Marketing is not just about a quick appeal to as many people as possible and hoping that a decent percentage respond to your message. It is about fostering loyalty and establishing relationships with the aim of turning customers into brand advocates. Building customer loyalty is important as it is easier to sell more to your existing clients and customers than it is to acquire new business. As a result, smart marketers are moving as much as possible from mass marketing towards personalising the experience their customer has with their brand.

Turning your existing customer base into advocates for your brand begins with offering the best possible customer service alongside a fantastic product and tangible incentives. Let’s discuss a number of other smart marketing techniques that can help a business turn its customers into advocates for its brand.

Creating a Loyalty Scheme that suits your business
One way of achieving this is through customer loyalty schemes; by utilising loyalty initiatives companies can keep their existing customer base happy to the point where they want to spread the good news about your services to everyone they know.

We all like to feel that we are part of a select group, which is why loyalty schemes have proved to be extremely popular. Customers like to be rewarded for bringing their business to you and any loyalty scheme you develop will need to provide your customers with something that is worthwhile. Whether you print your own ID cards for customers to use to collect points or let them save up for meaningful rewards, you will soon discover that acquiring customers is good, but keeping them loyal is even better.

Encourage Feedback
Whether you are an online retailer, bricks and mortar store, or both, consumers trust feedback from fellow customers more than any clever marketing message that you could ever produce. It is important to provide great customer service at all times and encourage your customers to write online testimonials and reviews about their experience with your company. It is now common for people to look up a business or service online and perusing what other people have to say about that particular brand before spending any money with them.

Continue Improving your Services and Products
It is often said that word of mouth is the best possible marketing tool as there is nothing easier than recommending a great service or product. Social media feedback is instant and can easily make or break your business, so it is crucial to continue improving your customer service and products to meet customer expectations.

Another way to make your core offering the best in your industry is to get your most loyal customers to participate by contributing ideas about what they would like your product or service improvements. Ask for feedback and create a sense of community that will make everyone feel like part of the group and of your success.

A business’ most loyal customers will also be its best advocates, be it for buying products, subscribing to newsletters, providing feedback and reviews, or mentioning that company on social media. Making sure these customers are well looked after will prove to be a meaningful investment for the success of your company.

Is your marketing effective? Could you get a greater return from your marketing efforts and investment? This Marketing Diagnostic will help you determine where to focus to improve your marketing efforts.

This article was originally published on Jun 9, 2015.