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How to use brand management techniques to create customer loyalty

In a world filled with colorful advertisements, one-click purchases, and personalized content, it can be hard to break through the clutter and reach customers with your authentic brand message. That’s why creating a solid brand management strategy can help cultivate long-term customer loyalty.

Here are three key aspects of managing your brand that can help keep your customers coming back for more:

The Value of Values

Increasingly, consumers want to know about the values of the brands they engage with. Whether a brand has a focus on status and luxury, the environment, or rugged adventure, allowing customers to understand the core beliefs you stand for and the experience they can expect with your brand creates stronger, more loyal relationships. Developing and adhering to strong brand guidelines that align with your company’s mission and vision can help create a consistent experience which helps support customer loyalty. In fact, Forbes notes that 64 percent of consumers say that values are an important part of their trusted relationship with a brand.

Give Your Customers a Front Row Seat

Consider the ways you can allow your customers to feel like they have a front row seat to your company. When customers feel a sense of belonging and engagement with your brand, they’re more likely to be happy, reliable customers. Positive interactions and updates, like special deals, new product launches, or major company milestones, can help customers feel involved with your company (which, in turn, can positively impact your bottom line). For increased access, you may also consider integrating unique customer perks that align with your brand strategy like ambassador programs, branded swag, or behind-the-scenes access, whether in person or digitally.

Play to your Strengths (and Admit When you Fail)

Part of managing your brand is understanding – and playing up – your brand’s distinct characteristics. That way, when customers need the experience you offer, they know exactly where to turn. Conversely, if you don’t live up to your brand standards, admit it. More than half of U.S. shoppers would not return to a brand based on just one bad experience. By investing in brand management tactics that help reduce the likelihood of negative experiences, and having brand-aligned strategies to mitigate those negative experiences when they do happen, you will have critical tools at your disposal to cultivate and keep a loyal customer base.

The lesson is that brand management matters. Creating a system to sustain a values-focused, transparent, consistent brand can help your customers know what to expect and ensure they feel committed to your brand.

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What we’ve learned from e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic that can help us to prepare for future crises

The COVID-19 pandemic has yielded challenges that many organizations were not prepared to face. We have much to learn from the way ecommerce companies have responded to and navigated through the pandemic. Ideally, identifying these developments will help us all to better prepare for future crises.

Here are some key trends we can learn from e-commerce during the COVID-19 pandemic:

E-commerce has become essential

In a time when shoppers are unable to physically visit stores, ecommerce has become an essential function of the national economy. While U.S. overall retail sales are expected to decline by 10.5% by the end of the year, e-commerce is expected to grow by 18%. It has become clear that ecommerce cannot be ignored as a driver of profit in a pandemic economy.

Major sale events are no longer reliable

For many retailers, major sale events like Black Friday are vital to annual revenues. A day dedicated to swarms of buyers crowded through physical storefronts, though, is incongruous with the public health concerns we face. We can fully expect that these events will be shifted a largely e-commerce format. However, even Amazon’s Prime Day, a fully online sales event, has been delayed due to the pandemic.

Subscription programs are a hit

Amazon, with its Amazon Prime subscription program, reigns as the leader in U.S. retail ecommerce sales. Notably, Walmart’s new Walmart+ program has the second highest retail ecommerce sales and the highest retail ecommerce sales growth. Additionally, many now rely on membership offers from grocery delivery services like Boxed, FreshDirect, and third-party delivery apps from traditional brick and mortar retailers like Instacart and Shipt, marking growth in a blossoming industry.

Responding to changing customer needs is vital

As medical science uncovers how COVID-19 is transmitted, many customers have a heightened interest in the procedures behind the shipping and handling of their products. Smart online retailers have gone above and beyond to communicate touchpoints and sanitization practices throughout their shipping and handling processes, to assure their customers that they are taking all precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.

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My take-aways on strategic advertising in a time of crisis

Advertising has always provided interesting challenges for breaking through the noise, creating relevant content for consumers and sustaining customer brand loyalty. However, 2020 has been the test of a lifetime for digital advertising pros as they adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Here are some of the lessons learned during these tumultuous times:

Take time to evaluate how your strategy must change.

When a crisis breaks out, your digital advertising teams must ask a series of important questions to make the best strategic decisions for the brand moving forward.

First, avoid unforced errors by immediately undertaking a marketing audit to ensure existing messages are appropriate for the new environment. Next, consider: How is your customer base affected by unfolding events? How can your company demonstrate service and commitment to customers, your community, and any relief efforts taking place?

Make sure your messages include accountability and transparency for the way the crisis may be impacting your company’s operations. Online pet product retailer Chewy is an excellent example: in an earnings statement released after widespread stay-at-home orders were issued in the United States, their CEO described how a surge in demand predictably increased their delivery times beyond what customers regularly expected.

Because Chewy proactively communicated these impacts to customers through their website, emails, and social media throughout the buying process, customer sentiment remained positive while they scaled up to meet the increased demand.

Don’t look to advertising budgets as your first cost-savings measure.

When the company’s financial outlook is uncertain, many companies may be inclined to reduce advertising budgets, but with opportunities to capture ongoing and growing revenue that may be a counterproductive decision. While your company may realize an immediate cost savings, this decision could hurt revenues in the long run. Instead, reevaluate your digital advertising strategy, considering what channels will provide the most value, and concentrate your spending there.

Report relevant results.

