Achieving Long-Term Loyalty Via Targeted, Permission-Based Campaigns
Marketers assume their messaging is always targeted to the right group at the right time. Everyone wants to have laser-focused targeting, but getting it done is a significant challenge. The problem with traditional behavioral or demographic targeting is that virtually everyone is a target. Spreading your message too far and wide makes it incredibly difficult to marry budget efficiency and metrics.
Of course there's also the issue of privacy. With a tidal wave of concern growing among consumers about how, when and where digital marketers, ad servers and networks are gathering and using even their anonymous data, targeting has become a slippery slope. Even the word privacy itself conjures up concern in some circles. Attorneys begin to twitch at the mere mention of it.
Acquiring a targeted and engaged customer base that's already raised its hand to say they want to hear from you often requires asking for permission. Gaining permission imparts a level of personal trust between each party and is extremely valuable in today’s marketplace.
At its very core, permission-based marketing addresses concerns about privacy and stops attorneys from sweating. Simply put, when the user gives you permission to engage with them, you’re off to the races. It goes without saying that brands must then safeguard this trust judiciously in order to build customer loyalty.
On the other hand, brands must also reward this permission by presenting consumers with fresh and relevant content. One of the best ways to offer this reward is to engage in a two-way conversation with the audience. Long-term engagement requires that this conversation impart mutual benefit for both you and your audience to build a relationship. Marketers must do a better job of listening to consumers than vice versa. This might take the form of offering a carrot in exchange for information — e.g., a discount for providing feedback or an exclusive, relevant offer for sharing news of a product with others.
Take off your marketing hat and put on your consumer hat. What would you as a consumer want from your brand? Product news? Information about charitable efforts? The flow doesn’t have to be directly tied to sales. Oftentimes, sharing these subjective insights into your brand’s personality does more to build loyalty than a strictly sales-driven pitch.
As a result, brands benefit from the enormous amount of data that audiences willingly offer up, including details on their preferences, behaviors, locations, relationships, etc. This encompasses all of the data search and behavioral targeting efforts intend to gather without permission. This process forms the platform of better cultivation efforts that deliver more targeted products and services that truly and uniquely meet the needs of your audience.
Start the conversation by asking your audience to engage with you. Actually listen to what they have to say. Marketers can build better relationships that boost retention and longevity while still gathering the powerful data that drives metrics.
But first, always ask for permission, not forgiveness.
James Burrows is executive vice president of global sales at e-Miles, an advertising channel which presents relevant advertiser messages to consumers with unparalleled audience engagement. James can be reached at email@example.com.