees, especially if it’s relying on an old-fashioned method such as a whiteboard. Monday.com is a team management web and mobile application that makes project management a digital process. Businesses can create sections for each project, select a due date, assign team members to a project and keep track of the progress. Team members can collaborate by having digital conversations about projects and accessing files, briefs, checklists and sheets in one place.


In addition to these digital tools, your business will find value in signing on to GetintheLoop to reach mobile customers. 

GetintheLoop business partners can market their unique products, services and experiences to the smartphones of customers. The user-friendly platform allows businesses to effortlessly create new offers on the platform, edit or replace offers and view analytics to see how their offers are performing.

Studies have shown that 95 percent of smartphone owners use their mobile device to search for information on local businesses. Members loves using GetintheLoop because it’s an all-in-one shopping app that contains offers from a wide variety of retailers in their communities.

Add value to your business’ digital marketing efforts by signing onto GetintheLoop. Learn more about the benefit of joining the platform.

 

6 powerful types of offers you can create on GetintheLoop

September 16th, 2019 Posted by blog, resources No Comment yet

Sales promotion offers can be a great way for businesses to drive traffic through the door and stimulate sales. Offers allow companies to provide value to customers, promote special offerings and encourage repeat business. 

Your business can stand out in the crowd by successfully leveraging these different types of offers:

Exclusive

These types of offers are only available to a select group of customers. Companies will often create exclusive offers for customers who have signed up for their loyalty program or to receive their e-newsletter. It’s a satisfying experience for customers to redeem exclusive offers and this encourages customer loyalty. 

GetintheLoop members have access to exclusive offers on the platform. These offers receive higher placement in our daily emails when compared to non-exclusive offers, which are available to any customer. Exclusive offers also receive inclusion in GetintheLoop’s push notification program. 

Limited

If you’ve ever heard “hurry while supplies last” in an ad and been motivated to act fast, you’ve been influenced by a limited offer. Limited offers create a greater sense of urgency by limiting the available supply at the listed price. Offering 30% off purchases for one day only, for example, encourages customers to show up and pull the trigger on purchases.

Restaurants can use limited offers to create a lunch rush by offering a deal to the first x number of customers. The people who miss out on the deal are already in the restaurant and are still likely to place an order.

Percentage Off

Offering customers a percentage off an item or an entire purchase is a great way to get them through the door. While the discount may draw customers in, there’s a chance they’ll also purchase something at full price.

There are strategic ways to deploy percentage off offers, such as Buy One, Get One (BOGO). Customers pay the full price on the first item and either get the second item for free or receive a discount. There can also be a condition put in place where customers have to spend a minimum amount of money to get a percentage off.

Gift With Purchase

Giving customers a gift when they make a purchase is a great way to endear your business to them, because it’s always satisfying to open a present. The gift can be a small item such as a key chain, bookmark or desk calendar and can include your company’s logo.

Gifts can be a great way for a company to launch a new product, effectively creating a sampling campaign. Companies can partner with like-minded businesses or vendors on customer gifts with purchase. Businesses that provide gifts maintain price integrity while providing value to customers. Create, wow and delight while building a deeper relationship and loyalty with your customers by using gift with purchase offers. 

Bundle

A bundle offer allows customers to take home multiple products in a single purchase at a lower cost. Telecommunications companies offer phone/internet/TV bundles at reduced rates to entice customers to purchase multiple services from them.

A bundle is a great way to introduce customers to additional products that they may purchase later on. These offers also enable companies to keep the price integrity in tact for each item because the customer won’t be aware which of the items are being discounted.

Events

One of the unique features of the GetintheLoop platform is that businesses can create offers that exist solely to raise awareness around an event they’re hosting. Event offers can help businesses pack the house, whether it’s for a live music event at a pub or a children’s workshop being held at a library.

These offers can also help businesses show their charitable side by promoting events they’re sponsoring in the community. 

