Loyalty That Lasts: Evolving Growth Strategies to Activate Emotional Connections with Brands

Consumers don’t care if your brand disappears.

At least that is the case according to a recent study from Havas, which revealed consumers felt that 77 percent of brands could disappear, and no one would really care. To answer the obvious questions around apathy and the willingness to disconnect and forget, it makes sense to turn a lens on marketing’s own challenges with driving deeper bonds between brand and buyer. When the CMO Council asked marketing leaders to outline their greatest challenge in developing lasting (and profitable) relationships with their customers, they admitted that it wasn’t a skills gap or the acceleration of channel complexity holding relationships back. The challenge was remembering customers were actually people, not targets.

Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) and business leaders agreed that their challenge was actually selfmade, too often forgetting that their mandate was to build lasting relationships with a person, not just to optimize campaigns. For all intents and purposes, the customer has been removed from an engagement equation that is hyper-focused on the performance metrics of the marketing machine.

Ironically, this unintended step away from the customer has brought on distinct downturns in some key engagement metrics – social engagement on channels from Instagram is down to 1.9 percent on organic posts compared to 4.5 percent at the start of 2019. Facebook has seen similar declines, down from an average engagement rate of 0.16 percent on organic posts at the start of 2019 to under 0.09 percent by summertime. Email engagement has seen minor improvements, but still, email remains a channel in which relative failure is still considered success. Consider the modern metrics in which one in four customers opening any given email is cause for celebration as average engagement rates hover around 24.88 percent.

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