1. Blog
  2. Brand Advocacy
  3. Customer Loyalty
  4. Customer Marketing

A Guide to Unified Customer Marketing

Customer marketing focuses on nurturing and strengthening relationships with existing customers to enhance their loyalty, foster repeat business, and encourage brand advocacy.

Oct 10, 2023 | 10 minute read

A Guide to Unified Customer Marketing

Megan Wenzl

Content Marketing Manager

Introduction: The Ecommerce Landscape’s New Reality

Thanks to the rise of ecommerce, businesses today have the ability to tap into markets that stretch across continents. However, with a broader audience comes heightened DTC competition. Adding fuel to the fire is the 222% rise in customer acquisition costs in just an eight-year period. This number doesn’t just underscore the massive challenge facing brands and their marketing teams — it’s a testament to ever-shifting consumer behavior and expectations.

Modern consumers aren’t merely looking for products, they’re on the hunt for authentic brand experiences and relationships. This is where the concept of zero-party data (ZPD) comes into play. In an era where data privacy headlines daily news, zero-party data stands out as the beacon for businesses. It’s data shared willingly by consumers, paving the way for genuine insights. How can brands make the most of this? The path forward is paved by robust and unified customer marketing.

What is Customer Marketing?

Customer marketing focuses on nurturing and strengthening relationships with existing customers to enhance their loyalty, foster repeat business, and encourage brand advocacy. In an economic landscape marked by challenges and inflationary pressures, this takes on even greater significance. By prioritizing the needs and experiences of current customers businesses can not only navigate adversities but also transform customers into Superfans – ideal customers who remain highly engaged with the brand despite broader economic challenges.

Imagine the journey of beauty enthusiast Clara. Clara discovers a new skincare brand through a sponsored post on Instagram that features review content. Intrigued, she heads to their website, reads more glowing reviews from fellow beauty lovers, and decides to purchase a rejuvenating serum. Post-purchase, she gets an email encouraging her to share her experiences in a review. Post-review, she is asked what she loved or didn’t love about her experience in a survey. In appreciation of her feedback, she’s offered loyalty points and a referral code to share with friends. A few weeks later, Clara gets a personalized quiz to understand her skincare needs better. Based on her responses, she’s recommended a complementary night cream. 

A potent customer marketing strategy touches upon multiple facets: reviews (that Clara read before her purchase), referrals (that she shared with friends), loyalty points (that incentivized her to buy again), quizzes (that provided personalized solutions), and surveys (giving Clara a voice in the brand’s experiences and products). However, efficiently handling these components requires a unified platform, ensuring none of these elements exist in isolation. 

But weaving these elements seamlessly into a customer’s journey demands a cohesive platform where these interactions aren’t siloed but interconnected. Enter platforms like Okendo, the unsung heroes that refine and elevate customer experiences, ensuring that every interaction, akin to Clara’s journey, is enriching for both the consumer and the brand.

The Benefits Of a Unified Customer Marketing Strategy

It’s no longer enough to rely on traditional marketing approaches to grab the attention of shoppers. A unified customer marketing strategy offers a multitude of benefits that can help your brand stand out in today’s hypercompetitive market, transforming your bottom-line and long-term success. 

Some of the key advantages of implementing a unified customer marketing program include: 

Saving Time and Money 

In today’s unpredictable economic climate, efficiency is the name of the game. When you unify your marketing tools and strategies, you’re not just streamlining processes — you’re ensuring every dollar counts with your tech stack in one place, without paying more for disparate solutions. Imagine the luxury of targeting a customer with a survey at the ideal moment without waiting for them to leave a review. Or the ease of incentivizing 5-star reviewers with referrals, all within a singular platform. 

Consider the case of Soylent, the maker of science-backed, nutritious meal replacement shakes, protein shakes, powders, and snack bars. By switching to Okendo’s unified customer marketing platform, the team saves valuable time by sending discount codes automatically after a survey is completed, a move that enables it to drive additional revenue through the use of coupons.

Streamlining Your Operations

Managing multiple platforms isn’t just tedious, it’s rife with inefficiencies. When marketing teams are required to navigate a labyrinth of disconnected systems, it not only consumes valuable time but also introduces the potential for errors and miscommunication.

Consolidation is the answer. With all customer marketing tools under one umbrella, workflows become more intuitive, making life considerably easier for marketing teams. As a result, they can focus on what truly matters: crafting compelling campaigns, nurturing customer relationships, and driving business growth.

Actionable Data at Your Fingertips

A scattered data landscape is a marketer’s worst nightmare. Unified platforms solve this by presenting actionable insights coherently. They essentially act as marketers’ single source of truth, eliminating the need to bounce between different platforms and databases to gather insights. This means teams can enjoy a unified and comprehensive view of customer behavior, enabling teams to make data-driven decisions more efficiently. 

Take for example Okendo customer Feastables. The brand uses “How Did You Hear About Us?” surveys to understand where to focus their marketing efforts. They found the majority of their customers learn about the brand through YouTube, so Feastables knew which channel to reallocate its marketing budget. 

This ability to make confident, data-driven decisions is a significant asset in today’s rapidly evolving marketing landscape. It allows businesses to not only keep up with customer expectations but also anticipate and shape them, staying at the forefront of their industries.

Build vs. Buy Dilemma

Every enterprise grapples with this question: Should we build our tools or invest in a ready-to-use platform? While building offers customization, it also comes with hidden costs—time, resource allocation, and the risk of obsolescence. On the other hand, all-in-one platforms like Okendo, with their robust features and security, present a compelling case for the latter option. 

