Marketers often tend to distinguish between interruptive marketing and permission marketing. With the increasing importance of inbound marketing tactics such as social media and content marketing and the non-linear buying journey, there is a growing focus on a cross-channel interaction with prospects and customers throughout the entire customer life cycle.
With it comes a customer-centric shift towards relevance, a holistic view on all dialogues and contact moments we have with people and looking at conversion as a mix of human and automated actions and a perpetual process of improving based on data, behaviour, actions and tests.
Conversion optimization is a never ending story. Exactly the same goes for permission, for instance in e-mail marketing. Permission and "subscribes" have to be earned every day.
Customer loyalty and new sales
Although all these channels and tactics are crucial in lead generation, lead nurturing, acquisition and converting prospects into customers in general, customer retention and especially the next step, customer loyalty, is key in generating more revenue based on valuable multi-channel and cross-channel interactions.
According to a new report by the loyalty marketer's association loyalty360.org, "three-quarters of respondents revealed that at least 20% of new sales come from existing customers-with nearly half (44.6%) reporting that at least 60% of new sales comes from existing customers".
This should not come as a surprise. Haven't we all said over and over that listening and engaging existing customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones?
What one should not forget is that customer loyalty and the new holy grail for many businesses, customer advocacy, are not only crucial for cross-selling, up-selling and thus the bottom-line but also for…acquiring new customers in an era where word of mouth is increasingly important and satisfied customers bring new clients with them. So: more new sales…
Loyalty is a journey
Retention and loyalty are crucial and smart multi-channel marketing programs, offering value to existing customers, greatly improve revenue, both directly and indirectly.
However, just as permission and conversion are important topics we should work hard for every day, the same goes for customer loyalty. So, customer loyalty is a never ending story as well.
There is no eternal one-size-fits-all loyalty program. Every customer is different, reality is dynamic and a loyal customer is not a given right.
As Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty 360, points out in the report: "Loyalty is a journey, not a destination-and the path is filled with constant changes and technological advances. Customer loyalty leaders are nimble and able to embrace and respond to this rapid pace of change effectively and efficiently."
To be able to achieve this, businesses need to:
- Listen to their customers constantly by monitoring their behaviour and input
- Use the interaction channels their customers use
- Be where these same customers are
- Integrate customer data and marketing actions to be ready for fast changes
- Set up cross-channel programs with a high degree of personalization
- Cross the gap between interactive marketing and interactive CRM
- Be able to respond in real-time
- Combine media and channels in function of customer preference
Read more about an integrated multi-channel marketing strategy in our latest white paper.
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