Most brands are no doubt experiencing higher uncertainty than usual due to factors such as U.S. trade policy changes, stock market fluctuations, supply chain disruptions resulting from uncontrollable factors or political issues, and more. All of these current events have the potential to disrupt revenue during the upcoming holiday season or even longer.
That’s why, as you plan your 2020 budget, it’s important to set aside an investment in your best customers – those who have already purchased your product. This includes delivering an exceptional onboarding experience, investing in knowing who your customers are (owner identification), and prioritizing your buyers’ ongoing ownership experience. All three of these ingredients are strategic investments into near-term accretive revenue streams and long-term growth, which is especially important in uncertain geopolitical and economic times such as these.
Reason #1: Capitalize on the opportunity that each new customer represents.
Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey for 2018-19 found that CMOs plan to spend an average of 21% of their budget on advertising. Not surprisingly, digital advertising makes up the majority of this spend. Yet, it’s no secret that it’s more cost effective to market to existing customers than to acquire new ones.
“Marketing leaders must demonstrate the business value of their efforts amid uncertain times,” says Ewan McIntyre, VP Analyst, Gartner for Marketings, and CMO Spend Survey lead author.
When you invest in product owner identification you are investing in your best customers – those who already engaged with your brand versus those who “may” be interested. And when you open a direct channel to your best customers at the best moment imaginable – their first use – you capitalize on their enthusiasm for their new product. It is in this key moment you can offer product upgrades, add-ons, service plans, or recurring subscription services to generate revenue at a higher margin.
Better yet, as the ownership experience progresses, this direct link to known customers provides a cost effective, digital communications channel that allows for scale and personalization compared to more expensive mediums (like print, commercial, or display). The ability to market to your owners directly improves margin, and those who are engaged directly via this method are more likely to make subsequent purchases from the brand.
Reason #2: Accelerate the payback period and ROI of your existing marketing stack.
The ROI from investing in your owner’s initial experiences is not only measurable, it’s realized in the first few months of ownership, growing customer near-term value. And better yet, there’s a halo effect for other investments.
First, owner onboarding provides a captive audience as a new channel for customer insights. The information relayed via this channel is faster and realizes a higher response rate than other methods. In fact, we’ve seen up to 88% response rate to surveys during the onboarding experience. As first-party data it is the best data to drive decisions across all areas of the business – such as product development, market expansion or customer lookalike models – brands can leverage the investment in the onboarding experience to offset other more costly research. It’s a win-win!
Second, many of our clients have realized that adding high value customers to their marketing database – and communicating with them directly at key intervals – results in higher ratings and more reviews. Not only does this potentially increase future sales, it enhances the spend the brand already puts toward their ratings and review platforms.
Additionally, knowing more product owners, and having a direct line of communication via email or SMS, is an extremely effective strategy for direct-to-consumer campaigns. While SMS marketing continues to grow in popularity with some customer segments, email is still a prime channel to help extract more value from eCommerce platforms. Personalizing SMS and email offers using data captured during the onboarding experience makes them even more likely to convert.
Reason #3: Improve your CX to fuel your direct-to-consumer initiatives.
It may not seem obvious, but a well-delivered first use experience also has the potential to decrease customer call center costs and increase customer satisfaction. Consumers want fast service; they don’t want to repeat basic information such as their name or phone number or the model number of their product. The majority of consumers also value self-help platforms, so not having easy access to product information is frustrating.
CX killers such as these can be avoided when owner data from the onboarding experience is shared with your customer support team. Accurate data about known product owners and products means that customers have a better experience, and call handling time goes down for your support reps. Providing links to product guides and other information during their first experience can cut down on support calls and enable customers to find the answers themselves. It also means call center reps can know very specifically which add-on offers (like service plans or accessories) are specific to the owner on the other end of the phone – enabling accelerated call center revenue.
It’s Time for a Strategic Investment in 2020
As with any customer experience initiative, investing in the ownership experience is not a short-term line item to be added to a long list of marketing technology enablers. It is a long-term investment strategy into your most valuable asset – the people who own your products and who have the most potential for continued loyalty and high margin revenue. As our clients have experienced, the ROI on this investment is easily measured in a matter of months – not years – making now the best time to plan for your investment in the ownership experience.
Get in touch to speak with one of our ownership experience experts.