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Lynn Gore, who previously was the Vice President of Marketing at Plow & Hearth, has been with Virginia Gift Brands for nearly seven months as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Gore manages the retail, ecommerce, gift channel sales, new product development, and marketing departments. She sat down with Loyalty360 to discuss her new position and Virginia Gift Brands.
How do you define loyalty, what does it mean to your organization, and how has it changed in recent years?
Loyal customers are those who continue to purchase our products over time because the products result in good sales for them. We are responsible for ensuring that our products deliver up to and exceed our customers’ expectations. Because our customers put their trust in our brand to offer to their consumers, it is our responsibility to make them look good.
Loyalty has become more difficult to hold onto over the past few years. Speed to market and the increased competition means that innovation is more important than ever. We have to give our customers the products that get the consumer to walk through the door.
What does Customer Experience/Customer Engagement mean to Virginia Gift Brands? What group runs it within your organization? How has the strategy and focus changed in recent years?
Customer Service is run by operations, but works very closely with Sales & Marketing. There is constant communication between the groups, and sales truly considers service an extension of their relationship with the customer. Just in the past six months, I have seen customer service become more pro-active in addressing potential customer issues and now we often initiate customer communications to inform and educate, not just to solve problems as was too often the case in the past.
Marketers are tasked to be more data-centric than ever before, yet the challenge of creating actionable insight from data is more challenging than before. What is your advice for marketers?
Don’t become buried in non-actionable data. Come up with the few metrics that you need to make decisions and monitor them consistently.
Can you offer our audience a high level overview of your customer philosophy and share how this perspective helps drive more effective engagement and better marketing outcomes?
We strive to offer truly innovative products of the highest quality. We partner with our customers to help them grow their business because when they succeed, we succeed.
What role does technology play in your customer engagement, experience, and loyalty efforts?
We have just installed a CRM system that will help us track engagement and experience. It will also allow us to track the results of marketing efforts, so we are looking forward to using it to guide our strategy.
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