How Marketers Can Preserve Customer Loyalty


Concerns surrounding inflation weigh heavily on the minds of many consumers. In fact, more than half (55%) of Americans report that they worry about inflation “a great deal,” according to recent research by analytics firm Gallup.

Amidst this uneasiness, many consumers today are shopping at fewer stores and switching to more cost-effective brands— challenging the status quo when it comes to customer loyalty. According to recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, 40% of consumers are opting to purchase more store-brand and generic products.

In addition, RRD’s Modern Marketers Report found that eight in 10 consumers report that inflation is impacting their purchasing behaviors— with the majority (78%) consolidating their shopping to fewer stores and brands, switching to more cost-efficient brands, and using customer loyalty or reward programs more often. Almost half (49%) expect to spend less on dining out, events, and leisure activities over the next 12 months.

As consumers adjust their shopping habits, Al duPont, Chief Commercial Officer at RRD— a global provider of marketing, packaging, print, and supply chain solutions— said that brands will need to alter their marketing strategies accordingly.

“Inflation not only impacts consumer purchasing power but also intensifies competition among brands vying for customer loyalty,” said duPont. “It’s important for marketers to remain vigilant and adaptable, understanding how inflationary pressures influence consumer behavior. By staying in tune with shifting market dynamics, brands can strategically position themselves to meet the evolving needs of consumers and maintain relevance in a competitive landscape.”

Marketers have already begun to adjust their strategies in response to these pressures, according to RRD’s recent report, among various factors including economic uncertainty, increasing privacy concerns, and growing consumer fatigue toward digital strategies. In fact, RRD’s report showed marketers’ preference for channels with proven return on investment more than doubled over the past year— 38% compared to 15%.

From changing their stance on preferred marketing channels to adjusting their messaging to meet shifting consumer preferences, there’s no doubt that marketers have been changing the way they work to get in front of their target audiences. As marketers make these shifts, RRD experts shared a few best practices to help keep brands top-of-mind for consumers.

First, duPont said that brands should consider meeting the needs of their customers by revamping loyalty programs, discounts, and promotions to help them maximize their purchases as concerns surrounding inflation loom. RRD’s report shows that 40% of consumers are expecting to use discounts and promotions more often in 2024 than they did last year.

“By highlighting competitive pricing, exclusive discounts, and rewards programs within their campaigns, marketers can incentivize repeat purchases and encourage brand advocacy among consumers,” said duPont. “This approach not only helps alleviate concerns around inflation but also reinforces the brand’s commitment to providing tangible benefits to its customers.”

At the same time, Stefanie Cortes, Director of Strategic Analysis, Direct Marketing at RRD added that it’s important for marketers to have a firm understanding of their brand’s audience and be mindful of what purchasing factors are most important to them ahead of adjusting their strategies.

“As inflationary pressures influence consumer spending habits, customers are increasingly seeking value-driven options that won’t compromise quality. Marketers who understand this shift in consumer behavior can tailor their messaging and offerings to align with the specific preferences of their audience, thereby driving customer loyalty and retention,” Cortes said.

As brands compete to stand out, RRD has seen a growing preference among consumers— particularly among younger generations— in receiving direct mail. This is especially true among consumers who report being overwhelmed by digital brand communications in email (69%) and on social media (61%). RRD’s recent report found that 61% of consumers aged 18-26 have an increased interest in receiving direct mail compared to a year ago. Consumers reported an affinity toward direct mail because they like having a physical copy of information to refer back to (47%), it’s easier to remember than email (30%) and it’s fun to open (28%).

Because of this, Cortes said that marketers should also consider prioritizing direct mail within their 2024 strategies to help ensure their brand stands out in the digital age.

“Direct mail is a long-standing performance channel offering marketers an opportunity to make a tangible and personalized connection with their audience in a unique way— particularly as the industry faces rising digital ad costs and heightened regulation around data privacy,” said Cortes. “The allure of direct mail lies in its versatility and adaptability. Whether targeting a younger or older demographic, it remains a reliable method for fostering at-home engagement.”

By leveraging reliable marketing channels and aligning these with the preferences of their audience, marketers can build lasting relationships with customers and successfully navigate the headwinds of inflation. In addition, direct mail presents a compelling opportunity for marketers to engage with their audience in a personalized and novel way as digital communications become more prevalent— offering further opportunities to cut through the clutter and make a lasting impression.


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