With GetintheLoop, businesses can create compelling offers to highlight their products, services and experiences, and reach customers right on their smartphones. Learn more about the exciting opportunity to sign your business onto the platform

5 tips for creating a great offer

July 10th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

An important goal of any business should be to create offers that potential customers can’t refuse. Even if your business has the greatest products, services or experiences on the market, it won’t matter if you aren’t driving traffic through the door. Offers are great incentives to attract customers and introduce them to your business.

Quality offers are at the heart of the GetintheLoop platform. We spend a lot of time working with our business partners to craft compelling offers that will engage local consumers. Here are five tips for creating a great offer, including some examples of effective GetintheLoop offers on the platform.

TIP #1 – DRAW CUSTOMERS IN WITH A CATCHY IMAGE AND HEADLINE

In today’s society, people love to scroll rapidly through social channels until something catches their eyes. You want to choose an image and headline that will make users stop in their tracks and examine your offer in more detail.

Your image needs to showcase the brand/product/experience being offered and look professional. With today’s generation of smartphones, you can easily snap a picture that showcases your business. Be creative and people will respond.

The header is equally important. You have only a few words to convince someone to click through and learn more. The offer title should be front-loaded; express exactly what the offer is to engage with consumers.

TIP #2 – SELL THE CUSTOMER ON THE OFFER THROUGH ITS DESCRIPTION 

In case you haven’t completely sold a customer on your offer through the image and header, the description is a great place to close the deal. Create vivid descriptions that allow someone to image redeeming the offer themselves. Include unique and compelling details that would make them want to go to you and not your competition

If the offer is non-exclusive or an experience, it will be important to include a base or starting price point for the offer. This way, members don’t see the offer as an advertisement and are compelled to take action.

TIP #3 – ENSURE THE TERMS OF THE OFFER ARE CRYSTAL CLEAR

While you want to sell a customer on your offer, the last thing you want to do is mislead them. Don’t make potential customers guess or assume anything about the offer. Let customers know if the offer is a discount or sale, an experience, or an upcoming event, as well as whether the offer is exclusive, non-exclusive, or limited use.

To help set expectations, make sure to include any information regarding steps to redeem, the days/hours the offer is relevant and if there are a limited quantity of redemptions for this offer. The member will be ready to abide by the offer and won’t be surprised when they redeem.

TIP #4 – MAKE THE REDEMPTION PROCESS A SMOOTH ONE

Create a seamless transition from potential customer to a customer by having a clear redemption process.

  • Online – If your business has an online landing page to redeem the offer, select the appropriate label to drive the customer there: Order Online, Book Online, Buy Online, Learn More.
  • By Phone – For offers that require customers to call, whether they’re making a reservation or booking an appointment, ensure that customers are aware of this through your label: Call to Book, Call to Order, Call for Info.
  • In-Person – If your offer can only be redeemed in person, then you won’t need to direct customers to a landing page or phone number. You’ll want to select a label like Redeem or Use Now so people won’t click on it until they’re in the store.

TIP #5 – MAKE YOUR OFFER SEASONALLY RELEVANT 

Great offers are always in season. The needs and desires of consumers change each season and crafting your promotions appropriately is a great way to generate new business. 

One example is auto dealers promoting offers on winter tire swaps as the season approaches. When beach season rolls around, clothing store will look to attract customers with deals on swimwear. 

You can tie your promotions into major holidays like Valentine’s Day, annual events like the start of a new school year or even non-official celebration days like National Chocolate Day.

Shop Local Wherever You Are

April 5th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

In today’s connected world, many say it has become easier to shop online than in our own backyard. The rise of online sales is largely due to improvements in technology that, for the most part, has left many bricks and mortar stores behind.

Every day Amazon and Wayfair compete for the attention of your customers on digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Not only do the large, online stores compete for your customer’s attention, they’re simultaneously competing for the ad inventory on these networks, thereby jacking up your price to advertise.

Meanwhile, businesses with a physical location have an opportunity that Amazon and Wayfair don’t, and that’s reaching the people who are closest to them. Small and medium businesses need to amp up their digital game and why not advertise and build an ongoing relationship on a platform that plays to your advantage of having a physical location?

Location, location, location

For businesses that rely on a lot of foot traffic, it makes sense to be located in a high foot traffic area, such as the downtown core. However, even being one-block off the main drag can mean the difference between your business being successful and not. Simply put, if people don’t know your business is there, they can’t visit.

