RELATIONSHIP MARKETING CASE STUDY ON GIANT
Introduction to Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM)
Relationship marketing relates to the application of different strategies and tactics by companies or businesses. The tactics are generally applied to create long-term and stronger relationships between the companies and their customers. Essentially, the long-term and strong relationships are aimed at improving the experiences of the customers through enhancing the value prepositions of the goods or services that the organization deals in (Lo and Campos, 2018, p.12). The enhanced value proposition of the goods and services influences the development and promotion of lifetime brand loyalty and customer retention.
In creating effective Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), companies leverage various best practices. Companies prudently focus on meeting their customers’ needs by listening to the multiple feedbacks that the customers will be making or observing on the business. With the customers’ feedback, companies create authentic and informative content and personalized messages (Lo and Campos, 2018, p.13).CRM practices enable the Company to continuously offer ongoing support to the customers and provide an opportunity for the customers to feel appreciated by the companies, especially the use of gifts or the various loyalty programs.
The customer value proposition is part of the essential toolset for a well-organized marketing plan by a company’s marketing department or strategy. Customer value proposition forms the basis of understanding how the end-user, the customer, will value a product or service. Objectively, customer value preposition brings into perspective effective development or service marketing objectives. Issues such as customer intelligence, competitive insights, and the product’s value are packaged into one element (Payne et al., 2017, p. 467).
With the different marketing objectives packaged into one through customer value proposition, a focused approach and understanding of the customer are contextualized. A customer value proposition is a continuously evolving phenomenon in the marketing sphere, changes that occur in the world of business occasions the evolution changes in the concept’s timeframe. The changes that occasions the evolution of the concept’s timeframe are; constant changes in products, the addition of new features, enhancement of the competitive products, alongside the introduction of new alternatives in the market. As part of the strategic marketing planning, a customer value proposition can be developed for a new product, especially at its formative stage. A systematic way through which the concept of customer value proposition on a product is achieved (Payne et al., 2017, p. 468). For the Company, Giant, effective implementation of all the relevant stages in achieving the preferable customer value proposition for the loyalty card (TapForMore) will be critical in complementing the other customer service activities put in place by the Company.
Essentially, through achieving the desired customer value proposition, the Company will benefit from several accrued advantages. Strategically, Giant will differentiate itself further from its competitors. The Company’s existing customers and the potential ones will find the loyalty program’s success a more satisfying way of appreciating their shopping with the outlet. To the Company, the loyalty program’s success hinged on customer value proposition will be a more cross-effective way of retaining its customers (Payne et al., 2017, p. 477). Further to achieving differentiation in the market, Giant will ostensibly realize an increase in its revenue and gain an increased market share of loyal customers and see an increment in both quantity and quality of prospective leads.
Application of the Francis Buttle Model in improving the Value Preposition of the loyalty card (TapForMore)
Developed in 2004 by Francis Buttle, the Buttle CRM model comprehensively and concisely provides a more insightful customer relationship management tool or model focused on strategies aimed at integrating both internal and external processes of an organization with the sole objective of creating value customers at a profit. The model provides for the need by a company to offer extra attention and service to its more valuable customers. The model favors different business models or structures, such as the Business-to-Business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2B) models. The objectives of the model’s primary stages are; locating the customers, understanding the various habits or preferences of the customers, interacting with the customers in a bid to develop a strong relationship, and providing the customers with exemplary customer service through customer value creation (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1036). Achieving the objectives set in the model enables the Company to complete and maintain a long-lasting relationship by serving the various customer’s desires.
To achieve the individual objectives set above and the overall goal for a company, the model outlines five essential stages that customer value proposition follows. Each of the stages is guided by different and appropriate concepts and achieved by applying specified marketing tools. The application of both the concepts and tools enables the model to be practically realized by a company. The five stages in the model are; Customer portfolio Analysis, Customer intimacy, network development, value proposition development, and managing the customers’ lifecycle (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1037). Each of these primary stages is comprehensively discussed subsequently.
