Purchasing products or signing up for services seems like a discrete activity separate from people’s day-to-day routines. The basis of content marketing is that when users want to buy something, they begin researching and do so, intermittently, until they’ve found what they’re looking for. However, mobile technology has blurred the lines between online and offline, which means brands need to rethink how close their connections are to customers and prospects.
According to the Mobile Path to Purchase study by xAd and Telmetrics, 50 percent of respondents said mobile was the most important resource in the purchase process. Startlingly, over one-third of online shoppers said they confined their purchases exclusively to mobile devices.
However, what might be most shocking (and important to marketers) is that leads aren’t just performing product and service research during intermittently throughout the day. In 2013, 32 percent of respondents in the Mobile Path to Purchase survey said they used their smartphones at home. In 2014, that number had ballooned to 53 percent. The lines dividing online activity and offline behavior are clearly wavering, and it’s no longer enough to be ready for prospects when they arrive. Brands need to think in terms of constantly reaffirming their relationship with customers.
Make repeat customers loyal allies
Three-quarters of female shoppers are members of fashion-related loyalty programs – and so are half of all male customers.
One essential tactic in building stronger customer relationships is the use of loyalty programs. As Brafton reported, it is far easier to make a sale to a previous customer than it is to a new lead. And when people are constantly receiving marketing materials from other brands, a bit more reward is sometimes necessary to keep them in the fold.
According to PunchTab’s Path to Millennials study, young people are particularly apt to maintain relationships with companies they’ve purchased from in the past. Take fashion, for example. Three-quarters of female shoppers are members of fashion-related loyalty programs – and so are half of all male customers. Clearly, businesses that appeal to repeat customers see a benefit to staying in touch and providing added value to their clientele.
Loyalty programs aren’t the only way to stay top-of-mind – though they are one of the best. Other options include producing engaging content customers want to come back and read, or maintaining an engaging social marketing presence that rewards followers with interesting posts and fascinating media. No matter what, clients can’t be treated as ‘one-and-done’ entities. The fact that they’re going to be constantly researching and browsing no matter where they are or what they’re doing means retaining them is incredibly important.