Putting the customer at the heart of everything should be the de facto for all forward-thinking marketers who strive to build more meaningful relationships across the entire customer lifecycle. Yet in this time of digital disruption, with cookies on their way out, privacy and the tech behemoths getting serious about privacy, it’s more imperative than ever.
The way to realize this is a comprehensive strategy rooted in relationship marketing — the practice of growing long-term relationships directly with consumers while understanding their true wants and needs to better deliver personalized products and services. This philosophical change in how businesses think about their customers will empower marketers to build genuine and lasting relationships from acquisition through to engagement, personalization and retention.
The first challenge for all marketers is turning an unknown contact into a known consumer and initiating a relationship. Modern consumers are cognizant of the value of their personal and preference data and are not going to hand it over without receiving something of value in return — this is the value exchange economy. Marketers can realize this through interactive experiences that conduct granular research, progressively profile, and accrue opt-ins.
Questionnaires, polls, quizzes, sweepstakes, QR codes at point-of-sale and social stories, to name a few, can incorporate reward mechanics that give consumers a genuine reason to engage and submit their first- and zero-party data.
70% of consumers will share their behavioral and psychographic data in return for better service
Now that you’ve got a consumer into your marketing mix, it’s time to continue learning about them, start engaging them across all channels. The owned channels include email, SMS/MMS, website, apps, wallets, chatbots as well as direct mail. Utilizing your data and delivering a cohesive message across multiple channels is the key.
That means brands need a communication frequency based on each customer’s individual purchase cycle and profile attributes. This requires a cadence that is constantly refined by optimal delivery times; campaigns should be triggered based on online behavioral data and other real-time customer signals. Let the data tell you when it’s time to send a message, in which channel, and what the content should be.
35% of consumers felt frustration when they received messaging based on information they hadn’t shared directly with the brand
Consumers do love personalization, as long as it’s powered by self-reported data. The key is using your hard-earned zero-party data to deliver messaging that offers products your customer has expressed an interest in, that fits their declared budget and contains dynamic content that uses keywords you know will elicit engagement from them.
The brands committed to fostering better relationships and adding relevance, value and personalization to their messaging are the ones that are elevated to preferred status and poised to see long-term benefit across the customer lifecycle.
49% of consumers felt frustration when they received irrelevant content or offers
Congratulations. If you’ve successfully implemented the first three stages of the relationship marketing framework, turning a one-off purchaser into a loyal customer and brand advocate will be much easier. However there is still a lot of work to do.
59% of consumers are willing to pay more to purchase from a preferred brand, yet 69% buy from the same brand repeatedly but are not loyal. This represents a huge slice of your addressable market that can be won over if you apply the right messaging strategy, utilizing a value exchange and strong loyalty offering. Consumers enjoy the benefits that come from being loyal to a brand, but it’s up to marketers to engender it.
59% of consumers will pay more to purchase from a favored brand
Our Relationship Marketing Assessment will help you examine the strategy and performance of your engagement strategies across the entire customer lifecycle. Answer a few short questions and get a personalized assessment report straight to your inbox.
Marigold: where relationships take root.