With lockdown measures effectively shutting down traditional experiential methodologies, multichannel retailers across the UK have sought out innovative and alternative means of improving consumer retention and increasing revenue. This has been a particularly prevalent reality for the sampling industry, who are faced with the challenge of optimising past data to improve present consumer engagement.
As data from Live Agency suggests, experiential experiences have afforded a 10% increase in brand affinity, but how does this methodology transition into our new marketing environment?
Although a challenge, our current environment provides multi-channel retailers with a fantastic opportunity to better their internal use of data capture and optimise results. In fact, research has found that in certain sectors increasing customer retention by 5% can cause a 25% increase in revenue – demonstrating the benefit of refined methodology!
So, the question is: how can we efficiently utilise data capture?
A great way to do so is simply analysing how you will engage with your audience. As you would expect, there are a number of pitfalls to consider and avoid when doing so.
You don’t want to waste your first communication on obsolete messaging. So, continually question your decisions: what do you want your audience to do with the presented information? Is there a direct call to action which they can follow? Is your messaging relevant to a particular time scale – if so, how can you capitalise on that?
What’s more, you don’t want to send out content that is poorly presented. Now, this doesn’t just mean having a clean visual presentation but also encapsulates the tone of what you’re trying to do. What makes your message visually stand out to them? How do the visual elements tie into the written content? Can you utilise interactive components to further engage them?
Additionally, why engage on one platform alone? Omnichannel approaches are quickly becoming the norm within wider marketing strategies, and it’s clear to see why!
These approaches provide your consumer base with an all-encompassing, and consistent, experience that exceeds one solitary communication chain. In establishing your relationship across multiple platforms, your consumers can actively choose how they want to engage with your brand which in turn will give you valuable insight into their preferences.
If you’re in need of inspiration, then consider how brands often host giveaways or competitions across their social platforms - could you do something similar and if so, how can you make it bespoke to your brand?
This may seem a broad task, but trust us, it’s important. It’s easy to assume that you know all there is to know about your consumer base, but that is too often not the case.
Many retailers commonly create their target audience in a broad manner. They select specific age groups, genders and professions, and from there, manufacture a static image and understanding. However, it’s vital that this methodology is dismantled.
Instead, it’s time to look toward a new approach. We expect the sampling sector will prioritise the improvement of targeting procedures in the coming years. Brands will further engage with audiences to ensure that their products make it into the right hands and bettering our use of data capture is an intrinsic part of this evolution.
So, what does this mean? Well, your audience will not adhere to any one description and as such, it’s important that your overall messaging accounts for this. We’re not saying that you’ll be able to engage every single person, but in gaining a more holistic understanding of their lives, interests, and purchase habits you’ll be able to create bespoke content that resonates. If you need a headstart, why not create a survey that directly questions your audience?
You may understand your audience, but they might still have questions for you.
Ensure that they have avenues in which they can contact you with any feedback, criticisms or questions - and make sure you respond to all in a timely manner. In doing so, you’ll establish a trusted relationship with each consumer and build an established reputation by word of mouth alone!
To ensure that your relationship with your consumer base is maintained, think about implementing a communication calendar. This means that you can proactively plan your response or outreach content and ensure that the communication chain is not broken.
A major way that brands can isolate themselves from their audience is in over-contacting them. As such, it’s vital to find an appropriate balance – which can be a tricky task!
When contacting your audience, it’s important to first put yourself in their shoes. Would you be interested in the content that you’re pushing? If not, why?
If you’re unsure of what content to push forward to your database, then look towards offers and discounts. This type of update provides your consumer base with a tangible incentive rather than just informative content. Done correctly, you’re likely to see an increase in brand engagement and revenue.
Of course, the best way to measure the success of your content is through meticulous reporting procedures. In keeping a detailed record of the content sent and the response received, your campaign will become self-serving - identifying the elements that worked and those that didn’t quite hit the mark.
Whilst there is no one way for multichannel retailers to improve customer retention, by meticulously managing a range of elements together, your brand and its previous sampling campaign can see notable and long-lasting results.
Leyton Ede is founder and director of Live Agency