Retha Carter Ackermans

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Case studyA-Plus - Mining customer database and expanding into customer events for greater impactHarnessing relationship with club membersAudience connections know your readers intimatelyCross-accessing databases to achieve greater impactCustomising events for niche customersObjectives, goals, experience and resultTips, challenges and solutionsRetha Carter, Customer Relations and Insights ManagerAckermans


<ul><li> 1. A-Plus: understanding the customer and leveraging your relationship with them </li> <li> 2. Agenda <ul><li>Who are our Club Members </li></ul><ul><li>Club Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Club Magazine, Supplements and Calendar </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging Events </li></ul><ul><li>Managing the Process </li></ul><ul><li>A recipe for success </li></ul></li> <li> 3. Background/setting the scene <ul><li>The A-Plus Card and Club was launched 1994 in Ackermans. </li></ul><ul><li>314 000 active A-Plus Cardholders </li></ul><ul><li>Launched A-Plus Card in multi-brands of The Baby Company, Home Comforts, Hang Ten, Jay Jays, Cube and Shoe City in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>115 000 Club members </li></ul><ul><li>Club available in Ackermans and Shoe City </li></ul><ul><li>Current model: Opt in paid for club for A-Plus Card holders only </li></ul><ul><li>Club members pay R14.50 p/m for a host of benefits </li></ul></li> <li> 4. Club Demographic breakdown Gender Club members Club % Female 80009 69% Male 35546 31% Unknown 0 0% Language Club members Club % Unknown 15168 13% Afrikaans 29124 25% English 71263 62% Age Brackets Club members Club % less than 18 0 0% 18-24 3092 3% 25-34 30243 26% 35-44 42413 37% 45-54 26144 23% 55-64 10200 9% 65 or older 3463 3% </li> <li> 5. <ul><li>They keep their accounts for longer </li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Main account retention = 62% </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>Club members = 84% </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li>40% of account holders are also club members </li></ul><ul><li>They spend more </li></ul><ul><li>They keep their accounts more up to date </li></ul>Why are Club Members more valuable? </li> <li> 6. <ul><li>A-Plus Club Magazine, Account Protection Plan and Competitions and lucky draws were regarded as the most valuable benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>28% of A-Plus Members also belong to other retail clubs (eg. Foschini, Jet and Edgars) </li></ul><ul><li>61% of respondents rate the A-Plus Club better than other retail clubs. </li></ul>Findings of Club research April 08 </li> <li> 7. Club Benefits <ul><li>A-Plus Club Magazine every second month and 2 Supplements a year </li></ul><ul><li>Funeral Cover of up to R10 000 (R6000 for the main member R4000 for the Spouse) </li></ul><ul><li>Free access to our Dial-a-teacher tutoring service </li></ul><ul><li>Free bursaries to the value of R25 000 every 2 nd month </li></ul><ul><li>Discounts of up to 20% on GPs consultations fees </li></ul><ul><li>Free Roadside Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Access to the A-Plus Helpline </li></ul><ul><li>Invitations to exclusive members only club events </li></ul></li> <li> 8. Club Magazine: History First Club Magazine launched in 1996 </li> <li> 9. Club Magazine: Today </li> <li> 10. Club Magazine: Refreshed Sept 2010 </li> <li> 11. A-Plus Supplements </li> <li> 12. A-Plus Supplements <ul><li>Increased communication with our club members </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement strategy:correct product - correct content - correct target market </li></ul><ul><li>Merchandising: showcasedepth of product range/s </li></ul><ul><li>An effort to continually drive feet-through-the door </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising revenue opportunity including sponsorships </li></ul><ul><li>Increased paper quality on supplements to lift image and appeal of Ackermans </li></ul><ul><li>Widening the net: utilisation of other focused/targeted mediums like CT/Dbn/Gauteng Child Magazines </li></ul></li> <li> 13. A-Plus Calendar <ul><li>R275 000 sponsorship deal with Old Mutual in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>R325 sponsorship with Hollard Direct in 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Reward club members with gifts that add value to their lives </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive concepts eg Recipe Calendar; Art etc </li></ul><ul><li>Branding opportunity for Ackermans and third party </li></ul><ul><li> advertisers that has longevity </li></ul></li> <li> 14. A-Plus Calendar </li> <li> 15. Club Magazine: Ad Revenue 360% growth over a 5 year period!!!! </li> <li> 16. Club Magazine: The Reader She is confident, secure, and open to new solutions that will enhance her familys lifestyle. She has a busy life and is able to