Revenge Spending

In 2021 consumers are ready to take revenge on the pandemic and spend pent up savings.

Vaccines and stimulus checks have people thinking of moving toward what we used to think of as normal. Vaccinated seniors are setting the trend to get even with the pandemic by spending money and getting out. They call it revenge spending.

Attending events, going shopping, and travel are rising to the top of consciousness.  People want liberation. 

Revenge spending will typify 2021

Last week an article came across my desk about “revenge shopping” as a rebound from the pandemic. At first, I laughed, then realized I had participated.

It turns out that in China, one of the first places to reopen their malls, sales spiked through the roof. Not only were they buying basics, but they also went for luxury items like Louis Vuitton bags.

After the January stimulus checks started going out, department store sales increased 21% in the US. 

Tired of wearing sweatpants, chasing kids, and working from home, women want to go out. They want to dress up and wear something new.  Even the trip into a store is starting to sound exciting.  

Depending on location, online shopping is still the norm. I ordered something last week and actually went into the store to pick the item up and try it on.  It was just the sales staff and me, which felt a little odd. Changing room signs proclaimed: Freshly Sanitized. It felt so decadent and liberating even with social distancing and wearing masks.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Bloomberg reports that during 2020 many people saved money. No trips, events, or outings. Lots less discretionary purchases. They estimate there is $1.7 trillion waiting to be spent.  

It’s time for businesses to get on board in the right ways for the coming surge.

Consumers are ready for revenge.

I dove through every report I could find on this topic, and there are many reports and articles out there.  It won’t happen all at once, and the timing will be different based on location. But based on conversations with clients, colleagues, and friends, people are ready for change. 

Businesses in the hardest-hit sectors, like restaurants, hospitality, and apparel, are ready too. It was a very long, tough 2020.  

I also researched how our buying patterns have changed and what we expect from businesses moving forward.  There are some shifts that effective marketers are already implementing, and it can help your business too. 

One thing to keep in mind

Consumers are tired of the sea of useless information. Regardless of where your content is, it must have value if you want to keep their attention.  Value equals helpful information.  

I replied to an email a company sent me complimenting them on its content.  It provided useful information on an alternative way to deal with seasonal allergies. Something they don’t even sell!   Unheard of— but very refreshing.

Today’s buyer is looking for authenticity and value.  We also are craving connection. For most of us, it’s been too long since we’ve visited with family and friends.  Without social media and virtual visiting, the year would have been much worse.  

Ramp up sales with these three techniques

To maximize sales, we need to engage and connect with customers where they are looking for information. That means now, and we need to make sure and have the right presence the right way on social media.  

We need to have conversations with prospects. We need to respect what they are looking for, including the increased focus on social consciousness.

Social media

Dependence on social media grew in 2020, and we started using it in new ways. Pre-pandemic social focused on status updates—things like sharing selfies, where we’d been, and what we’d done. 

Today that’s shifted to social being a key place to find solutions. Have a question? Someone has an answer, just post it. Need a solution? Social is where we go.

We want those solutions to reflect our increased need and desire for value and wellbeing. Users need simple ways to cope and manage stress, working from home, parenting issues, or managing a flex work schedule.  They want to know how to take a vacation in the COVID environment.

If you or your product is a solution, you need to be on social media and help them find you. That means more than having a Facebook business page with periodic product posts. It means having conversations.  It even has a new title…

Conversational Commerce

When we were forced to shift to online buying, we lost something. We lost connection with people, and we lost the ability to ask questions or get advice.  When you go into a store, there is usually someone you can ask.  Online? Not so much. 

Conversation Commerce, also called C-Commerce, (CC), is working to fill that need.  It’s considered any way you connect with your buyers using conversation.  

Your CC could be an AI-driven chatbot, a person you can chat with online or via phone, or another messaging program like WhatsApp. Even Alexa is included because of the way you use words to tell her what to do.

The process puts the customer in control. They reach out and initiate the conversation. They hope you will guide them to the right purchase. If no one is there or doesn’t respond promptly to messages, they’ll look elsewhere.

As the quality of these interfaces increase, the process will become even more valuable.  If you’re stuck with a poor-quality chatbot, replace it or go back to a person.  

IT Cosmetics uses live chat. Their phone lines and chat lines are open 9-5 Eastern, six days a week.  If you’re on the opposite side of the country, it’s not a perfect answer, but it’s better than a chatbot that has limited capabilities. 

