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Marketing Lessons for 2022: Never Stop Dating Your Spouse

Marketing in 2021 was a rollercoaster ride. From the Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) brought forth by the Apple iOS 15 update to Google’s looming ban on third-party cookies, marketers have had to scramble to find new ways to gather data that helps them attract new customers.

But attracting new customers isn’t as fruitful as retaining existing ones. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit. And making sure your customers are happy is critical — customers who are “totally satisfied” with a brand deliver more than twice as much revenue than those who are “somewhat satisfied.”

Additionally, happy customers are 38% more likely to refer a business to their network, meaning a positive relationship with a customer also drives new business. The point? Nurturing existing customers is a wise choice for your organization.

With all the difficulty brought by MPP and Google’s ban on third-party cookies, it’s time for marketers to focus on retaining the customers they already have. By maintaining those relationships, you can gather relevant data volunteered by your customers to further your marketing efforts (that would have otherwise been hindered by MPP). That’s why my prediction for marketing in 2022 is that marketers will focus more on nurturing customer relationships, similar to the way you would with your spouse. Just because you’re in a relationship, doesn’t mean you stop caring. Personal, proactive touches like sending flowers to your spouse or a personalized email to your customer go a long way when it comes to maintaining satisfaction. The more you put into the relationship, the more you get out of it.

Tips for Retaining Existing Customers

Keep the conversation going

So you’ve nailed down a new customer — congrats! The next step is to ensure that customer is satisfied and getting what they need out of the relationship. One way to do this is to supply them with info and training about the purchased product as part of an onboarding nurture campaign. This helps them get onboarded faster and also lets them know you’re more than just a vendor, you’re a partner. But the conversation shouldn’t stop there — all customers should have a direct line of communication with your company in case of issues or questions. On top of that, if you engage with them through frequent check-ins and incorporate their feedback, you’ll improve trust. After all, communication is the key to a healthy relationship.

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Leverage marketing automation

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Marketing automation is a powerful tool that can help you gather and leverage insightful data about your customers. How are they using your products and services? What other products and services might they be interested in? Have they browsed your website and looked at your different offerings? Marketers can leverage these behavioral insights and respond to customers’ engagements with recommended products or services that reflect their own interests and needs. Additionally, marketers can use data gathered through marketing automation to identify products and services that the customer should be using, and use this data to offer free trials, coupons and more to get customers to explore more products and services. Just like you pay attention to your spouse to anticipate his or her needs, you need to be paying attention to your customers, as they present a massive opportunity for greater profitability.

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Get on board with SMS marketing

Mobile marketing is on the rise, and customers continue to want to interact with brands from their mobile devices. SMS marketing allows marketers to meet customers exactly where they are (their mobile phones) and serves as an incredibly effective way to share relevant, valuable information with consumers. For example, a vendor could share an exclusive deal on a new product or service to existing customers by sending an SMS message thanking them for their loyalty and extending the offer. And SMS marketing technology can be used for more than just deals or discounts — it can be used to send invitations, product updates, surveys, and more — all to keep customers engaged with the brand. Just like you share information with your spouse, you should share information with your customers, too, in a way that reaches them most effectively.

Marketers’ Relationship with Data Privacy 

44% of companies focus their marketing dollars on customer acquisition, whereas only 18% focus on retaining the customers they already have. But with Apple and Google making swift changes to data privacy, marketers will be making changes, too. Instead of focusing on customer acquisition so heavily, they will instead turn their sights to retaining and nurturing their existing customer relationships, where they can build trust and gather data volunteered by the customer to further marketing efforts. After all, happy customers purchase more, and a nurtured relationship is a mutually beneficial one, both when we’re talking about customers and spouses.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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