Comparing year-over-year or month-over-month results will not provide an accurate picture of digital marketing performance in crisis environments. Campaigns taking place in April 2020 are very different than campaigns that took place in April 2019. The same can be said for February 2020 campaigns compared to March 2020 campaigns. Changing times require changing data.

While corporate leaders may still expect the same reports you provided before, consider also providing them with a day-over-day report beginning the day the crisis started to ensure they are getting an accurate picture of your efforts. This method of reporting will also give your team the insight to be responsive to rapidly changing events.

These takeaways from the challenges of advertising during a crisis will equip you to build and execute effective strategies for your brand or company. The key is to adapt, be transparent, and remember that successful campaigns are always worth the investment.

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Navigating Digital Marketing in a Pandemic Economy

Business owners and consumers are experiencing an increasing state of unease and a lack of security as the pandemic continues on. It’s no secret the market has completely changed due to COVID-19. Although buying patterns and habits have changed, consumers need to feel reassured and understood now more than ever. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but business owners must be willing to adapt and meet the safety concerns of their customers. At the moment, the safest place to do business is online. So, why not implement a digital marketing campaign? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Optimize Your Website

In-store foot traffic has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. Many businesses rely on in-store contact with their consumers to keep up their sales. Although face-to-face sales may be slow to non-existent for most businesses, the opportunities in the online marketplace are endless. An online shopping experience begins and ends with your website. An updated and optimized website is crucial to a consumer’s buying journey. You will want to make sure your site is as fast as possible to avoid delays. It’s also important to update your landing page so that it matches your digital marketing efforts. Your digital advertisements will send consumers straight to your website, so remind them why they clicked on you in the first place!

Market Different Areas

Consumers have a lot more time on their hands while staying at home. They are consuming content at an incredibly high rate and across a range of different platforms. Consumers are either scrolling on Instagram, watching a YouTube video, or getting lost in the allure of TikTok. Rather than just sticking to a Google Search campaign, explore different options across all social media platforms. Experimenting with new digital marketing ideas early in your implementation will help you discover what resonates with your audience the most.

Create Valuable Content

Digital ads are full of generic pandemic-related messaging, and consumers can see right through it. In order to effectively connect with your audience, business owners need to personalize their messaging to address the problems their customers are facing. The pandemic has put a financial strain on many consumers, causing them to be more selective about where they spend their money. Rather than simply focusing your digital marketing to convert sales, consider using your business platform to build relationships with your audience and let them know you care. Advertising your community involvement, blog posts or at-home video content are great ways to get organic traffic to your website. Consumers want to feel like the businesses they support have their best interests in mind.

Although the fate of the pandemic is still uncertain, digital marketing doesn’t have to be. Experiment with new digital strategies and turn your online business around

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Irish America – Greg Murtagh/Triad Retail Media

Greg Murtagh is founder and CEO of Triad Retail Media. In 2000, he was first in the digital media world to enable brands to reach shoppers via digital shopper advertising on large retail eCommerce websites. Greg has worked with many of the world’s largest retailers on how to become effective web publishers, adding a significant incremental advertising revenue stream to complement their already large eCommerce businesses. Triad was recently named one of INC Magazine’s fastest growing U.S. companies… Read More

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H.I.G. Growth Partners Announces Significant Investment in Triad Digital Media

H.I.G. Ventures, LLC today announced that one of its affiliates has completed a significant growth capital investment in Triad Digital Media, LLC, a Tampa, FL- based online advertising services company.

Founded in 2004, Triad Digital Media is the market leader in creating, managing and operating online media programs for leading retailer and e-commerce websites. Triad partners with large e-commerce websites such as Walmart.com, CVS.com, Dell.com and SamsClub.com and others to help them monetize their online traffic via targeted advertising placements and content. Triad creates, hosts and manages focused sections of each partner’s websites and uses contextual and behavioral targeting to bring a highly relevant demographic to advertisers. Triad’s approach, which in addition to custom content includes banner ads and sponsorship programs, reaches customers who are in a highly sought after ‘shopping’ mindset. This offering provides great value to advertisers and is unique in the digital media advertising market today… Read More

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H.I.G. Growth Partners Completes Exit of Triad Retail Media

H.I.G. Growth Partners (“H.I.G.”), the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm, announces the sale of its affiliate’s investment in Triad Retail Media (“Triad” or the “Company”) to Rockbridge Growth Equity and Falcon Investment Advisors.

Founded in 2004, Triad Retail Media (www.triadretail.com) is the market leader in creating, managing and operating digital retail media programs for highly-trafficked retail websites. Triad’s retail partners include Walmart, Sam’s Club, eBay, Toys “R” Us, CVS and many others.  H.I.G. partnered with Triad’s management team as part of its investment in 2009… Read More

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MEDIA MAVENS: GREG MURTAGH, TRIAD RETAIL MEDIA

Greg Murtagh’s experience with packaged goods and digital marketing goes back to the interactive Dark Ages. The former sales rep for Richardson Vicks and American Cyanamid (Old Spice et al.) and brand manager for Dial Corp. moved on to promotion consultancy Reach Marketing in the mid 1990s, first encouraging his CPG clients to put their sales materials online in the age of the 1400-baud modem and Prodigy… Read More

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Greg Murtagh promotes innovation at Triad Retail Media

An employee at Triad Retail Media had an idea about a new social networking tool for the company to consider. He didn’t need to fight through five layers of management to get the attention of CEO Greg Murtagh. He just e-mailed Murtagh directly. Before the end of that day, Murtagh had already read the proposal, researched the new tool online, agreed that it was a good idea and assigned someone to begin work on the project…. Read More