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.

The Solution

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.

Frequency

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.

Wish List

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.

Wireless Compliance

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.

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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 175 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, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. 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, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" 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.