The one thing you can’t live without in 2021 is customer retention & loyalty strategy.
There are a lot of uncertainties in the world today but the one thing we all know is that keeping existing customers is vital to the growth and sustainability of your business.
Unlike this time last year, where we were citing all the reasons retention is important – the Bain stat that says increase retention 5% and you’ll increase profits by 75%, this year poses 3 significant, different reasons to connect at a new level with your customers. Emphasizing that you really can’t pass on your loyalty strategy in 2021.
Economic Uncertainty = Need to Focus on Customer Retention
When times get tough, money is tight, people spend less and make more critical decisions to where they do spend. In 2008, many organizations made conscience decisions to shift there, then, limited marketing dollars to retention efforts. Those that did fare far better through and post the recession than those who kept spending consistent or slowed spend all together.
With limited resources, consumers will fear making a purchase mistake. They will be less likely to try new things. With limited cash in hand, consumers will make the familiar choice, the trusted choice.
To ensure your customers come back to you, you need to connect with them. Remind them of your value. Remind them of the positive experiences they’ve had and reinforce those experiences at each touchpoint.
Consumers Need Real Connectivity
Fast forward 10 years, 2018, 2019, consumers began to raise the bar on their expectations of the organizations where they do business. It was no longer okay to personalize with my name in an email. Or offer up product selections based on the gifts I purchased. Consumers know they are sharing their data. They’re expecting organizations to be good stewards of their data and use the data to deliver a more relevant customer experience.
Additionally, people today are more focused on what they feel is important – doing good, giving back, sustainability, etc. They expect organizations they patronize to represent the same responsibility, they are taking. A few years ago consumers were asking brands to “know me, understand me, inspire me”. Today consumer’s expectations go further to “walk with me, walk in my shoes”.
Add on top of all of this a year in lockdown. People are focused more than ever on what’s important to them. They’re making more and more conscience choices based on that their values.
The right loyalty strategies and programs allow organizations to create a clear, unique, personal, even empathic value exchange with customers.
Bye Bye Cookies
As marketers, we’ve grown accustomed to building out our marketing strategies based on 3rd party data and technology tricks like cookies to identify customers and prospects and deliver somewhat personalized experiences based on these inferences. We’ve built our tech stacks and our analytics around look-alike models and personas. We’ve invested in CDPs that can get us to 70-75% accuracy in matching data. These activities have been working fairly well for organizations.
Now, all of this is changing. The stringent privacy laws to protect consumers and their data are finally coming to fruition. They are finally here. Organizations are now being forced to play by new rules. These new rules are affecting the technologies we’ve grown accustomed to using. A great example of these changes – cookies are going away.
With the dawning GDPR, CCPA – now morphing to a much more stringent CPRA, mean organizations will need to move from reliance on 3rd party data, to going directly to the source – your customer – for information. Organizations will be forced to work directly with customers to collect their information and gain permission to use their data in marketing efforts.
For many organizations, this means a whole new way of marketing and potentially a number of new technologies. The good news – loyalty technology is built on the foundation of permissible value exchange.
These 3 major environmental changes point to loyalty as the solution and strategy you must have to be successful in 2021 and beyond.
To ensure you are successful in your loyalty strategy, the Annex Cloud Loyalty Experience Manager solution is the perfect answer. With roots in the social space, Annex Cloud is the only solution that can track, understand and communicate with your customer with a personalized, empathic message at every touchpoint. Plus with our extensive integration and partner network, the launch process is swift ensuring you can make an impact in 2021.