Get under the skin of your customers to boost loyalty

mike gleggIn today’s fickle consumer landscape, creating effective marketing and rewards programmes is no longer about simply driving transactions, but about building relationships. Yet today’s consumers are price-savvy and promiscuous, thanks to the proliferation of choice available to them. This makes understanding what will appeal to them much harder, and brand loyalty much more elusive.
The answer? Developing schemes that are tailored to, and based on, data that gives a holistic view of customers’ purchasing behaviour. So, what does this look like in practice?
Data is king
In today’s faceless digital age, understanding the what, why, when, where and how your customers shop, with you and your competitors, means crunching some data. For example, knowing the composition of a customer’s spend behaviour and how much they spend their wallet across all store formats can help businesses make better-informed marketing decisions.
But most important of all is eyeing up the competition.
That means looking beyond your own brand’s four walls and considering the when and why your customers choose to shop elsewhere. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but appreciating the power of your rivals can actually give you the upper hand when targeting consumers.
Understanding where your competitors fit within your customers’ overall share of wallet will help you pre-empt their spending motivations and purchase choices. With this understanding, brands can craft rewards and marketing schemes which drive sales and divert customers away from the competition.
One size doesn’t fit all
Another important aspect of this is personalisation. By appreciating customers’ cross-category spend, brands can develop schemes which are tailored to their customers’ unique needs and lifestyles. Doing so will make customers feel special, which is more likely to drive loyalty.
Take Amazon; its Prime membership, which boasts over 100 million subscribers, allows customers to pay for a personalised experience so that they get exactly what they want.
And it’s paying off; Cardlytics UK purchase data shows that Amazon Prime members spend on average £590 with them every year, compared to just £230 spent by non-Prime members.
If you show customers that you’re tuned into their preferences – and make it as easy as possible for them to get what they want – they’ll reward you by coming back time and again, providing a reliable source of revenue and flouting the competition.
On the flip side, failing to adjust your approach based on what you know about your customers can leave a bitter taste. Sending individuals offers for products and services which are unsuitable for their age, location or lifestyle will burn bridges with the brand in the long run.
Mutually beneficial relationship
Today, shopping isn’t just about driving transactions – it’s about building relationships. But to do that, you need to know your customers. That requires taking a 360-degree view of their spending behaviours across all companies.
Through that lens, brands can ensure their loyalty schemes always meet, if not exceed, customer expectations and drive reliable revenue into the future.

Mike Glegg is vice-president of sales at Cardlytics

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