Epsilon aims to win customers over for good

07 Nov,2011

By A Correspondent

Perhaps one of the most challenging tasks for marketers today, in a scenario where competition is burgeoning, is to convert existing customers into loyal customers. And of course, the bigger challenge is how to retain them for a long period, how to ensure they move hand-in-hand with the brand through its evolution phase in the marketplace. The challenge can be even more significant in categories such as telecom and financial services, where a huge number of players are eyeing to out-size each other in terms of new customer acquisitions.

“The trick is to do effective loyalty programmes,” says Adrian Hoon, Vice President, Sales, APAC, Epsilon International. Epsilon is a multichannel marketing services company that specialises in Customer Experience marketing and Mr Hoon along with his key members of the team are in India to talk to marketers and the trade on the importance of loyalty marketing and the services they provide.

The company, in association with LoyaltyOne, specialists in loyalty programmes, has released a detailed report that seeks to identify underlying differences in cultural approaches in six countries; three emerging economies – India, China and Brazil and three developed countries – United States, Canada and Australia. Mr Hoon says that the report has enough insights that talk about consumer behaviour in the six markets, and how brands, particularly in India and China can make best use of loyalty programmes to service consumers for many years. He further states that when companies know they need to practise loyalty marketing, they aren’t sure about how to do that on an ongoing basis.

The scope of the research spreads across consumer attitudes, preferences, and behaviours.

As far as India is concerned, the study says that more than 40 per cent of Indians are eager to join loyalty programmes.

Key findings from India

 

  • Word of Mouth (WOM) is a big factor when it comes to purchase decisions. WOM conversations are rated at 7-8 on a 10 point scale in India, in terms of importance. And that’s a good 15 – 25 per cent higher than developed countries. This insight is of great significance for brands looking to create early adopters and loyal ambassadors.

 

  • Indian consumers are fairly optimistic about the country’s growth, with 34 per cent of Indians feeling strongly that the country’s economic prospects will improve over the next decade.
  • 42 percent of Indians belong to at least one reward programme, it is significantly lower than American counterparts, 74 per cent of whom are enrolled in such programmes.
  • 20 to 33 percent of Indian consumers are “extremely loyal” to their favorite brands across six major categories — clothing retailers, grocery retailers, financial services providers, dining, auto fuel and travel providers.
  • 56 percent of Indians believe that most businesses can be trusted. This is significantly higher than all other countries surveyed. A high number of Indians (56 percent) also seem to have inherent trust towards international brands over domestic brands.
  • Email and text messages rank No 1and No 2 respectively as the preferred means of receiving marketing messages among India’s middle class consumers, beating television and print advertising.

 

 

The survey was carried out online with a sample size of 500 for the Indian market (A sample of 1200 d was taken for developed economies – US, Canada and Australia). Interviews were carried out across segments: SEC A, B and C.

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