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How You Can Get Creative About Customer Retention in 2021

In its recent report “Accelerating Out of the Crisis,” market research company Forrester summed up 2020 as a year when “the impossible happened over and over.” Faced with its seemingly insurmountable challenges many companies, for example, succeeded. They did so, according to Forrester, in no small part by demonstrating “deep customer understanding.”

The Customers You Keep

This dynamic is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. In MarketingProfs’ Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2021, Nick Westergaard, chief strategist/partner at Brand Driven Digital, put it this way: “As businesses face one of the most challenging climates in history, brands will need to demonstrate empathy in dealing with strained customers…. It’s going to require a lot of listening and understanding.”

That means not only prospecting for new customers but also paying more attention to the customers you already have. Industry forecasters like Forrester advise making a proactive commitment to client nurturing and moving customer retention initiatives to a higher priority on the B2B marketing agenda in the coming year. In addition to contributing to company survival and success, this strategy also can significantly improve profitability.

How profitable can it be? Conventional wisdom suggests customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product. Instead, customers stay with companies because of the experience they receive. About 87 percent are more willing to make repeat purchases with brands that exceed their expectations and support their initiatives. And according to Harvard Business Review, just a five percent increase in customer retention can deliver up to 95 percent increase in profits.

How You Gonna Keep ’Em?

So, how do you keep customers and keep them coming back? We believe the secret starts with showing customers how to get more performance out of your products and value out of your services. So does our longtime customer Canon Solutions America (CSA).

As the worldwide market leader in innovative production inkjet printing equipment, workflow software, and support services for nearly a decade, Canon has been doing exactly that. The company has always understood the importance of taking a 360-degree approach, providing a full gamut of assets, education, assistance, and innovations that contribute to its customers’ overall business success, both before and after the sale.

Here’s How Canon Can

For 2021, Canon’s Production Print Solutions division came to us looking for a multichannel marketing campaign that would capture the spirit and scope of their full customer commitment. They wanted a concept that would actively engage both prospective and current customers and instill confidence in Canon as a powerful ally and champion of their success, whatever the challenges and whenever they come.

Considering the wake left behind by 2020, it was a tall order. In a world where someone is constantly telling you what you can’t do, it’s only natural to imagine your options going forward will be limited. To dispel that notion, we decided to evoke just the opposite—the ability to achieve, overcome, adapt, exceed, and conquer.

Chris Gach, our senior graphic and visual designer, created the winning concept: YOU CAN with Canon. The new campaign rolls out this month across digital ad platforms, print magazines, e-newsletters, and a featured video—all exuding confidence and delivering a clear and compelling message of positivity and possibility.

Invigorating colors and action-packed photography showing feats of agility, strength, endurance, and accomplishment are offset by copy underscoring Canon’s focus on exceptional and empowering customer experience. This visual/verbal combo encourages print service providers to envision how Canon products and services don’t just deliver value when it comes to mere table stakes—functionality, reliability, and quality—but also go above and beyond to eliminate friction, drive out unnecessary complexity and costs, outpace evolving market demands, and help push the boundaries of what’s possible.

You Can, Too!

Take a look at some of the campaign creative we produced, then envision showing your current customers all the ways you champion their success—just like we’ve done for Canon. With Street Level Studio, you can, too!


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