Creating customer loyalty

Editor’s note: Stephen Potts is the director at Purdie Pascoe. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “Omnichannel Marketing and Brand Experience” which is the third part of a series.

During the pandemic, many aspects of our lives were transformed, from the way that we shop to the way that we work. We had to learn how to do many things differently, including how we communicate with others.

In the health care industry, the pandemic changed how we interacted with our customers. We saw a rapid adoption of telehealth. Unable to access hospitals and clinics, sales reps had to find new ways of engaging with health care professionals and health care companies increased their presence on social media platforms. We even had to learn how to make an impact at virtual conferences.

The World Health Organization has now officially declared the pandemic over and life is returning to normal. So, to what extent should our marketing approach go back to the way it was?

Finding new ways to increase customer engagement

Historically, when conducting market research to inform channel optimization, we tended to monitor those activities that our clients controlled directly, e.g., websites, conference presence or sales reps. For some brands, it was also important to expand these touchpoints to include other focused activities, such as patient access programs or clinical trials. Some forward-thinking companies even started to include channels that they could influence, but not control, such as social media platforms. Post-COVID-19, our customer engagement has had to adapt to support HCPs and patients in new, more relevant ways. 

Furthermore, as an industry we have often been guilty of talking at our customers. We have tried to “deliver a message” or communicate a “reason to believe a claim” while other industries have engaged customers in dialogue. 

Moving forward, we must find better ways to engage customers and deliver fantastic customer experiences which are more likely to create customer loyalty than any message. For this reason, we believe that brand experience should be tracked in brand equity research to drive brand growth. Brand experience is a measure of a brand’s ability to deliver positive, memorable experiences through the channels that matter to customers.