Retaining & Driving Customer Loyalty in 2020

Eva Maria Schmidt
July 1, 2020

There are countless articles and blogs offering advice to marketers on how to market and continue to engage with customers during and after the current pandemic. So how do you know what’s right for your brand or company? Who do you listen to and what do you believe?

As many other writers have pointed out, marketers and brands should be focusing on efficiencies; where marketing and promotional budgets can be spent most efficiently. For many brands, both large and small, that means concentrating on your existing customers through loyalty and retention programs. That’s easy to say but, in reality, hard to execute. Where do you get started? We have a few suggestions for retaining and driving customer loyalty in the “new” 2020.

1. Long-term and short-term loyalty strategy

Might we suggest examining your strategy as a starting point for overhauling your loyalty marketing? Many brands claim to be doing loyalty marketing, which typically means they have a strong points plan for frequent purchasers; or an automated redemption program for repeat visitors to their website or stores. But we all know that loyalty marketing is composed of more than just a coupon or punch-card program.

To build your actual loyalty program means looking at your overall marketing strategy and adapting and adjusting it for loyalty across all the points along the customer journey. Are you and your team thinking the same way and applying the same tactics when attracting impressions for products, as new customers come on board, as you are once those customers come back and truly are loyal? Many brands have new messaging at each point of the customer journey, or are inconsistent in their messaging.

Your long-term and short-term strategies must match, or at the least be compatible with one another. When thinking short-term strategy about attracting new customers, or getting customers to return to your ecommerce site, or offering programs to loyal customers, are you thinking the same way along the entire journey, long term?

2. Moments of impact

That’s a lot, right? So how do you make sure you’re consistent along the whole journey? Utilize moments of impact and have a model or framework for building those moments. A couple of models we like and have seen used include the marketing flywheel and the zero moment of truth.

According to HubSpot, many marketers only think about the funnel: “You see, funnels produce customers but don’t consider how those customers can help you grow. That’s where the flywheel comes into play.” We like the flywheel because it moves away from the idea of customers as the result in a funnel, and moves towards the idea of constant, ever-engaging “energy”; utilizing marketing energy and loyalty energy, across the whole customer journey from beginning to end. But of course, there is no end if executed well.

Google’s Zero Moment of Truth idea is similar, offering a model where the brand is there for the consumer across every moment of their journey, and effectively any moment across their journey could be the “zero moment of truth” when a purchase is made.

Both of these models use the idea of being there for customers from the commencement of their journey with your brand all the way until and while they are loyal brand ambassadors. Brands need to be consistent in messaging and appealing to loyal customers all along their journey.

3. Omnichannel marketing, the key to loyalty

A lot of marketers talk about omnichannel communication, but loyalty marketing is where marketers can actually put it in place and see results fairly quickly. Good omnichannel marketing is all about applying what you know about your customers and showing them more of that at the time that they want it – and wherever they want it. What better constituency could you ask for than your most loyal customers to get results? You probably already know the basic things your customers love, from their favorite colors or flavors, to their preferences and so on. Plus, you probably also know when they are on your website, what their preferred channel is, and when they buy.

Omnichannel marketing is when you can apply all that intelligence and relate it to their individual customer journey. Isn’t it nice when everything comes together? To get all this done, you need a great omnichannel marketing automation solution. It just so happens, we have one we could recommend…

These three components should help you to enhance or revive your loyalty marketing:

  1. Think about your long-term and short-term loyalty strategies together, as one unified, consistent strategy
  2. Always be creating moments of impact all along the customer journey
  3. Omnichannel marketing is the key to loyalty.

Interested in learning more about loyalty marketing? Check out our webinar on loyalty and retention marketing, with special guest Alexis Munroe, Marketing Director, CRM and Loyalty at Rakuten Kobo, one of the largest e-reader companies in the world. To watch the weninar on demand, use the “READ MORE” button below.