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 “buying 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.
Melvin’s Neighborhood 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 Front Porch (Merchant), the customer and the community. It is Melvin’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 sixteen 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 and customization. With our assistance you can market whatever campaign you can think of – including co-op experiences with other small businesses.
The data acquisition vehicle fueling the bleedingEDGE Experience Platform is Gems, Melvin’s loyalty system. Rather than like inflexible over-arching systems, the bleedingEdge system runs independently for each member Merchant – fully able to be customized (i.e point conversion). Gems (points) earned are automatically redeemed for each patron during a purchase, making the Resident experience completely effortless.
Each campaign is encouraged to have a larger purpose than just be used as a marketing vehicle – say to nudge a Resident to walk more; or get out and meet new people. Your business creates “experience campaigns” that can be triggered by any one of the programs described below. What you choose to offer is triggered by whatever event or activity you set up ahead of time. Every morning each Resident will receive an email synopsis of six engagement nudges that are most relevant to them. These emails are the conduit to activities in the community, as well as personal tasks that can be undertaken that will directly help them elevate their personal well-being. These messages could be advice from a doctor, special deals from a neighborhood small businesses or even alerts of volunteer opportunities sponsored by a community non-profit.
- 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
Engagement nudge triggers
“You all come back now”
Generic follow-up: 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”
Holiday offer: 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”
Customer re-activation: 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.
“Don’t be a Grinch”
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.
Birthday program: 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.
“We got a great deal”
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”
Referral program: 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.
“We just got this in”
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.
“Join our Team”
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.
“For your Information”
Micro-newsletter: 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.
If you wish to be a technical collaborator with Melvin’s Neighborhood; please let us know. We have created an algorithm guide embedded in the site to give you an idea what’s behind the curtain in bleedingEDGE platform. At that time we’ll give you a link to access it.