If your chatbot can only respond to specifically limited choices, the shopper is left stuck and frustrated. It feels like going into a department store with no salespeople. If you can’t get the help you need, you leave with a negative feeling.

Globally, 84% of people surveyed said customer support is equally essential to what is sold. That makes it critical to get conversations going and help your shoppers.  

Revenge shopping will embrace social consciousness

2020 brought lots of changes, including the trend for social consciousness. From mental health to equality, social justice, caring for the planet, and inclusivity, it’s all part of the package. Awareness is accelerating even more in 2021.

Social consciousness isn’t something a business can afford to ignore. It’s not going to go away, and it’s part of the new normal. Hiding your values isn’t a path to success.

Sharing your position is also a way to connect more emotionally with buyers. When you develop and share a mission-driven campaign to help people or the planet, you build connections. They become your avid fan because your message resonates with them.   

Getting prepared with social media, enhancing conversational commerce, and embracing social consciousness will position you to tap into the coming spend.


Looking to increase lifetime buyer value, build sales, and more engagement? Let’s have a quick chat. You can message me: Judith@jculpcreativecopy.com

Entourage Effect for 2021

Entourage effect when all components work together and exceed the parts individually

The entourage effect impacts many aspects of our lives. The CBD niche has highjacked the term to mean how the different plant parts work together.  However, the word entourage is not new. It actually traces back to a French term dating from 1832 meaning surroundings or environment. 

The French were referring to a group of people, but it is equally applicable to many things in life and business. Everything from formulations, to health and marketing.The power of the components of the entourage greater than the individual parts.

Entourage effect for health

Like many people, I managed to pick up a few COVID pounds and wasn’t happy about it. So I started trying different techniques to get rid of the sneaky ten.

Research showed you need three factors to maximize health—adequate sleep, exercise, and the right food choices.  An entourage effect. All your surroundings/environment working together to maximize the result.

I found daily walks made me stronger and I lengthened them to two-three miles daily. I could see changes in the mirror, but there’s a problem. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as fat, it just takes up less room.  While I was looking better, my weight didn’t change.

An evening routine to reduce exposure to blue light, (think electronics) and adding a melatonin supplement, improved sleep.

A fitness tracker where I could track food choices was the third factor.  I didn’t focus on “dieting.” Instead, following healthy nutrition choices for my body type. 

That made the difference. An entourage effect is necessary for success.    

Entourage also works for business marketing

In my 25+ years of work in the skincare industry, I earned that formulations are the key to a successful product.  Each botanical enhances the others for an entourage effect. You have to get the right ingredients in the right formula to have the desired outcome.  Then you have to recommend the right product for the right client.

In marketing, I’ve seen the exact same thing. Your marketing messages and strategy either work together as an entourage, or they don’t.  When you have mixed messages, you have confused prospects.  Confusion is the biggest obstacle to a sale. 

One thing to keep in mind

Whether you’re creating a product or designing a marketing campaign, you need to know who it is being designed for.  The right product, for the right buyer.  

As a woman, I learned long ago, one-size never fits all. It’s a myth. You need the right product, the right message, the right “fit” for success and repeat buyers.

Three techniques for the perfect entourage

To maximize an entourage effect in your marketing you have to be customer-focused. You build from the customer out.  What are their needs and concerns?  If you try to start with a product and try to figure out the customer after, you’re likely going to fall short.  

Start with your customer

Consider their demographics, psychographics and create a clear avatar for them. Who do you know like them? Spend time with potential customers. Learn not only about what they need, but how they find it and decide to buy.  

Buying habits will tell you the best places to reach them.  Their needs, fears, and concerns  provide the RAS triggers to use in crafting your messages. 

If you’ve created a new product, get it in the hands of those who need it. Get some real-life feedback—positive or negative.  Run with the positive. Learn and adjust for the negative.

Their buying journey

It’s helpful to create roadmaps of your customer’s possible buying paths. Follow each one from where/how they connect with you through the predictable steps to the purchase.  

I like to use a technique called the WOOP method. It’s great for planning.  W stands for what do they want or need. O is for the beneficial outcome they will get from getting that need met.  The second O is for obstacles.  What might interrupt their buying journey? And the P stands for plan. 

Using your buying journey messages, include resolutions for every potential obstacle. 

Did they get distracted? How can you bring them back again?

Look for issues like confusion, mixed messages, lack of proof including social proof. Validate pricing. Keep the pathway easy to follow. Eliminate any bumps in the road.

Craft seamless messages

Make sure every message supports the journey and connects the dots.  They should each support the previous one.  

