Customers Are for Life and Not Just The Holidays
With The Holidays comes a collective feeling of joy and happiness which unites the nation together as one. But the problem with the festive period is every business sees an opportunity to outperform and generate more sales than their competition. For many businesses, this means stacking high on stock and selling at extreme discounted prices. However, unless your business can maintain these budget prices all year round, your business will soon be disregarded by customers when normal trading resumes.
Today’s typical workplace attitude is to ‘win’ a sale at any costs necessary. As a result, many organisations are teaching their employees how to generate a quick sale and close the deal. Yes, you may have got your customer’s money today, but these customers are very unlikely to want to do business with you again.
Robert Hocking, head of the strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi X commented on such bizarre marketing behaviours: “If the only time you made an effort with those you loved once a year, you would likely be alone at Christmas. So why do brands and retailers disproportionately show the love at Christmas and then revert to the ‘same old’ for the rest of the year?”
“Christmas is about stores at their best. But shopper expectation combined with the competitive environment we now operate in, it’s a challenge to think about creating something special all year long. Boxing Day shouldn’t be seen as the end of a magical year, but rather the beginning.”
The best organisations know it’s less costly and more profitable to keep existing customers loyal than to find new ones. These organisations allow for their salespeople to maintain a level of customer service that ensures customers will want to keep doing business. Consequently, these salespeople have successfully generated customers for life.
Learn how a little investment in customer retention can turn festive sales into customers for life:
Lesson One: Always Be Aware of Your Customers Needs
Research conducted by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council shows that the top three common business sectors that SMBs plan to invest in are marketing (35 per cent), sales (28 per cent), and technology/IT (22 per cent), with product/service expansion (20 per cent) closely following. Overall marketing spending is expected to grow by 6.1 per cent over the next twelve months, slightly slower than the 6.4 per cent growth forecast from August 2013.
Businesses who are aware of their customers needs, both online and offline, can adapt their advertising and marketing tactics to profitably gain a competitive edge. Your business’ aim should be to reach your shoppers on an emotional level. To do this, you must learn how your customers respond to your brand, what their buying motives are and how they respond to your marketing ads.
Each customer has their own personality, and once you have an insight into your customers psychology, you can use marketing segmentation to provide insightful campaigns to match these personalities.
Lesson Two: Money Cannot Buy Customer Love or Affection
Digital marketers spend almost as much to keep buyers (45 per cent) as they do to gain new ones (55 per cent). According to a cross-channel marketing report administered by eConsultancy, customer retention is both cheaper than customer acquisition and can deliver a higher ROI.
In the world of business, competition can be relentless. Many brands choose to fight their grounds by trying to out shout or out discount their competition. These brands spend lots of their budget on marketing their discounted prices hoping that the ROI covers for the potential buys. But the price isn’t the only deciding factor and this money should have been invested more wisely.
Each customer boasts their own behaviours and how they respond to brands, products and on-site design will different from the next customer. You should learn what your typical customer persona and enhance your customers buying experience accordingly.
Lesson Three: Always Strive to Give Customers More
The CMO Council marketing spending study showed that two-thirds of revenue growth from consumers and advertising will be digital. As a result, more than 40 per cent of marketing professionals have said to increase spending on data-driven marketing in the first quarter of this year.
As more people are opting to shop online, collecting customer data has never been as easy, and while caught amongst the festive rush many businesses forget to collect this data. However, to avoid sending customers irrelevant information, collecting this data is vital to your online strategy. Web personalisation can help you stay on the right side of your customer and result in long-term custom.
When the festive period is over, you must work to keep this relationship alive, and if things go well, these customers will be telling their friends how your business helped to improve their lives.