Nearby search has fundamentally changed the behaviour of local shoppers and there’s a significant benefit to retailers of using geo-technology to advertise hyper-locally as a means to drive more traffic to their businesses. Incorporating geographic proximity technology into advertising means businesses that are not located on the busy routes remain visible to customers who use “near me” functions on their smartphones. Near me searches have strong commercial intentpeople are looking to solve a problem, or fulfill a need right now. Google’s Consumer Insights has reported a 900%+ increase in “near me tonight/today” searches in the past two years.

According to Google, “People now expect search technology to find the places in their area where they can get what they need. This more-informed shopper no longer has to waste precious time driving around town to multiple stores.”

Imagine you own a restaurant and place a sandwich board outside advertising a great meal deal. Your restaurant might just be around the block from where someone is currently standing, trying to decide where to eat, but you might as well be in another town for all the good the sandwich board does to capture that person’s attention. If they don’t see the message, they can’t act. Now imagine that same message appearing on someone’s smartphone as they search for restaurants nearby!

Restaurant activity is locally driven with 65% of smartphone users looking for a restaurant within walking or driving distance. Proximity and location are key selection criteria, before price and reviews. This can be seen by the fact that the time between searching and purchasing at a restaurant is immediate—47% of purchases happen within one hour.

In a study titled “Location, Location, Location: Repetition and Proximity Increase Advertising Effectiveness”, it was found that there was a higher return on advertising spend when advertising was directed towards people within 1 mile of a business, and in a mobile advertising experiment, there were more coupon redemptions at a store among consumers who are geographically close to the advertiser.

While many local retailers worry about increased competition from online retailers, mobile search results are showing the consumers’ need for immediate products and services, something online purchases can’t provide. Proximity advertising is a highly effective means of reaching qualified, localized customers who are steps away from your business! Use your marketing dollars to direct ultra-relevant messaging to geo-targeted mobile users and lead them right to your door.

For consumers, it means being a tourist but shopping like a local

Being a tourist in a new town, but trying to shop locally can certainly be challenging without knowing where to find the local businesses. That’s where our smartphones are an excellent tool to help find local businesses. Using the map tool, you can input your search, such as “Coffee and Tea” or “Restaurants” and see what’s around you.

GetintheLoop’s app uses geo-technology in its “near me” map function to take it one step further and also show you specific offers and exclusive experiences available at that location. At the tap of a button, you can see all of the local businesses on an interactive map that have offers and unique experiences on GetintheLoop, making it much easier to shop locally, wherever you are:

A click on any of the icons will bring up the business name, and how many offers they have:

The exact offers can be seen by a quick tap on the name of the business:

Next time you are visiting another town and you are tempted to swing by the big box retailer, consider instead using your smartphone to find a local option. It may not be your local economy that you’re helping, but if everyone has the same mindset, and shop locally wherever they go, all local economies eventually benefit.

The Pros and Cons of 5 Advertising Platforms for Local Business

March 27th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Local businesses have two main options when it comes to advertising: offline advertising (often referred to as traditional media), such as print and radio ads, and online advertising, on platforms such as Facebook and Google.

Each of these advertising mediums have their respective pros and cons, which we explore in more detail below, but to summarize, traditional local advertising mediums such as print and radio are local. However, the audiences for print advertising are declining, radio listeners are distracted and tune out ads, and traditional advertising can be costly, and cannot be accurately measured.

Online advertising brings with it entirely different challenges. The concern for many local businesses is that, while the audience size nationally is potentially vast, the cost to reach targeted local audiences can be complicated and is increasingly expensive. There is increased pressure from the likes of Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart etc. who advertise heavily online, driving up advertising costs, and making it more difficult  for small, local businesses to compete.

What is the solution?

GetintheLoop combines  the benefits of online and mobile advertising with the convenience and care of support provided by local franchise owners. GetintheLoop is more cost effective than Google and Facebook ads, without the competition and pressure from the online retail giants, and encourages customers to shop local.

