There’s absolutely no way American singer/composer and activist Bob Dylan could foresee the marketing changes going on today when he wrote and performed “The Times They’re a-Changin’.” Yet, here we are 56 years later wondering how to manage a changed marketplace after the pandemic is over.
An increasing number of consumers have now adopted and embraced digital media to search for and order products online because of being self-quarantined. A large percentage are expected to continue their reliance on digital media after business and their lives return to normal.
So, What’s the Issue?
The risk for marketers who recognize and respond to this trend is in most of them flooding their target audiences with emails and text messages to the point of oversaturating and discouraging them to buy, the opposite aim of the intended communications.
There’s no stock answer in which one size fits all as to how often consumers should be contacted. It depends on the brand or business. Here are some tips that will help form a strategy over the frequency at which to reach out to customers.
The first thing to determine is just how often the brand’s typical customer makes a purchase. Monthly contact with customers should equal the frequency at which they patronize the brand. Segment the consumers by that frequency and connect with them at the same or slightly higher rate.
Offering incentives is also helpful. Olive Garden reaches out to its consumers once a week and is known to include a special on a weekly entrée. The Italian-American chain also sends out specials for events like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, etc.
The next thing is to determine how often the brand wants its customers to buy. In some cases, like restaurants, all the brand needs to do is increase the frequency of contact with its diners and offer more special deals. Luxury apparel chain Bloomingdale’s saw success in sending out up to four discount coupons to its customers weekly as well as two or three text messages.
Others, like salons, are challenged because consumers already visit them regularly but aren’t apt to increase their frequency of visits. Contacting regular patrons between visits with specials on beauty and/or hair products isn’t just a good reminder but may also bring them in sooner to take advantage of the other specials.
‘Tis the Season
Many brands and industries have different seasons beyond the traditional holiday season. Many others hold annual and semi-annual sales. For all these companies, connecting more frequently with consumers can be highly effective so long as those consumers know that the barrage won’t continue indefinitely.
As stated earlier, there’s no one easy solution about the frequency that brands should connect with its customers on digital media. These suggestions offer a guideline to consider. Another option is to get on successful competitors’ lists. Analyze their frequency, tone and content.
Brands employing recurring text messaging programs also need to ensure that they’re in compliance with CTIA which requires consumer disclosure. There are two ways to achieve this. One is to disclose to consumers the maximum number of messages they can expect to receive each month by participating in the brand’s mobile messaging program. The other is to simply inform them they’ll be receiving recurring messages for their participation.