#SFExperience: Customer Loyalty is the Holy Grail

In our latest eBook, The Social Experience, we gathered insights and expert advice from today's top brand social marketers and industry visionaries. In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing these insights here on the Spredfast Blog. We're kicking things off with advice from Jackie Huba, Author of Monster Loyalty : Creating Customer Evangelists, and Citizen Marketers.

 

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DEAR JACKIE, I am working to grow social programs at my company and my CMO is hung up on Fan and Follower metrics above all other things. I am trying to explain to her that while (network) size matters, it is just one important measurement of social program success. I am pushing to invest more in providing great social experiences for our existing Fans and Followers, but I think she is too focused on the size of the forest and not the individual trees. How can I help her understand the importance of building relationships for our existing customers on social channels? - SMART MARKETER IN ATX

 

DEAR SMART MARKETER,

It’s really easy for someone to “like” or “follow” your brand on social media. What’s much harder is developing an emotional connection with that customer such that they keep buying your stuff, give it as gifts, and tell everyone they know about you. That’s called customer loyalty, and it’s the holy grail (or it should be) for all marketers. I say “should be” because many marketers are too focused on acquiring new customers to worry about the ones they already have.

In a 2011 study by Forrester Research and Heidrick & Struggles, CMOs were asked to name their current top three marketing objectives. Fifty-nine percent of CMOs said acquiring new customers was one of their top priorities. What about current customers? Only 30 percent of CMO respondents said they were focused on retaining customers as a top priority. Just over a quarter of respondents, at 26 percent, said better customer lifetime value and customer satisfaction/advocacy was a key objective.

I believe these CMOs have gotten it wrong. According to the tried and true research from TARP Worldwide, it is five times cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. The CMO priorities heavily focused on new customers don’t add up. And this focus is often at the expense of existing customers—customers who, if you retained them, would help bring in new customers just on the basis of customer satisfaction and word of mouth. Social media allows us to connect with people who want to start a relationship with us. Smart marketers are leveraging that initial connection to deepen the relationship through amazing service, remarkable products, and engagement with brand employees online and offline.

Good Luck!

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Jackie Huba


 

Don't want to wait to hear insights from Whole Foods Market, RadioShack, Caterpillar Inc. and more? Download your free copy of The Social Experience now.

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Courtney Doman

@cjdoman
Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.