Getting sticky in marketing has nothing to do with adhesives, but it's a powerful strategy to keep your customers engaged and loyal. Sticky marketing focuses on creating lasting impressions, fostering strong customer loyalty, and encouraging repeat business through innovative tactics. In this blog, we'll delve into the art and science of sticky marketing, providing insights and strategies to help you maintain a dedicated customer base.
The Essence of Sticky Marketing
Sticky marketing is the lifeline of any successful business. Whether you're selling luxury tennis shoes, underwater basket weaving classes, or environmentally friendly insect repellent, your customer interactions go far beyond a simple purchase. On average, a customer interacts with your brand eight times before making a purchase. Effective marketing campaigns can reduce this number to as little as three interactions, saving you valuable time and marketing dollars. Mastering sticky marketing takes skill and practice and achieving your goals means your messaging must be as sticky as super glue, not flimsy post-it notes.
So, how can you make your marketing sticky? Let's explore some examples of brands that have successfully mastered this art:
1. **Apple**: (who always seems to be in the top 5 of lists like these) Apple has created a seamless and interconnected system across its products and services. The interaction between devices like iPhones, Macs, and Apple Watches, combined with services like iCloud and Apple Music, encourages customers to stay within, and even depend on, the Apple ecosystem.
2. **Coca-Cola**: Coca-Cola's personalized bottle campaign, which featured popular–and sometimes completely uncommon–names on bottles and cans, created a sense of ownership and connection with the brand, making it memorable and increasing customer engagement by fostering a feeling of belonging and essentially creating a massive treasure hunt.
3. **Starbucks' Loyalty Program**: Starbucks' rewards program offers delicious incentives like free drinks, personalized offers, and a sense of belonging, encouraging frequent visits and customer loyalty. They further entice customers by sending out push notifications when extra prizes can be earned, making your morning cuppa even more attractive.
4. **Amazon Prime**: Amazon Prime's membership benefits, including fast shipping and exclusive deals, incentivize customers to become loyal members and stick with the brand. You can even receive rewards for making choices that benefit the environment, like choosing slightly slower shipping in favor of next day delivery. Add to this the bargain you feel like you’re getting by never paying for shipping and you have seriously happy customers.
5. **Costco Wholesale**: Costco provides bulk items for the everyday American. It’s difficult to leave the massive store without spending $200! Despite this, and the fact that not everyone has a place to store a years’ worth of deodorant, customers will come back again and again; and they’ll buy a massive hotdog on their way out the door. Those hotdogs, by the way, are a massive loss for the behemoth, and yet, Costco has stubbornly refused to raise their prices, and a grateful public (including many in our office) continue to walk through their doors, flashing their membership cards in droves, every single day.
These examples illustrate how successful companies inspire loyalty and evangelism by building strong, reciprocated relationships with their customers.
Getting Sticky on a Budget
Not all businesses can afford multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns, or loss-leaders to entice buyers. Luckily, there are simplified ways to capture and retain customer attention. Start by understanding why your customers choose your product or service. Is it affordability, quality, uniqueness, or something else?
If they purchase from you because your products are inexpensive, don’t try to portray yourself as the next luxury brand. Instead, Lean into your public perception of being budget friendly–take a cue from Walmart and their magical smiley face that traveled the store lowering prices. Alternatively, if you sell meticulously designed custom jewelry, don’t run ads about the incredible value and cost savings of your craft. Tell your customers about how your pieces become priceless family heirlooms gilded with meaning and memories. Speak in ways that ring true for both you and your customer.
Knowing your customers helps them to feel bonded to your company. It’s difficult to feel like your friends with a brand who doesn’t understand you at all. Know what drives your customers to you and help them to feel aligned with you.
Remember, your work doesn't end after a purchase. Provide customers with care instructions, troubleshooting guidance, and easy access to information. Incentivize them to refer friends and family by creating an exceptional post-purchase experience. Make customers feel like you know them and appreciate their trust.
Personalization is Key
Personalized touches will go an awfully long way at multiple points in your marketing. Are customers receiving your marketing in the language they speak at home? Is your information easy to access whenever and however they need it? If they want to find you again do they have to troll their own inbox or are you always at their fingertips? Do they know what to expect each time they interface with you? Your customers need to feel like you know them, and they know you.
Personalization can look like a push notification at just the right time, like an email, or like a extending the right information during crucial times before, during, and after a purchase. Creating meaningful connections with your customers encourages loyalty.
However, remember that you can't stick to everyone, nor should you try. Hyper-focus on your ideal customer, tailor your messaging to them, and show genuine appreciation. Your customers will reciprocate with loyalty and more purchases.
The Power of Customer Retention
In today's dynamic and somewhat chaotic market, retaining existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. When you outshine your competitors and build trust with your customers, you'll see your sales rise. In fact, loyal customers “spend an average of 67% more over transient customers.” So when they come, give them incentive to stay!
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to get sticky and keep your customers coming back for more. In a world filled with fleeting marketing messages, being the glue that holds your customers' loyalty is a path to sustainable success.