Every brand manager and product manager in the world wants more loyal customers, right? Well if they can master the art of one-simple 6-letter word they would be well on their way to achieving their goals.
This seemingly innocuous or harmless word can be very harmful and quite damaging to a brand’s long term success if not done properly and consistently.
The word is “engage” or “engagement” if you prefer. No matter what you call it interacting and engaging with your customers and prospects is the key to establishing, fostering and maintaining brand loyalty. However as know from a recent post, Engagement Is The Most Important Digital Challenge For Marketers… “According to a recent McKinsey quarterly report, having the ability to engage their customers and leverage those relationships is the number one digitally-related challenge facing marketers today.”
In its findings from a recent report, the Top 12 Customer Loyalty Trends for 2012 – Loyalty 360, the loyalty marketer’s association made it perfectly clear that brand managers and product managers and all digital marketers better meet that challenge head on.
“Customer engagement is the journey, loyalty is the destination. Loyalty is a much bigger, broader, richer and growing ever more complex idea than it has been in the past. Loyalty is no longer about points, discounts, miles, rewards; it is about the way the processes, technologies, ideas, interactions engage an individual with the brand. The only way to achieve loyalty is through deeper engagement.”
That last line is very powerful indeed if for no other reason the use of the word “only.”
More from their report:
- Marketers are being distracted by daily deal sites and need to refocus and get their eyes on the ultimate prize. “While daily deals like Group-on, Living-social are generating lots of buzz, marketers are realizing that these price-based technologies have taken their focus away from the real prize: customer loyalty.”
- The issue of Big Data is all-too real and knowing how to use it effectively. “Study after study is showing that marketers are struggling with mining this data and analyzing it in order to derive valuable insights and actionable intelligence from it.”
- Marketers will seek out brand ambassadors. “Social personalization will increase. Marketers will harness the power of recommendations and referrals to persuade customers and prospects to follow their friends’ leads. They will become more proactive in encouraging reviews, implementing refer-a-friend programs, etc.”
These are just some of the loyalty trends Loyalty 360 identified and you can read the full report here.
It is clear, now more than ever, that engaging your customers and your prospects in a deep and meaningful way is paramount to any company’s success. Consumers want to engage their favorite brands, they want to know you are listening, they want dialogue, two-way conversations.
How do engage your customers now?
What other ways can you engage them?
As a consumer, which we all are at the end of the day, how do you want your favorite brands to engage with you?