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3 Tips to Re-Engage With Isolated Consumers Reconnect to your customer base by investing in new technology, targeted digital media and predictive analytics.

By Melissa Stone

This story appears in the June 2021 issue of Start Up.

Oscar Wong | Getty Images

Now is not the time to overlook the power of digital marketing. It's been a turbulent year for business owners and consumers alike, and to reengage your fans, a personalized approach is key. Gone are the days when marketers could get away with sending a mass "We miss you!" email to inactive subscribers, hoping to lure them back with discount codes. Instead, savvy companies should explore new technologies, target their audience with intention, and rely on analytics to learn more about their audience. Follow these three tips to recapture shoppers' affection (and dollars).

Related: There's No Such Thing as Business as Usual This Holiday Season

1. Invest in new technology

To expedite innovation within your own business, invest in forward-thinking technologies offered by young startups. Earmark 10 percent of your marketing spend as a "test and learn" campaign budget. Once you get the results back, consider reallocating more.

For example, back in 2010, loyalty programs were relatively new. At the time, I was leading digital marketing at Giorgio Armani Beauty, part of L'Oréal. In partnership with 500friends, a customer relationship management tool, we piloted L'Oréal's first loyalty program within its Luxe division. One key learning? Consumers don't want to be rewarded for shopping with you just through loyalty points.

Today's shoppers crave more meaningful engagement; 80 percent want personalization from retailers, and about 31 percent are more loyal to brands that can deliver that personalization. By testing new technology, we gained valuable insights moving forward.

Think about the gaps in your business (augmented reality, CRM, digital media, etc.) and set up virtual meetings to learn how boundary-­pushing small businesses might help increase your bottom line. Ask for case studies and analyze how their tools complement your existing technology infrastructure.

2. Experiment with paid social media formats and segmentation

Shopping on social media is expected to grow 34.8 percent in 2021. While many brands paused their media budgets during the pandemic, of those that did keep their ad units live, women continued to be key influencers (previously purchasing from social and expressing interest in it). Take advantage of various segmentation opportunities to target consumers by gender, age, and interests across Facebook and Instagram.

You might segment ads to, say, moms of 18-year-old daughters with a select household income living in a select zip code who previously browsed the website. Once you confirm the segmentation (who will see the ads), experiment with the creative (what type of visuals and messaging resonate best) and optimize based on consumer engagement (who clicks which ad unit and when).

One key lesson is determining how best to match the messaging with the target audience. (Copy will look different for, say, teens or moms.) And be sure to experiment with ad formats. Facebook offers augmented reality advertising, Instagram is adding try-on features, and Snapchat recently introduced Local Lenses. These are great test-and-learn opportunities to provide interactive experiences from the safety of consumers' homes—and also to see what resonates with your customer base.

3. Leverage predictive analytics

Once you have your ad campaign set up and results start trickling in, consider predictive analytics. Companies in this field can help forecast who your most inactive customers will be so you can set up campaigns before your customers start shopping with another brand.

For instance, explore which of your customer segments are "lost" (about to stop purchasing) and which are "at-risk" (might shop less with you over the next few months). Data can show you which group might be more price-sensitive, which helps you deliver relevant messages and increase sales.

Related: 4 Tips for Holding Onto Customers During the Pandemic

While the marketing landscape continues to evolve, following these three tips will increase your brand's revenue and reengage isolated consumers who are once again eager to find trusting relationships with the businesses they love.

Melissa Stone

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Vice President, Head of Digital Media

A digital marketing leader with 15 years of experience generating revenue growth, creating content and optimizing the customer experience at global brands like Nike, L’Oréal, and Meta (Facebook). She is currently Vice President of Digital Media at Bliss, a mid-size marketing communications firm.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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