Top 23 Tips for Offline Customer Engagement

Due to the rapid increase in internet usage globally, online retail has managed to surpass physical retail. Online businesses are more successful than ever and are seeking ways to improve and build sustainable and loyal relationships with customers.


Know What Motivates Customers

We live in an experience-driven era, where customers prefer experiences that engage and motivate them. If a sports brand opts to just sell products; their business will be short-lived. Brands that last longer are those that engage with customers and solve needs. The importance of customer engagement for sports brands cannot be overemphasized. Studies show that about 44% of customers stick with brands that engage with them and 34% stick with brands that personalize products.

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Maintain the customer Lifecycle

The customer lifecycle for a sports brand should be of number 1 priority to a marketer. The marketer should seek out a long and continuous relationship with the customer. This means acquiring a customer and keeping them interested long enough, to continue to shop after their first purchase.

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Sports brands are amongst many businesses that seek to build an effective customer engagement approach. Sports brands should aspire to engage with customers through multiple avenues. In the process, it is important to realize that offline customer engagement for sports brands is just as important as online engagement. A lot of research has been done that concludes that an increase in customer retention yields greater profits for a business. Customer retention also helps to differentiate your business among many other competitors to make customers feel appreciated for more than just their money.

Big sports brands often drive huge campaigns that don’t always yield higher sales; they do reinforce customer loyalty. Here are the top 30 customer engagement strategies for sports brands.

Look past the purchase

While analysis of past purchases and demographic data are useful - they aren't enough. Offline customer engagement is just as important - for sports brands in particular. Analysis of metrics such as household composition and customer channel preference data is just as important. Not only are they inherently valuable; these metrics are often overlooked by other brands.

Use all available date

Marketers have limited information to use when crafting engagement methods hence it is important to use all available information. Word of mouth referrals, behavioral data and online /offline profitability are examples of data that is not easily attainable.

Immerse Customers in Your Brand

Surveys and studies have shown that the majority of customers are willing to pay extra for a better experience however very few have had their expectations met. Brands have to build value and emote their brand to enable them to build customer followers. As a brand, this enables you to be receptive to feedback and consistently maintain effective customer engagement practices.

Measure Your Impact on Customers

It is imperative for sports brands to make use of surveys. What’s even more important is to use this feedback for product and service enhancement. It is also important to show the customers how the feedback is being used. This information is useful to scope out your customer’s engagement with your brand. A Harvard Business Review reveals that emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to be a source of word of mouth referrals and three times more likely to purchase.

Adopt Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a no brainer. The use of influencer marketing should be utilized more than ever. One brand that has understood this is Gym shark a global company that uses social media users to promote its products. They have reached a wider audience and have built a community of athletes and ambassadors who have continuously helped the brand engage with new and ongoing customers.

Seek Out Customer Retention Incentives

For some companies such as Fender a leading guitar manufacturer, their biggest problem is not the selling of their product but retaining customers. To mitigate the issue of customer retention they came up with online subscription-based guitar lessons and they developed apps. Customer engagement strategies for sports brands should utilize this incentive to retain customers for longer such as subscriptions.

Evolve

A classic case of a company being able to evolve and keep up with demand is Netflix. From transitioning from DVD sales to rentals and streaming, they have always been able to keep up with trends. Through keeping up with analytics and algorithms, a company is able to evolve and offer a unique experience.

Video Usage

The human love for stories has remained the same for years hence why video storytelling has consistently been a great marketing tool. With the growth of social media more people are on their phones than ever. Video storytelling is a popular tactic to keep audiences engaged with your brand. Brands that adopt video usage generate better customer engagement.

Push Notifications

Reminding customers about what you have to offer is an effective customer engagement tool. Push notifications on a user's mobile or desktop screen are a great way to utilize this method. Sports brands need to ensure their push notifications are compelling enough to get a customer to engage with them.

TV Campaigns

Most marketers often view tv advertising as old fashioned however that is not the case. TV has expanded to not only entail cable television but also includes streaming and other options. New options continue to pop up making tv campaigns an excellent way to increase offline customer engagement.

Promotional Products

Promotional products are a relatively inexpensive way to raise awareness for your brand. From pens to pencils etc. these are a few promotional products that most brands offer.

Networking

Networking might feel outdated but it actually isn’t. Networking brings authenticity to your brand that sometimes gets lost through online engagement strategies. In-person events and conferences are a great way to market your brand because people trust other people.

Posters

Visual storytelling will always be appealing to people. About 65% of people can actually recall visual content after 3 days - posters for that reason cannot be overlooked. This includes billboards, shops and signs that are offline that garner great offline customer engagement for sports brands. Bold text, imagery and colorful displays will always get people to pay attention.

Radio

Radio to this day still garners huge audiences. Factor in music streaming and podcasting and you realize it is a great marketing tool. Over 50% of Europeans listen to the radio about once a day which is great outreach. In fact, some of the world's largest brands have invested heavily in radio marketing and have been rewarded with great success.

Donate

Donating and increasing brand awareness go hand in hand. A staggering amount of about 70% of millennials has reported spending more on brands that invest in a number of causes. Making an impact on a community can be profound for brands. Creating fundraisers, sponsoring charity events and even going to local organizations are good enough reasons to bring about change in society but to also build concrete brand loyalty.

Build A strong relationship between the Sales Team and Customers

As a brand, it is very important to build and maintain a strong relationship between your sales team and customers through all channels. The sales team should consistently be working with the customer by providing insight and helpful information that helps bring in sales. This can be done by providing customer interaction insights to the sales team that helps them better curate messaging and specific goals. This should be implemented to help customers without it feeling forced as they narrow their options. Overall, improving connections between the marketing team and sales team is crucial for customer engagement.

First Impressions Matter

Just like in every setting - first impressions matter. As a brand, starting on the right foot with customers often lays the groundwork for a long and happy relationship. What most brands do is send out welcome emails or newsletters to customers. The former is 86% more likely to be more effective as they have a higher open rate than a newsletter. Welcome emails should be tailored to elicit emotion from a customer. Wording that incorporates welcoming customers to the family is a great way to get customers to engage and feel like they are a part of the brand.

Personalized Campaigns

Personalized campaigns should be a priority for many brands if the 2014 Coca-Cola #ShareACoke campaign is anything to go by. This campaign replaced Coke logos with 250 of the most common names on its bottles - it felt personal for many fans of coke. People bought bottles of coke for friends and family that had their names on the bottles and many shared them on social media. Personalizing products garner more engagement and outreach.

Membership and Reward Programs

Membership and reward programs are a useful incentive to promote engagement and sales for a brand. Nike Plus memberships are a solid example of this. After having built a massive online audience of more than a staggering 100 million users, Nike announced the Nike Plus program in 2017. This is a rewards program that offers Nike perks. Since then they have gone on to have successful reward partners such as Apple music and Headspace - a mindfulness service among others

Gamification

Gamification should most definitely be considered when looking for ways to boost customer engagement especially because we live in the digital age. Gamification is the use of game features in non-game contexts to promote business goals. It is one of many customer engagement strategies for sports brands. The Nike Run Club is one example of gamification. The app uses the format to boost engagement and retain customers. The track sports a user participates in, their preferred styles and the duration of their exercise. They use this information to recommend new articles based on activity and personalizes your experience. Nike has made a success of this format as it is easy to use, playful and is useful.

Innovation

It is imperative for brands to sometimes seek out what isn't common and hasn't been done before. One example of this is the mattress Company Casper that created an Insomnia bot, that chats with customers who aren't able to sleep between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It talks to them as if it were a friend. This method was able to garner the company $100 million in sales in its first year and double this amount in its second year.