That quote from controversial rapper and singer YoungBoy Never Broke Again sums it up for today’s marketers wanting to know everything they need about customer engagement and loyalty. Yet, according to private discount network company Access Development, American companies spend more than $180 billion annually in advertising compared to $2 billion on loyalty programs. Yet, the cost to attract new customers is much more expensive than the investment to retain and cultivate existing ones. Early consumer results coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic place an exclamation point on the importance of customer engagement and loyalty for future business sustainability.
A little more than 90% of consumers told marketing consulting company Yotpo they considered themselves the same or even more brand loyal than in 2018. Nearly 62% reported being loyal to one to five brands with 26% expressing loyalty to six to ten and nearly 6% between eleven to twenty brands. 59% said they were more than willing to recommend their brands to family and friends with an equal number reporting they would also join the loyalty program. Another 36% said they even spend more on their favorite brands. When asked to expand on their definition of loyal, 37% said they considered themselves loyal after five or more purchases. A third identified three purchases as their loyalty benchmark.
As consumers return to the new normal, many had earlier said they wish to continue receiving messages acknowledging the stress and challenges they had to deal with during the pandemic. That was the key finding of several surveys among all generations.
2019 survey results from Access Development also revealed some other things about loyalty and engagement that were important to consumers. Tops among them were offers and surprise gifts. 61% favored this. The second highest-rated response was a bit surprising. 50% of consumers favored a more convenient shopping process. Solving a problem or question ranked 45% among respondents. Other findings included companies recommending products based on customer need (27%), keeping customers updated on the latest products and news (23%), and welcoming customers on each visit (20%). A separate survey by digital marketing solutions firm Hello World reported that 9% of consumers felt engaging them on social media would boost their engagement and loyalty.
Why Rewards Are So Important to Loyalty
Incentives have high value. Wirecard, a financial commerce platform firm, dug a bit deeper on incentives and conducted a survey of consumers. 45% said brand incentives motivated them to make one to three additional purchases in the past year after receiving incentives. Another 22% made four to six purchases while 9% said they made seven to ten additional buys. Another interesting discovery by Wirecard was that 45% of respondents identified digital prepaid cards as their preference for receiving rewards. Regardless of the reward format, speed appears to be of essence. 39% expected to receive rewards within a day or less while 24% identified three days or less as being satisfactory.
The final findings by Wirecard also confirmed the power of rewards. 75% of customers said they were likely to make another purchase right after receiving an incentive. More than 50% said they would share their positive experience with others while another 35% said they would leave a positive review on the brand’s site. 15% went so far as to say they would post their reviews on social media.
Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals.
Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions.
Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR.
Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller.
A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities