MANAGING THE SUPPORTER LIFE JOURNEY

Is there such a thing as an average supporter?

Maybe in time gone by, when the game had not achieved its universal prominence, they might have been neatly compartmentalised. For clubs around the world, database marketing has been a steep learning curve.

Customer behaviour inevitably changes over time. Commercially, it’s a fact of life that shouldn’t be seen as a niggling and inconsistent irritation but rather the provision of significant clues to the future.

The customer life cycle can assist with longer-term values and without knowing the life cycle, it’s impossible to determine life value.

Customer profiles tend to be a “snapshot”. As an individual, are you the same person now that you were last year?  Has more experience of life changed the way you think and act?  The chances are the answer is ‘yes’ so doesn’t it follow that the same principle should be applied when considering your customers?

The current status of a customer is obviously important but knowing how they got there is valuable information too.

Regular profile updates of your customers will create a database of information.  But instead of replacing the old score, you keep that as well and your picture begins to build.  You can categorise people who, over a period of time may have less propensity to purchase or may be more likely to spend their hard earned cash with you.

Anybody who’s figures dictate they’re on the slide probably needs a touch of marketing TLC, and anyone with a sudden enthusiasm for your products can be offered further incentives.

As suggested already, small changes over time are to be expected, but faster paced moves along the scale – up or down – are much more significant and are a call to action for you.  In sports terms, you’re probably as fed up as the rest of us at being told your team is ‘only as good as your last game’ but the same goes for your customer relationships too.  Your last point of contact may have been an online transaction or a shop purchase, but whichever it may be, the lasting impression your customer has of you and your club is vital.  Pitch it badly and club loyalty – and possibly spend – can take a bashing.  Sales are undoubtedly important, but customer engagement is vital if the supporter life journey is to continue without a hitch.  Solid data improves your chances.

The various products Lyndcroft Media provide are designed to be complimentary or pretty much standalone devices that will enable clients to maximise their commercial opportunities.  The emotional ties which probably brought you your customer in the first place definitely give you ahead start but correct and fair use of the information modern day data capture can provide, gives you an even better chance to keep heading in the right direction with customer after customer.  Data is certainly valuable but it’s more valuable when it’s more actionable. It’s all about the relationship. The relationship with the data you acquire improves your relationship with the customers who’s actions have provided it.

Remember too, this is a two-way street. If you’re accurately assessing the supporter life journey, it’s likely the supporter is getting something out of it too.  You’re not bombarding them with offers on stuff you want to get rid of, the data collection process enables you to offer them what they’re likely to be interested in.

It’s a science and an art.

Phil Smith

is a Partner at Lyndcroft Media

Phil provides strategic and executable planning on consumer and stakeholder targeted marketing initiatives incorporating data management and implementation, brand focus and product positioning across the sports and commercial sectors.