Brand loyalty has changed as consumers have developed new habits and behaviors during COVID. With the increased reliance on digital channels comes the increased willingness to explore and engage with more brands. While brands have more opportunity now to make an impression on consumers, it is important that they deliver a strong one if they want that consumer to stick around. These days, consumers are looking for trust, reliability and brands making good on their promises. To drive loyalty, brands need to prioritize the customer experience. This means being able to deliver consistently meaningful experiences across any channel.
Meaningful and Personal Experiences Boost Higher Ed Enrollment Rates
Before delivering a meaningful experience, a brand needs to first understand that what is meaningful to one consumer is not meaningful to all others. Today, 74% of consumers say they get frustrated if a website has content that has nothing to do with their interests. That is an unmeaningful experience. In fact, it is a bad experience. And it is made even worse when the messages and content are disjointed and inconsistent across digital channels, showing little understanding of the customer and their journey.
Instead, personalizing the experience to deliver content of relevance and interest is now the expectation, and it is driving true business impact. Marketers who can measure their personalization efforts report an average lift of 19% in sales. At our recent Engage conference, East Tennessee State University shared how they used dynamic content and marketing automation to target prospective students and get them to apply to the university. Starting with geo-targeting, they personalized website headers based on the home state of anonymous site visitors. As anonymous users visited campaign landing pages, dynamic content prompted them to get in touch with an admissions counselor or request more information, pushing them further along their customer journey with ETSU. Site behavior data gave the university valuable information about the user’s interests, such as which course of study they wanted to pursue. This data was then used to show more dynamic content relevant to that interest and simplify the lead form process, requiring interested prospects to fill out fewer fields. The result? Increased application rates, which then led to increased enrollment rates.
Customer-Centric Content Engages Pet Lovers
At the heart of personalized, meaningful experiences is content. It is through content that brands create engaging experiences. Brands will need to put the customer at the center of every experience they create and ensure they meet the customer wherever they are.
This is a lesson Elanco (formerly Bayer Animal Health) shared with our Engage attendees. Elanco sells several brands of parasite treatments for cats and dogs. To answer the question of what pet owners are interested in, Elanco conducted extensive research across four countries and 40,000 search keywords to inform the creation of its pet owner portal and web magazine, My Pet & I, which spans 16 countries and encompasses all of Elanco’s brands. Through their research, Elanco understood that pet owners are searching for information on different pet breeds, pet services and supplies, and training. They used what they learned to create a content strategy for My Pet & I based on what their audience wants to see — not what products Elanco wanted to sell. By providing value right off the bat, they were able to establish trust with their audience. Only later in the content journey does the brand and product come into the picture.
By creating content that follows the pet owner’s journey — from when they first decide to get a pet to bringing them home for the first time to caring for them throughout their life — Elanco widened the top of the funnel to all pet owners, not just those looking specifically for flea and tick products. The combination of scalable technology and reusable content has led to the launch of the portal in 16 countries, all while granting brand managers the ease-of-use and flexibility they need to create localized and customized landing pages and content. The brand’s IT teams also gotsome peace of mind that governance and brand guidelines are followed. The result? So far, the first three portals launched are already seeing 8 to 20X improvements in organic site traffic, and over the next 12 months, Elanco expects traffic to reach 8 million organic visitors per year.
Consumers know that brands have their data. They expect that data to be respected and used for the right purpose: improving the customer experience with relevant, personalized content. When brands don’t put the customer at the center — when they don’t understand the customer’s profile, preferences and history with the brand — they risk breaking that customer’s trust and losing their loyalty. Learn more about creating and retaining loyal customers in our e-book, “Who Are Your Best Customers? Rethinking Customer Loyalty in a Digital-First World.”