How brands can turn users into loyal customers

Elisabetta Bruno
Digital Strategy Manager @Diennea

Social networks have led brands to grow together with their followers, sharing values and goals until they have gathered around them as a community. The beginnings were not the best, however: companies feared that the free interaction allowed by the Net would expose them to the attacks of haters; also, the measurability on brand awareness and especially on conversions was an element of difficult identification. At a later stage, brands have tried to achieve a greater presence on social channels to have the chance to monetize and rationalize their efforts.

Nowadays the social experience is made more and more often of private conversations, relationships and sharing (the so-called "dark social"); that’s why brands are looking for effective strategies to acquire new users through a customized one-to-one communication, aiming to "cultivate" the most loyal users.

There are therefore two directions: on the one hand, targeting the users who are furthest away from the brand by leveraging strategies of lead generation, on the other hand focusing on the loyal users, moving communities from social media to the brand’s owned channels, with the aim of creating an internal dialogue and customer engagement.


How to integrate all this with direct marketing actions?

According to some estimates, the digital direct marketing channels that convert the most are e-mail/ SMS/ push notifications. But their effectiveness depends on the experience the customer lives through them. Their goal, in fact, is to help companies being followed and communicating in the best possible way with their final consumer.

Thinking especially about e-mail, a deep knowledge of the path of the users through a mix of integrated tools is certainly decisive for the incisiveness and customization of the newsletters sent by a brand.

What does it mean? Two conditions are necessary:

- An effective construction of the customer journey, that allows to map all the points of contact between a user and a company, both online and offline.

- Analysis of the data collected from all those interactions.

Through the design of the customer journey and the analysis of data, all the available channels are defined and the most effective content can be identified, together with the best time and the best channel on which to convey it. It is no longer a matter of massive messaging, but of selecting the actions and, in the case of e-mails, of rationalizing them and setting the sending depending on the actions the user has performed (or not), with the possibility of changing the channel or type of content, so as to always be ready to offer a relevant communication to the individual user.

All this takes becomes even more effective if you conceive your communication strategy through a Marketing Automation that enables the use of multiple tools in a cross-channel perspective, creating a hyper-customized communication.


Lead generation and retention

The project developed by Diennea for the Loacker,Tempo di Bontà, was also based on the dichotomy of Lead Generation and Retention. Tempo di Bontà is a content box in the Loacker newsletter, devoted to the Loacker Club community.

Loacker, a leading brand producing wafers and chocolate cookies, collaborated with Diennea (through their proprietary platform MagNews) to develop a project collecting all content from the newsletter, entertaining users on the site and asking them to carry out specific activities.

The portal was born in 2016, and since then it has experienced exponential growth. The aim was to acquire new users and bring them closer to the brand through customer engagement activities. Loacker’s creative project combined a renewed editorial plan with the logic of Email Marketing and Lead Generation to recruit new members and retain them, with a tangible impact on purchases.

- The idea

The idea came from Loacker's objectives to generate greater engagement, transforming users into brand ambassadors. After a careful analysis of the users in Loacker’s database, Diennea defined the most suitable tools to build the foundations of the community and achieve goals of conversion, engagement and loyalty.

- The project

The combination of an editorial project, a dedicated creative concept and direct marketing tools has proved successful in stimulating engagement.

- The strategy

The strategy was oriented towards Customer Value, with the aim to inform users about the product variety and to educate them about genuineness; at the same time, loyalty and engagement were encouraged through the invitation to perform specific actions of cooperation and sharing.

- Results of the Lead Generation campaigns

Thanks to "Tempo di Bontà", Loacker's website has recorded excellent performances: not only has it stimulated the newsletter users with new content, but it also opened the way for a real community where loyal user can interact with the brand in a continuous way.

Loacker's database expanded by 39% and in just 3 months: these activities allowed to increase the number of contacts by 20 times. The private area, through couponing and quiz games (Golotest, Quizzolo and Votalo), has acquired important profiling information on users, with a significant increase in their engagement.