Fleet Feet & CRM

CRM Programs

To reach sales aspirations, a company must first attract and win with current and potential customers.   Integrating a Customer Relationship Management system is one method that a company can employ to begin making measured and calculated decisions with regard to its customer base. According to Margaret Rouse of TechTarget, Customer Relationship Management involves “practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth” (Rouse, 2016). This can be completed through data collection via customer website visits, newsletter subscriptions, sales interactions, and so on.

Fleet Feet does not provide information specifically relating to a Customer Relationship Management system being use. However, they do collect data through number of means that could be believed to be used in conjunction with the compilation of customer metrics. When purchasing from their website, http://www.fleetfeetsports.com or in-store, Fleet Feet gathers customer data such as name, address, phone number, and email address. Additionally, Fleet Feet’s website privacy statement states that visitor data is collected through the use of cookies and the use of Pixel Tags which track the activity of a visitor while on the website. The collection and integration of this data can help Fleet Feet to better predict client activity, buying habits, seasonal fluctuations, product demands, and other consumer preferences.

Customer Service Policies and Customer-Facing Business Processes

Fleet Feet is top to bottom, a customer-experience centric business. Fleet Feet’s business model is built around making the experience “fit” each individual client. From Fleet Feet’s Value Statement (2016):

At Fleet Feet Sports, you will find a welcoming environment where runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities receive unparalleled service and support. Fleet Feet Sports’ mission is to help you find the right ”FIT” in every facet of your active lifestyle.
Whether you walk, run, or simply need a good fitting pair of shoes, the educators at Fleet Feet Sports will work with you to evaluate your foot’s gait and natural biomechanics to help you select a shoe that offers the best fit and function for you.
Fleet Feet Sports is committed to enhancing and growing our local running and walking communities, and offering educational resources and training opportunities to assist you in achieving your fitness goals. Each store is locally owned and operated. Please visit the locations page to find the Fleet Feet Sports family in your community.

The goal being to make the experience as unique as the runner walking in the door. This requires a commitment that is more than just talk, it has to be demonstrated with each client in order to be believed. An in-store visit to purchase shoes, for instance, can involve the sales rep offering specialty socks and a treadmill to try out the shoes so that the customer truly gets a feel for the fit and comfort of the shoe.

Website Navigation

According to WebSiteMagazine.com, there are 3 notable components that should be present in order for a company’s site to be user-friendly; Concise Content that is Readable, Effective Navigation, Site Speed (Angelova, 2014).

  • Concise and Readable – Fleet Feet’s website does a very good job of taking a visitor from the top of the page to the bottom. Effective use of white space amongst a number of pictures and links prevents the page from feeling cluttered despite the number of products pictured. Font size is adequate but not obnoxious or overwhelming. The color choices are attractive and desirable.
  • Effective Navigation – Clear navigation through large drop tabs makes it very easy to navigate to a desired product. Quick links are available to easily navigate to any of their Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube), Customer Service, and Store Location. An easily located “shopping cart” keeps a tally of items tagged for purchase and offers a quick link to checkout.
  • Site Speed – Instant tab drop-downs, less than 1 second to execute click-throughs, dynamic and instant page resizing to fit screen adjustments. The site does an excellent job of keeping up with a client’s short attention span.

Current Article on CRM

In an article offered by the Harvard Business Review online, they outline 4 Perils to avoid with regard to CRM:

  1. Implementing CRM before creating a customer strategy: A Customer Relationship Management system will only be as good as the research that was completed prior to implementing it. Meaning, a company such as Fleet Feet would need to define their target market and client base in order to effectively leverage a CRM system.
  2. Rolling out CRM before changing your organization to match: A corporation must integrate a customer focused business model in order for a CRM system to be effective (don’t just say it, show it). Fleet Feet has done an excellent job of not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. The customer purchase experience is top notch and they truly seem to live thier values.
  3. Assuming that more CRM technology is better: Data gathered through employee-client interactions can be as useful as metrics gathered online or through purchase orders. Fleet Feet can gain useful data by talking to customers about product likes and dislikes, getting feedback on services practices, and asking customers about likes and dislikes of competitors.
  4. Stalking, no wooing, customers: Understand the needs and desires of the customers in order to ensure that offerings line up with customer wants, not just their own. Fleet Feet should be cognizant of running trends, customer demands, seasonal affiliations, and corporate partnerships to ensure that they are meeting the needs of clients and business relationships.