Whether they encounter you on your website, social media, emails, or video—keep the messages clear and uniform.

Once created, look at all messages from the 10,000-foot view. Check to see they all flow and share the same tone, the same message. 


Judith Culp Pearson is a digital relationship builder and a problem solver. She uses those skills to help clients— improve their marketing messages, better engage their clients, keep clients loyal, and grow their business.

www.jculpcreativecopy.com

Differences in B2B and B2C Segmentation

Wholesale B2B and retail B2C buyers need different types of segmentation to effectively market to them.

I recently read an article by Leadspace. It discussed the differences between B2B and B2C buyers. At the core is the information needed to market to them. Here are the high points—

B2C marketing focuses on four data types.  

  • Behavioral – how they engage and shop.
  • Geographical –  allows location-sensitive messages. Think swimsuits. Florida is a better place to target in the winter than Maine.
  • Psychographic data – considers lifestyle, social status, values, interests.
  • Demographic data targets buyers based on age, occupation, sex, philosophy, education, or income.

By contrast, B2B focuses on different areas.

  • Profile data is similar to demographic. It focuses on data about the company.
  • Intent data allows sellers to focus on companies searching. They hone in on those looking. Specifically looking for their type of product or service. It’s based on activity. Data on what they read, search engines used, and reviews.
  • Engagement data parallels behavioral. It includes B2B specific behaviors. Things like: lead forms, trade shows, sales meetings, and email responses.

It’s common for both groups to use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. B2Cs often add a Customer Data Platform (CDP). This allows them to maximize marketing ROI. Using a CDP is an opportunity many B2Bs are overlooking.

You can find the full article HERE.

Conversational Commerce

Ogilvy’s Social.Lab recently published a report on “conversational commerce”. In 2020 more people than ever are choosing online. They buy groceries, shop, and connect with friends.

It uses chatbots or humans. It also uses language interfaces like Whatsapp and like Alexa to communicate with customers. Businesses are using it to set themselves apart from their competitors and enhance customer service.

The key takeaway? Be useful, be relevant, be trustworthy in every customer interaction.

Ogilvy’s Social.Lab recently published a report on “conversational commerce”. In 2020 more people than ever are choosing online. They buy groceries, shop, and connect with friends.

It uses chatbots or humans. It also uses interfaces like Whatsapp and like Alexa to communicate with customers. Businesses use it to set themselves apart from their competitors. And to enhance customer service.

The key takeaway? Be useful, be relevant, be trustworthy in every customer interaction.

You can request the full report from Ogilvy Ideas

Empathy Marketing – 3 Steps to Engage

We need the buyer’s “why”

In today’s world, it is important for your brand’s success to engage customers with empathy marketing. You need to employ empathy and communicate your understanding and caring about your customers, your staff, and your planet.  

It’s what today’s buyers want and are increasingly coming to expect from those they do business with. Yes, back to the pillars of wellness – personal, social, and global. 

Initially driven by millennials, it’s being embraced cross-generational.  Less transactional, more emotional connections. It puts what the customer values over business sales.  

Route.com said it well… “What empathetic marketing should always boil down to is that tried-and-true Golden Rule. Treat others how you want to be treated.” 

Business Empathy in 2020

I’ve seen some great examples of this in action this year from a broad range of businesses.  

Major companies

In May, Twitter announced all employees would be allowed to work at home permanently if that was their preference.  

They had been moving toward more remote work for some time and testing it.  Now, if staff need or want to go in, they can… pandemic restrictions allowing.  If they prefer to work remotely, there is no discrimination, no pay cuts, no commute.

The benefits? Staff morale boosted, and equal or better productivity.  A demonstration of taking care of people.

Verizon and Fios gave customers free data so they could stay in touch with those they couldn’t physically connect with. They also provided 60 days of free resources to help parents and students with at-home learning. Demonstrating customers and staff before sales.

Statewide businesses jumped in

In Oregon, there are hundreds of boutique businesses in the hemp, beer, and distillation niches. They diverted resources to make hand-sanitizers. It kept staff working, even if the products were donated to those who needed them the most.

Larger companies, like Intel, provided medical workers with PPE and joined with others to accelerate research for treatment and cures.

Then on top of the coronavirus, Oregon was hit with the worst wildfires in the state history. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes. Some rural cities were totally wiped out. It will take years to deal with the aftermath.

Even small businesses stepped up to help out.

One very small mom and pop Chinese restaurant here in Eugene put a post on Facebook on September 10th. 

