DMA &THEN2016: Using Data-Driven Marketing Strategically to Spark Customer Loyalty

DMA &Then2016

by Tom Wilhelms

Reflecting on this year’s &THEN conference with the DMA, it’s clear there’s one prominent focus on every marketer’s mind: data. The good news in this emergence of data-driven marketing is the enhanced insights we can now gain into the wants, needs, and minds of our customers. Echoing the words of GE Vice Chairman Beth Comstock in her opening keynote, “Data is a pointer to the future…you have the power to examine the data and convert it into strategy.”

As we learned from Wunderman Data Management’s session with Bill Burkart and Lincoln Bjorkman, data can:

  • Find an overlooked truth
  • Show a new story worth telling
  • Spark dormant feelings or buried desires
  • Create profound relevance
  • Challenge conventions
  • Give you serious cred when you need it most

For marketers, using data strategically means personalization and relevance.

According to the Harris Interactive Quick Query Omnibus Survey, 34 percent of consumers abandoned a brand because they continuously received irrelevant content on multiple channels and the message was too generic, meant for the masses, not just them. On the other hand, customers that receive targeted messaging were more likely to engage with a brand and retain loyalty.

Rewards, particularly, are effective in garnering customer loyalty, especially when those rewards are personalized and relevant to the individual consumer. In fact, according to the same Harris study, 72 percent of consumers said that when a brand they love rewards them for being loyal, it makes them want to have a long-term relationship.

At Entertainment®, we work across industries to provide incentives for a variety of motivators, including customer engagement and loyalty. We know, as the research above shows, customization and relevancy of these incentives always makes for the most successful campaigns.

For example, a national cable company wanted to improve engagement in its monthly customer e-newsletter. We worked with this company to include hyper-local digital discounts which increased click-to-open rates with loyal customers by more than 20 percent.

We’ve also seen personalized, relevant incentives work well in the health care industry. For example, a health care plan used healthy incentives to encourage annual wellness visits among members. We created an educational incentive program, which touted the importance of wellness visits and included targeted healthy lifestyle offers to drive engagement. The results were a 20 percent year-over-year increase in annual wellness visits.

The future of marketing will be increasingly data-driven, but human behavior and tendencies remain constant. People respond to incentives; the more relevant the incentive is, the more likely the offer is to be effective. As we continue to gather and analyze data, let’s make sure we’re using it strategically to learn about our customers and create incentives that are relevant and valued, ultimately driving customer loyalty.

Tom Wilhelms
LinkedIn Profile
Vice President, Entertainment® Corporate Marketing Solutions