Choosing a ready-built solution allows marketing teams to focus on more strategic initiatives rather than building and maintaining custom solutions. Furthermore, platforms like ours come with a support network and regular updates, ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve in terms of features, security, and compliance.

Evaluating a Customer Marketing Platform

Every brand in the ecommerce landscape knows that customer engagement is the fuel driving today’s digital market. But when it’s time to upgrade your toolkit, what exactly should you be looking for in a customer marketing platform? Let’s break down the essentials:

Holistic Solutions

The rise of ecommerce has brought with it a myriad of ways to interact with customers. And just as you wouldn’t expect one marketing strategy to fit all, neither should your platform. A truly top-tier platform isn’t one-dimensional. It seamlessly integrates every aspect of the customer journey, from reviews to loyalty programs. 

Consider Okendo’s offerings: by integrating Reviews, Surveys, Quizzes, Referrals, and Loyalty, it ensures that every touchpoint with your customer is an opportunity for deeper engagement and brand loyalty. When every component works in harmony, the result is a customer experience that feels both genuine and tailored.

The Okendo Platform consists of Reviews, Surveys, Referrals, Quizzes and Loyalty

Natively Built, Not Pieced Together

In the ever-evolving world of tech acquisitions, many platforms may seem comprehensive on the surface but are merely patchworks of disparate systems that have been bought and acquired. The pitfalls of such an approach? Slower functionalities, glitches, and a user experience that’s far from seamless. 

It’s essential to invest in platforms where solutions are native. When products are built in-house to operate as a singular unified platform from the ground up, like Okendo, you’re guaranteed not only seamless integration but also reliability.

Strong Integration System

Your customer marketing platform shouldn’t be an isolated tool. Rather, it should be the cog that turns the wheels of all your marketing efforts. Whether it’s your email marketing software, CRM, or analytics tools, ensure that the platform can easily integrate and share data across channels. In this digital age, siloed systems are a recipe for missed opportunities and skewed insights.

At Okendo, we offer over 65 integrations so you can easily unify your tech stack, streamline workflows, and elevate the customer experience. 

Centralized Customer Profiles

In today’s data-driven world, understanding your customer has never been more crucial — or complicated. With multiple touchpoints from social media to in-store visits, ensuring a single, cohesive view of your customer is paramount. Platforms that offer consolidated customer profiles not only ensure a unified view of consumer behavior but also pave the way for personalized marketing strategies that resonate.

This comprehensive view empowers you to connect the dots between online interactions and offline engagements, providing insights into the complete customer journey. It’s like having a 360-degree lens on your customers, enabling you to anticipate their needs, predict trends, and deliver experiences that leave a lasting impact.

Flexible Pricing with Tangible Returns

Economic unpredictability demands efficiency. Every dollar spent needs to bring a return. Platforms like Okendo recognize this, offering bundled plans that provide a suite of tools without breaking the bank. But it’s not just about cost-saving; it’s about value addition. When you can maximize your customer engagement and loyalty through one platform, the returns, both tangible and intangible, are high.

Unparalleled Support

Switching platforms or integrating a new tool is no small feat. It’s a journey, one filled with its share of hurdles. Here’s where top-notch customer support becomes invaluable. From migration challenges to everyday hitches, having a team that’s there 24/7 makes all the difference. 

Take, for instance, Vegamour’s seamless transition to Okendo. Their experience underscores the importance of unwavering support in ensuring not just smooth operations but also in fostering trust and partnership.

Britanny Carter, Head of Digital Product at Vegamour, says, “Switching to Okendo was by far one of the most seamless transitions we’ve ever had. Their white-glove migration services made the switch seamless for us and we now benefit from a number of features and automations that Yotpo didn’t offer. The gains you get from Okendo’s industry-leading platform features far exceed the lift.”

Easy-To-Use Customer Marketing Platform

Ultimately, you want to choose a platform that helps you turn your customers into revenue-driving Superfans. With an easy-to-use customer marketing platform, you can grow your brand faster and more efficiently by maximizing customer lifetime value and cultivating brand advocacy.

As brands aim to strengthen their digital foothold, the tools they choose will play a pivotal role. But it’s not just about choosing the right platform. It’s about choosing a partner, one that aligns with your vision, understands your challenges, and is committed to your growth. In this quest, the considerations above aren’t just checkboxes. Rather, they’re the very pillars of effective, cohesive, and future-forward customer marketing.

Conclusion: Unified Customer Marketing - The Future of Ecommerce

The ever-changing dynamics of ecommerce require brands to be agile, adaptive, and most of all, consumer-centric. We’re not just talking about making sales, but building meaningful, lasting relationships. As brands, we have to shift from transactional interactions to more holistic, engagement-driven experiences.

Unified customer marketing isn’t just a fancy term — it’s the future of brand-customer relationships. It offers not just tools, but a holistic strategy to engage, understand, and delight the modern consumer. Brands need to approach customer marketing with clarity, ensuring it’s cohesive, data-driven, and most of all, authentic.

The brands that will truly resonate in today’s ecommerce era will be those that put their customers at the heart of every decision, every strategy, and every interaction. And unified customer marketing, done right, is the strategy needed to achieve this. By embracing unified customer marketing, brands can transcend the role of mere product providers to become trusted partners to their customers. This shift from transactional to relational marketing fosters customer loyalty and advocacy, turning one-time buyers into lifelong brand advocates, or Superfans. 

It’s not just about what you sell; it’s about the value you create and the connections you forge, ultimately leading to a brighter, more profitable future for your brand.

Ready to learn more?

Let's Talk