We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each of the major advertising channels available to local businesses, to help you decide: Online advertising or traditional media: which is the right choice for my business?

GetintheLoop

GetintheLoop is a locally owned and operated digital advertising platform that makes it easier for people to shop local, and for more local businesses to go digital.

Pros:

  • Cost effective – with one low monthly price it’s easy to budget for and you keep all the profits.
  • Promotes local shopping – GetintheLoop provides local customers with local offers in the palm of their hands, keeping their money in the local economy.
  • Keeps you aligned with changing consumer behaviours – people are using their smartphones for everything, so it’s the best way to get your business in front of them especially when they are nearby.
  • Drives customer loyalty keeps customers connected and coming back with offers and special events
  • Real-time dashboard – see how the audience is responding to your offers and ability to quickly and easily adjust offers on the fly.
  • Intent to purchase – unlike Facebook, GetintheLoop members are looking for something to do or buy with a high intent to purchase.

Cons:

  • Requires in-store employee training – While GetintheLoop’s dashboard provides analytics around the reach, response and actions of your offers within the app, attribution to actual in store sales is not available and requires effort from employees to keep track of GetintheLoop offer redemptions.

Facebook

Pros:

  • Wide audience – about half the population of Canada is on Facebook
  • Targeting options – only spend your advertising budget on reaching those who fit with your ideal customer. With Facebook, you can target by location, age group, gender, hobbies and interests, marital status and much more.

Cons:

  • Competition – the likes of Amazon and Wayfair advertise on Facebook, so right off the bat you’re competing with giants of the retail industry, with deep advertising pockets.
  • Price – yes,  Facebook has historically provided extremely strong value, however their prices have gone up 100% over the past year and as they throttle your post exposure back with algorithm changes you can expect ad prices on Facebook to continue to rise.
  • Time consuming – while advertising on Facebook is relatively easy, it still requires a time commitment, especially in the early days. You can’t just set-it-and-forget-it. Instead, you should be monitoring your account regularly, seeing what engagement levels are like, adjusting spend, introducing more ads etc.
  • Shrinking audience. Facebook’s audience is now primarily 35+. If you want to reach the under 35s you’ll need another platform.

Google AdWords

Pros:

  • Large, intent-driven audience – Google’s power is in its ability to target consumers who are searching online for the exact product you sell.
  • Demographic targeting – you can use Google’s demographic targeting options (such as age, gender, device, location etc) to ensure your ads show up for people in your target audience.

Cons:

  • Hard to manage – knowing the basics will only get you so far. Some small business owners learn the hard way, spending huge amounts of time and money with little to no results. Unlike Facebook, Google’s ad platform isn’t something you can learn in a day.  
  • Lack of trust in Google Ads – Google ads can be a great way to get your brand in front of people for keywords that you’d have a hard time ranking for with SEO, however people have more trust in the organic search results.
  • High competition / expensive – companies big and small are all vying for attention from consumers, and if your business is trying to target the same keywords as the likes of Amazon, Wayfair, Walmart etc. you’re not going to see great success with Google Ads. You’ll have to consider very carefully the keywords you are targeting, check out the competition and search volume, and maybe consider less competitive keywords that are not as close to the intent of your customers.

Print advertising

Pros:

  • Loyal readership – those who like to read magazines and newspapers are loyal to their publication
  • Geographical area targeting – for local businesses, a local publication can be an effective way of getting in front of local customers

Cons:

  • Decline in readership – more people get their information and advertising from online sources.
  • Long lead times – your message cannot be delivered as quickly as with other media.
  • Limited shelf-life – a newspaper ad is usually only relevant for a day.
  • Limited reach, targeting, and reporting options – targeting is limited to readership demographics, and ultimately, the only way of measuring success is an increase in store visits.
  • Lack of flexibility to make changes – once the ads is published, it cannot be changed.

Radio advertising

Pros:

  • Intrusive – radio reaches people even when they’re not paying attention
  • Builds brands – radio works best at the top of the funnel, making people aware and conveying emotion about the brand

Cons:

  • Expensive: The cost of ads vary greatly by location. High frequency is required for radio to work and generally it takes 3-9 months before results are evident.
  • Unmeasurable – as with print advertising, the only way of truly measuring success is an increase in store visits.

