Customers used to flock to brands with the largest floor space, the most exciting displays, and the most physical promotional materials in their stores. A unique confluence of circumstances, however, threw this reality into disarray, forever altering the way businesses appeal to customers.
We can trace this big shift back to the early 1990s, when e-commerce exploded; as more and more customers put their trust in online shopping, risk-averse firms jumped at the chance to set up shop in cyberspace. For the first time in history, intangible stores are outperforming their brick-and-mortar counterparts, necessitating a significant investment in how firms display themselves online. Positive online buying experiences have become a critical component of current competitive advantage. How, therefore, can tens of thousands of businesses acquire client loyalty in a market where standing out from competitors is more difficult than ever?
You may start by improving your digital-led marketing mix while also emphasizing the importance of building long-term relationships with customers. A marketing strategy that focuses on attracting more customers in order to produce larger and larger sales is no longer effective. The idea, according to a recent Forbes piece, is to maximize customer lifetime value and, in other words, get to know who you’re selling to. Brands who understand how to invest in a smaller number of important clients are now thought to be the most successful.
To assist you in doing this, consider the following strategies.
Turn Your Attention Away From Short-Term Metrics and Towards Identifying Key Customers
With the introduction of internet commerce, marketing teams worked hard to fulfil criteria like growing clicks and conversion rates consistently. Customers clicking away to study products and services on a webpage, then possibly making a purchase as a result, was previously worth celebrating in web analytics. The problem was that it was a hit-or-miss approach; businesses were effectively crossing their fingers that their online assets would be sufficient to entice customers to spend money on them. They had little to no control over this, and it was a passive marketing tactic in the toolkit rather than an active one.
Since then, it’s been fine-tuned and calibrated to help brands locate critical customers. Clicks and conversion rates are no longer the aim, but rather signs and signals. Don’t only observe the rise and fall of these quantitative measurements; peel back the layers to find out who is behind them. These measurements will reveal which clients are most likely to make repeat purchases—your core customers in whom you should put your money.
Customers should be treated as individuals, not transactions.
Customers may perceive interactions with your brand to be impersonal and inanimate when they shop online. Due to a lack of face-to-face interactions with your sales team, it may appear that all a brand cares about is making a sale.
To address this, provide customers several touchpoints before, during, and after their interactions with your brand—and don’t wait for them to make a purchase before initiating this programme. The more individualised these touchpoints are, the better.
Make customers feel like your company exists to meet their specific requirements by going above and beyond. Know how and where to approach them. Determine the language to use, whether to communicate by email, social media, or regular website updates, and how frequently to do so. If you accomplish this correctly, they will reward you with loyalty—one of the most difficult things to achieve in the online purchasing realm, where equivalent options abound. The more you know about your consumers, the less generic and robotic (and forgettable) your encounters will become. Humanized encounters are still feasible even without an on-the-ground sales team to look after customers.
Create campaigns that are smarter, not bigger.
Brands must strive to reach the right individuals by working smarter rather than harder to reach as many people as possible. This allows them to make better use of marketing dollars while also increasing the effectiveness of your best-performing digital marketing solutions.
You can begin by utilizing web analytics, which provides you with a detailed insight of your consumers’ actions. You get a more detailed picture of where they travel, what they do on your web platforms, and how much time they spend doing it. This manner, your marketing efforts are less random and can be better tailored to your target audience’s needs and interests. After all, that’s always been the secret of the most effective marketing campaigns: the more focused and personalized they are, the more effective they are. This may also show the identity of your high-potential customers. They’re the ones who bring in the most money, so tailoring more direct marketing methods to them rather than everyone else is your best chance.
Examine Customer Data That Has Been Underutilized
Brands don’t always look at the full scope of customer data. They can be confined to seeing how customers interact with web sites, which is still vital, but it is no longer the only thing that matters. Marketing campaigns are better shaped by factors such as the intent behind a purchase, readiness to buy, and opportunity potential.
For organizations that are serious about growing their digital power, hiring a full-time analytics team to decipher this data is a worthwhile investment. Most companies still rely on their marketing departments to achieve this, however it is advised that a separate team be dedicated only to converting analytics data into actionable information.
Maintain Customer Engagement Over The Customer’s Lifetime Value
When a customer clicks “Buy,” many brands consider it a goal accomplished. Purchases are, in fact, the start of the buying process, not the end. Treat purchases, especially first-time purchases, as the ultimate doorway to cultivating brand enthusiasm that converts to sales.
Customers’ lifetime value must be studied more extensively by brands to handle this often-overlooked issue. There’s a lot to be gained by understanding how to persuade existing consumers to keep choosing you again and over again for a long time. Consider asking customers for comments on their shopping experience and the quality of their goods, delivering well-timed seasonal promotions to encourage repeat purchases, building an exclusive loyalty programme, and improving tailored email marketing efforts. The goal is to keep contacting customers. Engagement that is consistent rather than sporadic is essential.
Invest in your direct sales efforts.
Joining digital areas (online “malls”) where companies congregate has value. Customers will appreciate the convenience, and companies will be more visible as a result. However, a dramatic shift is on the horizon that might make direct-selling the next big thing for businesses.
This serves two purposes: it eliminates a profit-sharing middleman, and it allows marketers to acquire customer data directly from customers. As said in all of the preceding paragraphs, knowing who you’re selling to is the lifeblood of any digital marketing campaign. Selling via social media and an official website, as well as using a blog and email marketing, are all methods that can directly expose distinct features of your clients, giving you the most complete picture of your audience you can use. More importantly, with direct selling, you and only you have access to this vital information.
Overall, the path to online supremacy is similar to, but also distinct from, the path to online supremacy when physical buying was the norm. The client is (still) king, but the techniques of making them feel that way have evolved dramatically. Customers have quickly shifted their purchasing patterns to the digital world—ensure that your company has done the same.