2022 Is The Year Of ‘Relationship Marketing’


A new eConsultancy analysis produced in collaboration with Cheetah Digital finds that real-time, hyper-personalized experiences are the best method to interact with customers, says an article published in Marketing Tech.

Delving into consumer attitudes

Consumers in the UK connect with brands via a variety of platforms, frequently in unpredictable ways, according to the report “2022 Digital Consumer Trends Index: Consumer Attitudes and Trends in Personalisation, Privacy, Messaging, Advertising and Brand Loyalty.”

Tim Glomb, VP of Content and Data at Cheetah Digital, discussed the report’s core findings with Paula Thomas on her monthly podcast “Let’s Talk Loyalty,” going into detail about UK consumers’ attitudes toward personalization, privacy, message, and brand loyalty.

Great marketing team

Tim, who spearheads the global report each year, says consumer insights have long been a significant driver for his marketing strategies.

 “You can have a great marketing team and many smart people in a room, but if you aren’t truly listening to the audience and getting their sentiment and attitudes, then you’re going to miss the mark,” he says.

Long-term consumer excitement

It turns out, greater personalisation yields return-on-investment (ROI) and long-term consumer excitement. 

“If you can personalise at scale, you’re not really doing what consumers expect,” Tim says. 

“Our report shows a 110% lift in people wanting to be treated as an individual, which really cements Cheetah Digital’s strategy and investment into personalisation engines.”

“As a marketer, that’s something you can’t sleep on anymore. Not after COVID. People want to have a voice. They want to be recognised, and they want to be given recognition for their allegiance and loyalty to brands. The data speaks for itself — it’s not me saying you have to personalise; it’s almost 5,000 people telling you that.”

Create strategy 

Marketers must first develop a plan that involves interacting with clients more closely.

Customers are saying, ‘We’re happy to provide our data and sign up to your marketing program in exchange for relevant offers sent directly to me.’

Incognito browsing

In the report, incognito browsing shot up 50% this year compared to last. 

“It’s like a revolt of sorts,” Tim points out. 

“For years, marketers got fat on cookie technology. We embraced technology that made us lazy marketers, putting the creative to the side and focusing solely on sales goals. And consumers are over it. They’re done. They don’t care about your marketing plan.”

He believes that the sooner marketers understand that and start building relationships, the better. 

“Relationship marketing needs a kick in the pants this year,” he says. 

“It’s time for us to get back to the way we communicate as humans and build relationships. We need to start doing that with our audiences at scale.”

Zero data strategy

Marketers must switch to a first-party and zero-party data strategy as browsers, like Google, solidify their plans to completely curtail third-party cookie tracking and consumers become more vigilant about safeguarding their online privacy. 

They must obtain consent from their clients or run the danger of being branded as “creepy.”

Paula says it’s a fine line between what’s okay to use and what’s just downright unacceptable.

“I was recently speaking with a friend about a cold sore she had. And immediately, I started getting ads for herpes creams on my mobile phone. It was distressing,” she shares.

Permission-based marketing

Tim says things like that happen all too often. Cheetah Digital’s report revealed that more than half of UK consumers (64%) believe cookie tracking is creepy. 

“There is a better way and that’s permission-based marketing. It isn’t rocket science. In fact, it should be common sense,” he says.

“But the data continues to show that, year over year, people are getting increasingly frustrated with those types of tactics,” he says. 

“Marketers need to take note and leave those tactics to the real spies of the world. They need to get on with building better relationships.”

Recognition is key

The research from this year also emphasised how important it is for customers to feel like they belong to a community. 

More than half (54 percent) of UK consumers believe they would trade personal and preference data to feel a part of a brand’s community, reflecting the importance of personalization to consumers in the value exchange economy.

“For a brand, that means creating a forum for customers to engage and get to know each other,” Tim says. 

“Brands can create value in more ways than points alone. Upgrades are great, but they’re not enough if you aren’t providing a sense of community and recognising individual actions too.”

Brand completely unique

Paula agrees, adding the importance of innovative loyalty.

“With more of that, the whole industry will flourish,” she says. 

“Consumers will increase their levels of engagement once they have an opportunity to connect with a brand.”

Tim says Cheetah Digital prizes itself on having a robust, customised and emotional loyalty solution. 

“We don’t sell a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s bespoke; each brand is completely unique. We get excited when brands ask us to come up with something different that goes beyond points, rewards and transactions,” he says.

Methods of engagement

One of the key insights for marketers as the third-party cookie continues to fall apart is the simple truth that relationship marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. 

For instance, contests and sweepstakes are inexpensive engagement strategies.

However, to get the most bang for their buck, Tim says embracing technology is a must. 

“When brands start using technology to continue the conversation and listen meaningfully to consumers, their loyalty and product offerings become far more aligned with their audience. Technology enables marketers to give the right offer to the right person at the right time,” he says.

Email reign supreme

Email also remains an incredibly effective tool for marketers to harness. 

When it comes to driving sales, the report found that email beats paid social and display advertising by up to 128% in the UK.

“Email remains the number one driver,” Tim says. 

“It beats out banner ads, social posts and other channels for driving commerce. And it’s been around forever. Email is a staple, and it’s something every brand needs to have for a robust strategy.”

One of the reasons email remains effective year after year is its personalisation capabilities. 

“You can personalise email beyond just a first name in a database,” Tim points out.

“Now, we can inject keywords into subject lines to influence the open rate.”

Building true relationships

The experts agree 2022 is the year of relationship marketing. 

“At Cheetah Digital, we want to push brand marketers to reevaluate. Are they really building true relationships or are they simply serving their own needs and meeting their own goals?”

It’s also worth noting, as Tim says, “that it’s ok to learn, to be humble and admit that you don’t have everything sorted.”

Best decisions 

“Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have your strategy completely mapped out,” Tim says.

“Seek out resources, download our report, head to Cheetah Digital or other platforms like ours that have resources, and do your homework so you can make the best decisions for your brand.”

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Source: Marketing Tech



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