photo credit: ParisSharing
V.I.P… “Very Important Person,” or for the purposes of this blog post, “Very Important Prospect.” Who doesn’t enjoy feeling wanted and appreciated? Particularly around the holidays, when mass marketing permeates consumers’ mailboxes, inboxes, and minds, crafty marketers understand that segmentation can mean the difference between a stellar campaign and a mediocre one. By isolating the prospects who exhibit the characteristics of current valued customers and demonstrating through your promotional giveaways campaign how badly you want their business, you stand a much greater chance of securing their loyalty.
As a cardholder at a popular national department store, I was invited, along with a guest, to attend a “Private Shopping Event” Sunday night. Personalized invitation in hand, I approached the door after regular business hours to take part in the exclusive activity.
Salespeople manned the door to check peoples’ names off the guest list, and a station was set up for guests to receive empty cosmetic jars for complimentary makeup samples and other promotional giveaways. From the moment I walked in the door, I felt like a true VIP. A fully stocked bar had been erected on one side of the store, and the champagne flowed until late into the night. Decadent sweets, like popsicles, cake pops, and candy, were available throughout the shop’s various departments. The kicker? For the entire duration of the event, shoppers received 10x the rewards points on our store credit cards! It took a great deal of restraint not to splurge on unnecessary holiday gifts for loved ones (and myself!), but as a marketer, I kept reminding myself of the objectives of the event- 1) for the store to make money, 2) to secure loyalty of existing customers, and 3) to encourage prospects to open their own credit cards with the store.
While most of the attendees walked away with arms full of shopping bags, I was content to take home my one small purchase, along with a handbag full of party favors and several store-branded bottles of water. The experience alone was enough to guarantee my loyalty to the store for a long time to come, and I learned a valuable lesson about the power of VIP treatment. I was certainly not the invitee who spent the most over the previous calendar year, but I have been a long-time customer and appreciate perks like exclusive events.
It may seem easier to identify top-tier clients based on historic buying patterns, but taking the extra time to study customers with the potential to become top-tier clients may be well worth the investment. Nurturing those relationships can lead to the creation of brand ambassadors who not only frequent your store themselves, but who sing your praises to their friends, family, and colleagues, in turn driving a continuous flow of prospects right to your doorstep.