“How can I retain and retarget my customers in a post-GDPR world?”

For many of us, May 25th 2018 felt like the second coming of the Y2K virus. GDPR was coming, a lot of people were confused, and there was nothing you could do to stop it.

Like most marketers, I’d told my clients’ customers that GDPR was on its way, allowed them to review and amend their data preferences, and proceeded to hide in my bunker in the bottom of my garden until the chaos and fallout had cleared. For some, this didn’t take long, for others, GDPR has taken a giant toll on how they retarget customers. Afterall, only last year, The Economist stated that personal data was the world’s most valuable resource… above oil.

For some of my clients, GDPR has led to very little change in their marketing efforts. Others, however, have had a metaphorical limb removed, losing up to 85% of their customer data and needing to overhaul their entire customer retention strategy.

So what can we do to keep our customers engaged now that bulk targeting methods are no longer at our disposal?

It’s hard to forget what’s in front of you

No matter how great your email newsletter may be, or how precisely targetted your next online ad is, it’s incredibly easy for potential customers to ignore them and forget that they ever existed. That’s one of the main reasons why I utilise promotional merchandise to help boost the brand recognition of my clients.

Despite being used for over a century, promotional merchandise is more popular and effective now than ever, allowing you to stand out from your competitors and position your brand literally under the noses of your customers.

With 89% of people keeping them for over a year, practical promotional gifts are hard to ignore. A study by ASI found that only 15% of customers actually throw away these products when they no longer use them, whereas 67% of the sampled consumers actually give them to someone else, ensuring that your brand is making even more impressions.

Rather relying on a constant stream of adverts and newsletters to keep your customers engaged, why not choose one effective product to do it for you.

Marketing that customers actively want to receive

In 2015, researchers found that 46% of consumers wanted to receive promotional products more often. Rightfully so, what better way to engage with a potential customer than with a free gift?

Do you remember the last time you ever felt valued or appreciated by a billboard advertisement or a sponsored Facebook post? Compare that to the last time you received a free gift. Providing existing customers with tangible products is an effective way to make them feel valued by your organisation, and proven to help develop stronger relationships.

This sense of appreciation does not go unnoticed. Research by BPMA found that 3 in 10 people will actually change their buying habits should they received a beneficial promotional gift. In fact, promotional products are more likely to motivate recipients to complete a call to action than TV, print, online and direct mail strategies combined.

Something to take away

Unlike other conventional marketing mediums, promotional gifts may not deliver immediate results, but when adapted into your marketing strategy can help generate brand recognition over a longer period of time and build a competitive advantage over others.

Paddy Townsley

Fat Sandwich Marketing