Category Archives: Hospitality

“Big Data” Shifts Business Trends

The New Information Age

We are just beginning to wrap our heads around the vast amounts of information available to us in this new information age. With computer processor speed doubling every 18 months along with increasing storage capacity, we can afford the means to assess data in its entirety. This phenomena is known as “Big Data” which refers to our new found ability to crunch a vast quantity of information, analyze it instantly, and draw some astonishing conclusions.

Collecting information is just the beginning of creating the ability of artificial intelligence as we saw way back in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey
 

HAL 9000 (a computer) decides what’s best…………….

Gone Are The Days Of Traditional Statistical Analysis

In the old days, statisticians would have a hypothesis and test it with a random sample of a population. The greater the size sample of the population being measured, the more accuracy of the sample being a representation of the entire populace. This would reinforce the notion of “causality”, that being, we as humans have a yearning desire to try to understand the world around us. What causes things to happen? For example, say we have a theory that someone buys a home because they eat eggs in the morning.  As you can imagine, there’s a fair amount of people who get up in the morning, fix themselves some eggs for breakfast and go off into their day. And, of people who purchase homes, it can be said that there may be a high degree that they also had eggs for breakfast. Thus, eating eggs causes home sales? So, is it realistic to prove this preposterous hypothesis with a statistical analysis? However, if one was to gather a random sample of new homeowners, there would be proof that would suggest that egg consumption yields new home buying behavior. This type analysis is known as causality as opposed to correlation and takes the form of trying to understand a phenomena, coming up with a hypothesis, and proving it through statistic analysis.

Causality vs. Correlation Analysis

Statistical Analysis vs Causality

Some things are best left to try not to understand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within a correlation model of understanding, we are able to assess just pure raw data and observe correlations without trying to understand the cause of an event. What this enables businesses to do, is to view highly correlated events and capitalize from their relatedness. In other words, if a given situation yields outcomes with a high degree of correlation, then why bother trying to understand why?

In the book, Big Data – A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think the author explains how retailers are just beginning to understand their abilities to assess data for what its worth and understand the correlations of relationships. An illustration of this is how Walmart now sells Pop Tarts during times that precede a natural disaster. They observed that during times where people are preparing for hurricanes and/or a natural disaster, that not only did typical disaster items such as batteries, flash lights, and water sales spike but so did Pop Tarts sales. They then began to merchandise disaster related items and Pop Tarts in stores in order to make it easier for their customers to shop. Now who would have hypothesized that Pop Tarts would be a necessary item for preparing for a Tornado or Hurricane? In hind sight, it maybe easy to explain because of the product ease of use for their customers. However, if one removes the urge to try to understand what causes certain correlated events and just accepts the raw data and that these correlations exist, then a new era of marketing has begun using this strategy.

However, there are many ways to view the world, and one must be cautious as they develop ways to assess given circumstances of events. “Big Data” as some may have us to believe is not the cure all, but can be used in significant ways to observe the patterns of our society. This can be another great tool in ones tool box to be able to predict market trends, product sales, and any other activities if the right data is obtainable and accurate.(Read More – Big Data News Roundup: Correlation vs. Causation)

Start The Dialogue With Future Customers

Engaging At A Prospective Level – Creating Dialogue

Dialogue marketing is a term that has emerged in recent years to describe companies’ efforts to engage willing consumers in an ongoing dialogue to create lasting relationships. For example, based on data, marketers target groups of consumers who exhibit a propensity to buy and invite them to connect with the company in a variety of ways. The engagement process provides value to both the consumer and the company. Marketers use these opportunities as automated data collection points. The companies use the data to further customize their marketing messages and personalize the experience for their consumers and market segments. In exchange for sharing opinions, buying patterns, product preferences, etc., consumers receive perks such as discounts, tips, and free trials as well as appropriate and valuable messaging from the company.

History of Dialogue Marketing

Dialogue marketing can track its roots to permission marketing and relationship marketing, and is similar to engagement marketing and double-loop marketing. A direct reaction to traditional push marketing, the goal of dialogue marketing is to develop ongoing and long-lasting relationships with the right consumers.

Dialogue marketing is based on the premise that engaging consumers in relevant and personal conversations is more important than ever. As technology arms consumers with new ways to ignore messaging, disconnect from branding and disengage from the marketplace altogether; marketers believe that connecting on a personal level with consumers who do or will buy because the company resonates with them helps companies differentiate themselves and stand out as leaders in the marketplace.

Gone Are The Days Of Push Marketing

Online Engagement

When one can provide content online that is of value to a prospective client, they tend to be more inclined to be willing to exchange more information about themselves and their interests. Now more than ever, we have to differentiate ourselves from the sea of information that is online. For example, in order to capture any interest at all, a website must be able to convey the message of a company’s product or services with in six seconds of viewing. On top of that, there needs to be interactive triggers that will engage the viewer. This can as simple as more detailed product information as a link, or as complex as using an interactive floor planning tool.

Interactive Space Planner

Click On Image To Go To Space Planner

We have witnessed but a vast many changes in the way we go to market, from the push marketing styles of the 1950′s to one of engagement through the use of many forms of today’s media. The key to reaching today’s consumer is to first have a product that is right for the targeted demographics. However, this is only the first step of a well thought out market strategy. Part of any successful marketing plan is to be able to have an engaging process that begins the critical first steps of building the initial relationship. This means a marketing plan that has key ingredients which will provide value-based online content to begin the all important beginning steps of the customer relationship – the dialogue.