Customer portfolio Analysis: at this stage, the business needs to employ different and appropriate strategies to identify the most valuable customers. With the identification of the right customers, the Company will be able to create a profile for its customers, which is critical in identifying the various needs of the customers. With the customers’ needs recognized, the Company will be able to strategize accordingly for effective interactions through discovering its highly valued customers and through which long-term relationships will be established. The aim and objective of carrying out a customer portfolio analysis are to get the right customer segment through which the Company will be able to prioritize and customize services to help meet their needs while at the same time extracting the most revenue out of the business opportunities created out of the relationships (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1038). The process also grants the Company the opportunity of discarding or disregarding the segments of customers who are not yielding many returns to the Company.
To serve its customers well, a business will need to know its customers well. Knowing the customers well is served by the process of customer portfolio analysis (CPA). The CPA process allows the business to gain insights into the needs of each customer, thus making the management of the customers easier. Insightfully, the process of carrying out a CPA involves developing an understanding of the types of customers, profitability of the customer, and based on the customers’ activity. Different type of customers exists to the business, each of the types of customers to trade has a significant role or purpose to the Company. A customer type can be in the form of a partnership, those who show an immense desire for the d=growth and development of the Company’s products or services (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1039). Customers can also be recurring, occasional, or at-risk customers. With the knowledge of the type of customers, the Company can then design its CRM more strategically.
Customer intimacy: with the significant customers strategically identified and located, the Company’s next concern at this stage will be to determine the ways of serving the profiled customers in the best way possible. Getting to develop the best ways of doing the customers, the Company would essentially use the available data insights for each category of the customers. Customer intimacy measures and determines the Company’s level of awareness and alignment with the customers’ values and needs. For Giant, the success of the loyalty card will be dependent on the effective intimate practices on its customers. Enhanced customer conversations will be critical in the whole process of achieving customer intimacy. In enhancing customer conversions to make the loyalty card a success, the Company would adopt the following different strategies of customer conversions; organizing customers’ meet-ups, hosting happy hours or brunches, using physical reminders, all-hands customer support. Customer intimacy focuses on putting the customer at the center of every issue concerning the CRM program (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1044). With this focus, Giant will be enabled to serve its customers better while at the same time boosting its reputation and increasing the Company’s returns.
Network development: critical to the success of any business program is the customer base. Companies will have to extensively work on strategies aimed at enlisting the right population and network of customers. The comprehensive strategy of creating a customer base and network should be based on meeting the various significant customer needs at all stages; pre-sales, sales, and post-sales. Network development essentially is all about establishing a suitable customer base for the business’s programs. The process will involve applying different relevant marketing arts for attracting and retaining the customers to the business’s program.
Giant would leverage the application of a blend of strategies to achieve the right customer base or build a formidable customer network for the loyalty card program. The most applicable strategies that would facilitate Giant’s loyalty program success include; keeping up with practical and excellent customer support and service, maintaining an updated, fresh, and informative website, promoting the business and the loyalty card program on the Social media platforms. The Company could also apply e-mail marketing and making the customers part of the marketing plan through using loyal customers to develop networks and connections of customers for the Company in concession for either products or loyalty points just as they are earned by shoppers(Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1049). From building a formidable customer base through networking, Giant will benefit from; generation of referrals to the loyalty card program, the creation of positive influence on the potential customers, and raising the Company’s profile.
Value proposition development: value preposition defines the business’s purpose and understanding of the customers’ needs. In understanding the needs of customers, a special relationship is created between the business and the customers. In developing the value proposition, the Company will have to define the three critical components precisely; the targeted customers, the problem being solved, and what sets the Company’s program from the other competitors (Payne et al., 2017, p. 485).To achieve the set objectives and to make the value proposition development a fulfillment, the Company will have to undertake; identification of the right resources needed in the program, developing the sources and customizing the loyalty card program to suit the values as dictated by the needs and preferences by the customers (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1036).
Creating a clear and compelling value preposition by the Company will ostensibly create several benefits to the Company. Potential customers will quickly get understand what the Company’s objective under the loyalty card offers. Customers will always have the perception of what they are looking for, especially when researching online. Therefore coming into interaction with a convincing product or service offering the correct value proposition, they will take up the offer.
