Companies in the past struggled to understand who their customers were, where they lived, and what they wanted. The larger and more successful corporations spent millions of dollars in research to get a mere pittance of data on their consumer base. This is no longer the case. In fact, businesses now have the opposite problem: their marketing departments are swimming with data.
Online shopping and commerce have led to the generation of extraordinary amounts of data every single day. Such information must be properly managed if it is to be put to good use. Marketing professionals must utilize tools such as marketing automation to make the right decisions and get good business results.
The Ultimate Aim of Marketing
It is to capture and retain customers; it is to establish a consumer base and do what is required to expand it. Getting new customers tends to be the focus of most companies. You must expand your customer base if you are to take your enterprise to the next level.
But doing the latter will mean nothing if you cannot hold on to the customers you already have. Retaining your current crop of customers is valuable. It can lead to a higher return on the capital you invest.
It is possible to use marketing automation tools that provide the data and insights you need to increase customer retention. They can show you how to capture the right kind of customers and help you determine an optimal mix of strategies to both preserve your base and expand it.
What is Customer Retention?
Customer retention is the percentage of customers you have secured long-term: the people who love your brand and will continue to buy your products. Most companies calculate this figure on an annual basis. However, companies that sell and invoice monthly assess customer retention more periodically.
Customer retention is not only important to companies themselves. It has become a popular tool for investors. If you are looking to raise money to finance your expansion, prospective investors will want to know the health of your company. A low customer retention rate indicates risk. Indeed, the financiers you need may even question the viability of your company, or at least your current business models.
It is for this reason that leading companies use customer retention as their main marketing objective. Doing so helps them go after the right kind of customers—the kind of people who are likely to like their product line and purchase items again and again.
The Importance of Customer Retention as a Marketing Objective
Securing new customers is much more expensive than keeping the ones you already have. Customer retention is not about sentimentalism or making an easy sale; it is just good business. Research conducted by a leading consulting firm has shown that better retention rates equal larger profits.
The bottom line here is that customer retention provides good value for money.
How Marketing Automation Provides the Data Needed to Measure Retention
Marketing automation tools can produce a great deal of data. Once a customer has been acquired, the means that they used to search for and find your company and purchase a product from you becomes useable data. These tools can discern which platforms and special offers send customers to you and at what cost. You will also be able to tell which programs get customers to stay with you longer and spend more money.
As the customer buys more items, you will be able to determine how much they spend, how much they use your product or service, and when they leave your company. In some cases, you may even be able to figure out why.
Starting Off with the Right Customers
Yes. It is possible to attract the wrong kind of customer. This may go against everything you know about business, but it is nevertheless true. You should not aim, in your marketing campaign, to solely attract one-off spenders or deal seekers. They will leave as soon as they find a less expensive option.
The goal of your marketing campaign should be to get the kind of customers who are in search of the value that your brand provides. You want customers with whom you can enter a long-term business relationship. You provide value to them, and they in turn become valuable to your business. If you are to spend money on a marketing and advertising campaign, it should target these kinds of consumers.
How to Use Marketing Automation Data to Drive Retention
Marketing automation data gives you the power to evaluate the efficacy of your efforts. It allows you to see key performance indicators related to program budgets, leads generated, and conversions made.
Here are some other ways that marketing automation can help you drive up customer retention rates:
1. Marketing Mix
Based on the data, you will be able to determine the right blend of retention approaches. You should never rely on one tool or technique to keep your customer base satisfied. Using marketing automation data will help guide you toward the right mix of activities to increase customer retention.
2. Sales and customer service insights
You can also use the data to figure out which leads should be followed up, and which customers may need extra support or service. Sometimes it is the little things that matter most to people. If you want people to be loyal to your brand, then you must show that you care about their needs. You can use data to figure out the latter.
3. Content and messaging
How you communicate to your customers is important. Marketing automation data can give you insight into the kind of messages and content that will resonate with customers. This is not only needed to attract new buyers; it is also essential to keep your current ones.
Customer loyalty and retention should not be an afterthought for your marketing team. It should be one of its top priorities. You have an advantage over business executives of the past. You have ready access to large amounts of data about the people who buy your products. Most of this can be gathered through automated tools. It is up to you to leverage this data to create programs that attract consumers from whom you can get the most value.
Customer loyalty is not about warm feelings between your company and the people you sell to. It is a business proposition—one of the most important business propositions. Customer loyalty gets you customer retention, and with it, higher revenue. To get loyal customers, you must seek out people who can get the most value from your products and solutions.
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