5 Secrets of Customer Retention Marketing

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Retention Marketing has become one of the most strategic marketing initiatives in the past few years. After all, it is 81% less expensive to upsell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. In addition, customer retention deepens the relationship between the vendors and their clients and creates larger customer life time value in return.

But what are the secrets and best practices that marketers can put in place to create customers for life? Here are five recommendations for success. These five tips are gathered collectively from strategies employed by some of our most successful customers and their use of Birst for retention analytics.

1. Identify customer tipping points
Use analytics to understand customer life cycle. Create cohorts of customers such as new, early, expanded and mature stages, and learn customer behavior in each stage. Integrate data from product usage, customer feedback, support cases and payment information to identify early signs of churn signals.

2. Create a frequent communications calendar, programs and
loyalty incentives

A programmed sequence of letters, events, phone calls, rewards, special offers, follow-ups and magic moments creates positive energy, communicates your value to the customer again and again and reinforces the reason they’re doing business with you in the first place.

3. Align marketing with product, customer service and support teams
What you say vs. what you do has a huge impact on your company’s long-term success and customer retention. The design, quality, reliability and serviceability of your product or service must meet the standard your customers expect. Work with your product and services teams to deliver on the value that you (as a marketer) are promising to your customers.

4. Create communities
Bring your customers together. Annual user conferences are one of the most successful venues for your customers to share ideas and expand on the value they have been getting form your products. Online communities and social networks also create active forums to increase customer advocacy, trust and loyalty.

5. Sell and sell again
Contrary to popular belief, selling is not about throwing your product over the wall. Selling is about allaying your customers’ fears and being actively engaged with them in each step of the way to victory. Instead of chasing yet another sale, strike while the iron is hot. Demonstrate that you care – and do care. Create a customer success team who is on a mission to stay engaged, understand customer pains and offer solutions. That is the only way to deepen your relationships. At Birst, to do that, we follow these six principles.

There are plenty of success stories to share here, but a great example of retention analytics at work is the leading digital document management software and how Birst helps them analyze user behavior within each customer segment to identify profiles that are likely to churn. These insights have empowered their executive team to put in place new ways of mitigating risks and preventing churn.

To learn more about this use case and other marketing analytics use cases check out our “10 Ways to Put Your Marketing Data into Sharp Focus” e-book.

This article originally appeared in Digital Marketing Magazine and in the Birst blog.

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The Marketing in All Things Human–From Beers and Diapers to Life Insurance and Games

diaper and beerSome twenty years ago, the classic example of diapers and beers became the legend that gave rise to a thriving industry: data warehousing and BI.

The folklore goes something like this:

A big retailer mined all of their customer transactions, looking for correlations that would better inform their business. To their surprise, they discovered a direct correlation between the sale of beer and diapers –mainly on Friday afternoons and to men between the ages of 25 and 35. It turns out that men were often being asked to bring home diapers for their newborns and they were picking them up on Friday nights after work. The correlation was found when these same men also picked up beer. What did the supermarket do as a result? They put the beer display next to the diapers, discounted one item but not the other. Sales shot up.

While stories like this have been used to showcase data-driven marketing, we’ve come a long way since. These scenarios were able to identify trends by grouping individuals into blended averages, but the retailer didn’t have a clear picture of the actual person they were dealing with. They were dealing with proxies, using general demographics data to underpin campaign or pricing activities. Since then, “personalization” has taken a whole new meaning and today, distinguishing and recognizing consumers as unique individuals is not only a possibility, it’s an expectation.

The new approaches to personalization and product recommendations work by discovering the relationships among activities of each customer and blending that with contextual data about the customer’s location, sentiments, or life event in order to present the most relevant product, at the exact right time. This includes analysis of historical snapshot information that follows the customer over time and predicts future purchasing behavior as well as data in real-time – for instance – from point of sale.

At Birst, we have seen this kind of product recommendation in both wealth management and gaming.

For instance – one of the largest banks in Canada is using analytics to provide insight to its financial advisors so they can make new product recommendations to their clients at critical junctures of their lives – i.e. when changes in marital status, retirement, income levels or new family members happen. By constantly monitoring changes in customer demographics and correlating the population with similar groups of the same characteristics, financial advisors are able to promote additional products (e.g. life insurance) to existing clients when the time is right and when the client is ready for that type of conversation. The results have been astonishing: the financial advisors with analytics have gathered twice as many assets under their management as the ones that did not have analytics. Since then, the bank has gone to spread the success to all its advisors and management team by putting analytics at everyone’s fingertips.

In another example, a leading children’s educational entertainment company uses Birst to measure player behavior within their products. By understanding user behavior within the application and matching that with sales data from their CRM system, they are able to effectively market new games back into their most active user populations.

Marketing is getting more personal. As analytics evolve to better leverage the data that consumers are actively contributing – such as location, life events or even health information from wearable devices – marketers will become smarter about understanding their customer as people with behaviors, emotions and unique human natures.

Companies that learn about their consumers in richer and more complete ways will gain a significant competitive advantage and find more opportunities to bridge the gap between people and the products and services they offer.

To learn more about how analytics is used by marketers today, download our new e-book.

This blog was originally posted here.

Farnaz Erfan