You already know that relevant, personalized messaging can make or break your digital marketing campaign. Let’s humanize the digital experience. So as we think about cutting through the noise during the increasingly competitive holiday season. Brands fine-tuned their Cyber Monday promotions for months and worked to solve supply chain shortages. How can your company use personalized content to stand out and drive incremental revenue. For the all-important holiday season and beyond?
While technology has enabled more personal, immersive experiences, consumers’ expectations remain higher than ever. Having a seamless e-commerce website experience is expected. Now is the time to go beyond offering transactional benefits. Such as low prices or free shipping offers. Instead focus on providing an enriching consumer journey, like with targeted messaging.
And there’s no time like the present if you’re looking to grow your brand’s holiday revenue. In fact, almost half of consumers start their holiday shopping by mid-November. 56% finish by mid/late December (Dec 11-31), according to the Facebook Holiday Discovery Moment Study by YouGov.
So, how do you make the most of it? Based on my experience managing digital marketing at companies like Nike, L’Oreal, and Meta. Here are my three tips to increase brand loyalty and reconnect with ambivalent consumers to improve your online revenue.
1. Craft purpose-driven messaging
Think about how your customers’ priorities may have shifted this season. How your brand can meet their changing needs. Successful companies are re-evaluating how to stay relevant by crafting more purpose-driven messaging rather than creating purely transactional content. Your brand’s communication strategy should be an extension of its DNA and amplify what your company believes.
According to a Deloitte study, 25% of respondents said they stopped shopping with brands that appeared to be acting in their self-interest. My takeaway? Consumers will stay loyal to the companies that demonstrate authentic empathy. And relationships will last longer when your customers feel invested in your company’s success. When analyzing your outreach strategy to your consumers. Whether through social media or email, ensure that your messaging engages, inspires, or impacts others.
Consider the three phases of a consumer’s traditional path-to-purchase:
- Discovery phase: How does your brand show up when your audience conducts research? When a consumer Googles you, do your brand’s philanthropic initiatives show up at the top of the search results page?
- Consideration phase: How does your brand show up when a consumer engages with your content? Do your influencer/creator’s social media posts represent your brand’s values?
- Conversion phase: How does your brand show up when a consumer ultimately shops on your website? What action do you want your consumer to take beyond making a one-time purchase?
Ensure that your purpose-driven messaging is woven throughout all of your brand’s “owned” channels. Humanize.
A recent blog post by Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s Chief Operating Officer. It features episodes led by television host Elaine Welteroth on their Facebook Shops tab. In order to highlight select Black-owned businesses that have continued to be the hardest hit by the pandemic. Helping consumers learn about their business journeys and encouraging people to #BuyBlack for the holiday season.
2. Build an affinity-focused customer profile
Who are you talking to? Get to know your audience. Data is one of the most valuable resources that companies have. We know cookies are going away. Therefore this will make it more challenging for brands to collect and attribute third-party data. This makes it critical to continue gathering information directly from your consumers on your brand’s owned website. A consumer’s first name, gender, and the last category shopped.
But, be sure to take it one step further and go beyond merely capturing transactional data points. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about your consumer’s interests and affinities. Are they interested in researching or buying? If they’re undecided, would they prefer that you send them a sample to “try before they buy”?
Who are they buying for? Are they interested in purchasing the product for themselves. Or are they buying gifts for a friend?
After they complete a purchase, would they like monthly stylist tips on how to “update their look?”
To continue the conversation, either after they browsed your website or purchased. Would they prefer to get text messages or email communications from your brand?
Rather than making assumptions about vague customer personas, humanize the data capture experience. Get to know your audience by understanding their unique preferences. This ultimately helps you retain your consumers and reduce their churn rate.
3. Redefine customer retention
Marketers closely monitor traditional e-commerce metrics like conversion rate and bounce rate and often keep a careful watch on CRM. Analytics, like the monthly number of one-time purchases, repeat purchase rate, and consumers’ average replenishment rate.
While consumer demand for online buying hasn’t waned. According to McKinsey. As many as 30 to 40% of consumers continue to switch brands or retailers. I encourage marketers to take this opportunity to redefine brand loyalty. In addition, retention before their customers start shopping elsewhere.
We should go beyond merely defining retention as a customer making two or more purchases and instead try to understand consumer behavior across all channels. This goes beyond “last-click attribution,” which tells us the last channel they clicked before purchasing from your website.
What if we assigned tiered “values” to consumers who engaged with the brand during the “consideration” phase of their path-to-purchase, rather than just monitoring shoppers during the “conversion” phase of their journey? In other words, a loyal customer should be defined by both shopping and engagement behaviors.
For example, if a consumer searched for non-branded keywords in Google. Watched a how-to video, and then signed up for emails on your brand’s website, traditional marketers might disregard this research behavior since they’re only in the “consideration” phase of their path-to-purchase. However, a more nuanced marketer might consider this an excellent opportunity to assign a tiered “value” to this type of consumer. Develop relevant content with a targeted communication strategy. Converting them to a purchaser and brand loyalist down the road.
Here are three tips to retain your customers.
By Melissa Stone December 3, 2021.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.