Shift your marketing focus from loyalty to relevance

It may be time for dealers to shift their focus from loyalty to relevance when preparing marketing materials and campaigns. According to the Harvard Business Review’s John Zealley, Robert Wollan and Joshua Bellin, trying to win customer loyalty through rebates and discounts will cost you because the “loyalty era” of marketing is fading. Here’s a look at what you can expect:

Overview: starting from the decade of mass-marketing in the 1960s, where management focused on product and sale and the market approach was all about mass appeal, consumers have evolved and demanded different things throughout the years. In the 80s it was all about segmentation, the 90s was about proposition innovation, the 2010 decade focused on tailored incentives (which meant experience and relationships), and now the 2020s are moving to personalization.

Relevance: Managers in this period will need to focus on experience and personality, as they market to consumers through personalized ads and campaigns. Whereas the performance indicator for marketers and businesses was all about customer retention in the 2010-2020 period, the upcoming decade of relevance will be measured by customer attraction. And its technology enabler will move away from advanced CRM to the digitization of everything. We can begin to see those changes happening now.

The four Ps: The traditional four Ps of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) need to be revamped, according to Zealley, Wollan and Bellin. They suggest expanding the focus to include these five Ps: purpose, pride, partnership, protection, and personalization. “These form a simple and comprehensive test of relevance.”

Consumers now need to feel as though brands are sharing and advancing their values; they need to feel proud and even inspired to use the products and services; they need to see the company as working well with them; they need to feel secure when doing business with the company, and they need to feel as though their experience with the brand is “continuously tailored to their needs and priorities.”