What does loyalty really mean? Yes, consumers have some brands they feel a particular affinity for, but could it be said that they are truly loyal? And is driving an emotional response really what brands should be seeking? Or could there be a more mutually beneficial way of building relationships?
Recent research conducted by Edit and Kin + Carta reveals that consumers are increasingly habitual, but not loyal. Overall, there are low levels of perceived loyalty towards brands and outlets, with close to one third of respondents stating they show no loyalty to any sector whatsoever, and at least 75% of those surveyed stating they do not have a ‘strong’ level of loyalty towards a brand in any sector.
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Building personal relationships based on behaviour, even if that means driving habitual decision making rather than the more amorphous loyalty, is critical if brands are to retain customers. Across all ages groups and demographics surveyed, over 50% of respondents stated that companies which were not applying personalisation to their communications were unlikely to receive their repeat custom.
Data, naturally, underpins the ability to deliver personalised journeys, but to acquire it from consumers requires providing a sufficient level of reward to purchasers, who are increasingly savvy as to the value of the information they share.
Effectiveness of incentives shifting
To kick-start that process, traditional reward schemes and offers still provide the strongest incentive, though the research suggests there is significant disparity between genders and ages as to the form and format these promotions should take, with younger consumers in particular favouring exclusivity over discounts.
“Next-level personalisation is about landing the right thing with the right customer just at the right moment – and across touchpoints. Photo Editing Services Data is an essential foundation, and artificial intelligence, machine learning and clever decision engines help too,” suggests Currys’ brand and marketing director, Dan Rubel.
Next-level personalisation is about landing the right thing with the right customer just at the right moment – and across touchpoints.
Dan Rubel, Currys
While developing personalised customer journeys requires supportive technology, what is critical is creating a sufficient level of usability so that marketers can unlock it to best effect, something Microsoft had firmly in mind when its introduced real-time customer journey orchestration to its Dynamics 365 Marketing platform.
Its head of product management, Jim Nakashima, comments: “When we developed the customer journey orchestration features within Dynamics 365 Marketing, we prioritised ensuring the capabilities were customer-led, insights-driven and draw meaningful data from across an organisation, not merely the marketing department. Our AI then takes care of a lot of the heavy lifting, [allowing] users to create meaningful journeys without the need for specialist expertise or a reliance on developers or engineers.”
“The most game-changing thing is identifying the key trigger moments that count and then designing an end-to-end, multi-touchpoint, personalised experience that dazzles,” Rubel insists. “For Currys, those are moments like moving house, or when the washing machine is on the blink, or – the moment we dislike the most – when a customer starts to engage with us a little less than normal. When a customer is in one of those moments, then we’re working to make sure our experience pivots to be more relevant – online, in store, in email, on the doorstep and more.”