“Donating food to fire relief camps for the rest of the week. We will be closed. Thanks for your patience. 🙏🏽🙏🏽

“Thanks for your support,

“Twin Dragon”

They denied themselves income to give their resources to others. Other restaurants and caterers joined them to make sure the firefighters and relief camps had food and water.  

Local people raided their personal stores of food, clothing, pet needs, and every other medical and household item you can imagine to donate them to relief centers. 

It’s been a year of helping others as I’ve never seen before.

As a customer and marketer…I know it’s about the buyer’s problems

While everything has shifted online, not all businesses have adapted.  I’ve seen businesses struggle because they weren’t mentally or technologically prepared.  As a marketer, the solutions are clear. To thrive, businesses need a digital presence. They also need empathy marketing.  

The changes we have experienced aren’t going to go away anytime soon. People aren’t going to give up the convenience of online shopping. However, they also want more.

You need more than demographics, you need psychographics. I find they help me dig deeper and find the aspects of emotions and empathy best suited to prospects.

Brands need to embrace empathy marketing 

It’s not enough to have an e-commerce site. With all the shysters and scammers out there, buyers are becoming more discriminating.  

They are looking for things to improve their life. They want transparency to know your brand can be trusted. And they want to know how you are helping other people and the planet.  

Embrace all techniques of empathy for engaged and loyal customers.

Three steps for empathy marketing

There are three key techniques you can use for empathy marketing.  Start by “walking in their shoes.”  Discover their emotions: problems, pains, views, beliefs, values.  Then craft your communications with transparency and openness.

Be Them

It’s critical to do more than try to think like your target customer. You need to be them, assume their perspective without judgment.  Understand their emotions and motivations.  What makes them buy? Also, discover the things that make them resist.  

How are they feeling now and how do they want to feel? What do they want to be different and how can you make their life better?  Do they recognize their problem or that a solution exists? 

These things together will guide you in where you need to start their journey and the steps you need to include.

By knowing their views and beliefs you can smooth out your buying pathway so they don’t get derailed.

You want to connect with them on shared social and planet-friendly values.

Take salsa. There are lots of choices out there and we all have taste preferences.  My go-to brand donates all the profits to charities. That made my buying decision easy.

Emotions

This where we need psychographics. We also have to recognize how men and women buy differently. Men are more transactional by nature. Women are more emotion-driven in their buying decisions.

Women influence 85% of all consumer buying decisions. That makes them an obvious choice to nurture. It’s important to value them and tap into the emotions – and empathy that will make them loyal customers.  

Deadlines like a limited time offer can trigger a buy. Grocery stores use this all the time with their in-store announcement of a special price for the next 10 minutes. Limited quantities are equally powerful.  We don’t want to miss out and we love to feel we got bonus value.

Benevolence or altruism are also female buying stimuli. They may feel they are better off and want to help others. Or it may be part of their social values. Humanity and giving back.

Belonging is important to both men and women. We like being part of something, a tribe, a team of like-minded people. 

There is also “empathy-response.”  When people get positive feedback from giving or doing something it creates an empathy response. 

In buying the perfect gift, women share the recipient’s joy emotionally. When her daughter squeals for joy over her birthday gift, she gets a surge of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. She gets the same feel-good hormone for problem-solving.

Men get the empathy response when they do something successfully, or the female in his life is pleased with him, or when their team quarterback scores a touchdown.

Communications

Once you have this information you can use it to craft your messages with transparency and openness to build trust in your relationship and brand.  You want to make them feel heard and acknowledged.

Once women make the emotional decision, they need you to provide logical information to back it up. This validates their decision. Science, facts, and social proof. Sharing other’s success stories from problem to solution and how they have improved their life is powerful.  

Use caution with success stories so they don’t come across in a pushy or sales-focused way. They need to stand on their own merits as validation of problem and solution.  What their life was like before and what it is now. Share what they had tried that didn’t work, their failures. How they found your solution and their experiences on the journey to a better quality of life. 

When I work with clients…

I start by learning what they are currently doing and what isn’t working. Then, taking another look at their target, I dive deeper to find a different way to connect and engage with emotions and empathy marketing.  Need help? Reach out to me. judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

How to Quickly Increase Sales by Engaging Women Buyers

Women buyers are magic to drive sales. Nearly 75% identify themselves as the primary buyer in their household. They hold the purse-strings to between 5 and 15 Trillion dollars in spending every year…and that’s just in the US. 

And yet, 91% of them feel marketers and companies, don’t understand their needs. That’s a big gap.

