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CMOCouncil Better Long Term Customer Relationships Mar2021Although customer retention was a key focus for marketers before the pandemic, it definitely became a top priority during the crisis. Retaining customers means creating a long-term relationship with them, and in order to better do so, a report [download page] from CMO Council and Deloitte Digital found that marketers must humanize connections and understand emotive drivers.

When the senior marketers surveyed were asked to list the three most important requirements today for brands to create long-term relationships, a near equal number not only cited humanizing connections and understanding emotive drivers (36%), but also aligning the organization to fully deliver on the brand promise (36%) and offering products that meet well-defined needs (34%).

One-third of respondents also cited personalized, contextual experiences as one of their top three requirements for creating long-term relationships with customers. A survey from Yieldify found that e-commerce leaders are trying to do just that by personalizing their websites using data such as real-time behavior data and individual user data.

Another 3 in 10 (31%) marketing leaders believe that unifying all types of data for a 360-degree customer view aids in creating long-term customer relationships. This is a goal that might well be made possible with the use of a customer data platform.

As for the most important initiatives to convert customers more effectively, close to half (47% selecting as top 3) of respondents say they are trying to do so by better communicating their product value proposition. They also cite among their 3 most important initiatives more sophisticated targeting, profiling and engagement (42%), improving the relevancy of marketing content (42%) and analyzing and addressing the customer journey and path-to-purchase obstacle (35%). Fewer believe the key to converting customers more effectively is by upgrading their CRM and customer data utilization (23%) or by providing greater customer intelligence to sales (19%).

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, a majority (62%) of senior marketing leaders say one of their top 3 priorities to drive long-term relationships with customers is to prioritize gaining a deeper understanding of their customers through a unified view of their experiences in order to drive long-term customer relationships. Some 4 in 10 plan to establish lasting connections between their brand and the customer as one of their top initiatives, while 38% will prioritize deepening relationships with customers through a more dynamic brand experience.

However, despite data that shows that good loyalty programs increase the probability of customers spending more, advocating for the brand and staying with the brand, only 13% of respondents say that one of their top 3 priorities is to retool their rewards programs to develop loyalty and advocacy in the next 12 months.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a Q4 2020 global survey of 150 senior marketing leaders.

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