juggle her many roles and responsibilities. </li> <li> 17. AMPS Competitor information A-Plus Jet Edgars Foschini </li> <li> 18. AMPS Competitor information A-Plus Jet Edgars Foschini </li> <li> 19. AMPS Competitor information A-Plus Jet Edgars Foschini </li> <li> 20. AMPS Competitor information A-Plus Jet Edgars Foschini </li> <li> 21. AMPS Competitor information A-Plus Jet Edgars Foschini </li> <li> 22. Club Magazine: New Positioning <ul><li>The 2010 Customer, no frills affluent </li></ul><ul><li>They are not battling; but </li></ul><ul><li>they are budgeting, making money stretch further; </li></ul><ul><li>coping - buying what they need, buying fewer, but better; </li></ul><ul><li>resistant to debt; dont want credit </li></ul><ul><li>labels less important; those who buy into labels </li></ul><ul><li> less seasonality, more longevity </li></ul><ul><li>try new brands </li></ul><ul><li>emotional - more emotional sell, more investment </li></ul><ul><li>When times get tough, the tough get efficient! </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Anthony Swart, Director, The Brand Union </li></ul></li> <li> 23. New Positioning <ul><li>Emotional comfort </li></ul><ul><li>real everything people, buying experience; </li></ul><ul><li>stories give them something to talk about; </li></ul><ul><li>expectations reality; </li></ul><ul><li>integrity dont make me buy what I dont want; </li></ul><ul><li>value to the point of even valuing how you invest in CSI </li></ul><ul><li> activity </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety around recession is subsiding. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Anthony Swart, Director, The Brand Union </li></ul></li> <li> 24. New Positioning: Editorial Strategy <ul><li>To be the readers go-to guide. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide: </li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>support. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>solutions. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>advice. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>competitions. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li>Communicate: </li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>benefits. </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>brands available </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>VALUE </li></ul></li></ul></li> <li> 25. New Positioning: New directions <ul><li>Benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Reader generated content. </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of community. </li></ul><ul><li>Editorialise merchandise pages. </li></ul><ul><li>Celeb cover story. </li></ul><ul><li>Longer articles. </li></ul><ul><li>Kids page. </li></ul></li> <li> 26. New Positioning: New directions </li> <li> 27. New Positioning: New directions </li> <li> 28. New Positioning: New directions </li> <li> 29. Leveraging events: Club Workshops <ul><li>Club Workshops launched in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted a total of 13 workshops (just under 1500 people) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the key pillars of the Ackermans brand </li></ul><ul><li><ul><li>ie. Fashion and Parenting </li></ul></li></ul><ul><li>Hosted in CT, Jhb, George, PE etc </li></ul><ul><li>Open to club members and family and friends for small fee </li></ul><ul><li>Expert speakers, lunch, goodiebags, celebrity guests etc </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010, events will alsobe held in Durban. Each event has </li></ul><ul><li> shown increased patronage in each area </li></ul></li> <li> 30. Leveraging events <ul><li> At the parenting event in 2010, introduced signing up for club membership at the actual reader event, with 100 people signing up immediately after the event. </li></ul><ul><li>Events increase customer loyalty - evidence is the demandto attend,eg Cape Town sold out in first week </li></ul><ul><li>The workshops are themost intimate touch point with the reader. The reader gets to meet the Club Manager, Marketing &amp; Editorial teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Winning formulae: Reward, Delight, Surprise, Spoil, Acknowledge club members </li></ul></li> <li> 31. Craft and Food workshops 2009 </li> <li> 32. Fashion workshops 2009 </li> <li> 33. Parenting workshop 2010 </li> <li> 34. How do we manage the Magazine <ul><li>Internally we have the merchandise experts </li></ul><ul><li>Externally we have the Customer Magazine experts </li></ul><ul><li>Always bear in mind what needs to work for product but also be relevant to the reader </li></ul></li> <li> 35. Recipe for success <ul><li>Good Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Open and Honest Communication (good AND bad) </li></ul><ul><li>Understand our customers </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to take risks </li></ul><ul><li>Always needs to support core strategy of Ackermans </li></ul></li> </ul>