Ultimately, where a local business decides to advertise is going to depend on budget, target market, the industry they are in, and so many more factors. While it may appear that there are two distinct options (local, traditional offline media vs. online, global media), you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. GetintheLoop proves that you can have the best of both worlds. Local businesses can advertise online (and more importantly, on mobile) to a very definite local audience with the purpose of driving these people into their local business, thus keeping all of the advertising dollars in the local economy.

What can retailers do to keep customers coming through their doors in this age of online shopping?

March 15th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

In an earlier post, we looked at the impact that online shopping is having on local retailers and the wider local community. Local retailers are struggling as they have to compete not only with big-box stores that can offer lower prices, but also with online giants such as Amazon. The impact of the “Amazon effect” is very real, and businesses are having to think outside the box and be more creative when it comes to keeping existing customers, and encouraging more to start shopping locally.

There are a few things that retailers can do:

  1. Use brick-and-mortar locations to support online stores.

Are you able to move with the trend and offer online shopping, with your physical store there to support online sales? There are undeniable benefits like being able to accept orders 24/7 and increasing your overall sales volume. However, this might not be feasible for small, local stores. You’d need to be able to catalogue your entire inventory and get it online. This would work if your inventory is largely consistent, but for lots of small retailers, products change regularly.  Are you able to handle orders and ship products? Do you have inventory tracking capabilities.

Starting an online store is a big step, but it’s not impossible, and retail survival requires transformation to new paradigms. There are other options, however:

  • Start small with a click-and-collect service that lets shopper buy online and pick-up in-store—it’s convenient for customers, and it also drives traffic and sales in your physical stores.
  • Another option is to use sites like Etsy to sell your unique, hand-crafted, quality products. It is more important to be where your customers are, than to be on sites or in stores with the most traffic.

  1. Understand what your core customers want and build a strategy around it

If your retail store is just the same as anyone else’s, or you can buy the exact same products online at half the price, then it will be tough to stay in business. What makes your business different is your Unique Selling Proposition—your differentiator from your competition, online and offline. And you must have one.

To survive, you need to do something that the giants of Walmart, Amazon, Wayfair, etc. are not doing, or are not doing well. What can you offer your customers that they can’t? You probably can’t offer the lowest prices, but you might have more unique, one-of-a-kind products. Quality. Locally-made. What can you say about your products that the online stores can’t say about theirs? This becomes your USP, and you build your marketing strategy around this.

  1. Create an in-store experience that drives traffic and sales

Think of Costco and IKEA—huge stores with just about everything you could ever need for your home! But what else do they have? Quick, convenient, and cheap food! We all know people who go to Costco just for the cheap hot dogs, or to IKEA for the restaurant. Although never the core of the retailer’s business, this part of the shopping experience has become so popular that people visit (and therefore shop) just to have that experience.

Smaller businesses can use these brands as as inspiration for creating their own customer experience that keeps customers coming back. For example, The Workroom is a craft and sewing store in Toronto that regularly holds sewing classes and workshops which not only help to bring a sense of community to local people, but also provides an experience they can’t get online. It keeps them coming back.

  1.  Offer customers a technology-driven experience

Mobile-technology has widespread potential among offline retailers. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go out and invest thousands and thousands of dollars into building a mobile app. It simply means you, as a retailer, need to recognize the enormous role that mobile plays in consumers lives, and work it into your marketing strategy.

Customer behaviour is changing, and to remain competitive, retailers must change too. Read more about how retailers can take advantage of the mobile experience to drive more customers in store.

While many retailers are falling victim to the likes of Amazon, Wayfair, and Walmart, it’s not a fate that is set in stone. Retailers must step up their game, and compete in areas that the big names in online retail can’t. Many customers are embracing the “shop local” movement, and are willing to pay a little more for the retail experience, and the sense of community that comes from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

Online shopping creates disconnect between local shops and their community

March 14th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

What an exciting world we live in with the Internet—an unlimited source of information at our fingertips on our smartphones. Do you even remember what it was like when you weren’t able to find out the answer to literally anything you wanted to know, whenever you wanted to know it?! It’s great right?

