Uncovering Hidden Assets to Power Up Your Marketing

Sometimes all you need to set your brand apart is a little detective work.

Creating a connection with your customers is more important—and more difficult—then ever. A top-flight product or a winning price isn’t always enough; today’s customer expects reciprocity on top of great value from your product or service. Stack that against marketers being asked to do more with less, and the challenge can seem insurmountable. In the customer loyalty and CRM space, the issue is often compounded by the fact that the costly nature of programs creates the belief that enough resources are already being put forth.

So how can marketers succeed when wedged between customers who expect more and marketing budgets that contain less? One simple (and often overlooked) way is to better leverage the “hidden assets” your company is already paying for. So, what is a “hidden asset?” Simply put, it’s a current initiative that would appeal to groups or subgroups of customers you’d like to target, recognize, and reward—but isn’t currently part of your loyalty or CRM portfolio.

Why are these assets “hidden”? The answer is that most companies are structured around functional areas, which leads to organizational silos. It’s also true that siloed teams in most organizations don’t focus on matters pertaining to silos outside of their own—everyone has a “day job” and an organizational remit, after all. But what if we looked at the experience from the customer’s perspective and identified and assessed the things an organization has that might also be interesting, say, within the context of a loyalty program? We then can think beyond points and discounts and potentially begin offering richer experiences and benefits that really differentiate programs—and matter more to customers—without incurring the effort and cost it takes to create a new experience or initiative from scratch.

At Olson 1to1, we often conduct strategic asset assessments with our clients to tie their brand (and all things that make up that brand) to the overall customer experience. A simple audit process and some good detective work can yield experiential benefits that may come at a minimal cost while also better aligning your program and marketing with your brand. Below is a condensed version of our process and approach around identifying and deploying broader organizational strategic assets:

  1. Insights - Review current customer research to ensure that it is recent and relevant. Identify key wants, needs, and drivers of customer groups or segments. Review customer profiles or personas to gain insights into what kinds of benefits or assets would most appeal to them. 
  2. Audit - Identify things your company is doing today that might appeal to your customers. Employ cross-company conversations, a scouring of your company website, conversations with broader departments, and meetings with leadership such as your CMO or CEO. Sponsorships, cause-related initiatives, and your product development pipeline are all good places to start. 
  3. Score - Once you have your list compiled, score the assets you've identified in three key areas: 1. Consumer appeal, 2. Ease of deployment, and 3. Cost implications. This will enable you to prioritize and build a roadmap to define logistically how to incorporate these assets into your existing program. 
  4. Incorporate - Incorporate highly scored assets into your program (based on the asset). Two keys to success are to consider testing various assets to gauge how they appeal in-market, and carefully measure the effectiveness of these new assets to ensure they are working. 

Uncovering “hidden assets” requires detective work, problem solving, cross-team collaboration, and good fundamental marketing skills. But the benefits of powering up your loyalty or CRM marketing programs are likely to pay dividends through increased customer engagement, a more comprehensive customer view of your brand, and the ability to offer customers unique experiences that no one else can. All are things that today’s customers are craving.