Businesses have a BIG problem – one we’re all aware of and shy away from speaking to because it’s scary and unpleasant, and easier to ignore . . . much like a failed relationship. Instead of confronting the issue head-on, we pretend to not notice the signs until it’s too late – but I’m telling you right now, that strategy might keep you off your CEOs radar for the time being, but your day of reckoning will come, brand marketer. So let’s just put it out there and attempt a scary proactive approach instead (at the very least, you’ll be ahead of your competition – and zooming through your day on a scary adrenaline rush): It’s approaching ‘mission impossible’ to retain consumers.
Whew! Now that THAT’s out of the way, let’s reveal why this is and what you can do about it:
The Thrill Is Gone
Sales are slowing down – or maybe they haven’t yet, but you know that the sale takes a bit more work than it used to. Either way, there’s more effort being expended to keep momentum and you’re ever so slightly concerned.
You’ve noticed an uptick in unsubscribes to your newsletters and offers, or your click-through rate seems to have hit a slump. Some may even be reporting your emails as spam!
Or, if you’re lucky enough to have dedicated “brand ambassadors,” you’ve noticed they’re less engaged (or just much more high maintenance) than they used to be and you’ve either joked or heard a colleague quip about how “fickle” some consumers have become.
Maybe you blame all of this on Millennials – and maybe you’re right to do so, they DO inspire every other generation’s spending habits after all – but regardless of where it originates, there are a few simple reasons why this could be happening:
1) Your product isn’t the best option available. You’ve been paying attention to competitors and making sure someone hasn’t disrupted your space with a better, more efficient, cheaper option, right? Get that intel in order.
2) You’re alienating clients by spamming them with offers that aren’t personalized. This just won’t be tolerated by today’s consumer, sir/madam. Research some options and up your game.
3) You’ve placed all of your eggs in a loyalty basket. And as my headline states, loyalty is great, but it can’t be your end game. Much like personalization (and optimally, combined with personalization), loyalty only works if you understand your audience and commit to long-term.
So what should you do?
Baby Come Back
You need to be focused on building direct consumer relationships to keep these fickle consumers coming back for more (or even more than once!). If you want to build a long-term relationship, you need to keep them interested, engaged – and in love.
Or, as PunchTab puts it, you need to refocus on retention and growth, because your acquisition-only strategy is no longer effective – and will lead to a slow death. Admit it. It’s the only way forward.
“CPG success depends on connecting to consumers in meaningful ways, understanding their needs, expectations, and behaviors, and acting on those data-driven insights to build better relationships… and revenue, obviously.”
Put what can you do, specifically?
1) Take a fresh look at your audience. Have you created a target persona recently? If not, it may have changed. Time to take another look at who you’re marketing TO and if that demographic has changed.
2) Rethink your marketing efforts. Change is good – and in this fast-moving digital age, it’s required. Your tried and true tactics probably aren’t and you just haven’t noticed (because who wants to admit THAT?). Get ahead of potentially annoying eblasts and ban them from your business.
Beyond that, PunchTab is hosting a webinar on March 3rd with Loyalty 360 sharing “how to activate, engage and drive advocacy from the customers you worked so hard to acquire” and:
-Why shifting resources from acquisition to retention will drive sales now and increase future Lifetime Value
-Real world examples of leading brands who have fixed the leaky funnel
You can tune in and glean some actionable insights to inform your efforts or continue ignoring the problem until someone else in your organization does . . . either way, it’s time for a change. Are you ready?