How Loyalty Marketers Can Sustain Customer Engagement

Loyalty360 talked to Julie Bustos, senior vice president of Technology Services at The Lacek Group, about how loyalty marketers can grow customer value and increase customer marketing performance through enhanced relevance and expanded reach.

How do you help clients more effectively execute relevant customer communications across channels?

Bustos: We help our clients do this in three ways: First, we use reach, extending direct-to-customer communications beyond traditional channels like email and direct mail. We can now reach known customers with relevant communications across virtually any channel.

Second, we leverage relevance, creating richer views of each customer by enhancing traditional CRM data with other types of data like demographics, lifestyle, purchase intent, share of wallet, and real-time marketing-engagement data.

Lastly, we focus on business impact, measuring why, how and in what ways consistent, relevant messaging across channels affects buying behavior. We do this by analyzing incrementality plus channel engagement and attribution. These analyses let us understand the return that our clients are getting from their marketing budgets, and they provide a meaningful foundation for ongoing marketing-optimization efforts.

Foundational to all of this is pairing marketing technology and data architectures that enable our clients to identify and measure individual customers across channels. This key unlocks our clients’ ability to reach customers across channels with relevant messages, and to measure and optimize the business impact they’re achieving. Our team helps our clients plan and implement customer data-driven marketing technology architectures and integrations. Our expertise lies in creating reliable, repeatable and scalable data-driven targeting solutions for omnichannel customer communications.

How does this change what loyalty marketers are doing today?

Bustos: This game-changing approach significantly broadens what loyalty marketers can do. It gives us the tools to create sustained personal engagement with customers, in the ways they want, throughout every step of their increasingly complex customer journeys. As marketers, we can be where customers are with the right types of messages to meet their needs and nurture their relationships with our clients. In other words, we can base our marketing truly on each customer, and not the channel.

We also can gain improved visibility of and optimize the return on our clients’ marketing investment. The opportunities here are exciting and enable our clients to better align their marketing investments with true business impacts.

How does that affect strategy?

Bustos: The customer remains at the center of strategy. In fact, the strategy greatly benefits from a better visibility of customer journeys and how customers move through them. That means as marketers, we can develop strategies that enrich and optimize customer engagement throughout their lifecycles. 

This expanded engagement includes, not only continuing with outbound campaigns but planning for and optimizing customer-driven engagement across channels. By being more present across channels and, therefore, engaging customers with greater frequency, we have opportunities to measure, learn and optimize messaging more quickly.

How is this a new approach?

Bustos: It's exciting because the ability to deliver the seamless experiences that customers want via their preferred channels is becoming available. Organizations are able to market to their customers across channels and devices, and understand and measure customer engagement across channels. This is the catalyst to achieving the dream of cross-channel and, ultimately, omnichannel customer engagement.

What will the customer notice?

Bustos: Customers may notice that marketers are delivering on the show-me-you-know-me expectation with consistent, relevant messages across their customer journeys. That said, there should be a certain subtlety to the messaging because the messages are designed to inherently fit each customer along his or her journey. From that perspective, a customer should feel satisfied with engagement with a brand that adapts itself to his or her needs rather than the other way around. This results in an easy customer-brand relationship and reduces the customer’s urge to switch brands.

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