Everybody Knows Your Name
August 23, 2011
I had a great mentor named Rocky Gray when I was a kid. He and his family owned a chain of hair salons in the little town I grew up in North Carolina called RocTab. His dad had named it after his two sons, Rocky and Tab.
It seemed that everyone in town would go there to get a haircut and I was no exception.
As you walked in the salon, Rocky or one of the stylists would always greet you with a smile and a friendly welcome by your name. They would ask about your family, a job, or whatever it was about you they knew to be important.
Once you were in the salon chair, Rocky would take the time to ask good questions about you and really listen to the answers, even turning off a blow dryer to be sure and hear a particular point.
He even filled the shop with interesting animals like a small bird named Sam who had this very attention-grabbing whistle, and even a tarantula who always generated a lot of conversation by the customers.
He knew I liked the bird and would always let me feed him during my visits to the shop.
Rocky and his family understood marketing in a local and personal way!
It paid off by not only allowing them to dominate the market for many years with four (four) salons spread across the small city of Burlington, NC, but it also allowed them to market their own hair products at a time in the ‘80s when no one did private-brand labels.
As I grew older and became close with the family, I asked Rocky’s dad, Mr. Gray, what he contributed the success to. His answer was simple: “You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you remember to focus on doing the right thing and treat people like people.”
I was reminded of this story after spending some time recently discussing how we approach database marketing. I believe we need a major overhaul here.
Many continue to hold up sticks with carrots to grab an e-mail address, a birthday and maybe a zip code. Even worse, others ask for a life history to maybe have a chance to get “concert information and special contests” first.
The focus is not on people at all, but simply a way to collect a lot of data.
The value is just not there any longer and worse, a recent study by Janrain and Blue Research found most (75%) of the over 650 respondents surveyed said they don’t like online registrations and, when presented with a registration request, may leave the site, go somewhere else, or not come back again. More than three-quarters of the respondents even said they are putting incomplete or incorrect information in online registration forms.
Allowing online consumers to conduct social sign-in (SSI) rather than create a new user account can produce higher levels of spending (for e-commerce sites) and customer satisifaction.
Some additional findings:
- 55% of consumers agree they are more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes them; 20% disagree.
- 48% of consumers agree they are more likely to buy at a site that automatically recognizes them; 25% disagree.
- 42% of consumers agree companies that offer SSI are more innovative, up-to-date and leave a positive impression compared to those that do not offer SSI, 22% disagree.
Social sign-in also gives you a very extensive amount of options in regards to demographic and qualitative data, so segmentation becomes a central part of the strategy organically and not through lame questionnaires.
There are several companies out there offering the service and here are a couple to check out.
It's a people-first focus and one like RocTab where you suddenly “know everyone’s name” and will be able to have a conversation about what’s really important to them.