Well, yes and no. There is so much that is positive about the advancements in Internet technology over the last 20 years, but as with most positive things, there will always be some negative. The impact of the Internet on retailers, the shopping experience, and the social community is one such example.

Let’s dig a bit deeper.

It’s no secret that people are spending more and more time online. It’s also no secret that people are spending money—billions and billions of dollars—online every year. In fact, as of 2018, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to almost 1.6 billion Canadian dollars, and revenue generated within the retail e-commerce market is expected to surpass 55 billion Canadian dollars by 2023, up from 40 billion in 2018. Online shopping is big business.

The problem is, much of this money used to go to brick-and-mortar businesses, including small, locally-owned stores. These local retailers have always had to try and compete with big-box stores like Walmart, which could offer similar products at much lower prices. Now local businesses have a new foe that they are facing—online giants like Amazon and Wayfair that, once again, can offer more competitive prices. Plus, the customer doesn’t even have to leave the comfort of their own home to make purchases.

The impact of the “Amazon effect”—redefining and revolutionizing the concept of shopping—is very real, with more and more retail stores closing every year as it simply becomes unsustainable for them to compete. This is an unfortunate by-product of progress.

However, it’s more than just the loss of physical stores that impacts people. There’s a loss to the community every time a local store goes out of business. That store made contributions to local taxes. That store had local owners, local employees, and local customers —many of whom probably still enjoy shopping there, just not enough to keep it profitable. There was a social aspect to shopping in an actual store. People spoke to each other.

Yes, one store closing might not seem that big of a deal, but imagine walking around your downtown core and seeing endless boarded up store windows. Restaurants, entertainment, and retail stores are what local communities have been built around for hundreds of years. What happens to that community when the businesses start to disappear?

What can you do to support retailers in your community?

For some, the shrinking retail core of most cities is seen as a by-product of the age we live in. While they may think it’s unfortunate, they are not prepared to change their shopping habits to keep local businesses alive.

On the other hand, there are community members who are deeply passionate about keeping small, local retailers in business, and are prepared to make personal changes to support them. The “shop local” movement has really taken off in recent years, and local retailers are getting the support from the community, and cities themselves, in promoting the benefits to everyone of buying local.

Small Business Marketing Challenges: Reaching and Keeping Local Customers

March 5th, 2019 Posted by resources No Comment yet

Through my experience, and learning from others, I’ve identified three key challenges that face all new business owners, large or small.

Determine your positioning

All businesses, large or small, have to have a position. Your position is who you target, the category you fall into, and the main benefits of your product or service. It’s what makes people choose you over your competitors, and will impact everything you do from a marketing perspective.

Whatever it is, this will be what sets your business apart from others. The position you choose will determine your advertising campaigns – where you advertise, who to, and what the messaging will be etc.

Decide where to focus your marketing and advertising efforts

When it comes to advertising options there are so many, it can be overwhelming. From online to offline, print to digital, radio to TV, desktop to mobile, static to video…which is right for your business? While I can’t answer that for you, what I can do is tell you what I’ve seen from my experience.

The majority of small businesses have an advertising mix that is constantly evolving, based on testing, new technologies, and trends. Not all advertising channels work for every business, or provide the return on investment to be worth the expense. Whereas a national retailer can justify the cost of a TV campaign, that won’t be feasible for a small business with a much more limited budget. Their advertising will be solely local – radio, billboards, online advertising, and mobile.

Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the last decade, and it’s important to pay attention to where your customers are spending their time. The answer is probably “on their phone”, and if you aren’t there with them, you’re missing out on reaching new customers who wouldn’t otherwise have heard of you. It’s important to ensure your marketing plan is constantly evolving with your customers.

Keep your customers coming back for more

Positioning and advertising are great if they work to bring in new customers. However, it’s down to you to keep them coming back for more by delivering what you promised, and meeting customer expectations. If you’ve positioned and advertised yourself as a high-end nail salon, you’ll probably get customers through the door who are expecting that experience. When you only provide a mediocre experience and don’t live up to your promises, those customers a) won’t come back, and b) might tell their friends (and worse, their social media network) how bad the experience was, compared to their expectations (which you controlled).

