Marketing can be a tricky beast to master. The best way to define and attract potential customers certainly has a basic outline, but the intricacies are constantly changing. A novel technique that worked really well to attain customers one day may become mainstream and not very effective the next.
The ultimate goal of any professional marketing expert is not only to attract new customers to try the products you’re selling, but also to retain customers. The more customers you are able to retain over time, the more stable and sustainable your company. Customer loyalty is most certainly something that cannot be taken for granted in any marketing enterprise.
That being said, there are different ways and strategies that can be used to ensure customers continue to be engaged with the products. As any marketing strategist knows, different techniques will work better with different demographics of customers. For instance, plenty of research suggests that different genders interact and utilize customer loyalty programs differently. Understanding and taking advantage of this research can be a powerful means of securing customers for a long time to come.
Customer Loyalty Trends
We are all familiar with some of the differences in the way products are sold to men and women. For instance, in many states, men pay more for car insurance than women because they are statistically higher-risk drivers. Women may end up paying more for certain products due to a “pink tax” or the belief that women will pay more for products that are gendered or designed specifically for them. None of these strategies are very fair yet don't expect them to fall out of practice anytime soon. This is why from a marketing perspective, there are things to learn from studying different gender trends.
A lot of the research that differentiates men and women in their shopping habits suggests that at the very core men and women define customer loyalty differently. Women broadly tend to have a more emotional connection to loyalty and use words such as “trust,” “devotion,” and “commitment” to describe it. Men, on the other hand, use terms such as “honor” and “doing the right thing” to explain loyalty.
Ultimately, this indicates that when it comes to a customer loyalty program, women might take more time to find the right program but will stay loyal to it for a long time. Alternatively, men might search for a program that works for them at the moment and will continue with it only for as long as there is a tangible benefit to it. From a marketing perspective, this completely changes the way that one would approach retaining customers.
Don’t Overplay Gender Differences
Although there are definitely broad differences between the preferences of men and women when it comes to shopping and customer loyalty programs, it is also important not to overstate these differences. If fact, if not done correctly, flaunting gender differences and stereotyping in your marketing strategy can alienate a number of potential customers.
It really is no longer all that popular to make gender differences a priority. Many big-name companies have taken a lot of flack for advertising gendered products where there really is no need to do so. For example, the popular pen company, Bic, took a lot of heat for creating “Bic for Her,” which were gendered pens.
The movement of the future is non-gendered marketing strategies. Today, even the prevailing ideas that trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls are being questioned, for good reason. Rigid gender roles are disappearing in many ways and a strong marketing strategy is one that can keep up with the times. Though there may be differences in advertising strategy based on how customers might respond to the information, the target audiences in general should be non-binary.
Building an All-inclusive Loyalty Program
Creating this all-inclusive loyalty program that attracts and retains men, women, and everyone in between is no easy thing. It takes a lot of planning and tweaking and a variety of different personalized marketing strategies. Thoughtful programs are those that really have something to offer all customers in the long term and are able to generate brand stickiness.
Brand stickiness is the concept that customers will stick with your brand beyond just one purchase. It encompasses all of the goals of a customer loyalty program. Factors such as product pricing, quality, accessibility, and overall customer experience go into this.
A strong, all-inclusive customer loyalty program builds opportunities for customers to engage with the brand, helps generate awareness and knowledge about the brand, and contains a number of useful perks. Some really clever programs work to draw customers in by creating tiers where more loyalty leads to greater benefits and so on.
There are different strategies that can be used to draw both men and women in and encourage them to stick with customer loyalty programs. However, leaning too hard into these gender differences can turn off customers and actually backfire. A strong customer loyalty program is one that can use personalized marketing expertise to generate brand stickiness regardless of the gender of the customer.