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 a consumer’s relationship with a brand changes.
By: Allie Hardee, Cheetah Digital
One and done marketing doesn’t cut it if you want to thrive in today’s customer-driven market. Brands need to foster meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. It starts with identifying your best customers. It involves appreciating and rewarding your most loyal. And, if done well, with attention and humanity, it lives on…for a very…long…time.
Nurture Your Best Customers with a Retention Marketing Program
We all want more customers. But there’s something better, more valuable than new customers: returning customers.
Customers who come back tend to spend more. In fact, Cheetah Digital’s recent Consumer Trends Index revealed that 57% of consumers are prepared to pay more to purchase from a trusted brand.
Customers who come back share their experience with others, effectively helping you acquire those new customers we all want.
Customers who come back are more apt to stick around. The more positive experiences a customer has with your brand, the greater the potential of them becoming a loyal, and reliable, customer.
What Are the Best Customer Retention Strategies?
There are a ton of customer retention strategies out there. But here are 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 churn.
- Automate journeys and personalized offers that reward active customers or encourage re-engagement from detached customers.
- Utilizing 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 and place, and watch your conversion rates — and profits — soar.
Retention Marketing is Relationship Marketing
In order to stand out from your competitors 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 in than someone who waved at the door, customers who feel they’re a part of a two-way relationship are more likely to engage with you. And come back. And come back again.
Enter: omnichannel loyalty. Unifying the worlds of marketing engagement and customer retention can help you accomplish your goals of creating a community of brand advocates and growing customer lifetime value.
Enterprise Loyalty: Cultivate Lasting Emotional Brand Loyalty at Scale
Think about your own in-person shopping behavior. While checking out, you type your phone number into the kiosk. The clerk confirms your identity, you grab your goods, and head home. Once a month, a coupon is mailed out that ends up lost or forgotten. Repeat. There is no real relationship there. The store is close and has what you need, but you’d probably be fine to purchase from the almost-identical competitor just up the road.
Loyalty has a different personality for the digital shopper. When you go to your favorite online store, you actually log in to shop. You want to log in, because you want the company 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 deals. You encounter experiences that go beyond the transaction. You earn points for sharing pictures of your best bake, and get rewards for telling friends about your hike at the state park. You’re a part of a community and happily advocate for that brand in exchange for more value, like better offers and more personalized experiences.
But these experiences don’t have to be that different. Failing to recognize a loyal customer in person but welcoming them online just shows that you’re not paying attention. Brands that leverage loyalty to unify the in-person shopping experience with the digital shopping experience are the brands that win.
Unifying Loyalty and Marketing
Gartner recently announced the list of Genius brands for 2021-2022. The research revealed that Genius brands are “doubling down on Loyalty” to help eliminate gaps in disjointed customer experiences while expanding relationships beyond the transaction. Brands embracing a customer-centric focus work to unite loyalty and marketing and improve retention and advocacy.
Successful loyalty marketers leverage journey orchestration to respond to transactions in real-time and expand interactions with the brand beyond the transaction. They identify consumer behaviors as they occur and respond to customers in those critical moments of interest with personalized offers that lead to a purchase or customize the points awarded.
Go Beyond the Transaction
Gain a competitive advantage with loyalty that goes beyond the transaction. Enterprise loyalty marketers create experiential interactions to build relationships and transition 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 on.
Customers spend more and shop more often when they feel engaged with a brand. More customers enroll in experiential programs, especially when their brand of choice has a seamless relationship with digital and in-person interactions.
Customer Retention and Loyalty: The Long Game with Lifetime Value
By all means, go out there and find new customers, increase your list. But the real value is in the long game. It’s not about the first purchase. It’s about the second purchase, the third purchase, and so on. That’s real value. That’s lifetime value.