How often do you keep in touch with your past customers to announce a new product or service? Have you developed a relationship with your customers since their initial purchase? Do you consistently reward customers for their repeat business?
Frequency marketing is simply identifying high value customers and building a solid relationship with them. It is also a very effective way of branding your product or service. It is a proven fact that developing relationships with your customers will increase sales and of course reduce expenses.
Yes, acquiring new customers always costs more money than selling to your existing customers. Most companies do not realize the power of their in-house mailing lists.
Frequency marketing has been around long before the Internet. Some prime examples of frequency marketing are the many "frequent-flyer" programs. Airlines often offer free air miles if you travel on their planes. This is their method of building brand loyalty.
Should you implement frequency marketing into your marketing efforts?
Frequency marketing is a long-term strategy that requires very strong commitments. Unlike promotions, which may last only for weeks, frequency-marketing programs could last for several years. If you cannot make this type of commitment, then might be tough to develop a successful frequency marketing strategy.
The rewards that you offer should be of great value. Here are a few more examples of frequency marketing:
Credit Card Contests - Some credit card companies offer a chance to win prizes. Every time you use your credit card, you are entered into the contest.
Stamps or Points - Companies will give you stamps or points that can be redeemed for brand merchandise. (e.g. Pepsi or Coca cola Points)
Contest and Games; Companies provide games or contests which require the player to make repeated purchases. (e.g. McDonalds Monopoly)
You do not necessarily have to offer a tangible reward. Studies indicate that rewards such as special treatment or recognition itself provide a stronger bonding impact. Be genuine about your rewards. How many times have you received a "preferred member" plastic card with a toll-free number on the back? Where is the value?
Don't promise the world, especially if you cannot deliver on to your promise, you could seriously damage your reputation and credibility. When conversing with your customers, you should do it genuinely and not generically. Sending a letter that starts off with "Dear Valued Reader," will not be as effective as "Dear Jim,". Remember you are trying to develop a relationship. Frequency marketing communication is one-to-one, not one-to-a million.
The most important aspect of a successful frequency-marketing program is to add "real" value to your customers. You have to look at your product or service and decide whether it warrants a repeat purchase. If you do not offer a high quality product or service, your frequency marketing strategy will fail miserably.
Frequency marketing is not for all businesses. They usually apply to business that have a high need for repeat business. You should also be in a business where it is hard to distinguish between you and your competitors to effectively use a frequency marketing strategy. If you have a monopoly in your business, it does not actually make sense to implement a frequency marketing strategy. Because, everyone has to purchase from you, no matter what! But, if you still do follow the frequency marketing strategy, you not only carve yourself a stronger place into the lives of your customers but also develop your brand’s image much stronger.
The downside to frequency marketing is that once all your competitors realize how successfully it works for you, they will jump on the same bandwagon. Pretty soon, the whole strategy becomes meaningless if everyone else is doing it. That is why a frequency marketing strategy needs to be well thought out and constantly reapplied or revamped. Remember the 22 laws of immutable marketing; if others follow what you do, it only makes you the leader of that segment!
Frequency marketing is still in its infancy on the Internet. There are many programs evolving at this moment. There will be a lot of companies implementing this long-term strategy into their marketing efforts. Will yours be the next?
Contributed by: Mohinder Pal Singh
Date: March 15, 2010