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How to build long term loyalty in the Digital Age

How to build long term loyalty in the Digital Age

By Ian Hitt, managing director, Epsilon International EMEA.

Long before the emergence of ecommerce, one of the key objectives for many marketers was building customer value and maintaining it over a long period of time – lifecycle marketing.

While nothing’s changed here, leveraging a customer's long term brand affiliation via online platforms may seem overwhelmingly complex.  However, it’s not solely the preserve of techies able to manipulate search engine algorithms.

One of the most effective ways of doing so is to send a simple email that provides consumers with the right information at the right time.

Implementing a digital lifecycle campaign is deceptively straightforward. By matching their services to a consumer’s needs at a given point, marketers can create immediate brand loyalty. Once customer data is acquired, communication is maintained throughout the product or service lifecycle.

Consider the numerous email-based ‘parenting clubs’ run by high street retailers. By regularly receiving information, promotions and vouchers on all aspects of childcare, new parents are much more inclined to purchase and endorse the products sold by the retailer.

Using targeted information in this way, marketers ensure customer needs are constantly met for the duration of a specific event. But rather than officially ‘end’ successful campaigns once the temporal window of opportunity passes, data already collated can still be used to optimum effect.

For example, the same retailer that provided childcare advice may also sell healthcare supplements for older children and adults: ample opportunity to retain the parent’s interest in its brand and products, retargeting ‘dormant’ consumers in a direct and appropriate way.  
While some marketers are already implementing campaigns of this ilk, the growing influence of social media on consumer behaviour means that a great deal of importance is placed upon ‘real-time’ interaction via online platforms.

That’s where trigger email campaigns can be of real benefit. By aligning peripheral customer activity – such as a visit to a certain area of a company’s website, or a technical support enquiry – marketers can leverage interest in a brand or product, by deploying bespoke one-to-one messages on receipt of such a ‘trigger’ – the precise point that individual customer interest peaks.
Relevance is the key ROI driver here. Research* shows that targeted email campaigns can generate nine times more revenue and 18 times more net profit than broadcast campaigns.

Working with a digital marketing partner can yield high impact results. Where email marketing’s concerned, it’s as much about what you know as who you know. Translating data into business insight gives marketers the ability to deliver personalised offers, develop relevant conversations and increase customer engagement.

Used correctly, marketers have every opportunity to acquire, retain and reactivate customers across the product life and beyond.

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