The Marketing Corner: Keeping Customers Loyal

Many businesses are looking for ways to garner a larger share of the consumers’ wallet. Many big box retailers are continuing to sharpen their pens to refine their marketing programs that are not limited to deploying or enhancing current loyalty programs.

When taking a page from a specialty retailer, such as coffee shops or grocery stores, it’s clear that for a price, consumers can be bought. Consumers are very smart and the internet has allowed a level playing field when it comes to searching for the best product (or service) at the right price. Consumers want to be in control, or at least feel that they are in control. Companies offering loyalty programs can gain repeat business by offering some incentive for a consumer staying loyal to a specific brand.

It was once thought that small businesses were not able to compete in this arena. However, this statement is proving to be wrong. The bottom line is that consumers want to save money. They can do this by receiving or earning rewards which eventually translate to saving money. Keeping this in mind, small businesses can use technology to mitigate the cost of managing such programs. One might ask how this can be achieved. In one word: apps. With the increased usage of smartphones and apps, small businesses can deploy apps digitally and save expenses associated with printing cards.

Smaller companies also have a distinct advantage. New features or rewards can be added quickly to adjust to consumer preferences. This can include preferred status, targeted offers, private shopping events, and others.

As you discuss internally methods to increase your revenue, think about adding (or enhancing) loyalty programs. Millennials are one segment that is very smartphone-centric and have supported businesses who give them something in return. The older demographics may be slower to adopt, but even they can be enticed if the offer is right.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide); available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: adelelassere@gmail.com

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