Women are more than female buyers

We, women, are nurturers, caregivers, and influencers. 

We’re the steering wheel of our families as we navigate life. We’ve been raised to multi-task and think we have to be “Wonder Woman,” excelling at all things.

It’s tough.

However, it’s also rewarding. We thrive on those feel-good hormones that we get when we make someone happy.  

Take Christmas or your favorite gift-giving time.  

We don’t want to just give a gift. We want it to be the perfect gift. Something that will make the recipient give us a radiant smile of joy.  

Women buyers are not so different from marketers. 

We have to really know the recipient. Their likes, tastes, beliefs, hobbies, hopes, and dreams.

Some people, like my elderly Mom, are easy.  She always tells me if there is something she needs. She doesn’t shop online much and of course this year she hasn’t been anywhere except to doctor appointments.

My grown son and his wife are another matter. Generally, if they want something… they just buy it.  

So like any good marketer, we have to do detective work. Things like interviewing people and watching social media.  

In the case of my kids, I use a more direct approach.  I use messenger and reach out to their spouse.  

Sometimes they have to think about it.  Take the message I got back from my son…

“I thought of something. She’s been after me for a couple of years to get her some good kitchen tools. You know, those skinny scraper things that take the heat and you can use in cooking.

“Oh, and she’d like a good pair of tweezers.”

Nothing fancy, but I knew I’d do a “better” job at locating what would be perfect for her.

Working with women has been my career

In the spa/beauty/wellness niche, I’ve spent over 25 years working with and marketing to women.  I knew if there was something her husband or one of the kids needed that we offered, she would be the one to bring them in.

Services, marketing, teaching, writing, coaching and mentoring. I still coach and mentor them in business.

Studying the different female buying personalities and psychographics helped me hone in to help them better.

One secret a marketer often misses… 

Women tend to buy differently than men do.  Most men don’t enjoy the shopping process. They need something and will often take the first acceptable item just to get it done.

For most women, that isn’t enough.  As I shared above, they want the ideal gift.  They are the same way with personal products, services, or results. 

They are willing to take the time and dig to find it…shop.

3-techniques to enhance results

Women are super-stressed multitaskers. Every step of the way we need to keep it easy.

We need to address buying pain-points.  Things that stop the sale.  

Then we need to use psychographics and segment marketing by need or concern.  And we need to nurture, before, during, and after the sale.

Pain-points for women buyers

Start with where and how they find you. Look for ways to smooth out their buying journey. Busy and distracted, we need all the TLC we can get.

  • Does social media identify concerns? Hint at solutions? Or pitch products?
  • How do they take the next step?  
  • Is there a way to reach you quickly to get a question answered?  
  • How easy Is your website to navigate?
  • Is it easy to skim-read?
  • Does it answer questions she hasn’t thought of yet?  
  • Is there plenty of social proof and the logic to support it?
  • Is it friendly on a phone, tablet, and computer?
  • Do you use cookies to stay in front of them even if they leave the site?

Psychographics guide segmenting

Focus on her needs, concerns interests, and passions. 

Women respond to email marketing at a higher rate than men do.  The numbers are highest when they are segmented so she gets relevant information. 

Make sure she knows this in the subject line to get her to open the email.  

Due to the pandemic and businesses focused online, it’s easy to get an extra 50-100 emails a day. Getting rid of non-relevant emails becomes a priority. Delete is my favorite key 🙂

Try a psychographic approach to social media.  Try less sales pitch, more emotion-driven problem-solving. 

Amazon and others have gotten very effective of the “if you like this, then you might like this” approach. It works well because it is targeted and it expands the shopper’s options that they haven’t considered.  

Women like targeted offers and related choices. 

While we like a good sale, what we are really looking for is the ideal item at a great value. 

We also love bonuses and rewards.

Nurture

The nature of nurturing adds value to your brand. 

Focus on psychographic interests that give more information or related information.  I’ve seen multiple companies in alternative health from supplements to CBD doing this.  

One of the popular nurtures is to share recipes that support or incorporate a product offered.  Simple things that answer how to use a product, offer better wellness or add nutrition for picky eaters.

With all their stress, women are looking to improve their quality of life.  Your solutions and nurturing can offer that. It also bonds them to your brand. Invite them to be part of your tribe and support them in their journey.

When I work with clients I look for ways to enhance their engagement with women. Powerhouse buyers with a broad network of influence. Message me judith@jculpcreativecopy.com.

For more on psychographics you might enjoy this read.