Gold Dust: Applying the simplicity of human relationships to achieve loyalty 

Gold Dust: Applying the simplicity of human relationships to achieve loyalty 


By: Jamie Williams, Chief Customer Officer & Co-Founder of The CLV Group

CRM, customer loyalty, customer engagement – none of these are new concepts. However, the environment has shifted, and doing more of the same will no longer allow you to win with the customer.

The traditional methods of developing customer relationships have been predicated on fitting promotions and products to groups of customers and/or contact channel availability (ie. email’s value is low cost/high reach). CTR and similar metrics were then used as a proxy for engagement. With the right calculation and practices in place you can ensure your efforts deliver the ultimate goal…revenue.

And, therein lies the issue…these practices are built for the business and completely ignore the role of the customer.

With changes to privacy and the walled gardens attracting 60%+ of a marketer’s budget, the dynamics of applying these tactics no longer have room to lack authenticity. Where we used to spend time and investment using data to “find” your customer, that same time/budget needs to be balanced by resonating with them. Shifting the balance towards lifetime value (LTV) as a core metric, coupled with a better understanding of customer needs will help you avoid falling into the trap of CTR, CPA and other vanity metrics.

Before diving into ways to bring more authenticity into the plan, here’s why it matters:

  • Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer

  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 60% on average

  • 86% of adults said they are “very concerned” about how Facebook and Google use their personal information

In order to win, you must have confidence that a person/customer will choose your brand over a competitor. While it can be enticing to leverage the data and addressability (in basic terms a new version of the reach email provided in a mass media environment) available from Facebook and Google, authentic interactions with your customer should begin from within your own business. We’re seeing that shift more often, now, where propensity models and performance results are owned by the advertiser/brand. However, customer retention practices can still lack the common considerations we apply to developing our own personal relationships. Why is this so important to consider? According to, when you’re in a healthy relationship you are more likely to:

  1. Share

  2. Seek help

  3. Feel connected

  4. Enjoy time spent together

  5. Think about you fondly

  6. Feel supported

  7. Have good memories

  8. Invest

  9. Feel respected

  10. Acts themselves

Wouldn’t it be great if your customers said/felt this about your brand?

Redefining the winning recipe through the following steps will blend data with human drivers and pave the path towards an evolved approach to increasing customer loyalty: 

  1. State the human motivation

    • I must ensure my customer trusts me in order to purchase (particularly, more than once)

  2. Use data to inform current relationship with customer

    • What is my NPS?

    • How do I make it clear to my customer how I protect their data and privacy?

    • Has my customer ever had a negative experience with me?

  3. Design marketing engagements which map to business goals

    • What moments matter the most to my customer?

    • What is the behavior I’m working to change?

    • Where/how can I connect with my customer outside of Google and Facebook without sacrificing key metrics (e.g. scale)?

    • Should I limit my outreach to certain customers at this time?

Data allows us to explore and deliver with precision – but forgetting that a person is at the other end of the device could be an irreparable mistake – one which Next Gen marketers will not make. Authenticity is the gold dust, and it really is simple to apply, as long as it’s part of the strategy in the first place.