Martin Newman is founder and chairman of Practicology, and is one of the worlds foremost authorities on customer experience.
He’s recently distilled his wealth of knowledge into the book “100 Practical Ways to Improve Customer Experience: Achieve end-to-end customer engagement in a multichannel world”.
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From Digital Zero to eCommerce Hero
Martin was a Marketing Director for a sports retailer called Sports Connection in 1997, when he had pretty much never used a computer and asked to be taught how to use the very basics. Though he was no expert, he knew that he needed to be because his gut told him that the internet age was fast approaching. A few months later, he launched his own site in the sports trade. Not long after that, he had his first attempt at running a service-based business to help others move their businesses online. He got into hosting, web design, and digital marketing. Though he made some money at first, Martin’s first online business attempt failed. Since then, however, he has accumulated a massive wealth of knowledge and skill that has brought him great success.
Listen to be inspired by a man who transformed himself from rookie to master.
The Inspiration to Write
Unlike the rest of his family, Martin never went to University. This caused him to feel like he always had to prove himself academically, which to an extent served as a driver to publish his wealth of knowledge to the world. The primary inspiration behind writing it, however, was due to his concern regarding the future for multichannel businesses in all consumer sectors. The nature of business is drastically changing and developing with new technologies that allow for disruptions across the board. Martin sees these businesses miss out on opportunities to keep up with the wave of disruption through innovation. He hopes that his book is an antidote for businesses run by people who have not familiarized themselves with the digital nature of the world today.
The Six W’s
It’s a bit shocking that it took the world years of online business trial and error to realize that in order for any business to succeed, they must put the customer first and do everything they can to understand them and meet their needs. Without customers, there is no business. Marketing school teaches business owners that the ultimate marketing mix is built upon the four P’s, price, product, promotion, and placement. However, none of these categories address the most important component: the consumer. In his book, Martin introduces the six W’s, also referred to as The Customer Mix, which is a fresh marketing mix that actively involves consideration of the people who fund each and every business. Those categories ask business owners: Who their customers are, Why they want to buy from you, What they want to buy, When they want to buy, Where they want their order fulfilled, and What’s next (i.e. “If I buy from you, what’s in it for me? What’s next?”).
Listen to learn the importance of customer retention vs. solely customer acquisition.
The Role of Social Media
Many businesses look at social media in terms of promotional opportunity. Martin suggests, however, that it can more effectively be used for customer service. People tend to check social media for reviews and to try and get their questions answered about various products by checking to see what other people have asked. Having a strong social media presence allows customer engagement to be increased, and the more people you have talking on a page about what you’ve got to offer, the more people you are going to drive to where you want them to buy. Social media channels are often the first touchpoint between a business and a customer. They also offer an ideal platform to get feedback that will help you to improve your business.
eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley.
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Proximity Marketing should be given more attention to target more customers within the vicinity of your business.
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
Tool Top Tip
- Live Chat helps increase customer engagement, which has an incredibly positive impact on customer retention.
Growth Top Tip
- Focus on customer retention. It’s not always about building up a massive product list or reaching a huge audience. Build up the audience that you already have.
- Get the book 100 Practical Ways to Improve Customer Experience: Achieve end-to-end customer engagement in a multichannel world