Aahh, fall. Sweaters, colorful leaves and pumpkin spice _____ (fill in with your favorite; latte, muffins, candles, dog treats...).
You are probably in the midst (or should be) of your holiday marketing planning. While you are thinking of creative ways to grab attention and sell through the rest of this year - take into consideration what you can do next year as well.
Perhaps there is a holiday promotion or campaign you can apply to other holidays throughout the year. Maybe a funny meme attracts attention and you want to line some up for the slow times. Or write an emotional story or video that can be run as a series. Brainstorm a unique promotion or contest that can be run later next year. It will be something for them to anticipate.
These are all great and entertaining marketing ideas for customers. But they are also short term. Think about long term loyalty. It's important to have a great product and exceptional customer service. But in today's hyper social media world, customer's have more choices than ever. And they will jump to a free shipping promotion. They are savvy and will shop for the most competitive pricing. For each item on their list! With tight margins and little room for error - you need to do more.
Feel like you just finished a marathon and I'm asking you to now climb Mt. Everest? But you have to keep moving or you will get buried in a pile of your competitor's leaves.
So what to do? Reward programs are effective. But you need to lock them. And throw away the key. Devise a tool that will help them with their job. With their chores. Anything that will make their life better, easier.
Do some research on your audience's pain points. Walk a mile in their shoes.
A nice example of making life easier comes from Forms + Surfaces, an architectural products designer and manufacturer. Their main clients are architects and designers. While they already offer a beautiful selection of various glass, outdoor items and wall claddings, they took their offering a step further. They developed a tool that allows architects to take control of their project with a customization tool called Vektor Canvas. This allows them to add their own images to the design of glass products for the ultimate customization and control. Plus it is fun to use. What architect wouldn't actually get enjoyment out of that!?
The tool doesn't have to be this technical and involved, just something to make the process easier, better, time-saving, more fun. Any of these! In may be an investment, but tools are a long term solution to loyalty and can be used for years to attract and maintain customers.