I apply consumer psychology to SEO and content marketing.
More than thirty Fortune 500 firms have hired me to increase their customer loyalty and growth.
I specialize in helping small businesses grow their customer bases, sales and profit.
I founded Whyze Group (pronounced “wise”) in 2001.
This is my story…
The Start: Consumer Research and Psychology
My career began 25 years ago as a marketing research manager at two Atlanta marketing research firms. I had a knack for reducing complex marketing problems to simple solutions.
Clients opened up to me. Sales VPs would call me into client meetings. I knew what questions to ask. Together, we framed approaches and solved clients’ marketing problems.
I served 19 clients, including Disney Cruise Lines, Prudential, Intel, American Century, Georgia Pacific, Fifth Third Bank, BellSouth, Fannie Mae and Ciba Vision.
I also began writing journal articles. These were published in Marketing News, Business Marketing and Retail Banking Digest.
The Shift: Lead Generation
After my research manager roles, I did a two-year stint as a corporate marketing director at HomeBanc. HomeBanc had 500 sales reps across three states.
I implemented a lead generation process that helped them double sales from $70.3 million to $138.9 million over the next two years.
The Offer: A National Consulting Role
ELoyalty, a customer relationship management (CRM) technology consulting firm, recruited me to join their strategy practice. I consulted to ING (now VOYA) and other companies in New York and Pennsylvania.
That was 2000. Then, the recession hit in 2001. I was laid off.
That’s when I started Whyze Group. I had one client, a consulting firm specializing in customer experience and communications design.
My role was to embed consumer psychology into our customer experience design projects. I applied insights into how customers pay attention, feel and decide what to do in response to new sales and loyalty programs.
The American Marketing Association had me present at several national workshops. Participants learned how to create profitable customer acquisition and loyalty campaigns.
Within a few years, I was referred to other clients across the United States and Canada. Among them, Humana, Newell Rubbermaid, Nationwide Insurance, Finish Line, Zale Corp., AAA, Delta Dental of California, Detroit Edison, Dominion Power, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Entergy of New Orleans, GE Lighting, Viiv Healthcare of Canada.
The Success: Designing Customer Experiences that Drive Loyalty
Many businesses buy customer loyalty with discounts. It’s a legit strategy.
However, I’ve always focused on more profitable methods: building authentic connections with customers through empathy, communication and reciprocity.
In other words, fostering human connection. That’s what most of my clients want to do.
I worked with the visionary “On Your Side” team at Nationwide Insurance for a year. We created a series of customer experiences, including On Your Side reviews. These increased customer loyalty and sales by up to $50 million per year.
We began in Nationwide’s property and casualty division. Then, Nationwide hired my team to do similar work in its individual services unit.
At Entergy, an energy utility, we were similarly successful. Entergy had been ranked in the lowest quartile nationally for customer satisfaction.
I worked with Entergy to create content for web, videos, text messages and bills. Three years after launching new content, Entergy became the utility industry leaders in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings. Company executives were invited to share their success story at national conferences.
The Focus: SEO and Content Marketing
By 2009, consumers’ migration to online shopping was accelerating quickly. I wrote a white paper on how businesses needed to adapt. It was picked up by several business media and U.S. Department of Commerce.
Digital channels became focal points in my work with clients. Clients were using more website content, social media, email, videos and text messages to influence customers.
Online media provided additional insights into the psychology and buying behaviors of consumers. SEO, click-through rates, and conversion data provided rich perspectives into content that proved influential.
Around this time, there was an explosion of discoveries in neuroscience, behavioral economics and construct psychology…about how shoppers distinguish and respond to different service offerings.
All of these fueled refinements in how I approached getting buyer attention and nurturing loyal customer relationships.
The Pivot: Small Business and Nonprofits
My inspiration for pivoting occurred as I sat with a team of clients and consultants around a large conference table in Atlanta. We were debating ways to market alternatives to toilet paper–adult wipes.
I refer to this as my “Seinfeld moment.” I imagined myself as George Costanza.
The comic scene overlay my growing aversion to idle bureaucracies and 17 years of weekly air travel. Then, there was the product itself. The career I’d built over decades had come to this…literally, poop.
I needed to follow my passions.
It was 2016, an election year. I spent the next two years running a nonprofit. My mission was to help 2018 election candidates who promoted social, environmental and economic well-being.
Two hundred candidates and campaign advisors followed me. I consulted to a presidential draft committee and a senatorial campaign in Delaware.
I also began working with small businesses. Dealing with passionate, capable, brave decision makers supplied the oxygen I needed. I engage a talented team of senior-level associates as needed.
Everything clicked. I adapted my approaches to the budgets of small businesses. My clients progressed quickly to higher performing marketing campaigns.
It’s work that I love doing.
Whatever journey you’re on in your business, I hope you’ll allow me to take it with you.
I look forward to hearing from you.