Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 53 - Page 50

FEATURE : CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Customer retention is becoming increasingly difficult as brands compete against each other . Ganga Ganapathi , VP Head – Marketing and Client Success ,
Epsilon APAC & MEA , EU , provides further insight into where customers ’ loyalties lie in 2022 . and channels . Finding a platform partner who delivers strategy as well as the tech platform to anticipate a consumer ’ s needs , activate to deliver on those needs and finally measure and optimise to ensure proof of performance is key .
According to research by ResearchAndMarkets . com , the APAC loyalty management market is expected to reach US $ 3642.77 million by 2026 , registering a CAGR of 25.1 %, from 2021 to 2026 . The report found that increasing customer retention boosts profit margins and also brings stability to revenues . And while necessary and important must always be weighed against the typical marketing priority of acquisition which is 25 % more expensive than retaining current customers .

Loyalty . A word that evokes emotion and brings to mind relationships where one is willing to go to great lengths to keep the other happy . Loyalty cannot be bought or sold with points , freebies and discounts alone , but needs to transcend the altar of emotions .

With COVID-19 and all its challenges came intense competition for a share of the customer ’ s heart and mind . As Digital Transformation leapfrogged across businesses , marketers gained access to a treasure trove of data and customers began to consolidate their brand affinities to interact with fewer stores , delivery services and loyalty cards .
Brands that are agile and can anticipate customer needs are better able to build a culture of customer loyalty , enabling them to be the ones who will come out stronger and more successful .
Three key loyalty trends that will shape 2022
When building or reimagining a loyalty marketing programme , there are three imperatives to ensure that your brand continues being an engagement magnet for your most important customers .
1 . Building empathy and human connections : Customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are far more valuable .
So how do we now redefine and reinvent our relationships with increasingly discerning customers ?
Brands that truly understand their customers are intuitive to customers ’ aspirations , motivations and barriers . Mapping these intangibles to technology brings alive the entire customer journey , experience
While the pandemic has forced brands and their customers to be physically apart for health and safety reasons and to turn to more digital interactions , those that have been able to humanise their brands and create emotional connections with their customers have been able to garner even greater customer loyalty and ride out the wave of economic uncertainty .

Where do customers ’ loyalties lie ?

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