There’s an imbalance in the sales and marketing industry today between small business and the industry giants of the world. With deeper pockets, wider budgets, and seemingly limitless tools at their fingertips, competing against the “big guys” can seem like an insurmountable task. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right solutions and customer insights, smaller businesses can be just as competitive at winning over their customers.
Regardless of the size of your business, the most effective way to drive customer loyalty in today’s modern marketing landscape is giving customers what they want, when they want it, and through the proper channel. That’s why SendinBlue recently conducted a consumer survey of over 700 US millennials, currently the most sought-after consumer demographic, to find out their preferences regarding marketing communications and promotions from brands.
Armed with this knowledge, small and medium-sized businesses can outshine their larger competitors with more targeted and personalized marketing campaigns tailored exactly to what their customers are looking for.
Here are the key insights from the survey that brands should adopt to be more competitive in the marketplace.
Deliver to Their Inbox
While it may seem as though there’s a new marketing channel popping up every day, millennial consumers indicated they still prefer the more traditional route of email when it comes to receiving marketing messages from brands. In fact, 63 percent of our survey respondents cited email as the best way for brands, particularly retailers, to communicate with them. The second closest channel, text messaging, was far behind at 14 percent.
That’s a big gap, and it gets even bigger when it comes to social media, which ranked third with 12 percent of the votes. Snail mail was last with only 7 percent of millennial respondents saying they preferred this channel.
Another good sign for email was the number of times millennials visited their inbox throughout the day. When asked how frequently they checked their email, 69 percent of respondents said they were in their inbox multiple times per day. An impressive 20 percent revealed that they’re in their inbox too many times to count. Compare that to traditional mail, which gets checked once on a good day, and you’ll understand why email makes more sense for reaching customers with your marketing messages.
Also Read: From Cookies to Ad IDs, Why Email Is Key
Give Them What They Want
The key to effective outreach is giving customers what they’re looking for. For millennials, in particular, it’s all about a good deal to keep them coming back for more. Close to 60 percent of respondents revealed that they want a site-wide or product category-wide promotional offer in order to take action. They also appreciate it when your promotional outreach is focused and personalized based on their past shopping habits.
Millennials know brands are capable of collecting their data, and in turn, they expect it to be put to good use in ways that most benefit them. This means recommendations based on past purchases and notices when an item they left in their cart goes on sale. That additional 25 percent off could be the nudge they need to complete their purchase.
While trying to figure out what a customer wants may seem like a shot in the dark, utilizing these survey insights along with your own audience insights brings the process much closer to a science. Millennials are a loyal generation and this translates over to the brands they follow. Seventy-five percent of respondents said simple perks like free shipping or two-day delivery are what drives brand loyalty to retailers. That’s not a big dent in your company’s bottom line, but it goes a long way in the hearts and minds of customers, which can have a substantial effect on earnings.
If your company is just starting out and those types of incentives seem unrealistic to offer, keep it more cost-effective by making more of an effort to personalize your messages instead. Close to half of respondents said that receiving relevant, personalized information based on their previous shopping preferences enhanced their brand loyalty as well.
At the end of the day, it’s about caring for your customers’ needs and wants, and showing them that they’re your top priority. A little love goes a long way in the brand/customer relationship and it’s what will allow for small businesses to stay competitive and win back business from the bigger players.
Also Read: Email Is Hard – Here’s How To Make It Easier