Richard Lees, chairman of dbg, explains how marketers should plan their reactivation strategies as the country continues to tip toe tentatively out of recession.
“Consumers are starting to spend more as they have more confidence in the economy” according to a poll by NOP.
Phew! After all the doom and gloom of the economic downturn, marketing budgets being reduced or frozen and the horrible reality of job losses, it seems we’re allowed to smile again and get back to innovative marketing.
When the recession hit the marketing industry panicked – like most sectors. We sent out communications with two messages “retention, retention, retention” and of course targeting, and for a brief period at least I think we saw a balanced marketing process with end to end objectives that have delivered good results.
Now we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, brands and marketers are starting to fall back in the old ways of acquisition driven growth, at least acquisition in the form of reactivation of old customers.
But as we’re rusty and out of practice with reactivation strategy it’s worth stopping to think about how best to approach this, and not just blast an offer to all those who left us since Lehman’s went bust.
Reactivation is not one size fits all and it’s our old friend data intelligence that is needed before starting your communications. Not all clients are worth keeping so in the first instance, understanding who the valuable customers were and what their future potential might be – so that we can establish who is worth keeping – is a good starting point.
When you know who you want to keep, it’s important to understand the reasons they left you or stopped using your products before you try to reengage them. They may have had a bad experience, been enticed away by the competition or simply have no ’need’ (particularly pertinent for some industries which have a long purchase cycle, such as a new kitchen).If you gain an understanding of why they left you can be relevant in your communication to reactivate them.
In fact, relevance and attractiveness of the offer or communication you send to your contacts are fundamental. If you can glean information from your previous relationship with them, such as preference from previous purchases, the offer can be specific to their needs and in turn more successful.
If a customer has gone to a competitor then you need to ensure your welcome back offer is a good one – make sure they get a benefit for coming back. If you offer them the same as a competitor then they are unlikely to go to the hassle of moving – make it compelling!
And what if they so no or worse ignore you? A clear win back comms strategy is essential; send reminder campaigns, revise your offer and most importantly recognise when you’ve lost them and remove them from your marketing list.
Above all, remember, it is better for your valuable customers not to get to the reactivation segment. So segment and understand who they are, reward them for their custom, track their performance and commitment to your brand, communicate in a relevant and timely way and service them with care at every touch point!
It’s time to get back out there and grab you’re slice of the spending pie.