Tracking Product Turn
Kepecs said Automatic Marketing also assigns a state machine that tracks and times shopper response to each individual tactic, such as a targeted coupon. "If a customer buys a 50-pound bag of detergent, we will wait six months to offer another detergent discount," he said."Within a set of offers, we will make them diverse by category, pricing and individual preference," he said. Offers are also budgeted so customers do not receive more discounts than a retailer or manufacturer wants to allot them and stay within limits such as number of discounted items per household, he said. "Retailers have been collecting customer data with loyalty cards, but don't know what to do with it," said Ed Hill, a business lecturer at the University of Southern California. Hill said Automatic Marketing takes customer loyalty data that has always been accurate and makes it relevant. In addition, he said that removing paper coupons can aid the efficiency of store operations. "The retail industry has margins of 2 percent, so they're always looking for ways to increase efficiency," he said. "Getting paper coupons out of the system keeps productivity going at the front end." In addition, Hill said manufacturers can use Automatic Marketing to obtain a return on the money they spend trying to turn products. "In the past, tracking product turn was a shot in the dark," he said. Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.
Since a customer may qualify for thousands of targeted offers, Kepecs said Automatic Marketing will arbitrate the timing, value and nature of the offers they receive.