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How to build emotional customer connections

Today companies face ever increasing global competition, whilst striving for continuously growing profits and market share. Most firms focus on achieving high customer satisfaction at every stage of the customer journey. But satisfaction is not enough!

A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review suggests that customers with an emotional connection to a brand are 52% more valuable than highly satisfied ones.

They purchase more and more often, are less price sensitive, pay closer attention to promotional material, follow advice and actively promote the brand.

But how can a brand build emotional connections with their customers?

A brand has to understand their customers’ deep and often unspoken needs and link these motivators to specific purchasing behaviour to evaluate which desires are most profitable.

 

Source: Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, “The New Science of Customer Emotions" 

Source: Scott Magdis, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, “The New Science of Customer Emotions”

 

Emotional connections may differ between industries, categories and customer segments and may even shift in a segment depending on where a customer is in their customer journey.

Each brand needs to identify a specific set of needs that motivate their key customers and drive sales:

  1. Examine how the top quartile of your customer base or your most successful location differ from others
  2. Search for the key motivators of these connected customers
  3. Quantify the impact of different motivators on purchasing, spending, loyalty, and advocacy
  4. Gain a deeper understanding of connected customers through online surveys
  5. Evaluate motivators separate from your brand (reasons for brand choices do not always match key motivators)
  6. Develop informed strategy and optimise investments to turn highly satisfied customers into emotionally connected ones
  7. Make emotional connection a key objective not just in the marketing department but across the firm
  8. Regularly review customers’ emotional connection levels, as well as the correlation of customers’ emotional connection scores with lifetime value measures, such as annual spending, churn and tenure to adjust the strategy

A retail case study has shown that the implementation of an informed strategy led first year sales of new stores to exceed past averages by 20%, leading to shorter breakeven times and higher returns on capital. Sales grew by 3.5% in comparison with the annual average of just 1%, whilst inventory turnover increased more than 25%. Market share and customer advocacy also grew, contributing to record-high customer lifetime values.

The retailer had identified the need for a sense of belonging, a sense of thrill and a sense of freedom as key motivators. The brand redesigned their stores and implemented a social media campaign were customers could share their favourite outfits to satisfy their customers deepest desires.

 

Sounds daunting?

Actually, some of the world’s leading brands mistakenly believe that being considered a “good brand” by a large percentage of customers will secure long-term success. However, the blue bar in the following graphic demonstrates how many customers these brand failed to build an emotional connection with.

 

Source: Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, “The New Science of Customer Emotions" 

Source: Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, “The New Science of Customer Emotions”

 

This emotional connection gap represents an enormous opportunity for all brands to transform satisfied customers into emotionally connected and more valuable ones.

Source: The New Science of Customer Emotions

Know what your customers are thinking. It’s really that simple.
Read more about the Key to Successful Marketing.

The Power of Data Analysis

Global competition and increasingly ambitious business objectives leave no room for instinctive decision making.  Staying ahead in a world of infinite social media tweets and posts and online shops requires a 360-degree view of the elusive customer to guarantee successful and goal oriented omni-channel brand engagement. You have to know your customer and their every wish and desire to service them strategically and uniquely to guarantee sustainable success.

However, a 2017 CMO survey by Black Ink revealed that marketers perceived access to advanced analytics and general data to be the biggest hurdles in marketing; and, continually find themselves forced to rely on legacy solutions such as Excel or CRM systems.

The key to sustainably successful marketing is to align data insights with strategic company objectives.

Ask yourself:

  • What are your core objectives?
  • How does marketing contribute to these objectives?
  • Which data can you utilize to analyse your performance?
  • How will you measure success?
  • How can you design and install a systematic and continuous measurement process?

These questions will help you identify your key objectives and strategically collect and analyse data to measure success and inform strategy.

Be very selective about which data you choose to analyse and how and why. Metrics should only be included if the relationship between the metric and the goal is clear.

Such as:

Goal

Metric

Increase brand awareness Number of daily website visitors
Focus budget on most profitable customer segments Return on ad spend
Maintain market leader position Content trends
Optimise spending on campaigns Campaign conversion rates

 

This objectives-focused data analysis approach makes data both accessible as well as actionable by providing an in-depth performance summary, enabling decision making on the spot.

Metrics should be re-evaluated and modified regularly and made accessible to all team members; guaranteeing informed, prompt and appropriate decision making and goal oriented actions.

Source: Marketing Analytics dashboards: The do’s and don’ts

Know what your customers are thinking. Act now.
Read more about the Key to Successful Marketing.

Aged Care – A Critical Analysis

We have seen an exponential increase in the number of elderly in proportion to the total population over the past decades. However, people aged 65 and over are not as healthy in old age as projected considering our prosperity, according to recent findings of an international study done by BDO in cooperation with the OECD.

Additionally, elderly and healthcare costs are continuously increasing especially due to an international increase in comorbidity (two or more illnesses are present in the same person simultaneously) among those aged 65 and over, placing a heavy social and economic burden on future generations.

Average medical expenses for a person aged 85 and over amount to over AUD$79,200 per year (BDO); an alarming amount considering that this group is expected to exceed 25% by 2050 worldwide.

Furthermore, due to high educational requirements, the demand for health care professionals far outstrips the supply. What’s more is, many lower-skilled health care professionals were made redundant in the last years, due to unnecessarily high requirements.

