Many SMBs only recently graduated from paper-based schedules to electronic schedules. BIA/Kelsey surveys show that 14.5% of SMBs now have electronic calendars. Electronic schedules make it easy to block out times, shift appointments and maintain customer lists.
Thanks to advances in marketing automation, electronic schedules are more exciting than that: they can be used most effectively to anchor “A-Comm,” or Appointment Commerce. With A- Comm, they can target customers with special promotions to fill last minute openings and slow days; send reminders to book again; upsell and cross-sell them on relevant products; and solicit reviews.
There is also a Big Data angle: Schedules contain the customer frequency and other data . Matched with other data, such as referral, promotion and transaction and invoice history. it can help better understand customer habits and spending, and allow SMBs to re-tailor their marketing approaches. With such capabilities, schedules have gone from being transactional to starting a whole new conversation in marketing.
Frederick (recently acquired by Booker) is one of the state-of-the-art marketing automation companies going in this direction. The company was launched in 2014.
Frederick analyzes busines and customer data found in scheduling systems. In Booker's case, it will look at an SMB's customer transaction history, service sale-through rates, staff utilization rates, daily occupancy and utilization information. Frederick uses this data to develop a 1:1 marketing plan for that customer.
Frederick CEO and co-founder Corey Kossack told us that Frederick customers are seeing an average, year-over-year revenue growth of 30 percent. “What we have found is that structured data can be used to drive better results than segmenting a Constant Contact list,” he says.
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