When people think of what ad agencies do, they typically think of new logos, new campaigns or developing a new website. They generally think of the more aggressive, overtly promotional side of what we do. But let’s say this is typically “first year” stuff. We bring on a new client and they haven’t done anything for a while. Or maybe the company’s competition has heated up. Either way, in these cases we’re in all-out-war competition mode for our client. We’re playing to win in the marketplace.
But what happens after that initial big push? Once you’ve worked diligently to add more new customers, subscribers or members – what now? You’ve already slayed the proverbial dragons and your client has grown. The campaign was successful and we breathe a collective sigh of relief. But now you have to start worrying all over again because you realize “Oh no, now we have to keep these new customers/subscribers/members.” Yup, now you just have a different marketing challenge. It’s now year two.
The good news is that keeping these new customers is in some ways easier than ever before due largely to the digital age. There are more ways to reach them, depending on what kind of business you have. Let’s say you have a restaurant. These days you can do anything from texting information about events or meal specials to asking customers to sign up for your email list or even marketing to them when they get within a short distance of your establishment via geo-targeting. And you can offer several options that cater to the preferences of your customer base so you’re communicating in a way they like. Think of it as a menu – marketing has become the Denny’s of the Internet.
OK so you’re waiting for the downside. The downside is there, yes, but it certainly isn’t anything to get spun out about. If you scrub your data regularly, keep track of what your customers like and how that impacts your business and just keep doing the good stuff, you should be able to hang onto the vast majority. This of course assumes that you have the time and the deep understanding of how your customers interact with your company and brand that is better than your competitors. You do have that right? If not, we need to talk.
Change is inevitable in business just as it is in life. You can’t know everything all the time and new players pop up on the scene in an instant. Add to this the rather splintered media landscape and the plethora of software and technology tools out there to manage your business and it can get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly. Worry not – there is still time to keep your company on top.
What will make the difference between a modest loyalty program and passionate, avid fans has to do with your understanding of the customer lifecycle. If I go out and buy a washing machine, how long is it likely that this machine will last before I’ll need another one? If you sell washing machines, you’d probably better have a good handle on that. You’ll want to send me something once a year reminding me to maintain my machine at the very least. You’ll also want to know that it could be 10 years before I’d consider buying another one. So how do you keep me engaged for that long? You guessed it – you’re going to use the same kind of strategy and tactics that you did to win me over in the first place. You’re going to “get” me. You’ll know that a washing machine that I really love will be easy to use, save me time, won’t break down and most importantly has a brand that resonates with me emotionally. So when you send me that maintenance reminder, it should probably be creative enough to remind me why I picked your brand instead of someone else’s.
The customer lifecycle is an important part of your marketing strategy. If you have clean data, good systems in place and a brand that emotionally connects with your audience, planning for your company and products to endure the spin cycle of business will be a cinch.
If you need help encouraging customer loyalty in the digital age, give us a call at 701-478-1111 and ask to speak with a marketing advisor, or visit absolutemg.com/contact. We’ll help you keep your customers coming back for more.