Building brand loyalty and awareness no longer means spamming customers with emails or plastering two or three ads all over TV and the internet. Brand loyalty today is about forging a relationship with a customer and striking a chord with them on a personal level. It’s about engaging in a true dialogue that emboldens customers to share their invaluable feedback that, ultimately, shapes the brand they love.
But how can retailers open a dialogue in a medium that feels one-sided like advertising? What does personalizing something like a video ad actually look like and what do customers think of it?
Retail Technology Insider spoke with Pitney Bowes executives Valeria Phillips and Matt Tredinnick, Director of Global Product Marketing – Strategic Industries and Director of Global Product Marketing – Customer Engagement Solutions respectively, to get a stronger grasp on how retailers are adopting more engaging video advertising techniques in order to build stronger relationships with their customers.
Phillips explained that digging deep into personalization efforts with interactive tactics not only increases brand loyalty and retention among customers, but truly transforms the shopping experience. These videos can create a personalized environment in real-time that prompts customers to engage with a brand before, during and after a purchase is made.
Even small efforts that show retailers are paying attention to customers on a truly individual scale speak volumes. “Simple things like personalized birthday cards that I receive from one of my favorite department stores make me so happy. I mean this is a personal touch. I like it. It’s goes beyond,” she explained.
Being able to interact and communicate with customers on such a granular level is going to be what differentiates leading retailers moving forward, especially as companies look to expand into new markets. That means retailers are planning to really step up their game in how they interact directly with their customers and must find a way to create a holistic view of each and every customer with accurate, detailed context.
This objective is particularly important in the Age of the Enlightened Buyer, where customers are already well into their research phase of a product or service before actually engaging with a brand directly for more information. If retailers are able to capture their attention and engage with them in a genuinely targeted way during this research stage and actually anticipate their needs, that’s a huge game changer.
Beyond simply strengthening the customer communication that retailers depend on for revenue, interactive and personalized video can actually deepen the customer’s trust in a brand by acting as an educational tool. Through hyper-personalized videos, very specific questions can be answered for a customer regarding complex services in industries like insurance.
Tredinnick elaborated by saying, “Organizations, such as retailers, are not only looking at how interactive and personalized experiences can actually upsell/cross-sell their existing base, but also how it can educate and enable partners and customers about what is actually taking place, building trust.” That level of trust and reliance on a brand is something that cements brand loyalty and retention moving forward.
Thanks to the power of data analytics and interactive media, the tides are changing for video ads. And retailers that are paying attention know that the path to hyper-personalization and brand loyalty extends well beyond an eye-catching email subject line.