Cultivating Customer Loyalty in an Evolving World

The question is, how do you build that loyalty and promote its longevity in your relationship with your customers?

The past few months have been a learning experience for everyone in the retail sector. We’ve all faced unprecedented challenges that we’re still navigating through. However, it’s important to also recognize what we’ve gained from this experience. Notably, we have been reminded of the intrinsic value of customer loyalty and having a positive business/consumer relationship. As consumer trends prove to be in flux, we believe it is a time for nurturing the humanistic side to business. There has never been a better time to nurture our relationship with our customers and rebuild our industry together.

The question is, what does customer loyalty look like and how do we develop it effectively?

From our experience, customer loyalty is typically formed when a business provides a consistent positive experience for a consumer. Firstly, this is developed through the duality of a high quality product and high quality service. It is then perpetuated through thoughtful interaction and an evoked trust between brand and consumer. This interaction is typically conducted through a dynamic marketing strategy.

In the retail industry there are various marketing methods for cultivating customer loyalty that we have seen implemented with great success. Some of these include:

Establishing a Connection: Cultivating a strong relationship with your customers has been proven to bring longevity and prosperity to retailers. Digital media is a highly effective way to build that relationship through interaction and connection. Particularly as we move towards a post-COVID world, it will be important to listen to the customer, for instance, asking them about their anxieties regarding returning to retail stores and tailoring your marketing approach to address those worries. Creativity will be the key to successfully engaging with both existing customers and potential new ones.

Offering Rewards: Loyalty programs are a standard method of customer retention, and these programs can bring great returns when they are well thought out. A study conducted recently by RetailWire showed that fewer than 25% of consumers are currently “very satisfied” with loyalty programs. Recognizing this as an opportunity to satisfy your customers’ desire for brand connection could significantly build your business during this turbulent time. And in our current climate, tangible value matters — RetailWire research showed 53% of consumers see savings as more important during the current pandemic than before. But emotions often rule, meaning tangible value needs to be presented with non-transactional loyalty drivers such as connection and relationship. Communicating purposely with your customers about promotions and initiatives can create an engaged community, while simultaneously driving sales.

JRoss recognizes the need for experienced and creative marketing professionals to build customer loyalty in the retail industry. In response, our team has proactively connected with hundreds of highly-experienced marketers from Canada’s largest service sectors — retail and hospitality — to gain a sense of the currently available talent with the right skills. To share what we’ve found, we’ve included some sample profiles below of leaders in developing and implementing customer-focused programs.

These candidates represent some of Canada’s top retail consumer loyalty professionals. Their profiles show the kind of skills and experience that retailers will need to develop and strengthen their connections to customers. They may match yours, or you may discover you have transferrable skills. Retail professionals will be needed in other areas as well. If you focus on another field within retail, these profiles may give you some ideas regarding where you can add value as Canada’s retail industry re-opens.

Manager, Marketing and Loyalty - Toronto

Working for one of Canada’s leading heritage retailers, this progressive and driven candidate is focused on steering the brand into the future. With over 5 years of experience in brand management, strategic planning, and project management, this candidate is truly passionate about marketing. They strive to provide customers with value by creating unique and immersive experiences, and their empathetic approach to elevates them in building strong customer relationships. With experience in a variety of industries, from retail to finance to hospitality, they’ve had the opportunity to implement customer-focused marketing initiatives using data-driven insights, creating valuable solutions for customers and driving profitability for their organization. This candidate is a leader in brand management and strategy, customer marketing (acquisition, engagement, and loyalty), brand activation, project management, and campaign execution.

Director, Marketing, Loyalty and CRM – Toronto

This passionate marketer has over two decades of experience in their field. With extensive experience in brand marketing, CRM, customer loyalty relations, and digital marketing, this diverse candidate is ready for their next transformational initiative. They have a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful within various commodity sectors by maintaining the brand’s unique positioning and elevating the customer experience. At one of Canada’s leading department stores, they led their team in the transformation of an outdated coupon-based loyalty program into a modern, digitized, revenue generating, omni-channel program. They’re currently busy running a boutique marketing agency, offering marketing strategies, branding, and design to medium-sized businesses. A passionate advocate for both the customer and the brand, this intuitive marketer knows the value of creating personalized offers and customer experiences that engage and drive foot traffic, both virtually and in person. A team player who cares about collaboration and negotiating, this candidate has an insatiable drive to build relationships both in-house and with the ever-valued customer.

Manager, CRM, Email and Loyalty Marketing – Vancouver

This cutting-edge candidate has extensive experience leading CRM & Email marketing programs using large databases, driving hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue through targeted, personalized marketing campaigns with a strong focus on email. Working for some of Canada’s leading retail brands, they’ ve crafted all the elements of highly successful email marketing programs and CRM strategies including defining audiences and lifecycle stages, customer journeys, communication frequency, etc. Along with their MBA, this marketing professional has acquired specialized training in customer acquisition and retention strategies, implementing lifecycle marketing campaigns, and KPI management. With strong business acumen, this candidate is data-driven and has a solid track record of delivering results. They’re truly multidimensional, with a deep understanding of the nature of building relationships and cultivating loyalty using thoughtful marketing strategies.

Vice President of CRM, Digital Marketing, and E-Commerce — Montreal

This highly qualified candidate has been working in the marketing sector for close to two decades - they are the epitome of a marketing professional. They have extensive customer relations marketing experience, particularly with loyalty programs and email marketing, along with exposure to the full spectrum of marketing positions in the fashion, telecommunications and financial services sectors. From leveraging brand visibility, to cultivating stakeholder morale and leading data and analytics initiatives, their ability to focus on analytics and interpersonal relations concurrently makes them a leader in their field. A proven leader, they have built and managed teams of Digital Marketers, Business Analysts, Project Managers, Developers, and Solution Designers in the support of strategic technical implementations and digital marketing campaigns. Their experience includes team building, relationship management, digital marketing, process improvement, and the technical development life cycle. They can effect change, develop a collective vision, and really push the needle on technology, sales and the consumer experience.

To learn more on this and other retail trends and insights you can check out our blog.

Written by Jessica Finch.