The most successful retention marketing fosters mutually beneficial relationships between merchants and their best customers. To create such a high-performing program, merchants need more than generic customer insights; they need proprietary data that maps how customers experience their particular brand. Seek out those innovative providers who can deliver actionable information in order to earn a higher ROI on your loyalty investment.
Frankly, the amount of information we each sift through doesn’t seem as overwhelming as it should – email alone provides 100 different pieces of content to evaluate every day. We cope because we have developed incredible faculties for skimming (i.e. breezing through info trying to grasp the main idea) and scanning (i.e. breezing through info seeking a specific answer). I actually remember the day I learned these skills in grade school. At the time, I was lost. When would I ever need to just sort-of pay attention to something?
Whoops. Talk about a used skill (Thanx Mrs. Bass!). In modern discourse, consumers skim and scan (for simplicity (and fun), “skin”) literally everything, including – and especially – content from those businesses where we shop, eat, and make purchases. We have to – the amount of information sent forces us to train our eyes to only register relevant and compelling information.
Thus is the challenge for merchants. Though CRM and device ubiquity have increased metrics like open rates, unfortunately the more-important conversion rates remain flat. Merchants need better ways to cut through the noise. Failing to develop such capabilities poses a significant risk: decreased revenue in the form of less in-store traffic, fewer transactions, no referral business, and zero one-time customers that actually come back.
Fortunately, one strategy for getting the attention of skinners works: personalization. Stats confirm this assertion (e.g. personalized website content increases sales by 20% and 96% of businesses state that personalization is critical to their success), but intuitively personalization makes sense. We decide to engage with only that information which is relevant to us.
In order to deliver personalized content to customers, merchants need help creating and managing data. There’s simply no other way to manage 1-to-1 communication at high volume.
However, whereas every provider talks about personalization, only a select few can actually actually deliver usable information. The rest provide generic customer insights. The consequences of such low-performing programs are easy to spot:
To succeed in the modern economy, merchants need to act on information relevant to their business. Instead of generic customer info, they need proprietary insight that maps exactly how their customers engage with their brand. Turns out, the best platform for creating this type of perspective is an effective loyalty program. In fact, that’s exactly why loyalty programs exist in the first place.
That said, finding loyalty programs that can actually deliver proprietary data is hard. Not every provider is created equal. Generating proprietary customer profiles comes down to synthesizing three data sets – known affectionately (by me) as the personalization data triforce: demographic, behavioral and transaction data.
By combining these three data sets, merchants can start launching proprietary programs to reap the revenue benefits mentioned earlier: more in-store traffic, transactions, referral business, and one-time customers that actually come back. Here are three examples of how the combined insights generate actionable marketing decisions:
Note how all the above reflect relevant insights that provoke clear merchant action. By combining demographic, behavioral, and transaction data, campaigns like the above are easily implemented and immediately lead to increased revenue from existing customers.
Sharp marketers will note that there is one more step. No matter how strong the proprietary data set, merchants still need a ton of unique content to personalize the end customer experience. We’ll cover how to create proprietary content in a future post. For now, build up those proprietary data profiles and post any questions to the comments.