Attention To Detail Wins Customers

Personal Case Study: Why Target Is Always on Target

I stopped in at Target the other day to pick up a couple small things, so I didn't bother to grab a shopping basket on my way in. But suddenly I found myself caught between two of my favorite aisles — cleaning supplies and wine — and decided I needed a few more things. Lo and behold, I looked down and there sat a pile of baskets, so I didn't have to go back to the entrance to get one. Smart spot to locate them, too, in an area with lots of heavy, bulky, and in some cases breakable, items.

Being a marketer, I marveled at the genius of this little detail of placing baskets deep in the interior of the store. This didn't happen by accident. Somebody at Target figured it out. Somebody at Target was thinking about how customers behave and how to make their in-store experiences more convenient.

Reflecting further, it occurred to me how often I'd left other stores without making a purchase simply because I didn't have a basket and didn't want to waste time walking back to the entrance. As a matter of fact, a couple of Target's biggest competitors in my area not only force you to do just that, but the baskets themselves are sometimes harder to find than one of my tee shots on a heavily wooded golf course.

The point is, attention to detail wins customers. In this case, this one, simple thing is a big enough deal for me that I will choose Target over its competitors — and while I'm shopping, I'll be likely to buy more than I thought I would, which is exactly what Target wants and exactly why it sprinkles its nice red baskets all over the place.

Attention to Detail in Online Marketing

In marketing, it's easy for companies to get caught up in theories, technologies and trends. What's harder is to go deep into the trenches and figure out what customers are actually doing, and what they want from you and your competitors. This is why so much of Internet marketing misses the mark. A message, an offer, a selling point, a value proposition — a lot of things may sound good in theory but miss the mark completely where it counts, with the customer.

To really market effectively, a company needs to spend time talking to customers, observing customers, quizzing customers about why they became customers or why they stopped being customers. It's equally imperative to study your website data, to gain insight on how customers interact with the content, which content they like, which content they dislike, and which content leads to action.

Then and only then can you develop practical ideas for enhancing the customer experience, conducting productive campaign testing and methodically improving your online marketing results.

Our experience at Straight North is much like my recent experience at Target. So many times we find we are able to dramatically improve a client campaign by changing a few small details rather than through grand strategic shifts.

Even though companies are impressed by mesmerizing strategic pitches, you'd be well advised to dig a little deeper when vetting agencies. Does the agency have a documented process for managing campaigns? Does it have a systematic process for campaign testing? Is campaign data used in testing connected to customer behavior? Delving into these areas will help you distinguish between an agency that's all talk and no action, and one that produces results.

Want to discuss a thorny detail about your online marketing efforts? Please contact us — we'd welcome an opportunity to help.

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