The Value of Your Organization’s Audience Loyalty and Activation
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A slew of studies and articles have come out recently detailing the impact of COVID-19 on customer loyalty. Much of the research focuses on retailers, but the effects extend well beyond that. Across the board, the pandemic dramatically has shifted consumer spending behavior – from what products consumers are demanding (e.g., essentials over luxury goods) to how they are demanding them (e.g., online vs. in-person) and how much money they are willing to spend overall. The pandemic managed to disrupt multiple facets of customer loyalty: habitual loyalty. transactional loyalty, and emotional loyalty. (Forbes)
Consumer behavior looks like it will continue to be unpredictable and ever-changing, making earning and keeping customer loyalty particularly puzzling to companies. But there are some actions that companies can take to improve their retention, and nonprofit partners can help!
- 75%+ US consumers have changed shopping behavior due to value, availability and convenience. (McKinsey)
- 83% of consumers said that “behavior by a company’s leadership during the pandemic will influence whether they buy from that company” when the pandemic ends. (MarketingDive)
- 73% of consumers expect to hear from corporate leaders. In that communication, consumers are paying attention to the integrity of brand leaders (83%), the authenticity of brand messaging (68%), and how companies prioritize the welfare of its employees (84%). (MWWPR)
Impact on Partnerships
As we wrote about last week, corporate philanthropy is now a must-have than a nice-to-have. The more authentic and integrated those efforts are, the better, as far as consumers are concerned. And they are definitely paying attention to the actions of brand leadership, brand messaging, and company policies that demonstrate how deep a company’s philanthropic spirit goes. So, many companies are working harder than ever to prove that in a way that retains their loyal base – and maybe wins over new consumers.
The right nonprofit partnership fills that gap in more than one way. When a company enters into a partnership, the nonprofit’s audience loyalty is an attractive asset. It’s valuable to know that an organization can draw a reliable base to the table rather than having to seek out a unique audience at every turn. A corporate partner also wants to know that you can engage an audience across multiple channels. For example, that you have the ability to turn your volunteers and event attendees into donors.
This gives a corporate partner confidence that you can convert attention into action, and that the partnership can do some of the legwork for them on customer loyalty. At a time when consumer behavior and allegiance are in flux, this can be a major selling point in a partnership. Audience loyalty and audience activation are particularly compelling when their audience’s cause and nonprofit affinities align with your organization’s mission. Being able to customize their philanthropic efforts to consumer preferences will boost the connection to the brand – connection that has been interrupted over the last six months. Consider wrapping audience loyalty and audience activation metrics into your pitches to brands and boost your attractiveness as a partner.