References:

Angelova, V., (2014). 3-Tips to make your website more user-friendly. Retrieved from http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/02/06/3-tips-to-make-your-website-more-user-friendly.aspx

Reicheld, Schefter, and Ribgy (2002). Avoid the 4 perils of CRM. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2002/02/avoid-the-four-perils-of-crm

Rouse, M., (2016). Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Retrieved fromhttp://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/CRM

 

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Fleet Feet Website Advertising

Fleet Feet does not advertise for other running stores on its site. After all, why would they? Fleet Feet specializes in selling running shoes and apparel, so it is not in their best interest to promote other similar specialty stores. What Fleet Feet does do, however, is have a clickable title on their landing page entitled “Brands”. Under the Brands heading is a pictorial list of brands that Fleet Feet “loves.” Those brands include: Adidas, Nike, Saucony, Garmin, Mizuno, and Brooks. These are some of the most well-known and popular sports shoe and apparel brands. Fleet Feet describes its relationship with their “loved brands” as a partnership. They go on to describe the value that they gain from this partnership. These brands do such things as sponsor training programs at Fleet Feet and host in-store events at Fleet Feet. In this way it’s not hard to imagine that both Fleet Feet and the different brands have something to gain from this partnership. Fleet Feet gets sponsors and the brands get more exposure from one of the preeminent running store franchises in the country.

Fleet Feet offers a variety of products, but all of the products focus on one cohesive theme: running. Products include the obvious things, like specialty shoes for running and trail running, as well as clothes one might need to run recreationally or during a race. But Fleet Feet also offers products that complement the running lifestyle. Things like gel packs, compression socks, sunglasses, headwear (including headlamps for nighttime or early morning runs), heart rate monitors, braces and ankle supports, and even foam rollers to massage painful limbs post-race. They try to be and are a one stop shop of sorts for the running crowd. All of these products are listed on their website and most are available for purchase both in store and on the site itself. Fleet Feet has the newest styles available and prides itself on keeping up to date on trends in the running community. Having strong partnerships with the brands listed is one way that they are able to continually do that.

As far as the communications I’ve received from the website, I have gotten a steady but not overwhelming amount. I signed up to receive the emails on October 6th, and since have received a total of four emails. The emails are primarily about products available at the store. This is clearly one of the main ways they reach out to their potential clients. Every email has an obvious “hook”, for example, “Cool on the Outside–Warm on the Inside”. The email subject lines entice the reader to learn more. That particular email was talking about a hoodie that was for cold weather running. The emails also include links to other products and usually a healthy recipe at the end. The emails are very aesthetically pleasing and on brand, showing colorful yet simplistic pictures of the products that are mentioned. The recipes are a nice touch and stay with the healthy lifestyle vibe that Fleet Feet is known for. Overall, the email communications only add to the overall appeal of the store and my guess is they have a high open rate because of the clever and intriguing subject lines.

