Building Customer Loyalty Through Contextual Marketing
First, let’s consider context and why it matters within a digital marketing solution. Context helps B2C businesses understand, engage, and deliver value to customers in specific situations. Context informs and guides a business to the most relevant action it should take to reach the right audience at the right time.
The term “customer context” is a marketing buzzword, but there’s surprisingly little agreement on what it means. Many digital marketers use the term, or “contextual marketing,” to refer to an online advertising model in which customers and potential customers are presented with targeted ads. But this narrow definition doesn't appropriately capture the full essence of context in marketing.
We prefer to define customer context uniquely: as the special pairing of a customer's disposition and situation with the disposition and situation of a business. The relevance of a company's engagement with a customer is tightly connected to its understanding of that customer’s context.
A customer's disposition defines precisely who he or she is and could include any of the following:
- Demographic data, such as age, gender, marital status, and political affiliation
- Behavioral data, such as how he or she has interacted with the brand in the past
- Psychographic information, such as interests, opinions, and values
- Affinities, such as the customer's price sensitivity and brand loyalty
A customer's situation is constantly changing and could include any of the following:
- States, which could be the customer's specific physical location, social setting, and activities he or she is engaged in
- Physical or emotional needs, which could change at any time
- Sentiments, influenced by feelings or attitudes
- Events or real-time influences, i.e., major life changes such as marital status, a change in job, an accident or illness of a family member, a change in stock price, and more
A business's disposition defines precisely what the business is and could include any of the following:
- Firmographics, such as office locations, number of employees, and language of service
- Product catalog, i.e., what the company actually sells
- Corporate strategies, as well as relationship strategies in general
- Market segmentation, e.g., cohort/persona, loyalty, portfolio strategy, and more
A business's situation is much more dynamic than its disposition and could include any of the following:
- Inventory details, such as the price flexibility of current stock
- Personal details, such as the number of employees currently working or subject matter expertise
- Corporate factors, such as brand or division interactions
- Environmental activity, such as macroeconomic trends and the effects of competitors
Opportunities to Improve Customer Loyalty
Bringing all of these factors together to understand customer context makes it easier for brands to better identify with and reach their audience. It also makes it easier to provide more relevant, personal, and meaningful connections using the best email marketing software and marketing cloud solutions.
Ways to Enhance Customer Loyalty
So, how do you turn customers into loyal brand advocates? You need to understand the framework for building satisfied customers. In most cases, loyalty stems from customers who are happy. How can businesses ensure they are keeping their customers happy? Here are a few best practices for a satisfactory customer experience:
- Implement a customer service training program for employees
- Follow up with customers after a problem is solved
- Make your customer service team readily available to offer support to customers
- Welcome customer feedback—and then apply it
Utilize Data to Analyze Customer Loyalty
B2C marketing platforms can play a strong role in helping businesses build customer loyalty. Data-driven email marketing services and martech platforms can help businesses track customer information, including when, how, and what a customer purchases. Understanding this data informs marketers about what future products or services to recommend to customers, as well as how to get the word out (e.g., via email, physical mail, social media, etc.).
Selligent Marketing Cloud, an excellent alternative to Salesforce, uses a digital marketing dashboard to help CMOs and marketing professionals drive customer loyalty. Not only does Selligent Marketing Cloud offer breakthrough real-time linking of customer data, it also promotes omnichannel customer engagement to help strengthen customer relationships.
Schedule a demo to see how Selligent Marketing Cloud can enhance your customer experience and help build customer loyalty for your brand. Contact us today to set up your demo, or with any questions you have about our platform.