Let's Get Sticky

Do you know how to be sticky with your customers? You need this marketing methodology to be as successful as possible. Don't worry, we're here to help.

There’s all sorts of ways to get sticky. We’re probably not talking about the ideas that first come to mind, this kind of sticky has nothing to do with adhesives, not physical ones anyway.

When we talk about getting sticky, we’re referring to an incredibly effective marketing tactic. The term ‘sticky marketing’ refers to a powerful strategy. This methodology is designed to captivate and engage customers, keeping them hooked and actively involved with a brand or product for an extended period. Sticky marketing focuses on creating lasting impressions, fostering strong customer loyalty, and encouraging repeat business through innovative tactics which leave a lasting impact.

Every company needs to be sticky.

Whether you sell luxury tennis shoes,classes for underwater basket weaving, or environmentally friendly insect repellent. Why? Because your company’s interaction with your customers doesn’t start or end with a purchase. On average, a customer will come into some kind of contact with your company 8 times before they make a purchase.* Extremely effective marketing campaigns can shorten this span to as little as 3 touches, which can save your company marketing dollars, but in order for this to happen your messaging has to be sticky like super glue, not post-it notes.

So, now you know you want to be sticky. How do you accomplish this? Expensive advertising? When done correctly, your advertising can certainly make you incredibly sticky. Some great examples of sticky marketing are:

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: Coke launched a campaign where they printed popular names on their bottles, encouraging customers to find bottles with their names or the names of their loved ones. This personalized approach created a sense of ownership and connection with the brand, making it memorable and increasing customer engagement.

3. Starbucks' loyalty program: Starbucks' rewards offers copious incentives, think free drinks, breakfast menu items, and personalized offers, to its customers. The program encourages frequent visits and instills a sense of exclusivity and belonging among loyal customers, making them more likely to choose Starbucks over competitors.

4. Amazon Prime's membership benefits: Amazon Prime offers a broad range of benefits to its members, including fast and free shipping, access to exclusive deals, streaming services, and more. These perks incentivize customers to become Prime members and create a sticky relationship with the brand, leading to increased loyalty and frequent purchases.

5. Costco Wholesale: Costco provides bulk items for the everyday American. It’s difficult to leave the famed store without spending $200, and not everyone has a place to store a years’ worth of deodorant, and yet, customers will come back again and again and they’ll buy a massive hotdog on their way out the door. Despite being aware of the profit loss in their kitchens Costco has stubbornly refused to raise their prices, and a grateful public (including many in our office) continues to walk through their doors, flashing their membership cards in droves, every single day.

If you explore your relationship with some of your favorite brands you’re likely to find ways they’ve inspired you to stick with them. Whether it’s through the publication of their non-profit good deeds or the way you feel when someone else notices you wearing your new (insert brand name here) sweatshirt. Successful companies inspire loyalty and evangelism through their portrayal of themselves and their redemantic (redemancy, which popped up on my ‘word for the day’ app, means a love fully returned or reciprocated) relationship with their customers.

Not all businesses can, or want to, spend millions of dollars on marketing campaigns, though. Are there simplified ways of getting and keeping customer attention? Absolutely!

As you search for ways to get sticky with your customers, think about them. Why are they purchasing from you, what is it about your product they identify with?

If they purchase from you because your products are inexpensive, don’t try to portray yourself as the next luxury brand. Lean into your public perception of budget friendly instead–like Walmart did with their magical smiley face that traveled the store lowering prices. If you sell meticulously designed custom jewelry, don’t run ads about the incredible value, 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.

Remember that once a purchase is made your work isn’t over; and emails asking them to return for a small discount aren’t going to cut it. Once money has changed hands it’s time to show customers they put their trust in the right place. Tell them how to care for their new purchase, what to do if they run into a problem, and how to self-serve if they have a question. Remind them how much they love their purchase and incentivize them to tell their friends, family, and neighbors. Create an experience they will return for and can truly believe in.

Personalized touches in your marketing will go an awfully long way at this point 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.

Now that you’re working on sticking to your customers, know that you won’t stick to everyone, and you shouldn’t. You should know your customers so well that it feels like you’re speaking directly to them. If you over-generalize your messaging will become diluted, think a lint roller after it’s been used, the sticking power just isn’t there anymore. Know who you are and who your customer is and hyper-focus on them. Let them know you appreciate them, and they’ll reciprocate with more purchases and loyalty.

One of the best ways to combat a turbulent market is to work hard to keep the customers you have. Once you’ve out-maneuvered and out-proved the competition, you’ll see sales rise. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get sticky!