Analysing national differences in their approach to aged care revealed extraordinary insights in BDO’s recent international study.

Even though all examined countries were faced with tremendous demographic challenges, the study found that not only differences in health care models and funding seemed to impact the health of the elderly, but lifestyle and habits too. In Norway, for example, people are healthier for a significantly longer period of time due to an outdoor lifestyle, a ‘culture of caring’, with families taking care of each other and the elderly taking an active and meaningful part in society

Furthermore, smokers made up only 4% of the population, whereas in Germany, where elderly (on average) only have 8 healthy years over 65, 20% of the population smoked.

A different approach to evaluating return on investment (ROI) in the Netherlands is showing positive results. The country seeks to shift their focus away from the disabilities of patients and further towards their abilities.

BDO concluded that current healthcare systems focus on curing the sick rather than preventing sickness and does not deal with the root of the problem.

To achieve a more affordable, more effective and sustainable aged care system we need to:

  1. focus on innovation, prevention and rehabilitation;
  2. target funding to boost innovation;
  3. lower educational barriers for health care professionals;
  4. develop technical innovations;
  5. encourage and support big-scale lifestyle changes;
  6. invest in methods, solutions and processes that ensure people age differently;
  7. seeking greater dialogue with the elderly to identify areas of improvement;
  8. evaluate ROI;
  9. acknowledge lack of difference between private and public healthcare systems; and
  10. give the elderly a place and purpose in our society.

Source: https://www.bdo.com.au/en-au/insights/healthcare/publications/new-perspectives-on-elderly-care

Win/Loss Analysis: Sustainable Growth

All business strive for continuous success and growth and in the early stages of business development, this might be easy to achieve. However, the more established a business becomes, the more difficult it becomes to improve on last year’s results.

The key to continuous growth is insight-driven continuous refinement.

Perception is Reality

Conducting a win/loss analysis is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve and refine your marketing, communications, sales and business strategies. It is also one of the most important analyses, as your customers’ perception will be directly reflected in your sales.

 

Consumers value brisbane market research consumer behaviour consultancy trends business strategy marketing sustainable growth analysis win loss

 

It simply involves interviewing of 10 to 15 customers within 3 months of their purchase and, more importantly, the same amount for “lost sales”. “Lost sales” are those who enquired about the company’s service or product but failed to proceed to make a purchase. These interviews prove most successful when conducted by an independent third party, as conflicts of interest are avoided, and customers openly give more direct and honest feedback about their experiences with their purchase.

Analysing the gathered feedback will not only give the business a deeper understanding of consumer buying behaviour and its (potential) pain-points, but will also enable the business to benchmark themselves against their competitors and other key industry players. It may even uncover potentially new and successful products or services that customers have always wanted!

This will allow for a strategic and informed refinement of the business’ unique selling proposition (USP), but also act as an early warning system, indicating the need for a product or service to be improved before sales are disrupted.

The processing and analysis of results will enable the business to develop meaningful and strategic recommendations, allowing decision makers of all kinds to make better decisions in their businesses.

Promptly implementing the changes and improvements from the analysis will increase overall effectiveness and put you on the path to success.

Remember, that customer perception is what will make or break your business, especially when we compete globally for the same dollar.

Businesses (and their owners) that want to stay on the trajectory of continuous growth, should dedicate itself to a continuous refinement process, backed by timely win/loss analyses (e.g. monthly or quarterly).

Download now: How to optimise your customer acquisition and retention strategies.

Market Research – The Key to Successful Marketing

Marketing is a vital part of business operations, as it promotes the business brand, products and, importantly, what they stand for, hopefully in front of the company’s target audience and ultimately grow their customer base and sales.

However, every business differs in its products, services, customers, target audiences, distribution and many more factors. So, the success of every marketing strategy depends on market insights, informed strategy and appropriate budget allocations.

In order to develop an effective marketing strategy and maximise outcomes, businesses have to understand their own industry trends and inform themselves about major players within the industry in order to identify threats and opportunities (to their business), prior to potential disruption of sales, but also jumping on any first-mover competitive advantages there may be.

An in-depth analysis of regulations and risk factors, such as impacts of political and financial fluctuations will help risk mitigation or avoidance of some costly missteps down the track.

The importance of an overview of industry external influences, such as substitute and complementary industries is commonly underestimated. Strategy informed with industry insights allows a business or company to position themselves to add more value to their customers’ lives, and also helps to define and improve the company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP), i.e. that X-Factor.

A crucial part of market research is the identification and profiling of target customer groups. This will inform the development of new products and/or services, as well as assisting in targeting marketing campaigns, maximising outcome, whilst minimising expenses, i.e. reducing expenditure in areas where it is not needed as urgently.

Every company aiming for sustainable growth and success should trial new products and services and give their customers a voice – they can tell you everything you need to know. This will identify areas of improvement, growth opportunities and minimise of risk exposure. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be implemented and used to measure the success and effectiveness of every marketing strategy and campaign and ensure that organisational objectives are aligned with appropriate budget allocations.

These combined, will then empower a business to effectively allocate their budget accordingly to needed areas, maintain good relationships with suppliers and distributors, and ultimately maximise customer satisfaction and value.

Get your facts and seek feedback to make the right decision!

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