Retail SEE Group spoke with Aleksandra Kožul, Communications Director at Novaston Marketing Consultancy, about the most effective tools and strategies for customer loyalty and retention.
Digital customers are “always on”. They browse websites, research products and seek more value than ever before.
The rise of digital media and communications has expanded the choice for consumers, while also making it more challenging for businesses to attract their attention. In order to keep their customers and acquire new ones, retailers need to look beyond products and services, improving both the value they offer to their clients and the quality of communication.
In an era of infinite choices, driving brand loyalty has never been more difficult - or more important.
How important is customer experience for your company?
Since the very beginning, our main priority has been to offer our clients a unique experience and the latest solutions to add value to their investments by combining our partnerships with the leading industry players with a full spectrum of specialized services.
Today, Novaston comprises of five companies: Novaston Asset Management, Novaston Project Management, Novaston Facility Management, Novaston Marketing Consultancy, and Novaston Hrvatska, all working towards the same goal.
To achieve our mission and maintain our reputation and leading position in the market, as well as the reputation of our clients, we continually seek to improve our business. We follow the newest trends and invest in employee development. These activities rely heavily on communication, which is the cornerstone of our business.
Speaking of communication, social media is a never-ending trend that is here to stay. According to a research conducted by one marketing agency, based on a sample of 1,000 online users in Serbia aged 13 to 64, nearly 95 percent of the population has a social media account.
We keep up with all the latest digital trends and implement innovations quickly. With regard to retail parks, we focus on our tenants and their benefits while at the same time taking the consumer’s interest into account. It’s a matter of striking the right balance and using the right communication approach in order to cover all segments.
How can retailers become the preferred choice for customers?
Our motto is - be different, distinguish yourself from others, and show your value. In a marketing-saturated world, the biggest challenge is to cut through the noise and attract customers’ interest.
Today’s customers are bombarded with various offers, messages, notifications and promotions on both digital and physical channels. To get their attention, companies need to push the envelope and make themselves stand out. Our strategy is to be authentic, innovative and engaging. We strive to tell honest and emotional stories with a clear message in order to spark interest and be recognizable.
What marketing strategies do you use to position your brand and enhance loyalty?
Digital marketing is the future, without a shadow of a doubt. I am confident that social networks will be in focus in 2020. Customers like to follow brands and consume the content that we are creating to stay updated, learn about discounts and promotions, find out where they can buy a product and have all the necessary information at their fingertips, with just a few clicks.
The ability to constantly interact with customers, engage them, inform and stay on their mind is the key to improving loyalty.
Based on your experience, how effective are loyalty programs at retaining customers?
Loyalty programs have proven to be a very effective tool for building and maintaining a connection with customers. The fact is that customers stay loyal to the same brand if it offers them quality and meets their needs - and that loyalty is built on a brand’s ability to deliver a consistently positive experience. Using loyalty programs allows companies to build trust and customer relationships. That’s exactly what we want - to break down barriers between customers and brands, and create emotional connections that drive loyalty.
How do you help your clients to build brand awareness?
We already have recognizable brands, with a strong visual identity. The next step is to leverage the power of social media, particularly Instagram and influencer marketing, which is a growing trend in Serbia. We engage and partner with influencers who are the right match for our brand. Furthermore, we utilize native advertising to tell meaningful brand stories and convey its key benefits to customers.
What does the future hold for influencer marketing?
Instagram’s decision to remove likes from all posts is a move that will significantly impact influencers. It’s a radical shift in the development of influencer market that has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. It remains to be seen how influencers will handle this change.
What are the biggest challenges faced by shopping centers in terms of attracting and retaining visitors?
The key is to cater to all types of customers. When it comes to building loyalty, introducing entertainment contents in shopping centers and following the latest global trends is a step in the right direction. In an industry where competition is growing every day, satisfying different customer needs is essential, and can only be achieved through multi-channel communication. I feel like we have raised the bar in terms of effective communication this year.
How do you tailor your marketing strategies to specific markets?
Every market is unique. We know that there’s no “one-size-fits-all approach” for designing marketing strategies. We rely on customer feedback to develop a marketing road-map, as well as looking at factors such as purchasing power and consumer preferences which vary widely between markets. For example, online shopping is dominant in America, while in Europe there is still a preference for shopping in malls.
Pre-construction planning includes in-depth valuations and analysis, which take into account population and demographics, purchasing power, location and availability, as well as surrounding competition. Clearly evaluating and tailoring all parameters to meet individual market needs is of paramount importance.
NOVASTON DELIVERING VALUE THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS
Novaston is a unique real estate management and marketing platform offering a portfolio of integrated services in the areas of asset and property management, project management, facility management, marketing, corporate communications and digital.
Through its deep expertise, strategic vision and continuous innovations, Novaston helps its clients to apply world-leading standards and maximize the value of their assets.
The company’s clients and partners include IMMOFINANZ, NEPI Rockcastle, Rajićeva Shopping Center, IKEA, ADA MALL, VIVO! Shopping Park and CCC Shoes & Bags.
Novaston Marketing Consultancy is a leading marketing platform working with real estate and retail professionals in Serbia and in the region.
The company has experience in below-the-line (BTL), above-the-line (ATL) and through-the-line (TTL) initiatives and best practices, complemented by its broad network of digital marketing partners.
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