Thursday, February 09, 2006

 

Building blocks for effective loyalty marketing

I've been thinking a lot lately about loyalty marketing, and what makes for a successful loyalty marketing strategy. I think a lot of it boils down to product & customer insight.

You can’t have loyal customers without a great product. If your product doesn’t connect with your target customers, the best loyalty campaigns in the world won’t be able to make the same kind of emotional connection.

Great marketing makes great products look even better, attract more customers, establish more wallet and mindshare. Your marketing should serve to communicate a brand promise that your product was built to fulfill. Great marketing can’t save bad products.

And if you already have a great product, that means you’ve somehow managed to understand and react to a core customer need or desire. It means you’ve done your homework, you understand your customers better than they do, you know where the puck will be before it gets there. This isn’t just about asking prospective customers what they want. It’s understanding what they need and want – both today and tomorrow. There’s a big difference.

Good brands and companies are marketing-centric, in that the above two vital elements (good product and customer insight) don’t emerge independently from a product development and research team. The marketing plan starts with the consumer, then the product, then the marketing.

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