A budding tradition at Hanifin Loyalty has been to select 3 words that we believe will define the course of the data – driven customer marketing business (you can refer to it as Loyalty Marketing, if you prefer) over the next 12 months. Doing so represents much more than an excuse to write a “New Year’s” blog post. There is substance behind each word and, even if you don’t entirely identify with the word itself, the supporting explanation of each one should provide thought provoking points about customer loyalty trends to take back to your office.
The 3 words chosen for this year are shown below and we start off by diving into our thoughts behind Re-Evaluate.
By now, there should be C-Suite recognition of the influence on customer behavior by information transparency, consumer attention span, and the entitlement mentality. Above all, the customer growth strategies that we create must stimulate behavior change. To be successful, marketers need to firmly understand how the baseline of human behaviors are evolving and re-evaluate how we create strategies and campaigns that will have positive impact.
If we remember that all customers are human beings – no matter what they say while on the phone with your call center – then we must agree that seeking to understand trends in human behavior is critically important to being able to connect and develop dialogue with our customers.
Reported over the past several years as an influencer of purchase behavior, the availability and transparency of information has not only “empowered” the consumer, it has completely changed the mindset which marketers must adopt to deliver marketing messages that are to be received as trustworthy and valuable. If you agree with the assumption that the customer knows just about everything – or can find out quickly – about the product you’re pitching as well as your brand and its policies towards corporate social responsibility, you can quickly embrace the need for change.
Human attention span continues to shrink. One study shows the average attention span has decreased over one-third between 2000 and 2013, falling from 12 seconds to 8. The study also reports that the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds, which doesn’t say much for us humans. This waning ability for humans to focus on just-one-thing affects not only marketers but bloggers as well. Readers are reported to consume only 28% of an online article with an average of 600 words. Are you still with me?
The entitlement mentality is an unfortunate outgrowth of information transparency. Information, music and entertainment, for the most part, are available online for free. The challenge to monetize content is big, no matter how unique and valuable it may be. We’re working on a project of this nature now, and are stretched to build a value proposition that will gain traction with business people over the longer-term.
While we understand the challenge, it’s time for business people to stop complaining about the existence of the entitlement mentality among certain customer groups and instead focus on new ways to work with it to build trust, create value, and stimulate engagement based on a real relationship, not just a discount, coupon, or double point offer.
Taken together, the elements representing the continuing evolution of human behavior should cause business people to re-evaluate their customer strategies.
What engagement tactics would you adopt which were off the table in the past?
What communications should you trial, even if they feel uncomfortable, even a bit risky?
Quote: “Transparency, honesty, kindness, good stewardship, even humor, work in businesses at all times.” –John Gerzema