With the correct value proposition for the loyalty card in place, there will be a strong differentiation between the Giant and its immediate competitors. The ideal value proposition will influence customers to continue making purchases from the Company and not its competitors. Value preposition critically presents the business with an advantaged position of differentiating itself in the market (Payne et al., 2017, p. 486). A further benefit that would accrue to the Company through an effective Value proposition development for the loyalty card will be an improvement in the understanding and engagement with the program by the customers (Buttle and Groeger, 2017, p.1045).
Managing the customers’ lifecycle/relationship: once attracted and retained in the loyalty program, it would be prudent for the Company to put long-term customer relationship management strategies in place. The Company will need to employ various unique and personalized strategies for the loyalty program. The common strategy for sustaining long-term relationships includes; focusing on reliable, continuous, and exceptional communication with the customers, always acknowledging the customers, putting more effort into exceeding the customers’ expectations (Buttle and Groeger,2017,p.1045). Leveraging technological applications, there will be a need to track customers’ data with the Company to gain more insights into serving the customers.
Introduction to Marketing Automation
Marketing automation relates to the process of applying relevant software to automate a business’s marketing activities. The process combines a company’s strategies adopted for marketing with the application of the software. Automating the marketing strategies or activities is aimed at nurturing prospects with highly personalized, insightful content to facilitate the conversion process of the prospects into highly delighted clients to the business. Objectively, marketing automation aims at nurturing engagements with customers into conversion (Lampinen, 2018). To engage the customers, appropriate strategies will aid in analyzing the customers’ behaviors, thus providing an opportunity to gain their attention which offers insightful data for the marketing department. The application of technology to achieve automation in marketing allows marketers to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as e-mailing clients, posting social media platforms, and placement of ad campaigns (Sharif, Despot, and Uyaver, 2018, p.98). The automated processes enhance both efficiencies in operations and deliver more personalized experiences for the customers.
Advantages of Marketing Automation.
Incorporating marketing automation into its marketing strategies to promote the loyalty card program will enable Giant to benefit from several accrued merits. The accrued benefits from the automation of the marketing process include;
Increased efficiency in marketing the program; in adopting automation, the marketing department will become more efficient. The efficiency of the marketing department will be achieved through a reduction in the labor costs, freeing the teams from the many physical tasks, thus having adequate time to concentrate on more strategic projects. A shift from manual postings to automatic postings on social media platforms through appropriate software will tremendously save time. The time saved will critically be applied to creating campaigns. The marketing activities for the loyalty card will therefore be more efficiently done.
Increment in the conversion rate; marketing automation will usually include the installation and use of appropriate software. Such software facilitates the process of lead conversion and management of all leads more efficiently. Other than the fast-tracking lead conversions, market automation will enable the Company’s sales and marketing teams to keep track of new and retarget all the visitors to the Company’s website who will not convert into customers. Therefore, the teams will be enabled to critically analyze the performance of the strategies for promoting the program based on how the visitors will be converting.
Precise and accurate reporting on the program’s performance; marketing automation tools and software will provide real-time reports and analytics on the performance of the program. The generation of the report will be automated, unlike the cumbersome processes of individually developing the information. The analytical reports will be critical in gaining insights into having an overview of the overall campaigns on the program. The insights gained will play an essential role in streamlining possible challenges noted on any strategies employed in achieving conversions for the loyalty card program (Mero et al., 2020, p.213). Timely fixing the problem signaled out from the analytical reports will facilitate the loyalty card program’s customers’ uptake.
Will allow the Company to offer personalized marketing strategies; the different tools or software available for facilitating marketing automation can enable the users through their segmentation capabilities to create customized content. With the Company’s personalized content, the teams will target the personas or the targeted audiences on different or multiple channels. Since the ability to personalize the content will position the Company’s brand strategically on the various channels and platforms, it will be easier to promote the Company’s program on the different platforms. Through marketing automation, web visitors will be turned into leads. Having the lead, the teams will essentially be segmenting the leads based on their characteristics or behaviors (Mero et al., 2020, p.215). Once segmented, the leads will be made to receive personalized messages, for example, through e-mails through which the leads’ engagement can be constantly tracked towards achieving conversion.
Enhanced data security and management; marketing automation will provide the teams with different data types based on the customers’ activities on the various platforms. With the data, the marketing teams will constantly be applying them where necessary, especially in managing leads and engagements (Mero et al., 2020, p.219). With the marketing automation software, there will be an automatic updating of data.
