The Charlotte post. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1918-????, January 25, 1996, Image 7
7A STRICTLY BUSINESS/ The Charlotte Post January 25, 1996 PICK & SHOVEL MARKETING Marketing on a shoe string Use frequent buyer programs to build a customer relationship By Lynette R. Hawkins NATIONAL NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION "Repeat customers are often considered the best customers by retailers because you do not have to sell them hard." This myth is not exactly true. Today, customers have sig nificantly more options in retailing than several years ago. Competition between major chains, off-price retail ers, discount stores, etc. make skillful use of "Pick & Shovel Marketing,” a great opportu nity for independent stores. Low cost marketing tech niques can generate continu ous consumer traffic and long term relationships with your customers. One of the major opportunities small business es have over larger retailers is their ability to personalize the selling experience and build a relationship with the cus tomer. Many marketers use fre quent buyer programs to build a continuity effort between the customer and the retailer. Because of the frequent changes in store personnel the size of the store and overall atmosphere of many major chains, frequent buyer pro grams in big retailers often lose their customer appeal. Smaller stores have the oppor tunity to take relationship marketing to new heights. Personalizing frequent buyer programs and building true customer bonds are the key to successful continuity pro grams. Why limit a continuity pro gram to just a vehicle during a sale event? Why not develop a program that gets your cus tomers to return again, and again. Whether you are a florist, quick print shop or boutique, establishing a relationship with your customer can go a long way in seeing repeat cus tomers stay with your location for the long haul. Personalizing the program depends on your business' cus tomer philosophy. Assuming you plan to deliver "excellent service at a value,” the basis for your program is right there. How you design your frequent buyer program will depend on how much you want to give away free and how long the customer is will ing to wait before she is rewarded. The cash outlay for a fre quent buyer program is limit ed to the communication vehi cles used, the free incentive and any database/direct mar keting you plan as a part of bonding with your customer. If you feel your product or ser vice could benefit from estab lishing a long-term relation ship with potential heavy users of your product, consider the following: Target your program to increase the number of repeat customers. Include a direct marketing component that establishes a dialogue with your customers. Advertise or communicate the program as an added benefit of doing business with you. LYNETTE R. HAWKINS is a marketing professional.. Any inquiries can be sent to her at Hawkins ,P.O. Box 11344 Winston-Salem, NC 27116- 1344 Todd, Parham & Harris ATTORNEYS - AT - LAW Auto Accidents Personal Injury Industrial Accidents General Litigation Head/Spinal Injury Workers Compensation Wills • DWI/Traeeic Criminal • Real Estate Social Security T. Michael Todd (Former District Court Judge) (704)343-9700 ’ Free Consultation • Evening & Saturday Appointments • 301 S. McDowell Street, Suite 130 Whether you are a florist, quick print shop or boutique, establishing a relation ship with your customer can go a long way in seeing repeat customers stay with your location for the long haul. Clubs earn money for members erilage house SPECIALIZING IN UNIQUE GIFTS, ART, BOOKS AND HOME ACCESSORIES WITH AN ETHNIC FLAIR We Carry Books By/Or About African Americans. Many Titles Available In Hardback! Kings Court At 901 South Kings Drive • Charlotte • 344-9695 (By The Melting Pot & Mama Ricotta's Restaurants) NEW 1996 Hours Mon. - Sat. 10-6 m Continued from page 6A report your share of the club's capital gains and losses on your Form 1040, Schedule D on the line provided for part nership gains and losses; you report your share of dividends and interest on Form 1040, Schedule B. The investment club itself does not pay taxes. The expenses incurred by the club to produce or to collect income, manage investment property or to determine any tax due also are reported sep arately. If you itemize your deductions, you may deduct your share of these items on Schedule A as a miscellaneous deduction—this means you may deduct only those quali fied costs which, together with other miscellaneous expenses, exceed 2 percent of your adjusted gross income. How can I join an invest ment club? Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules pro hibit the NAIC and individual clubs from advertising. New members generally learn about clubs by word of mouth. Most clubs like to keep their membership relatively small. The NAIC provides a free information kit on how to form a club, draft a partner ship agreement, conduct monthly meetings and estab lish an accounting system. NAIC also provides informa tion on how to research stocks. CPAs say that investment clubs are a good way to sharp en your investment expertise. For more information, contact the National Association of Investors Corporation at PO Box 220, Royal Oak, Mich. 48068 or call (810) 583-6242. MONEY MANAGEMENT is a weekly column on personal finance prepared and distrib uted by the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. Coupons can be big money winner Continued from page 6A the ground with a lot more money in your pocket. Travelers should learn about the cities they wish to travel to, and how seasonal differ ences affect prices. For exam ple, although summer airfares to Europe go on sale from January to March 15, greater discounts are offered begin ning in late May, as carriers scramble to fill empty seats. To get the best prices of the year, fly during the slack busi ness periods in November and December. Also, smaller carri ers may offer less frills, but a much cheaper fare, if you don't mind non-reserved seat ing. These carriers include Kiwi International, Tower Air, CALite and Valu Jet. These airlines only fly to specific cities call your travel agent for more details. Be flexible Asking the ticket agent for the cheapest airfare is only a start in finding the best deal for your trip. Here are some other tips: Find out if you can get a bet ter fare if you leave at a differ ent time of day. Most crowded flights leave in the morning and offer few discounted seats. Try flying during off- peak times, like around noon. Staying over a Saturday night will almost always get you a good discount, since car riers want to build their slow weekends. Be sure to tell the agent that you are flexible about what day and time you can fly. Flying on Tuesday or Wednesday, two of the slowest traffic days of the week, will save you money as well as fly ing between smaller airports. For example, flights in and out of Newark, N.J. are gener ally cheaper than LaGuardia or JFK airports in New York City. CHARLES ROSS is host of the nationally syndicated radio program "Your Personal Finance," and author of ‘Your CommonSense Guide to Personal Financial Planning..” ARE VOU VIELDING The Most Competitive Return? Review Your Current Benefit Package, Tax Changes & Whats Available In Todays Market Place. EXECUTIVE BENEFIT PROFILES • Estate Planning • Mutual Funds • HELPS • IRA's, SEP's, & PENSIONS • Government Bond Funds • Health Insurance Programs • Tax-Deferred Investments • Municipal Bonds AI Grier, C.L.U. Chartered Financial Consultant Registered Representative Equitable Life Assurance Co. New York, New York Al Grier and Associates 6100 Fairview Road, Suite 200 • Charlotte, N.C. 28210 (704)556-9988 Equico Securities New York, New York %tt'B 00 justness Call one of our professional representatives to help market your business, profession or event in the publi cation that produces results and keeps you in touch. • StrictlyBusiness, Designed to Profile Minorities in Business and Minorities Successful Within Majority Corporations. • Healthy Body/Healthy Mind, Designed to Keep You Abreast of Current Health Issues, Concerns and Preventions. • The Post, Designed and Dedicated to the concerns of the Black Community. FRANFARRER Advertising ic Marketing Director & General Sales Call: (704) 376-0496 or Fax: (704) fidl-UdO PAT Healthy Body/Healthy Mind Specialist Assistant Sales Manager & Automotive Specialist Prime Spots Still Available In The 1996 BLACK GUIDE CALL TODAY! BOB General Manager & Account Executive February Is Black History Month ...ADVERTISE Your Business!