The gift that keeps on giving

The best marketing strategies evolve and grow with the consumer. In this series, we focus on Relationship marketing and how to get started with a marketing strategy that matures as the consumer’s relationship with a brand is changing.

By: Allie Hardee, Cheetah Digital

One-size-fits-all marketing is not enough if you want to thrive in today’s customer-focused market. Brands should foster meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. It starts with identifying your best customers. It’s about appreciating and rewarding your most loyal ones. And, if done well, with care and humanity, it lives…for a long…for a long time.

Feed your best customers with a loyalty marketing program

We all want more customers. But there is something better, more valuable than new customers: loyal clients.

Returning customers tend to spend more. In fact, the recent Cheetah Digital report Consumer Trends Index revealed that 57% of consumers are willing to pay more to buy from a trusted brand.

Returning customers share their experience with otherseffectively helping you acquire those new customers we all want.

Returning customers are more likely to stay. The more positive experiences a customer has with your brand, the more likely they are to become a loyal and reliable customer.

What are the best customer retention strategies?

There are a ton of customer retention strategies out there. But Here is some suggestions based on what actually works – in real life.

  • Use machine learning to identify your best customers as well as those most likely to unsubscribe.
  • Automate journeys and personalized offers that reward active customers or encourage the re-engagement of broken customers.
  • Using the data you’ve collected, determine the next best action for everyone across all channels and touchpoints.
  • Deliver the right experience at the right time in the right place, and watch your conversion rates and profits soar.

Retention marketing is relationship marketing

In order to stand out from your competition and grow profitably, you need to identify your best customers and create an ongoing relationship with them. Just as you’re more likely to remember someone who invited you over than someone who waved at the door, customers who feel like they’re part of a two-way relationship are more likely to engage with you. And come back. And come back again.

Walk in: omnichannel loyalty. Unifying the worlds of marketing engagement and customer retention can help you achieve your goals of building a community of brand advocates and increasing customer lifetime value.

Corporate Loyalty: Cultivating Lasting Emotional Brand Loyalty at Scale

Think about your own in-person buying behavior. When paying, you type your phone number into the kiosk. The clerk confirms your identity, you collect your goods and go home. Once a month, a coupon is sent in the mail and ends up being lost or forgotten. Repeat. There is no real relationship there. The store is close and has what you need, but you’d probably be better off buying from the nearly identical competitor just up the road.

Loyalty has a different personality for the digital shopper. When you go to your favorite online store, you are actually logging in to shop. You want to connect because you want the business to know you’re shopping with them. This is how you get personalized recommendations and offers. You even have a customer profile that shows your status, activities, and special offers. You encounter experiences that go beyond the transaction. You earn points by sharing photos of your best baking and get rewards by telling your friends about your hike in the state park. You are part of a community and willingly champion that brand in exchange for more value, like better offers and more personalized experiences.

But these experiences don’t have to be so different. Not recognizing a loyal customer in person but welcoming them online just shows you’re not paying attention. Brands that rely on loyalty to unify the in-person shopping experience with the digital shopping experience are the brands that win.

Unify loyalty and marketing

Gartner recently announced the list of Marks of genius for 2021-2022. Research found that Genius brands “double down on loyalty” to help eliminate gaps in disjointed customer experiences while expanding relationships beyond the transaction. Brands that take a customer-centric approach strive to unite loyalty and marketing and improve retention and promotion.

Successful loyalty marketers leverage journey orchestration to respond to transactions in real time and extend brand interactions beyond the transaction. They identify consumer behaviors as they occur and respond to customers at those critical moments of interest with personalized offers that lead to a purchase or personalize points awarded.

Go beyond the transaction

Gain a competitive edge with loyalty that goes beyond the transaction. Company loyalty marketers create experiential interactions to build relationships and move customers from silently satisfied to active advocates within a community. With a single view of your customer, you can create each member’s unique loyalty experience, designed specifically for them, offline or online.

Customers spend more and buy more often when they feel engaged with a brand. More and more customers are signing up for experiential programs, especially when their brand of choice has a seamless relationship with digital and in-person interactions.

Customer Loyalty and Retention: The Long Game with Lifetime Value

By all means, go ahead and find new customers, grow your list. But the real value is in the long run. This is not the first purchase. This is the second purchase, the third purchase, etc. This is real assess. This is lifetime value.

Customer loyalty and retention: the gift that keeps on giving

Joseph P. Harris