Marketing Automation Strategies for enhancing TapForMore loyalty card
One key element in gaining customer loyalty is personalization. The process of personalization allows the customers to benefit from targeted communications. Most customers will most likely prefer shopping with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations that are appropriate in meeting their respective customer expectations. Customers preferring personalized and targeted communication mark the meeting point between marketing automation and the promotion of loyalty programs (Jena and Panda, 2017, p.32). Marketing automation is delivered through various digital platforms, which can provide personalized customer experiences.
In promoting the loyalty card program, Giant will leverage different digital-based marketing automation strategies. Each strategy has its levels of effectiveness and how it can contribute to the success of the loyalty card program when adopted by the Company. Since each of the different strategies has demerits, it will be prudent to apply different strategies simultaneously to complement each other for the overall success of the loyalty card program as fronted by the Company (Jena and Panda, 2017, p.35).
Email Marketing Automation: E-mails provide a medium of successfully engaging potential customers. In marketing the loyalty card, the Company would use e-mails, especially from their customer database, to reach out to the customers on the new loyalty card program and what it entails. The option of using e-mails provides the team with an opportunity to develop and design catchy messages or content using the numerous available templates (Talarico, 2020, p. 1). The designed e-mail campaigns will be previewed and placed on various platforms targeting the customers. Using different aspects of e-mail, such as welcome e-mails, will enable the Company’s marketing team to welcome every new client or lead without fail and help build upon critical awareness about the Company’s brand and the loyalty card program. E-mail marketing has several benefits that Giant will benefit from; it’s a low-cost method compared to mainstream channels. Delivers the targeted messages (Jena and Panda, 2017, p.35). It is easy to measure its success rates. It has an immediate impact and reaches a broader audience.
Social Media automation: the advent and promotion of social media, especially in the last decade, has shifted moth the market presence and the marketers to the online platforms. Being on the social media platform is being at the right place, where the customers are. Through creating a presence on the social media platforms for the loyalty card program, Giant will be facilitated to build consistent content, thus achieving a large following through which more of the information about the program will be divulged, influencing their respective decisions on the loyalty card program (Jena and Panda, 2017, p.33). The social media platforms such as Facebook will boost engagement primarily through comments from the followers and replies from the marketing team at Giant. Since the largest portion of the market is available online, the Company’s program’s presence on the platform will create a more viable platform for meeting and interacting with many customers on the media.
Integrating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with marketing automation: transferring all the potential leads by the sales team to the other teams smoothly will be facilitated by combining the selected marketing automation tools. The success of the loyalty card program will be made more achievable by the process of interactions based on the customer’s behaviors and achieved through the different marketing campaigns. The integration will successfully facilitate the Use of online customer customized quizzes. With the restrictions on physical interactions, the Company will answer questions about the customers’ interests and concerns on the loyalty card program (Jena and Panda, 2017, p.35). With the various information gained from the online quizzes, the Company will facilitate making the relevant adjustments to enhance the loyalty card’s success.
Buttle, F. and Groeger, L., 2017. Who says what to whom in what channel? A rules theoretic perspective on word-of-mouth marketing. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(13-14), pp.1035-1059.
Jena, A.B. and Panda, S., 2017. Role of marketing automation software tools in improving or boosting sales. Splint International Journal of Professionals, 4(7), pp.30-35.
Lampinen, A., 2018. Utilizing marketing automation to support sales in digital business-to-business environment.
Lo, F.Y. and Campos, N., 2018. Blending Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions into relationship marketing strategies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 137, pp.10-18.
Mero, J., Tarkiainen, A. and Tobon, J., 2020. Effectual and causal reasoning in the adoption of marketing automation. Industrial Marketing Management, 86, pp.212-222.
Payne, A., Frow, P. and Eggert, A., 2017. The customer value proposition: evolution, development, and application in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(4), pp.467-489.
Sharif, H., Despot, I. and Uyaver, S., 2018. A proof of concept for home automation system with implementation of the internet of things standards. Periodicals of Engineering and Natural Sciences, 6(1), pp.95-106.
Talarico, D., 2020. Go with the (work) flow: E-mail automation. Recruiting & Retaining Adult Learners, 23(2), pp.1-3.
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