Thomas Oppong
Jun 2, 2015 · 5 min read

This post was selected by the editors of Context as one of the best posts about the marketing and advertising published on Medium in 2016.

Customers have seen and heard enough. People don’t buy from you just because you invested in an ad. Don’t focus on attracting customers if you don’t have a plan to retain them. Loyalty is the new currency. Loyal (and repeat) customers are the ones who keep your lights on and doors open, and are most likely to advocate for your brand.

Intense loyalty is what drives Apple’s revenue. That kind of extreme loyalty inspires confidence in others, which in turn drives new sales. In the three months of Q2 2015, Apple sold an incredible 61 million iPhones. That’s up from 43 million iPhones during the same quarter in 2014 and is the second biggest quarter for iPhone ever.

“Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” — Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine founder

Of course, not every company is Apple. Your product probably can’t do all the talking. Your business wins when you focus on attracting loyal customers instead of emphasising traditional marketing. Putting together a good retention strategy will lead to increased customer profitability. An insane focus on pushing marketing messages to your target audience doesn’t work anymore.

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” — Joe Chernov

Customer education is the new marketing. One of the best ways to establish and reinforce common values to attract and retain customers is to create highly educative and epic content that’s so highly specific to your industry that it defines not only your brand, but the customer. Buffer is doing exactly that. And guess what it’s working and they are one of the authorities on social marketing education.

“When you start with what’s at stake for the buyer, you earn the right to their attention.” — Jake Sorofman

Companies that can boast of great success in their customer retention endeavours often have one thing in common though — great customer service. Retaining customers starts from within. Are your employees delivering the best service…ever? Your customers are the best to judge.

“News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.”- White House Office of Consumer Affairs

Can your customers honestly say they are getting the best value for money from you? People don’t stay where they aren’t valued. You may be losing customers because of how you treat them. Everyone wants to have a home. When people feel at home, they connect. Get them talking and they will tell you how they feel about your brand. Brand loyalty has always been driven by emotional engagement. Start engaging your customers today.

“The only people who care about advertising are the people who work in advertising”– George Parker

Give people a reason to buy from you.

Make every offer and every ounce of content relevant and engaging to the people — living, breathing, individual human beings. Don’t sell me your products and services. Teach me how to buy them. Show me how they will make my life and work easier, simpler and more meaningful. Be critical to my mission, and I’ll be ready to invest in you. OPEN forum.

Loyalty is a relationship. If you want to attract customer fans, be a fan of your customers as best you can. Listen and respond to feedback, and offer help and advice — don’t simply sell; have real conversations with your customers. Business is personal. Focus less on automated technology and more on empathy.

Brands with the most loyal customers.

In a marketplace where brands struggle to create meaningful differentiation and engagement, those who are able to identify customers’ expectations and address them via authentic emotional values, will see tangible results.

Brand Keys’ 19th Annual Customer Loyalty Engagement Index® (CLEI) found that brands like Avis, AT&T, Hyundai, Ford, Domino’s, Dunkin’, Konica Minolta, Google, Discover and the NFL, maintained their #1 category positions in challenging category environments. Brands that were rated #1 for the first time included Air Canada, Facebook, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Breakfast Bars, Chipotle, Exxon Mobile, Nationwide, and Travelocity. Consumer expectations have increased by 28% across the 64 categories in this year’s survey.

The ratings are based on a brand’s ability to meet customers’ expectations for their Ideal in the category where the brand competes and better than the competition.

Customer satisfaction and loyalty is increasingly determined by the complete set of customer experiences across multiple interactions with the brand.

The good news is that consumer expectations grow with time. You always have an opportunity to make a better impression. Be attentive to the engagement expectation gap and you will on your way to attracting and retaining your most valued customers.

“On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.”- White House Office of Consumer Affairs

A few things you can do to deepen customer loyalty.

1. It starts with a happy and satisfied employee. Make your employees happy and it will translate to your customers.

2. You could call each of your customers at least once per quarter, to ensure that everything is working well, to answer any questions, to learn about what’s going on with their business.

3. Do not promise what you cannot deliver.

4. Reward them for choosing you over your competitors.

5. Do not overextend your resources and get a reputation for poor performance.

6. Do not just tell the customer what he or she wants to hear. Tell them what they need to know. They will respect you for it.

7. Educate your customers on how best to use your product

8. Provide expert advice on your industry for your customers.

9. Show customers a better way to do things

10. Offer outstanding customer service. Customers always want you to listen.

11. Introduce a customer care program to reward your loyal customers.

12. Don’t just contact them when you want to sell them, reach out and be of value.

13. Simple initiatives like personalised greetings and offers on birthdays, anniversaries etc. can have a very positive impact.

14. Communicate abundantly. As a general rule, you can’t over-communicate with your customers.

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For brands at the forefront of innovative storytelling

Thomas Oppong

Written by

Founder at AllTopStartups | Author | Creator of Thinking in Models and Kaizen Habits | Featured at Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.



For brands at the forefront of innovative storytelling

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