While I would not recommend that Fleet Feet incorporate the advertisements of other similar stores on their site, I do think that they could benefit from advertising themselves elsewhere. One way to advertise is through Facebook. Fleet Feet has a Facebook page already, and sponsored Facebook ads can be very beneficial for several reasons. In recent years, Facebook has allowed companies and even individuals to pay for sponsored ads that will pop up on the sidebar or newsfeed of Facebook’s users. The advantage of this is that Facebook allows companies to pick specific demographics to show a particular ad to. It also cannot be undervalued that Facebook currently has 1.71 billion monthly active users. This is a captive audience just waiting to be sold. Business Insider’s article,”10 Rules For Advertising on Facebook” has several hints that might prove helpful for a company looking to either begin or delve deeper into Facebook sponsored ads. One example is to “Create a Greater Volume of Ads that Target Less People.” By this they mean that instead of just creating one generic ad to go out to everyone, Fleet Feet should utilize the fact that Facebook divides users up by many demographics (location, age, gender, birthday, workplace, education level, relationship status). An ad that specifically is targeted toward people with a birthday coming up might produce a very high response rate since it will feel so personalized. Along the same lines, ads that would appeal to people who are about to get married or have just had a breakup might also feel personalized and therefore more appealing than something more generic. Another helpful hint for Fleet Feet is “Set Advertising Budgets With a Goal in Mind.” Due to the nature of Facebook advertising, it is extremely easy to just keep spending and spending as you experiment with different types of advertisements. The suggestion is to think in the longterm, plan your budget, and don’t expect huge changes from Facebook advertising in a week’s time. Facebook advertising is an affordable option for the franchise owners who own individual Fleet Feet stores, like those around my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. If well planned, budgeted, and executed, it can make a real difference while getting advertisements in front of many different people who are actively engaged in the Facebook world.

References:

Fleet Feet (2016). Retrieved from http://www.fleetfeet.com

O’Neil, N., (2009). 10 Rules for Advertising on Facebook. Retrieved from     http://www.businessinsider.com/10-rules-for-advertising-on-facebook-2009-7

 

 

Email Marketing @ Fleet Feet Sports

Within moments of subscribing to Fleet Feet Sports digital newsletter, I received an email asking me to confirm my email address. A minute after confirming, a welcome email and then the periodic email solicitations began. As of 9:41 a.m. this morning, I’ve received 4 emails from Fleet Feet (since confirming my email address on October the 6th). The first email received had thanked me for signing up (as the subject line) and offered a short blurb on the Fleet Feet fitting process (dedicated to personalizing the purchase experience) with a link to find out more about the experience. Next on the page were links for shopping (sex distinct) and then a blurb on the history of Fleet Feet with a link to search for the closest store. Finally, the bottom of the email contained options for adding their mailing address to my email address book, an option to update my preferences and an option to unsubscribe. The emails that followed led with subject lines offering catchy descriptions of a specific clothing product that would be highlighted in the body of the email. It would then segue to a pair of shoes that compliment the highlighted clothing. Finally, a blurb on a health-conscience meal. I found the emails to be welcome overall and offered great ideas for running gear and interesting nutritional information. The emails have been consistent but not overwhelming in quantity, something I tend to appreciate as I’m not looking to be inundated with additional emails. A steady drip rate can be more impactful than a high quantity campaign.

Collecting email addresses will be achieved through the following methods:

  • Information collection at purchase checkout in physical locations
  • Information collection required to sign up to allow for purchases online
  • Information collection from runners who sign up for sponsored races
  • Offer discounts and giveaways in-stores, where the winner will be notified via email
  • Offer discounts via a refer-a-friend email link within emails and on the web page

The style for the email that I have created below is in line with the newsletter format that is being used at present. However, I chose to personalize the email based upon customer demographic information that they would have been able to collect on me (using the tracking methodologies that will be mentioned in the next section). I am an avid runner and I do quite a bit of trail running and run in all types of weather. I have shopped at Fleet Feet both in store and via their website. I used the subject line attention grab through personalization (my name) and referenced a common concern among runners (cold weather) as well as data from purchase history (“trails” derived from specifically purchased items that can be tracked and logged for consumers). The “hook” in this case is the personalization. The store locater would link to a mapping program, the pictures linking to product pages on the website while the logo and the distinct link in the text linking to the web site landing page.

 

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To measure the relative success of email distributions, a number of options are available. The measure of success in this case would be to get a client or prospective client to not only open the email, but to click through using links on the page. In order to track this, there are several methods that can be employed:

  • Click Through Rates can be an tracking indicator to show success over a period of time. It is a reflection of engagement with the content and can help to guide future adjustments (Kolowich, 2016).
  • Conversion Rates can be used to track the completion of specific actions such as tracking when a consumer clicks a “check out” button. This can also aid in tracking the Return on Investment for a particular add or email campaign. By tracking the converted sales and subsequent revenue, the ROI can help determine financial success with a particular project.

