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Q&A: Courtney Wylie VP Product and Marketing, Mention Me

Courtney has worked in ecommerce and start-ups for the past 20+ years spanning the retail, technology and travel sectors especially in product development and marketing roles. … View Article

INTERVIEWS

Q&A: Courtney Wylie VP Product and Marketing, Mention Me

Courtney has worked in ecommerce and start-ups for the past 20+ years spanning the retail, technology and travel sectors especially in product development and marketing roles.  Current challenges include homeschooling her 3 children while settling in a new puppy and working full time. Courtney will be also be joining us at the Future of Retail Marketing Webinar on 9th June

What does your company do? / What is your USP?

Mention Me is a referral marketing and customer retention software company that fuels business growth for more than 400 brands.

Our platform integrates into ecommerce websites to encourage shoppers to take actions like referring friends, giving NPS feedback, or shopping again.

What’s special about the platform and your approach?

What makes Mention Me special?

  1. Our platform has unique and incredibly powerful features including cohort-based AB testing, in-depth reporting, and word-of-mouth tracking
  2. Our service is proactive, strategic and focussed on programme optimisation. We even won a Bronze Stevie Award for our hands-on client success approach last year
  3. Our ethos is totally results oriented. We work tirelessly to understand the data and metrics behind successes (and failures), then convert these insights into action.

How does a product/service implementation actually look like and how do you measure success?

Implementation is simple: it requires placing just 2 javascript tags in the code of a client’s website. Our Onboarding team manages the process.

These tags trigger pop-ups at key points in the customer journey (for example, on the post-purchase page). The Mention Me platform controls the pop-up content; it  could include a prompt to refer-a-friend, complete an NPS survey, or another call to action.

Our software ultimately aims to increase revenue for our clients. For a referral message, that means tracking how many new customers were introduced and how much they spent on their first orders. For a retention message, we measure how much it’s increased customers’ repeat purchase rate or average order value.

We also use sophisticated segmentation and A/B testing capabilities to understand which messages best drive the end result.

How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like?

A smart customer advocacy and retention marketing strategy is a real win for retailers. A good referral programme can be both a brand differentiator and a cost-effective marketing channel.

I’m currently writing this interview in lockdown (in April 2020), so best practice is evolving. For brands with heightened demand, best practice is showing messages designed to retain and engage customers into the future (along with robust tracking of their retention metrics). For those looking at customer acquisition (for example, smaller suppliers of food, drink and beauty products), a referral programme that lets customers send discount codes to their friends and family is a great idea.

Examples of best practices during the pandemic include:

  • Mamas and Papas offering 15% discount for referral to NHS workers
  • Boux Avenue offering 25% discount for referral to NHS workers
  • Orbit Energy donating to NHS charities for every referral

What advantage does it add?

An effective referral marketing programme can increase new customer acquisition by as much as 35%.  Mention Me Retain, our retention marketing solution, increases repeat purchase revenue by up to 46% within just a few months.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in UK retail for 2020 / What challenges are retailers facing in 2020?

As I write, the Covid-19 pandemic is in full swing and retailers are facing  a whole slew of new challenges. In some retail sectors there’s wildly increased demand prompting logistical problems; in others, there are massive reductions in demand and profit, with entire teams furloughed.

There’s been a huge pivot to online shopping – that presents significant opportunity for both us and our clients.

How will you address these challenges and turn them into successes?

As customers turn to online retailers for their every need, the opportunity to grow via recommendations which then turns these new shoppers into loyal brand advocates is huge. As many brands reduce their marketing costs, we anticipate referral and retention (both highly cost-effective channels) to boom.

What is on the horizon for you as a company?

Like many businesses, we’re adjusting our plans by the day during the pandemic. We’re especially focussed on finding ways we can use our software to support clients, the NHS and other good causes. In the longer term, the future looks bright; we plan to invest in new products and keep customer growth at the forefront of marketing strategies.

Any final thoughts?

There are undoubtedly tough times ahead. But put your existing customers at the centre of your marketing strategy, and you’ll fuel sustainable growth, both now and long into the future.

Visit Mention Me: Website

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