I recently discovered the work of Adrian Ott (The 24-Hour Customer), who focuses on how marketers should adjust to time-starved markets. Her Fast Company blog post adds a valuable perspective to generating loyalty today.
Information overload continues to escalate. To cope, people seek ways to minimize demands on their attention. Rather than getting louder and annoying customers, many savvy companies are reducing attention requirements of their offerings, for instance through automatic subscriptions, system defaults, or attention-free offerings (e.g. robotic vacuums, automatic bill pay). Such businesses will profit handsomely from repeat customers too busy to hassle with evaluating alternatives.
Loyalty programs fit into the lifestyle of your best customers. But first you must know who your most profitable customers are, and understand their lifestyle. It won't work to simply toss 'best practice' loyalty programs into your marketing mix.
We see declining productivity for
- setting up a customer community web site
- handing out a loyalty card
- sending emails that have 'something for everyone'
- Facebook fan pages with informational updates.
- Plugging into activities which are popular with your fan base
- Offering discounts and benefits to people who have self-identified as your fans
- Being present where your market congregates
- Sending very short, very focused messages based on an opt-in.