In a new report called “The Loyalty Habit,” Ogilvy looks at how brands today need to change their marketing habits by reconsidering their reliance on costly promotions and focusing on building genuine consumer loyalty using real-time, omnichannel experiences backed by technology.
By using new marketing technologies, says the Ogilvy report, brands can identify patterns of consumption, test out if they can be recreated, and trigger behavior change in very targeted and effective ways. Brands can then shift customers to more loyal habits that benefit the business. To unlock these opportunities, brands need to be thinking about a unified cross-channel customer engagement strategy.
“The principle of CRM is segmenting your audience and then personalizing different messages to different people,” says Jeremy Webb, Vice President of Customer Experience at Ogilvy Southeast Asia.
“Because of data and technology, for the first time we can now do this through the entire funnel. We can stretch the definition to achieve more.”
While it’s common for many brands prefer to focus primarily on customer acquisition, rising costs on the major platforms like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Snapchat, make reaching new customers online increasingly expensive, which mean brands will need to ensure greater returns.
“There’s nothing wrong with customer acquisition, it’s a key tool to grow your business,” says Chye Yien, Business Consultant at Braze.
“But there are a lot of costs associated with activation. If you want to make money and sustain it, then it’s about looking at the value you are getting out of new users, and that’s about customer engagement.”
The Pandemic Effect
With the increasing cost of digital advertising, numerous new touchpoints, and a shift to digital catalyzed by the pandemic, now is the right time to reconsider customer engagement strategies. The pandemic has disrupted old habits and customers are creating new ones online. 71 percent of users (first-time and regular) plan to continue using digital channels to the same extent or more after the pandemic.
“As soon as people migrate to digital, there are opportunities to enrich your data, make product marketing more precise, and align media budgets to new buying behavior,” says Waheed Bidiwale, Global Vice President of Strategy and Consulting at Verticurl.
“This trend will continue to accelerate, so this is the time to get serious and update your strategy to align with the new reality.”
5 key points to optimize customer engagement:
START WITH HIGH-VALUE ACTIONS
Successful customer engagement strategies begin with identifying the high-value actions that drive business success. High-value actions (HVAs) are customer behaviors that lead to business results. For most companies, successfully nudging customers to carry out a small number of HVAs while interacting with a brand can have a disproportionately positive impact.
FIND RELEVANT MOMENTS
Once the high-value actions have been identified, the next step is to figure out how these behaviors create value for customers. When and in what context does it make sense for people to behave this way? The better that brands understand their customers in that moment, the more effective their customer engagement.
Brands should consider an engagement strategy and organizational model that allows all that data to be shared and for engagement to be orchestrated consistently across the entire user journey.
AI and predictive analysis algorithms can help track when, where, and with whom offers are most likely to succeed. What is more, AI-driven customer engagement enables brands to act upon a wide variety of micro-moments, or relevant moments for smaller segments targeted with more precise triggers.
FREEDOM FOR CREATIVE EXPERIMENTATION
Customer engagement is a tool for generating data as much as it is the means for acting upon insights. We need data to learn from, and that means experimenting with engagement to figure out what works. “The premise of high value action is built on hypotheses and experimentation,” says Chye. “You have to experiment with frequency and intensity, you iterate and constantly test.”
A CROSS-FUNCTIONAL APPROACH
Technology allows brands to collect and analyze remarkable quantities of data and respond with precisely targeted engagement personalized to multiple user segments. To make the most of the potential, brands should consider an engagement strategy and organizational model that allows all that data to be shared and for engagement to be orchestrated consistently across the entire user journey.
Successful customer engagement demands a cross-channel approach, one organizational strategy that goes from acquisition to conversion to loyalty.
A LOYALTY HABIT
Ultimately brand loyalty is about brand value, a total promise much larger than any one aspect of the brand experience. Too often customer engagement is thought of as short-term tactics.
“Brand building is still absolutely important, and this is not about choosing either brand building or engagement,” says Waheed.
“Instead of having one catch-all campaign, we are looking to communicate to specific audiences. It’s about being more precise.”
Ultimately brands need to be searching for opportunities to create equally meaningful brand experiences, experimenting with cross-channel engagement to find the ‘a-ha’ moments that unlock loyalty, brand value, and business results.
You can download the full report here.