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Customer loyalty in a digital world: A new approach


Louie Pitlo


March 9, 2017

Boosting online loyalty is ultimately a game of inches. Currently, users view data, analytics and operational excellence as a unified digital business capability for them to be loyal to a particular company. For users, a company should go beyond rewards in an inbound marketing strategy to recognise and engage them in all stages of their brand experience.

Good thing there's a three-pronged approach to customer loyalty and we're sharing it with you.

1. Brands should give customers a memorable experience

Deliver a memorable experience through your platforms. Your digital campaigns should engage your users to capture their attention even through a brief online encounter with your site. You should use your inbound marketing tools to provide users with recognisable moments that mean something to them. Plus with the right analytics tools, should track customer behaviour across every engagement and tailor-fit your offering according to customers’ wants and needs.

You can further make improvements such as unifying product, pricing and inventory information. Large companies have done this, but surprisingly many organisations overlooked this strategy.

Another strategy is to reduce friction between your inbound marketing efforts and customer engagement. Try using predictive analytics marketing that could automatically provide a customer with an offer for the next larger size when the time is right.


2. Embrace loyalty as a culture of the company

A shift from merely offering a loyalty program to becoming a loyalty company. Loyalty is best cultivated in non-transactional ways, for instance, you should consider how to integrate customer loyalty efforts in across your organisation. People are motivated by non-transaction rewards, they would pay more for products or services that save them a time or made their life convenient. The result is that these same people will highly likely to join your loyalty rewards program. Suffice it to say, customers, value the experience more than the transaction. A rewards program might help you win them over, but to win them over, you need to focus on the entire customer experience.


3. Align customer experience and analytics

It’s time to review and re-engineer your customer decision journey. Currently, customers are more likely to buy a product or service based on social media or digital word of mouth recommendations. They’re more likely to use their mobile phones even while they’re in your store to compare prices or get reviews by other customers (most likely their friends).


The new journey goes something like this:

When it comes to inbound marketing you can apply the process above to determine user or customer behaviour. 

          > Discover (comparison shops) You may use analytics for this phase include segmentation, lead scoring and acquisition modelling.

          > Explore (research reviews). You should offer optimisation, marketing mix modelling and some form of A/B or multivariate testing.

          > Buy (purchase). You should try propensity modelling, valuation modelling and next-best-action modelling.

          > Engage (write reviews). You should well identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, and then create churn models and lifetime value models.

Customer loyalty is a key to motivating factor with customers, improves profitability, and drives the business competitiveness in this digital world. You may use business models above to best determine when the profitability of the customer is more than the customer acquisition price.


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