Let’s be honest, in the old world (read: 2019) we all loved a day out judging awards. The chance to swan into some lovely building, hobnob with the great and good of our industry, pick up a tasty lunch, grab a new professional head shot and take a goodie bag home. Oh, and there was the business of judging of course.
Tomorrow, I’ll be judging the DMAs from the comfort of my own home. My husband may bring me a coffee, lunch will probably be tonight’s left overs, and the only goodie bag will be the kids sports kit that they’ll dump in the hall at 4pm exactly.
So take away the trappings of a fun day out, and what do you have left? The entries, pure and simple. The strategy, the creative and the results. The hard facts of the case. And since I’m judging Best Customer Retention and Loyalty Scheme, every entry will have its work cut out this year.
When those entries were submitted, many brands were haemorrhaging customers at a rate of knots (cinema, travel). Others were scooping up customers like there was no tomorrow (video streaming, home fitness). So how do we judge how good brands were at keeping customers?
For me, this is where hard customer data comes in. As I recall, when I judged this category last year, I was surprised and disappointed how many entries were still using brand affinity or other such soft metrics to measure retention. There were very few who were able (or chose) to show the volume of customers over time. This surely is the ultimate measure of an effective retention scheme – keeping your customers. I’m happy to accept context-appropriate entries (we lost X but regained Y), or entries where value and volume are balanced (we gained Y but at value Z), but I just want to see the hard facts of the matter. Prove how well you kept hold of your customers. Not what they thought of you, how you stole them from competitors, how likely they said they were to return.
This year has given us all ample opportunity for some clear strategic and creative work, so if you can prove to me (using clear thinking and hard numbers) that you’ve kept hold of your customers or won them back, despite external conditions, you’ll get my vote.