We are all guilty of not appreciating what is around us enough.

The human mind tends to focus on new and more exciting things and people, forgetting what is right under our noses.

This can also happen far too often in organisations too.

Businesses spend a lot of energy and money trying to grow new markets and acquire new customers. Meanwhile, there might be a base of existing customers being ignored (or taken for granted).

This can be a costly mistake.

Customer loyalty is a brand’s greatest asset

Customer loyalty is a measure of how likely a previous consumer is to do repeat business with a company or brand.

It relates directly to customer satisfaction, customer experience, and the value that they place on goods or services from a business.

If a customer has previously bought from a brand, they have already used and engaged with a product or service. This means that they are aware of the organisation, its values, and have a perception of the price and quality.

It is the equivalent of already having a foot in the door.

In other words, the job of convincing them to purchase, interact or sign up has already taken place.

For this reason, they should be treated as VIPs.

A brand should nurture the relationship through continuous marketing programmes to make them feel recognised and valued.

Data driven programmes

It is always worth remembering that it is cheaper to encourage repeat purchases than acquire a new customer.

As I said before, the hardest part has already been done; converting them to buy, subscribe, donate, find out more, whatever the objective.

When an organisation considers a new prospect, they are pretty much going at it blind. Yes, there are ways to target and segment prospect pools, such as demographics, location, behaviour, attitudes or the media they consume. But apart from that, the business is relying on third-party data, or often trial and error.

With a pot of VIPs however, there should already be a wealth of insight that can be applied to upsell, cross-sell, repeat purchase and even encourage brand advocacy.

Customer records probably include contact details such as email address, location and what they have previously bought or signed up for. This is the bare minimum that a company should be able to glean from past orders or web forms.

Going further, details such as how they discovered the brand may have been collected and can be added to the customer record. For example, which channel or advert drove a visit to the website or sign up page. This can help with retargeting and remarketing campaigns, and also help determine a future ROI on campaign spend.

Advanced website analytics can be used to record behaviour too. How a customer interacts with content before they convert provides valuable data to help build consumer profiles.

Following initial purchases, brands should be tracking how a VIP behaves with future orders or interactions. For example, is the average order value higher or lower? Do they need a discount code to encourage repeat visits? Is free shipping a desirable incentive?

Loyalty programmes for efficient ROI

Collating as much information about customers as possible enables a brand to build marketing programmes that are relevant, tailored and considered.

VIP marketing strategy may include:

  • referring to past purchases e.g. thank you for shopping with us, these are now back in stock…
  • recommending complementary items e.g. because you bought this, we thought you might like to know about our brand new…
  • offering incentives to reward loyalty e.g. here’s a thank you promo code/ free shipping
  • tweaking tone of voice in comms e.g. as a VIP, we know you really love…
  • tailoring marketing to data you may have about them e.g. location, age etc, using dynamic content based on their preferences
  • asking for feedback or user-generated content e.g. thanks for choosing xx, did you like it?
  • anniversary or birthday mailings e.g. happy birthday, here’s an xx on us, or thanks for being a customer for a whole year.
  • surprise gifts e.g. your free mystery gift when you next order/order over £20

When it comes to loyalty marketing programmes, using the data that you already have is the number one way to make it matter.

With well thought through campaigns and creative, existing customers feel valued whilst also making data work harder to impact the ROI.