We have all heard about triggered communications programs, also known as “Retention Based” programs. But how many local businesses are really doing them, and should they be doing them?
The answer is; not many are doing them, and yes they should be!
Think about all the local merchant and service providers you personally do business with. How many thank you cards, new offers, miss you cards, appointment reminders, anniversary purchases and loyalty offers are you actually receiving in your mailbox? I know that the ones I am looking come from the businesses I frequent or use the most. Why? Because I like to be treated the same way I treat my customers, with consistent communications and higher value offers because I am loyal to them.
Statistics have validated for years that retention based programs should be an important part of your marketing mix. Especially if you derive revenue the same way many of us do, by the 80/20 rule. This is definitely a portion of your marketing mix you should be paying attention to!
So why don't more local businesses deploy this marketing program?
Simple; until now, it has not always been that easy to do for local businesses or any brands that supports them. By the way, most local businesses fail to ever realize that the brands can help with marketing assets, custom messaging, special offers and many will even provide the Local Business with Co-op or Market Development Funds.
The key components of creating a successful Triggered Communications Programs are:
- Must have complete customer data
- Must be simple for the local business to enroll in or set up
- Must be simple for a sponsoring brand to provide creative assets and messages that can be locally customized
- The brand should share in the cost
If these 4 components align, you have the makings of a successful Triggered Marketing Program that can be sponsored by the brand and deployed at the local business.
The beauty of Automated Triggered Communication programs is that once this is set up, the Local Business doesn’t have to do anything else. The various marketing touch points, both direct mail and email, all happen off the data that is tied to the program.
Now let’s look at the benefits for the Brand
More brands now recognize the need to go local, as well as the need to increase the use of trigger based marketing programs. According to a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, 59% of Senior Marketing Executives expect their use of marketing automation to rise. Thirty-nine percent expect it to stay the same. And, according to a recent Forbes article, “a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%... 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers…attracting new customers will cost your company 5 times more than keeping an existing customer.” Brands get this, and by combining this retention based marketing with automated tools, it now makes it a possibility for the brand to lend assistance in getting this done locally. This is a win-win for the local business and the brand.
SproutLoud has been offering easy-to-use tools for both the Local Businesses and the Brands that support them for almost 8 years now. We understand the unique components of what works and doesn’t. One thing is for sure, whether the small business uses automation or not, retention based marketing programs should always remain high on the “must do’s” list of any local business.
About the Author
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.More Content by Gary Ritkes