5 Reasons Why You Need a Contact Strategy in Your Marketing
In the course of business, marketing its products or services is imperative to the success of every enterprise. The process of marketing however does not end with customer acquisition but extends to customer retention and beyond. Retaining customers is the aspect of the process where contact becomes necessary. In other words, it is important that a contact strategy be designed and properly executed for the marketing process to have a consistently positive outcome. A contact strategy basically deals with the utilization of data compiled regarding customer purchases, customer preferences and interests as well as promotion patterns to determine how often and in what order customers will be contacted. The data also helps to properly customize the company’s offers and how those offers are positioned and presented to the customer.
It is not sufficient to design a contact strategy, it must be very effective and in order for it to be so, the following characteristics need to be present.
i. Encompass customer needs, products as well as channels skills and capabilities
ii. Effectively addresses the interests of the company and the customer
iii. Recognizes the difference and uses of different channels
iv. Recognizes the extent of relationship for different customers and accommodates that fact within the strategy.
There are quite a number of challenges now facing companies as they design and execute their marketing strategies. Retails banks for example now face some of the following unique challenges:
i. How to increase the cross sales potential given the fact that a greater proportion of the marketing communications efforts are directed towards a small percentage (about 10%) of the of the customer base.
ii. How to maximize sales productivity in centralized customer contact centers and branch network
We can therefore summarize the necessity of a contact strategy as follows:
1. Cost Reduction: Traditionally, contact efforts are localized and centers on data mining. These result in less time spent in building stronger relationships with the customers. However, having a contact strategy allows the company spend more time building that relationship with the customers as there are planning and prioritization mechanisms in place. This makes such efforts more effective as information is delivered directly into the marketing channels.
2. Brand Strengthening: When an effective contact strategy is in place and well executed, customers’ expectations are better met and this in turn strengthens the relationship between the company and the brand with a spillover effects on retention and more spending.
3. Increased Planning Efficiency: A contact strategy will provide the company with more control over the commercial elements of the brand as well as higher visibility.
4. Increased Sales Effectiveness: An increase in the effectiveness of the sales efforts of the company up to 80% becomes possible due to the renewed focus on the customer. This entails putting the customer first in all the marketing efforts.
5. Higher Revenues: It becomes much easier to plan and execute customer oriented programs and also get better results.