When your goal is to create amazing customer experiences that build engagement and earn loyalty, your data-driven content priorities should become these "four Cs": choice, customization, connect, and communicate.
I've had many conversations with retailers over the years about the struggle to introduce content into an offer-based messaging flow. Offers and discounts are about transactions, so email, mobile, display, and social discount offers and coupons drive more short-term revenue. Revenue is good for business, and it matters in a marketing strategy! However, content engages people and builds loyalty - so it's important, too. How can we find the right balance?
A few studies back this up. Turns out that what people want is more content and fewer offers. A whopping 64 percent of customers would like to receive more content from their grocers, and 83 percent feel that their retailers are not providing sufficient information and resources to help them meet their lifestyle goals, according to a recent study by global consulting firm emnos. This suggests that marketing engagement will be more than just what is on sale, and must include relevant content like a recipe or whitepaper or fun fact or tip of the day.
Social sharing trends support this trend, as well. While many people share a discount code, they are more likely to talk about their engagement with a brand - how they used the product in their lives. That speaks to the need for content to encourage immersion in the brand experience.
Loyalty is more than transactions. Another survey from data insight company ClickFox, states that about 32 percent of consumers said they're most willing to share personal data if they feel loyal to a brand. Most marketers have rich experience in this opportunity, what I call the "data covenant." People will provide personal data by choice when the marketer agrees to respect their privacy, protect the data, and provide something useful in return. Great deals and sales notices are certainly valuable, but they apparently are a saturated commodity in our online research-driven lifestyles. Content will nurture, differentiate, and expand the brand promise.
How can retailers and other marketers make the transition from pure offers to solutions? Simply, consider how to sync coupons with content. For example, the emnos study found that 46 percent of shoppers are interested in receiving snack ideas from their grocery retailer, and 61 percent say eating healthy on a budget is a major concern. Wish lists easily extend to recipes and good lifestyle choices, and surveys can give retailers more data with which to customize content marketing. Content is also an excellent way to engage prospects and identify what types of offers will best lead to their first transaction. The "data covenant" rule above suggests that marketers should first demonstrate value - give content to get brand interest - and then offer a discount to close the deal.
All that custom nurturing runs on data, of course, and can be powered in large part by dynamic content and your marketing automation solution. When your goal is to create amazing customer experiences that build engagement and earn loyalty, your data-driven content priorities become these "four Cs":
Do you see the need to transition from offers to solutions? What are the best-performing approaches for your business? Please comment below for discussion.
Image via Shutterstock.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Stephanie Miller is a partner with brand and marketing technology strategy firm TopRight Partners, which helps customers use the technology they have today to do the marketing they want to do today and tomorrow. She is a relentless customer advocate and a champion for marketers creating memorable customer experiences. A digital marketing and CRM expert, she helps sophisticated marketers balance the right mix of people, process, and technology to optimize a data-driven content marketing strategy. She speaks and writes regularly and leads several industry-wide initiatives. Feedback and column ideas most welcome, to smiller AT toprightpartners DOT com or @stephanieSAM.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
May 6, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT