Looking Beyond Revenue: The Long Game of Marketing
by Catherine Burns, Marketing Specialist
by Catherine Burns, Marketing Specialist
Marketing is about more than quick revenue.
It’s about creating valuable touchpoints and memorable experiences that encourage strong relationships with your customers.
Of course, revenue is important. But sometimes when you focus only on revenue-based strategies, you may miss other opportunities to impact your business and – yes – generate even more profit in the long run.
Studies show that more than 90% of purchasing decisions are influenced by emotion. Even the savviest buyers are driven by how they feel. And people like to buy from people or companies they trust.
So, how can you use emotion to build a relationship with your customers?
The answer: your brand.
A brand is more than just your business name and logo. Your brand is your company’s identity: its values and public image. That identity allows customers to easily recognize your business.
And when you achieve brand consistency through unified messaging, logos and values, you’ll be able to share your company’s personality with customers and, eventually, earn their trust.
In some cases, customers will buy based solely on your brand’s social image. At one point, Toms, a footwear company, donated one pair of shoes for every pair purchased. Between 2006 and 2019, they donated more than 95 million pairs of shoes. (They’ve since changed their charity efforts to focus more on the recipients’ needs.) That social image of being a generous contributor to the community captures attention and nurtures customer trust.
When customers repeatedly prefer your products or services over a competitor’s, you’ve achieved brand loyalty, which is often earned through continuous customer satisfaction and engagement.
Brand loyalty can lead to earned media – when customers believe in your product or service so much that they openly endorse it through social media posts, online reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations and other channels. And that can increase revenue without increasing marketing costs.
One example of brand loyalty is Apple and its iPhone product line. Apple launches a new iPhone every year and customers continuously buy it without any thought of another manufacturer. iPhones have such a dedicated following that customers buy the newest model simply because there is one.
Once you’ve built trust with your customers through brand consistency, it’s important to maintain that trust by continuing to invest in your customer experience.
Without a good customer experience, you risk losing the base that you worked so hard to develop. Studies show it’s five times harder to replace a customer than to keep one.
The first part of creating a positive experience is to consider your customers’ journey with your company.
That means supporting them through the buying process and constantly finding ways to make it easier for them to do business with you.
Continued interaction with your customer base not only helps them through the process, but also builds additional trust. Examples of interaction include replying to web chat questions, social media posts and tags, and product questions on e-commerce sites.
The more satisfied your customers, the more loyal they are likely to be to your company and the more willing they’ll be to tell their friends and family about your business.
But sometimes, customers have a negative experience and they share their stories on social media. More than 90% of Americans say they read reviews before purchasing products or services, so even just one bad review may result in lost business.
That’s why it’s so important to respond to bad reviews immediately. Offer a way for unhappy customers to reach you and share their experiences in more detail, then take that feedback and fix the problem.
How you respond may cause dissatisfied buyers to change their reviews and could encourage reviews from other buyers, as well. According to one Harvard study, when hotel management replied to reviews, they received 12% more reviews and their ratings increased by 0.12 stars on average.
Generating revenue will always be an essential aspect of business, but when you invest in your brand and customer experiences, you’ll enjoy even greater profit down the road.
When you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, give us a call at 419.462.9000.
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