Data Builds Customer Loyalty and Retention

April 8, 2010 Gary Ritkes

In today’s economy, retention of customers is the foremost goal among businesses. And building customer loyalty has become the top priority – especially when a five percent increase in customer retention can potentially augment revenue by more than 100 percent. In fact, in a recent report by the Aberdeen Group, 100 retail organizations were surveyed to determine the top challenge of customer loyalty. The answer may surprise you.

The top challenge? The inability to capture relevant customer data, which means that personalizing offers and determining the preferences of customers, has become a difficult task. The finding is quite ironic, actually. Most businesses in the retail channel frequently employ numerous tools for attracting and retaining a customer base. These can range from coupons and loyalty programs, to special events and clearance sales. But all of these concepts become stagnant if the data captured from these tools is ignored or deleted.

Customer data is extremely important. It provides a snapshot of an individual customer’s personality:

  • Geographic Location
  • Product & Service Preference
  • Response Rates to Different Marketing Mediums
  • Important Events (Birthdays & Anniversaries)

This information is just some of the customer data that can be generated from a single marketing campaign and put to use to personalize future offers based on a customer’s preference. Capturing this data can be accomplished by infusing some marketing strategy before sending out any promotions.

For example: A coupon seems like a simple vehicle for generating business. But in actuality, it can provide you with more customer data than you realize.

Addresses and Locations: You may already know a customer’s address, but marketing pieces that are sent to the wrong location and returned to you allow you to revise your mailing lists. Also, by tracking the name and address of the coupon user, you can deduce which local area responded better to your promotion.

Preferences: Did you overestimate the response to your coupon? It could be that your customers are more interested in other items and services that you provide. And, the customers that did respond to your promotion? Track that data, as you know those individuals will be receptive to similar promotions in the future.

Formats: Direct mail or e-mail are the top choices for distributing promotional messages. Per the response to your coupon, you can find out which your customers prefer. And, based on your demographic, you could even expand your promotions into mobile communications or advertising space – depending on a customer’s marketing medium preferences.

We know that the customer relationship doesn’t end when you process a coupon. All of the data generated from marketing promotions should transform your campaign strategy as you update CRM information, refine your future campaigns based on business intelligence from past promotions and track response rates to your message with innovative reporting tools. Whether you are using your own CRM system or some of the robust list/contact management tools that SproutLoud offers, make sure you spend time keeping this data current - and useful. The value of the data generated by your promotions will have more potential value than any marketing piece you can send.

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About the Author

Gary Ritkes

Gary Ritkes oversees all Business Development and Marketing at SproutLoud. He has been a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology and is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and a co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS) which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He is a current board member of the local Advertising Federation chapter and has served as a member for other national industry associations including the DMA, AGA, and the CMO council.

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