ToolBox: Tips on Multichannel Retail, B-to-B and Web 2.0

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MULTICHANNEL RETAIL

How can online printable coupons drive retail CPG unit sales?
“Coupon network reach is growing fast — 24% in 18 months,” answers Jeff Weitzman, CMO of Coupons Inc. “The number of people who use In­ternet coupons and don't get coupons from the news­paper is growing as well — not surprising, considering Sunday newspaper circulation has dropped. Most of the newspapers that carry coupons on Sundays also have coupons on their Web sites now.”

With online coupons, he says, a marketer can reach the appropriate volume for trial, repeat, trade-up and frequency of purchase. “With redemption rates averag­ing 10%-20%, placement on coupon networks can now provide 10% or more of a coupon campaign's in-store redemption volume,” he says. “More importantly, that volume is incremental to the newspaper FSI, and reaches a more desirable consumer demographic.”

Consumer surveys show that Internet coupon users are often younger, have a higher income, and have larger households than newspaper FSI users.

B-TO-B

Are webcasts a wise use of marketing dollars?
“Webcasts can be a valuable addition to your current marketing strategy, especially in helping to recruit new customers,” says ITtoolbox president and co-founder George Krautzel. “There is an inherent value in having someone from your company speak directly to a prospect.”

Krautzel recommends following these guidelines: “Keep a steady dialogue with webcast attendees before and after the event. Remember, webcasts should be concise. Cover a few topics only and limit your time to 30 minutes.

“Be topical,” he adds. “How does your product or service relate to current trends or the specific needs of your audience?” Krautzel advises budding webcasters to go beyond a product pitch and offer value to view­ers, which will build trust and increase conversions.

DIGITAL

How can I harness the power of Web 2.0?
Jeanne Hurlbert, PhD, owner of optinetresources.com, replies, “As Web 2.0 transforms the Internet, opportunities to market your business increase exponentially. To make the most of them, don't make the mistake of viewing online social net­working as a form of hit-and-run marketing.”

She says to remember that social networking, whether online or offline, is about building relation­ships. “Look for common ground — similar hobbies or interests, common geographic origin, related occupa­tions — with other individuals in forums and online social networks,” she says.

Hurlbert concludes, “Take advantage of opportuni­ties to share your knowledge through online articles and wikis. And above all, look for opportunities to offer your knowledge and expertise to others. Once you begin building relationships in this way, your promi­nence in online networks — and business — will grow.”

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