Unless you sell online, your customer base is limited by the size of your community and how well you promote your business to visitors to the area. Success is aligned with being able to engage local customers and encourage repeat visits.

At the end of the day, how you choose to position yourself, advertise your business, and keep your customers coming back for more is going to be unique to your situation. It will, however, be constantly changing. Nothing stands still, and with every new generation comes an entirely new way of doing things. Don’t be afraid to test something new. You never know, it could be the missing piece in your marketing puzzle.

-Matt

Tips & Tricks for Creating an Offer

October 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

The most important purpose an offer serves is that it sets your business apart from competitors by showcasing what makes you unique. GetintheLoop allows you to easily craft, schedule, and manage five offers in real time, while providing you with key insights. Creating compelling offers drives GetintheLoop members to learn what makes your business unique and to take to action to purchase.  Here are few tips on how to utilize GetintheLoop by creating compelling offers.

Define Your Offer

Before you start crafting your offers, it is important to define what you are creating. Offers can showcase your brand and should motivate potential customers to act. How you define your offer is entirely up to you.

First, it is important to let customers know if your offer is a discount or sale, an experience, or an upcoming event. Don’t make potential customers guess or assume anything about your offer. Offers can be lost in translation if not properly articulated and defined.

Secondly, is your offer exclusive, non-exclusive, or limited use.

  • Limited Use offers create urgency for potential customers to act quickly so they don’t miss out. Limited Use offers have a built in timer that counts down in real time to tell potential customers what is left. This feature is great for offers that are strong, to drive customers directly to your business.
  • Exclusive offers typically drive high engagement, letting customers know they will have to mention and use the GetintheLoop offer to redeem.
  • Non-exclusive offers are a great way to highlight your ongoing promotions. GetintheLoop gives your offers a new audience, why not showcase your best offers, the ones you know drive traffic to your business.

Defining your offers will help members better understand the requirements for taking action to purchase, book, or order.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

Clear & Concise Message

Once your offer is defined, the next step is to make sure your message is clear and concise, making it easy for members to understand. One limitation that stops a potential customer from taking further action on an offer, is not being able to understand what is the offer is or what is required to redeem. Eliminate this with a strong image, title, description and terms & conditions.

  • Image: Your image will be the most important factor as it is the first point of contact with a potential customer. Having an image that is clean, crisp and that captures your offer will resonate with a potential customer.
  • Title: The title is the second point of contact. You have a few words to create a call to action – why they should click through to learn more and engage with your offer. Your offer title should be front loaded. Express exactly what the offer is to engage with potential customers. For example:
    • BOGO 50%,
    • Tasting Experience – $3/per,
    • Brewery Tap Takeover – July 25th
  • Description: Now that you’ve caught a potential customers interest, excite them with a description. Your description should make them picture redeeming the offer while re-stating what your offer is. For example:
    • Have a love for old school gaming systems and great beer? Grab a friend or a few and come enjoy our gaming lounge. It features unlimited classic nintendo and sega games for $10/per hour and when you book it, you receive happy hour beer pricing!
  • Terms & Conditions: Finally make sure to include any information regarding steps to redeem, days/hours, quantities, etc. This will help set expectations. The potential customer will be ready to abide by the offer and won’t be surprised when they redeem. For example:
    • Valid for groups or 3 or more,
    • Event is July 25th at 5 pm,
    • Happy hour is between 3 to 5 pm,
    • Valid with select brands.

Seamless Redemption

One factor to a seamless redemption or purchase is to make sure the call to action on the offer does what you want. Your offer can send customers online, to make a call or to visit in-person. GetintheLoop can handle them all. Is your offer compelling members to learn more, visit your location, sign-up for your newsletter, order online, or call for a reservation? The chosen call to action will the transition the potential customer to a customer in a very smooth process.

