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What Do Marketers Need to Do to Gain Customer Loyalty Again?

By Nick Price

Many brands have vowed to improve relations with customers and increase loyalty this year. Yet, while 91 percent of brands say that creating personalization is a priority, only 16 percent of these brands are truly delivering these experiences, according to a new report from Hybris, a SAP company.
The new report, “The Contextual Marketing Imperative: the evolution of personalization from push messaging to one-to-one personal customer experiences,” includes feedback from more than 1,200 consumers and 200 marketing professionals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and explores the disconnect between consumers’ expectations of personalized customer experiences and the kind marketers actually provide. The research found that 66 percent of marketers say their efforts at personalization are “excellent,” yet only 31 percent of consumers reported experiencing personalized exchanges. In addition, a staggering 40 percent of consumers said that most offers fail to deliver anything interesting. The research also revealed that 44 percent of consumers revealed that they receive too many offers and promotions and 37 percent of consumers delete most email offers without reading them.
So why is there a disconnect between what marketers say they are delivering and what they actually deliver? It could be that the promise of adtech has oversold itself and too much technology is becoming a bad thing. While these software tools can be powerful for advertisers in their ability to aggregate and make sense of data, their promise to provide marketers with the means to create personalized and relevant messages is not always a reality.
Being able to eliminate inefficiency through automation is a good thing, yet the Wild West landscape that has developed in the industry has led to a lack of transparency. This lawless landscape has had a negative impact on consumers and the way they respond to marketers. Unchecked, automated ads are ruining the consumer’s experience across devices as they are bombarded with ads while trying to interact with content digitally. Adtech’s lack of accountability has led to these bad user experiences and is in turn working to decrease loyalty among consumers, the opposite of what marketers are hoping to achieve by using these technologies.
So if technology is not the answer, how can advertisers build loyalty? Marketers should think about human behavior and take a lesson from psychologists to adopt strategies that can attract consumers. Everyone wants to avoid pain and increase pleasure and offering services or products that help achieve this is appealing to customers and can help build loyalty over the years.
Language is key to getting your message across as it taps into the psychological need of your customers to understand why they are purchasing a service. Your creative should articulate how your product or service helps prospects avoid pain. This language should also tap into your prospect’s desire to belong. Consumers love belonging, almost as much as they love something new. And remember, nobody wants to miss out on a good thing and your language should get this message across. Time limitations on offers can help drive transactions, as no human wants to miss out on the deal.
And as account-based marketing continues to increase in B2B, marketers will need to take advantage of more personalized marketing tactics that appeal to the character of a company in the same way that brands market to customer personas. In fact, B2B marketers should be thinking about how they can build loyalty with particular companies as they focus less on buyer personas and more about account personas. Understanding the company’s personality as a whole will help marketers effectively turn leads into loyal customers.
Image via Joe The Goat Farmer

Nick Price

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