Continuity marketing programs have lots of names. The core idea is a series of campaigns to entice a customer to keep buying the products she’s been buying. The goal is to create repeat, habitual purchases. There are lots of examples of these types of programs, ranging from the punch-card you get at the local ice cream shop to the Amazon “Dash” button for laundry detergent that you put on your washing machine so you don’t forget to order more Tide. In one example, it’s more of an incentive program. In the latter, it’s a matter of convenience to hit “reorder” even if there’s no special deal involved.
In any manifestation of a continuity marketing campaign, the consumer is reminded explicitly or implicitly it’s time to purchase the product again. It could take the form of an automated email or direct mail coupon reminding the customer it’s time to re-stock on her favorite snacks, cereal, personal care items, laundry detergent, or even water filters. Many brands would like to avoid subsidizing repeat purchases of the same item by offering a discount each and every time. On the other hand, most brands don’t know for sure if the customer will buy again, so by offering a discount, the brand ensures continuity of purchase without risking a defection to a cheaper competitive option.
It all starts with understanding who your customers are, what they want and need, and what makes them tick. Customer Relationship Marketing, or CRM for short, is an important part of gaining a deeper understanding of one’s customers or shoppers and the various data around a customer’s interaction with your brand. If you don’t have a customer database starting with names, emails, addresses and basic preferences, now’s the time to start. It’s the cornerstone for building customer loyalty and sets you up to execute continuity marketing.
However, having a database doesn’t equate to executing continuity marketing strategies. It’s how you use the data to create better customer experiences in all possible marketing communications. Let’s start with a basic question: What makes a customer loyal? There’s a lot of research to support this customer-centric thinking. It often boils down to getting the basics right of having a good product at a good value and making it easy to buy. And for many brands, that’s hard to achieve by itself.
Next come the intangible factors for building customer loyalty, such as emotional affection for the brand or the fact that customers want convenience. That’s a key reason why good continuity marketing programs can be effective. It’s as simple as reminding the customer they might need product X, Y or Z in the near-future and not to forget to put it on her list.
Continuity marketing programs requires the marketer to understand a customer’s buying habits. A marketer without any valuable data might send emails to the customer every week until the customer is ready to buy the product again. Alternatively, if the marketer had purchase frequency information, a well-timed email 2-5 days before the customer is ready to buy might be just the thing to drive another product purchase.
To build buyer loyalty, it is important to gain a deeper understanding of one’s customers or shoppers and the various data around a customer’s interaction with your brand. If you don’t have a customer database starting with names, emails, addresses and basic preferences, now’s the time to start. It’s the cornerstone for executing continuity marketing strategies and creating and building buyer loyalty. It’s important to capture the right data on who your customers are, such that you can tailor a program over time and drive optimized results.
Continuity marketing can be an effective tool at increasing purchases by customers. However, they can be even more effective if marketers capture customer data to deliver more value to that specific customer based on that specific customer’s preferences and desires. Technology, data and personalization solutions can help automate and scale a customer-centric continuity marketing program. Technology and data, when applied thoughtfully to complement the human element, can drive profits and long-term business results.
If you are interested in discussing how continuity marketing and customer loyalty strategies can be leveraged to personalize the customer experience and build customer loyalty, please contact us today. We partner with forward-thinking marketers like you to bring strategic thinking and digital innovation that build the type of customer relationships that empower meaningful growth.
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