  • Online: For an offer that drives potential customers to redeem online, you can select the appropriate label to drive the customer to the landing page of your choice. Labels include Order Online, Book Online, Buy Online, and Learn More.
  • By Phone: Do you require the customer to make an appointment or perhaps your business does not have online booking/purchasing? You can direct members to call you to redeem your offer. Labels include Call to Book, Call to Order, and Call for Info.
  • In Person: Is the offer compelling people to physically visit your location to redeem? The best labels include Redeem or Use Now.

Your GetintheLoop Analytics

GetintheLoop provides with you with key insights on your offers. You have access at anytime to these insights on your Dashboard. Utilizing these insights will help you craft a better offer. The statistics on the Dashboard give you information on your total Reach, Response and Actions as well as gender & age Demographics. With this information you can see who your offers are reaching, how they are being interacted with, and ultimately leading to an action. You can filter by ‘All Time’, ’90 Days’, ’60 Days’, ’30 Days’, and ‘7 Days’.

  • Reach: The number of times the offer or business was seen in the app, in emails, or in notifications.
  • Response – The number of times a member responded by liking, sharing, or viewing the offer or business details.
  • Action – The actions taken to redeem an offer, visit the website, call the business or visit in person.
  • Demographics: Provides a demographic breakdown per feature highlighting age and gender. This helps the business see who the offer is reaching.

Using this information will increase the success of your offers. You can manage the offers in real time, targeting the offer to appeal to the demographic you want and see who are engaging to actually taking action.

Make the most out of your offer

GetintheLoop provides the tools to showcase your business in the way you want it to be seen and when you want them to see it. Utilizing the hints & tips provided will help you create compelling offers. You want customers to take action on your offer – creating something that resonates with a potential customer creates the urge to act.

If you ever have any questions or want to learn more on how to create successful and compelling offers, contact partner@getintheloop.ca

How to Drive Customer Loyalty Through GetintheLoop

October 9th, 2018 Posted by resources No Comment yet

It is a known rule of thumb that 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of their customers. This means that how well a business can drive customer loyalty becomes a major factor in how successful that business is. One way for your business to increase customer loyalty and keep customers coming back is providing them with offers, deals, and discounts. By using GetintheLoop to provide offers to members, you can drive customer loyalty – but you have to make sure that you are utilizing the platform correctly.

The 5 Musts to Drive Loyalty

1- Communicate your partnership with Employees

It is important that all employees are knowledgeable of what GetintheLoop is, how it works, and what it is intended to do. Not only should employees be aware that your business is an active partner on the platform, but they should also be well aware of the offers that are available to members. If employees are not aware it can create a bad member experience.

Example: If a member walks into a store expecting to use an offer from GetintheLoop and the employee has neither heard of Getintheloop nor know about the offer it can leave a member frustrated with the service and store.

Ready to reach more customers? Let’s chat today! 

2- Communicate your partnership with existing customers

GetintheLoop can be used to help incentivize your current customers to keep coming back – but you must communicate your partnership with them. GetintheLoop can provide businesses with marketing materials that the business can use to communicate this partnership as well as plenty of features that allow you to communicate and share an offer in one simple step.

Example: “Post to Facebook” feature lets you post an offer to your company’s Facebook page which will direct your Facebook followers to the GetintheLoop app and your offer.

3- Have your best sales running

When thinking of creating an offer, it is important that your business has the best possible sales running – something that will make members put in the effort to coming into your business. Examples of offers that can drive customers to take action and increase customer loyalty are:

  1. Weekly/Monthly Deals
  2. Referral Promotions/Programs
  3. First Purchasers Offers
  4. Minimum Purchase Discount
  5. Limited Use Offers

4- Use offers to target different audiences

GetintheLoop allows you to have five offers live at a time – the businesses that see a lot of success are the ones that utilize this. Having a variety of offers like the ones stated above in point #3 can aid in making sure that all target audiences are hit.

5- Update your Offers on GetintheLoop

Make sure that all your offers on GetintheLoop are current and up-to-date. Offers that are posted on the platform that are no longer relevant can generate a bad member experience. Switching one to two offers up can also re-engage potential customers and bring them back to your business to experience something new.