Today, commoditization of a number of retail markets, which used to be big brands in the past, are on a continuous rise. The online businesses are trying to lure in more shoppers by offering bottom prices as well as discounts on their products and services. So what about those so called brands? How can they survive and generate a value while connecting with their customers?
The only solution they have is to come up with digital marketing strategy. A strategy that can help them have an advantage over their competitors by keeping the customers in mind.
When we talk about customer centricity, it simply does not mean offering more customer service or carrying out email marketing even to the last customer on the list. It is even more than personalization. If you are a digital marketer trying to carry out customer-centric marketing, there are a few questions to get answers for –
- Have we properly defined the right target customers?
- Are we doing our best to reach them?
- Are we trying to know them and increase the customer base?
Customer centricity is an important step of digital marketing which you can follow parallel with the ongoing product-related offers. This strategy is followed to increase engagement with the customers. By understanding the differences between the customers, digital marketers can plan a strategy and decide on whom, how and where to focus their budget. By making changes based on data-driven results, you will be able to strengthen the relationship with the customers. This way smart brands can safeguard themselves against the competition and pressure of commoditization.
No doubt customer-centric approach may not work well for all businesses alike. But, in case, you are trying to build a long-term relationship with your loyal customers, this is the way to get started –
1.Customer focused CRM
For every business, their 80% of revenue comes from their 20% of customers. So what efforts are you making to focus on that 20% customers? Proper segmentation of that 20% will help your brand to address the individual customers by placing them in different subsets. Through the process, you will be able to –
- Identify your target customers by proper understanding of buyer persona
- Estimate customer LTV accurately Build up data-driven marketing and sales strategy
- Decide about how, where and on whom you will be spending your budget
It is important to invest your time and efforts on understanding and identifying the buyer persona. This will help to know who your buyers are, what are their pain points, what issues they are facing, what are their goals, and finally what solution you have to offer them.
Today most of the brands out there offer loyalty reward points to the customers. So in case, you have no reward program placed for customers that shop at your store thrice or more a year, you are missing a good marketing opportunity. Many stores have some reward points section on the website or on the emails but, coming up with something that is personal or more specific to the customer can increase the chances of customer engagement.
Then there are brands that offer such kind of loyalty program. So now the question arises like does this program encourage the customers enough to promote the brand? Again, it is a point to see what the loyalty program has to offers the customers.
As a part of the marketing strategy, do you reach out to your customers directly? Do you make efforts to thank them for shopping with you? Do you care to know their like and dislikes? Do you offer them a complimentary gift for shopping at the store? Taking small steps to connect with the customers like sending them a postcard or a catalog personally will also help you establish a strong relationship with them.
3.Content strategy for acquisition
Is your brand trying to drive in more traffic by carrying out content strategies like blogs, guides, etc.? A number of brands are failing to reach customers by not being part of the conversation which revolves around its brand or industry.
Carrying out a content strategy that includes influencer marketing will help you develop a fan base as well as boost customer LTV. This way you will even offer the customers an opportunity to share content on the digital market. Creative content helps you build organic search. You can come up with different contents like blogs and product videos in order to increase brand equity.
Take the opportunity to come up with informative blogs that talk about your brand on influential sites which you can link back to your online store. Opting for affiliate marketing helps you to boost sales without spending more money.
Host events, parties and shows out there in the real world. These events can then be promoted on the website or on social media audience. This will help you to build brand visibility and leave significant impact your audience.
Don’t invest in paid ads when your organic search results are doing good. Many a time, brands manage to get on the better spot on the search results the organic way itself. Still, they keep on spending money on buying ads which help them appear above their organic search results. Now, this is something worthless to do. There is no meaning in spending money on paid ads when you already rank well for the keywords organically. So instead, utilize the money on other important marketing strategies which focuses on customers.
Are you not selling on the world’s largest selling platform of Amazon? No issues. But for many shoppers, if you are not there then you are not even considered as a brand for shopping at the first place. Having a space on Amazon can really affect your sales and so it would be better to have some of your products offered there. You can keep the rest of exclusives specially for your brand website. The shoppers who will then reach your website can be contacted directly to strike a customer-centric conversation after you have their email addresses.
Focusing on the customers and planning right marketing strategy will definitely help your business grow on the digital platform. It is not necessary for you to do everything but, make an effort to try all and see what works well for your brand to reach your customers.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.