Attracting customers is the goal of every marketer. And if you’re a small brand, it’s hard to get the budget and the clout to replicate the tactics of a Starbucks or Amazon. But from our experience of working with top brands such as Monster Energy, Kellogg’s, and Unilever, we’ve spotted a few strategies that any brand can use to get their customer pipeline flowing.
Use Data to Make Experiences Unique, Not Just Personalized
According to Epsilon, 80% of customers are attracted to brands that offer personalized experiences. But what does a personalized experience look like?
We know that customers want:
- To be recognized by you no matter where in the world they are
- Loyalty programs that share value meaningfully
- Brands that offer relevant recommendations that they wouldn’t have thought of themselves
- Someone that speaks to them when they’re in the mood to shop
- To be reminded of things they care about
You need to go further than calling a customer by their name. You need to understand their preferences, needs, and desires. And the only way to do this is with a data-driven approach to customer acquisition that uses artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and automation to create unique customer interactions.
These experiences, when offered to millions of individual customers by using proprietary data, are also tough for your competitors to imitate. This can help you differentiate yourself in even the most saturated of markets.
Customer Loyalty Programs Gather Quality Data Honestly
As third-party cookies continue to phase out, we’re witnessing the end of the third-party data era. In a cookie-less economy, 92% of leading marketers will use first-party data to grow their understanding of what customers want continuously.
So as one era ends, another begins with customer loyalty programs in the vanguard. They’ve emerged as a reliable way to acquire data ethically and legally. And without high-quality data, brands find it almost impossible to deliver the experiences that will attract customers.
Today, loyalty programs are the best way to unlock zero- and first-party data, which beat second- and third-party data in accuracy, authenticity, and quality.
Offer More Value by Rewarding Behavior
Offering more value is a great way to attract customers. Top brands go further than rewarding customers for their purchases or offers promotions on their birthdays. They understand that customers want more out of their brands than a simple transaction.
Many consumers see brands as a vessel to add value to their lives through large-scale environmental and societal change. This is why we see so many leading brands build “green” and other socially conscious incentives into their offering. This attracts the customers more likely to be vocal advocates for their agenda on social media, creating word-of-mouth brand awareness that ultimately drives sales.
Millennials, gen Z, and alphas see the environment as the future they’ll inherit. According to Accenture, 63% of consumers prefer to shop from purpose-driven brands and will reject brands that don’t show genuine commitment to the environment. In response, we see cosmetics brands responding to consumers' demands for cruelty-free guaranteed products.
Marks and Spencer donates to charities like Cool Earth, The Marine Protection Society, and others every time a customer purchases from the brand. And Qantas’ Frequent Flier program is set to introduce a ‘Green Tier’ to help customers offset emissions while earning valuable Qantas Points.
Snipp Tip: To replicate this type of value within your own customer base, it’s important to know what issues and behaviors drive their decision-making. Think beyond the purchase itself and consider the context that leads them to buy.
Focus on Emotional Loyalty to Keep Customers
Emotions are an integral part of a long-term customer acquisition strategy. It’s the reason why so many local businesses, brands, and products that evoke nostalgia among consumers flourish.
Rational customers only stay for as long as you offer them something material. Emotional customers are more likely to have a deeper, more loyal affinity with you.
“Strategies that rely purely on loyalty programs to offer points and discounts miss an opportunity to drive deeper engagement through emotional loyalty.” – Emily Collins, Forrester Research
Combine your brand messaging with activities that engage emotionally loyal customers. From surprise and delight mechanisms to experiential perks, the goal is not to keep your customers coming back again but to strengthen their emotional connection to your brand.
While loyalty created by trending campaigns and competitive prices may increase revenue, emotional loyalty will guarantee a higher retention rate and, more importantly, long-term advocacy.
Build a Community, not a Country Club
Many top brands use FOMO (fear of missing out) with their limited-edition deals and special rewards as a part of their loyalty strategy to emotionally tie themselves to customers. From special edition videogames to cosmetics and cars, the fastest-selling products are the most coveted. Building these elements into your contests, promotions, and loyalty programs is proven to deliver better results.
Exclusivity is, of course, the central pillar of all loyalty programs, but take care. When it comes to attracting customers, it’s important to show just as much inclusivity as exclusivity.
Customers identify with brands when they see people like themselves reflected in your marketing. It’s important to stop thinking about what you think your customer looks like and start really looking at them. How do they present? Who are their influencers? What are their mannerisms? Reflect these in your marketing to attract customers you know will buy from you.
Listen to Your Customers and Deliver
Part of creating a community that looks attractive to potential customers is to listen to your advocates and deliver feedback. This can range from product development and rewards, to business-wide changes.
It's all about personalization — understanding the unique needs and expectations and delivering personalized content and experiences. Gathering feedback from customers is only the first step. You need to be transparent and proactive in your communication back to customers to make them feel like they’re a part of something. And in time, these advocate communities will draw in new customers organically.
Snipp Tip: Referral programs and referral incentives in sweepstakes give loyal customers valuable tools with which to grow brand awareness among their peers.
Ready to Attract New Customers?
Everything you know about attracting customers still works. You still need to:
- Set goals for attracting customers
- Identify the right channels to use
- Know your customers
- Create great content
- Leverage social media… etc.
And if you want to take customer acquisition to the next level, your brand needs to be a destination. The place where your customers want to be. You need to empathise with their needs and present a more attractive prospect than your competitors. But the only way to achieve this is by learning more about your customers and finding new ways to use that data to attract, delight, and reward.