About ten years ago I took a road trip from Los Angeles to visit my parents in Montana. After a couple of weeks, I drove back via my sister’s place in Nebraska. When leaving Christy’s place, I thought I’d try something. What if I made it all the way home to Southern California without touching an interstate highway or spending a cent at a national chain company. It’s too easy to default to the same … get on the highway, get off and eat McDonalds – and get back on the highway, and on and on. But isn’t there more?
My first stop was in Oklahoma. It was noon … lunch time, on two lane State Road 14. Out of nowhere was a little grocery store … and next to it was this huge black gentleman laboring over a barbecue barrel. This was lunch! After three dollars, great conversation – and the best pulled pork barbecue sandwich I have ever had, I drove on.
Now I could go on about the next two days. I could talk about Pie Town (the pumpkin pie is to die for!) … but I think you know how it’ll turn out. Every stop was memorable.
Little I did know, that trip home from Nebraska would be the genesis of a life purpose you’re reading about right now. We too often think that experiences are separate from when we “buy stuff.” After all, it’s hard seeing a trip to WalMart or MacDonald’s having memory value. Those are purely sustenance. But a trip to the local bookstore, or coffee shop where they write the specials on a blackboard – that’s an experience. That’s a memory, like the barbecue in Oklahoma or the cafe at Pie Town.
Finding these places that create memories is becoming harder though. Homogenized retail conglomerates are making it difficult for the “small guy” to survive. Too often, it’s so tiring you just go through the motions rather than running a business that creates memories for your customers.
Community 3.0 was created to help the small business owner create these experiences so they can compete against the Goliaths. We’re all Davids – but it’s just that we don’t have the stones, the ammunition. But when you turn your business into a Front Porch that serves up memory making experiences along with community building volunteer projects … your imagination is the only thing holding you back. … and a place big enough to store all your ammunition.
The bleedingEDGE Experience Platform is the conduit connecting the Merchant or Front Porch, the customer and the community. It is Community 3.0’s vehicle to help you create the customer experiences and memories that will give you the advantage over any of your competition no matter they are.
The platform features an automated array of twenty templated 1 to 1 communication and loyalty programs designed to raise the experience of patronizing your business beyond that of “buying stuff.” The technical backbone behind the platform allows complete flexibility. With our assistance you can market whatever campaign you can think of – including co-op experiences with other small businesses.
Each campaign is also flagged according to whether it’s strictly marketing related, or it has a larger purpose – say to nudge a Member to walk more; or get out and meet new people. This “well-being purpose” will be then be aligned will what areas of improvement each individual Member has determined most important during their Well-being Assessment (see Engagement for a Purpose).
Your business creates “experience campaigns” that can be triggered by any one or number of the sixteen programs described below. What you choose to offer is triggered by whatever event or activity you program ahead of time. Every morning and every evening, each Member will receive an email synopsis of six engagement nudges that are most relevant to them. These emails are your conduit to activities in the community, as well as personal tasks you can undertake, that will directly will help you elevate your person human condition and well-being. These messages could be advice from your doctor, special deals from your neighborhood small businesses or even alerts of volunteer opportunities sponsored by a community non-profit. The nudges each Member received are limited so not to over-saturate inboxes. The more positive a Member’s experience is with the Community 3.0 network on the whole, the more they’re likely to participate with individual Merchants.
- 16 templated 1 to 1 loyalty marketing programs
- already set up and pre-programmed
- customized to your business
- personalized to each current customer and sent via email or text
- timed to maximize response and effectiveness
- once set up … automatically works on its own
“Exhibit on steroids”
Trade show follow-up
The biggest hindrance to trade show success is not booth design or even the show itself. It’s the lack follow-up after the show. Your “Exhibit on steroids” gives you an immediate automated follow-up program featuring the product or service your prospect was interested in.
The biggest challenge in retail is combating the “walk-away problem.” Once they leave without buying they seldom return. “You all come back now” provides an immediate automated solution featuring the product or service they showed interest in. It’s ideal in the automotive industry but will work in any retail setting.
“WOW, you must have been hungry”
Follow-up after large purchase
Big spenders like to be loved. “WOW, you must have been hungry” does exactly that. Customers who spend over a certain amount of money in one sitting are sent out a thank you note with an offer to buy more.
“It’s that time of the year again”
Seasonal products and services need be marketed at the right time. A business can literally base its marketing around promotions such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Why not have a personalized automated program that does just that?
“Haven’t seen you in a while”
It’s hard enough to get a customer, so the last thing you want to do is let them fade away. With “We haven’t seen you in while,” you can automatically contact a customer who hasn’t patronized you lately (within a pre-determined time frame) with a re-activating “come back in” offer.
Gift certificate solicitation
Holidays are often the biggest business opportunities of the year. Take advantage of it by promoting YOUR business. “Don’t be a Grinch” enables you to offer gift certificates or cards or whatever else you wish – all automatically.
Everybody wants to be acknowledged on their birthday – whether they admit it or not. “Happy Birthday” gives you another opportunity to make an impression – whether it’s marketing or just appreciation.
Bulk buy pass along
The key to business success is finding good deals and turning them over quickly. Enable your company to jump on these deals by using “We got a great deal” to notify customers who can take advantage of your good fortune with “pass along” savings.
“We would like to meet your friends”
A company’s most valuable asset is their customers. Maximize your assets by getting them to work for you by referring their friends. “We would like to meet your friends” is an automated referral program allowing you to target who you want and when. And when a customers of yours hits a specified level of referrals, they’ll be rewarded with a special offer.
New product announcement
Preferred customers, or any customers, like to be kept abreast of new products and services. It makes them feel special. “We just got this in” lets them “keep up with the Jones’” with an announcement that only they know about.
“Join us on our VIP night”
VIP Club program
Imagine being VIP at your favorite watering hole. “Join us on our VIP night” lets you create exactly that for your customers. You can create a special VIP night or event exclusive only to your top patrons.
“You’re on the Threshold”
Point accumulation announcement
Anticipation of a reward can be more motivation than the reward itself. “Your on the Threshold” informs your customers when they are approaching a pre-defined loyalty point level. Closing in on a goal can provide that little extra incentive to bump up a customer’s patronization. And when a customer of yours hits that threshold, they’ll be rewarded with a special offer.
“We suggest you try our friends”
Neighboring business co-op offer
In this economy, your business can use any help it can get. And the help might just be a business down the block. A “We suggest you try our friends” solicitation can enable you to work out a synergistic cooperative arrangement with a friendly business.
Help wanted solicitation
What better source of future employees than from your best customers. They know what makes your business special. And through a “Join our Team” offering, you’ll get only candidates they would be proud to refer to you. Plus look at the goodwill you’ll create.
“We want your suggestion”
Virtual suggestion box
Being in the middle of the trees often prevents you from seeing the entire forest – a forest only your customers may be able to see. “We want your Suggestions” provides your business with an online virtual suggestion box for your customers. Making them feel part of your business – will only strengthen your bond.
Sometimes we all run across information that we just have to share with our friends and neighbors. Such can also be the case with you and your business. “For your Information” enables you spread information to all or any part of your clientele that you feel would better their lives.