The greatest successes amongst our clients are the businesses who know their customers exceedingly well. They know what their customers are buying, how often, payment terms, longevity and the list goes on. Without a good understanding of who is buying the product and for what reason, how can businesses ever plan or forecast for the future?
This appears to be an issue even for big businesses like McDonalds. With continued pressure and competition, McDonalds have realised that even their ‘loyal customers’ don’t feel valued. Over the next 12 months they will be launching a ‘club’ and McDonalds will be investing significant effort into a technology based solution to enable customers a better experience and a sense of appreciation and loyalty.
McDonald’s chief marketer Mark Lollback has admitted the company has failed to make even its most loyal customers feel wanted and revealed it is turning to technology in a “massive way” to address the issue. “Digital is going to be massive and we are building up our digital capabilities,” Lollback said. “That will be quite transformational in this whole concept of treating our customers in a more valued way.”
McDonalds have long been renowned for their tactical and short term marketing strategies, however this has only resulted in short term impacts. Adopting a longer term plan to service and reward their customers will see a more consistent flow of customers and yield.
This is a consideration for not only big businesses, or those looking to attract new customers; it is something every business needs to review. We often talk about the huge effort required to obtain new customers, yet if there is greater consideration and understanding of existing customers, it is well-known that it is much cheaper for a business to reward and ‘do more’ with existing customers rather than campaigning for new ones regularly.
Technology has become a key method of helping businesses, and McDonalds has the money to invest in sophisticated systems. However it isn’t necessary to have expensive and complex business management systems. Keeping good records and up to date databases on customers and their activities, reviewing them monthly and keeping up with moving trends is the basis for customer market intelligence. Not only will this allow you to know what is happening in your business, it will help keep a customer as a long-term partner by treating them as a valued individual and know their needs intimately.