Forbes posted a good article in 2015 focusing on areas that small business’ should focus on when attempting to market via email. The focus of the article was on increasing the return on the money invested into email marketing. The article applies to Fleet Feet as it is a small business and it looks to generate interest for races, other social media platforms, and sales through the use of the newsletter. To use a quote from marketing strategist Dain Hanson, “Every aspect of testing should be focusing on the “click to open rate” of the main call to action in your email.” (Brampton, 2015). Otherwise, how will you know if the emails are even being viewed? The main areas of the email were:

  • Start with an objective: What is your main goal? Is it to drive viewers to a destination? Move sales through engagement? Define a strategy.
  • Use a clear subject line: Create an emotion through by telling the recipient exactly what to expect in the email.
  • Use Direct Copy and a Call to Action: Be concise with the message and propose a call to action that entices the recipient to take the next step.
  • Have a clean list: Target market, don’t spam everyone in the database with everything that you may be sending.
  • A/B Test: Dry run with smaller targeted campaigns that can be measured for success rather than going full steam ahead from the beginning. Smarter not Harder.
  • Measure Opens to Send Ratio: Success here depends on the type of mailing. Look for increases in similar type campaigns.
  • Measure Success: Succes is found when you are converting a high number of “openers”.

References:

Kolowich, L., (2016). Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/metrics-email-marketers-should-be-tracking#sm.00005o9evyniqdoyr2514spl6mqmx

Rampton, J., (2015). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/05/07/tips-for-a-successful-email-campaign/3/#2688f3d31178

Week 2 -Fleet Feet Website Analysis

Fleet Feet’s website offers a dynamic interactive experience through the use of multiple web design tactics. Through the use of large drop down tabs, dynamic page resizing and a fluid layout, it’s easy to flow from segment to segment.

Online Strategy and Multichannel Marketing

The online strategy is built to appeal overtly and immediately to their target market. “ALL FOR RUN” sits centered in large letters near the top of the page. This is a site for runners, by runners. The page immediately guides your eyes and interest toward checking out the most recent releases. If you’ve been able to look past the immediate attention grab, a line of tabs leading to large dropdown menus walks you segment by segment into demographically specific retail items. If your unsure of where to find what you are looking for, a conveniently placed search bar is placed at the top of the page. A store locator can be found on both the top of the page as well as at the bottom of the page. The bottom of the page also contains a classic vertical layout of links offering additional company information.

Fleet Feet utilizes many types of multichannel marketing. From a social media perspective, Fleet Feet and Fleet Feet + Frontrunner utilize two web pages, Twitter account (@FleetFeetSports), a YouTube channel, and an Instagram page (fleetfeetsports). They’ve recently released a running themed emoji app on the Apple app store as a way to integrate into the mobile media space. Fleet Feet also hosts a blog offering commentary on running tips, nutritional advice and proper fitting of running attire as just some of the topics. Through the partnership with Frontrunner, Fleet Feet integrates itself with he community through the hosting of racing events, racing teams, running groups and additional running improvement opportunities.

Fleet Feet Business Model

Fleet Feet utilizes a franchisee based business model that looks to leverage community involvement as a differentiator. There are three physical store locations in central Ohio and then a fourth in Ohio located in Cincinnati. By franchising locations to local residents, Fleet Feet is able to appeal to the “locally owned” consumer base. Additionally, by specializing in running, they can focus time and resources into carving their niche in the community. Combined with offering coaching, custom fittings, and race hosting, Fleet Feet is able create an experience and culture that is able to go beyond that of a standard retail store. They are able to offer a brand that becomes synonymous with running.

Data Capture

Fleet Feet captures consumer data through multiple means. At checkout when purchasing goods, Fleet Feet captures data such as name, address and email when available. When on their website, they use the IP address of the computer to determine browser type and operating system. Fleet Feet uses cookies and pixel tags to track activity on the website. Additionally, the pixel tags can help to assess the effectiveness of the website and layout.

References:

Retrieved 10/6/2016 from https://www.fleetfeetsports.com/privacy

Retrieved 10/6/2017 from http://www.frontrunnercolumbus.com