Strategic Partner Alliances with The Contrado Group

Sales Simplicity a Sales CRM Company for Homebuilders & Big Red Rooster Architectural Services

 

We have been working with the Sales Simplicity team for the last few months to fully integrate our Interactive Floor Plan (IFP) tool’s eLead functionality. Essentially, we have developed our Interactive Floor Plans to have seamless integration of leads into Sales Simplicity’s CRM with XML feeds. So, as soon as a prospect “saves” a floor plan from the IFP, the information is sent to the eLeads portion of the Sales Simplicity’s program.

Interactive Floor Plan

(click on picture to view)

 At which point, the sales agent is notified via e-mail that they have a lead to follow up with along with “saved” floor plan from the prospect for viewing. This will also allow for a marketing program workflow to commence too. At which point, the sales agent can begin the dialog with the prospect and make the sales!

 Agent Making Sales with IFP”s and Sales Simplicity

“We have truly enjoyed our partnering in the market with The Contrado Group. Our customers have seen the need to capture key information while the prospect is viewing homes online. Now we have a way to capture this information such as floor plans, elevations, and options for our clients. I foresee our alliance to be value-add for all of our customers” say, Barry Forbes President of Sales Simplicity.

 

Big Red Rooster, a global brand experience firm, announced that Don Hasulak has joined the company as Managing Director, heading the firm’s newly formed Phoenix office which is also a part of The Contrado Group’s facilities. Hasulak will be responsible for overseeing the expansion of the Big Red Rooster offer into the Architectural and Construction Services segment focusing on Planning and Design, Documentation, and Implementation.

“The addition of Architectural Services to the Big Red Rooster portfolio is a natural evolution,” states Aaron Spiess, President, Big Red Rooster. “Bringing this service in-house ensures our clients a world-class, seamless experience from design through to implementation.”

“As an architect, and as a business leader, I understand the interplay between form and function, and have a keen ability to reveal hidden costs within a project,” notes Hasulak. “The exciting piece of this for me is having the opportunity to work more directly with clients, bringing my real-world retail experience to every project.”

Previously, Hasulak served as Managing Director at FITCH, providing leadership for clients such as airport concessionaire OTG, Disney Regional Entertainment, and T-Mobile. Don began his career as owner and operator of the largest casework manufacturer in the Southwest. A registered architect, Don holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from Cornell.

About Big Red Rooster

Founded in 2002 by Martin Beck and Aaron Spiess, Big Red Rooster (www.bigredrooster.com) is known globally as a brand experience firm, focusing on the retailing, manufacturing, food service, healthcare, and service sectors. Activating shopper insights to transform brand experiences, Big Red Rooster’s client roster includes world-class brands such as Home Depot, American Express, Jack Daniels, Wrigley, SC Johnson & Son, Office Depot, and Nike. Big Red Rooster is the founding member of RoosterGroup Partners, a consortium of firms that create impact at the decision point where shoppers, retailers, and manufacturers meet.

 

 

Marketing In The “New” Economy

Let’s Start The Dialogue - It’s Not All About Twitter

As you may recall, we introduced our focus on our last blog for the next few months as it relates to Dialogue Marketing. The term is quite apropos in that there needs to be several factors in place to reach the correct audience. As we proceed with this fairly new style of marketing, we will be exploring these areas:

  • Learning Who Customer Is
  • Engaging The Right Customer
  • Establishing The Relationship
  • Tapping Into The Right Marketing Innovations
  • Differentiating The Message In A Sea of Noise
  • Establishing Metrics of Performance for a Successful Campaign

read more »

Dialog Marketing / Hospitality Industry

How Do We Generate More Business This Year?

 

1970-AMC-Gremlin

Did they ever ask their customers what they wanted?

 

Believe it or not, somebody asked this question back in 1969 at the American Motors Company (AMC) and they came up with the Gremlin (Definition: An imaginary gnome-like creature to whom mechanical problems, especially in aircraft, are attributed). Did they ever ask their customers what they wanted?  

A warm and heartfelt Happy New Year to all of our business partners for 2011. We at The Contrado Group are pleased to announce the launch of our new campaign that is what we believe to be the future in marketing, that being Dialog Marketing.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialogue_marketing  

  • What Dialog Marketing is:
  • Permission based
  • Engaging with relevant content
  • Relationship driven
  • Bi-Directional Communication
  • What Dialog Marketing is not:
  • Shot gun approach messaging in traditional media formats
  • Push Marketing
  • Lack of research about the client or prospect
  • Expensive

The topics that we wish to cover will be chosen by you!  

We plan to research and blend comments of previously blogged topics that will be made available after each subject is introduced such as: Learning Who The Customer Is (External / Internal), The True Cost Of High Maintenance / Low Profit Customers, Engaging The Right Customer, Establishing The Relationship, Market Innovations, How To Differentiate One’s Business, Generating New Business vs. Growing Business With Existing Customers  

So, to get started, please vote as to which is most critical for your business for all of us to better understand. You will be able to log onto our website (www.thecontradogroup.com) to view our blogs and survey results of each topic.  

Our goal is to grow our businesses together for 2011!!!  

What is the most critical area of customer focus for your business in 2011?




How do you wish to deepen relationships in 2011?




What type of market strategies are you planning to use and/or research this year?






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