One of the most essential and basic marketing concepts is the marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is a road map of sorts, showing how a customer goes from learning about a product, to making the purchase, to becoming a life-long fan who spreads their wonderful experience with your company.
Phases of the Marketing Funnel
The first phase of the marketing funnel is the customer becoming aware of the product or service through advertising or another source. Next, they look at the brand they were first introduced to and compare it with similar offerings. Up next, the purchaser develops an intent to make the purchase. If the product, purchasing, support and company values all result in a positive for the customer, they can become a lifetime customer and brand advocate.
But, models aren’t aren’t always perfect and neither is this idea of a smooth marketing funnel where a customer simply makes their way down it in a smooth fashion. Customers rarely become fans of a product in a straight and perfect line as the funnel outlines. A customer and a brand have an ever-evolving relationship with many different interactions and points where a customer may deviate from that brand and from this funnel.
So rather than just expecting customers to fit within this idea of a perfect marketing funnel, it’d be wise to also evaluate and pay attention to customer loyalty and the loyalty loop as this plays a big role in the customers lifetime value to a company and whether they decide to keep coming back.
Loyalty Loop Breakdown
When observing customer loyalty, think of the loyalty loop. The loop has different events and depending how the consumer interacts with the company at those events, the different direction the consumer will go in the loop.
First, the trigger informs the brand is an option to solve the problem the customer is dealing with. In turn this creates an initial interest when the customer starts to consider that specific brand to solve the problem. From there the customer begins to research the product. Once the customer is ready to make the purchase, that’s when you want to start paying attention to the loyalty loop. You want to immediately make sure they have a great post purchase experience as this will increase the likelihood that the customer will become a repeat customer. It is an ongoing loop where the customer is always deciding to make another purchase or not.
The loyalty loop focuses on if a customer will return to a brand, product, or service. It is important to consider that many different elements could impact the customer’s decision to purchase for the next time or the 100th time. Changes in pricing, packaging, quality, experience with customer support, changes in brand values and new advertising campaigns can all influence if a customer will or will not make any additional purchases.
Loyalty Loop Takeaways
Ultimately, the loyalty loop is important to track and a useful tool for digital marketers to understand the customer’s experience post purchase. Focusing on the loyalty loop and where things are running smoothly or poorly is an important area to focus on as this will help you better understand your customer as well as increase the company’s sales.
Another benefit of paying attention to the loyalty loop is that it can be used to dictate how companies’ direct content towards customers. By knowing where a customer is on the loop, a company can better direct targeted messages to push the consumer towards a more loyal position.
Each interaction a company has with the customer must have a clear and cohesive message. With so many chances for the customer to find other solutions for their problem, a poor communication that does not align with what a customer expects from that brand and a company can lose that customer.
Fully investing in the loyalty loop requires consistency and frequency across all marketing channels. Having a cohesive brand is now an essential part of being a marketer. From the advertisements to the packing of a product to the customer service representatives to everyone on the support side, the entire company must be put towards keeping the brand perception strong to the discerning customer.
Locking In Loyalty
It should be noted that both the loyalty loop and the marketing funnel are both conceptual pathways to explain how a customer becomes a purchaser and then continues as hopefully a repeat customer. However, neither the funnel nor loop are actual marketing strategies that can be used to attract users. This is where you as a digital marketer come in.
Your job as a marketer is to figure out what tools can be used at which stages of the process to secure a new customer and retain existing customers. This might mean using more content creation and SEO to direct new customers towards your website. Or it could mean building out a great email marketing campaign and adding a referral marketing system to make sure your audience provides repeat business. There is no “right” way to do this but understanding your data and the available tactics at your disposal, when combined with the funnel or the loop, give you a great way to understand where your customers are and how to get them to the next step.
Ready for action?
Now that you’re familiar with the framework behind the marketing of how to turn one-time customers into loyal repeat customers, it’s time to get experience applying this framework. If you want to start a career in digital marketing, check out JobPrepped. JobPrepped is the fastest route to getting a full-time job in marketing as 94.3% of JobPrepped students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks of starting. Our program is 100% self-paced and we’ve helped 3,000+ people get their first full-time marketing job and would love to help you too!
Good luck out there!
By Guest Writer,