5 Great Ideas for Retaining Loyal, Enthusiastic Customers

Loyal, Enthusiastic Customers
Marketing is SO different than it was just a few years ago. While the Web makes it easier to start a company these days, 9 out of 10 startups still fail.

One way to claim a top 1% spot is to fully engage your customer base. A healthy bunch of repeat customers is one step shy of a wild band of brand advocates who will help you sell your product.

Hear that? Brand advocates are loyal, enthusiastic customers who sell FOR you.

No matter what you do, some percentage of your customers are only one-time opportunities. Others will appreciate your company so much they’ll become long-term customers, and they’ll recommend you to their family and friends. These are your potential brand advocates. It’s up to you to provide them incentive to continue to do business with your company.

Ask yourself right now:

  • What do we offer our customers that outshines our competition?
  • How do we show our customers we care?

Hint: If you can answer those two questions, you’re doing your part to generate a repeat customer base rampant with brand advocacy. Could you do more?


Try this:

1. Above ALL: Create Evangelists with Superior Customer Service

Loyal, enthusiastic customers don’t just happen. It starts with product and ends—or continues on and on—with exceptional customer service. Understand that customers don’t necessarily have to love you to continue to do business with you. Some will continue to buy your product or services because you offer something unique, because they’re resistant to change, or because your competition has a worse reputation than you do…but they’ll never advocate your brand.

Brand advocates are crazy about you. They love your products and services and their recommendations don’t come with an attached “but…”. As in, “The product is great, but the customer service is terrible.”

The first step to creating brand evangelists is to remove the “but…” with excellent customer service.

2. Offer Up Relevant, Smart, Emotional, Entertaining Content Marketing

How do your customers feel when they use your products or engage in your services? What are your customers’ interests? How can you help your customers solve even more of their most pressing problems?

Most importantly: What do your customers WANT?

It’s your job to learn these answers and provide the information, authenticity, and powerful storytelling they seek through engaging content marketing. Provide the best content on the Web that meets and exceeds your customers’ expectations—and your customers will love you for it.

Bonus: Great content marketing is great for search engine optimization (SEO)—so not only does content marketing help you cultivate brand loyalty, it also helps you gain new prospects and customers.

3. Reward the Refer-A-Friend

Refer-A-Friend rewards both the person referring AND the new customer. Dropbox is a great example. By offering extra storage on both sides, Dropbox increased signups by 60% and went from 100,000 users to 4 million in just over a year. Bam.

4. Create an Exclusive Club

Asking customers to “buy” a “rewards card” seems like a bad idea, but it works, and it works well. Amazon charges $99 per year for its Prime membership, and the rewards are worth it to both customers and Amazon. Perks include free shipping, movies, music, books, early-access deals, and more.

Here’s the kicker: Prime members spend an average of $1,500 a year, about $900 more than the average amount spent by non-member customers.

5. Give Back

TOMS is a company rooted in social good. The concept is simple: For every pair of shoes purchased, Toms provides a pair of shoes to children around the world most in need. The program has become so popular that Toms has expanded; now they also provide clean water, eyeglasses, training, and kits packed with items to help women more safely give birth.


Use these 5 great marketing ideas to inspire your customers to want to share their enthusiasm with others—so they tell others how much they like your products, your services, and the perks you offer to earn their business. This kind of ongoing customer lovin’ creates an emotional connection that’s difficult for your competitors to disrupt.


Side Door Thinking: Learn the smart marketing tactics you need to truly engage with more customers.Stop banging on the front door of your customer’s mind …when the side door is wide open! Want to learn more about effective content marketing? Whether you decide to outsource content marketing or not, this eBook is chock-full of great information on content marketing. Download this FREE guide, Side Door Thinking, to discover how content marketing can help you ramp up your website and complete your marketing strategy.

You’ll learn how to:
  • Increase Your Referral Rate
  • Increase Your Social Media Reach
  • Leverage New Product Lines & Revenue Streams
  • Earn Your Customer’s Loyalty & Business
  • Position Yourself As An Industry Leader & Trusted Resource
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Cultivate Celebrates Social Media Day — and Milwaukee!

Did you try a new app, join LinkedIn, or come up with a new digital marketing idea on Social Media Day?

Equipped with social mediathemed treats and giveaways, a decked-out photo-booth van, and a talented Cultivate crew, we hit the streets of Milwaukee’s Third Ward to celebrate Social Media Day 2014! Using the hashtag #SMDayMKE, we celebrated all that is Milwaukee and social.

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To find YOUR photo — or to look for anyone you may recognize — check out the rest of our photos from Social Media Day on our Facebook page!

Are you truly leveraging the power of social media for YOUR business? Check out these articles for tips from getting started to how industry giants are creating one-of-a-kind experiences for those who opt-in to their social media campaigns:

Did you try a new app, join LinkedIn, or come up with a new digital marketing idea on Social Media Day? Let us — and the WORLD — know about it.

Now, that’s using the power of social media!

Happy Social Media Day from Cultivate Communications!

Everyone at Cultivate is pumped up and ready to celebrate Social Media Day 2014 with crazy hashtags, social themed everything, and lots of laughs.

Which hashtag-tee is your favorite?


Looking for ways to celebrate Social Media Day in your city? Check out our previous blog post to find Social Media Day events near you AND where you can find our staff celebrating around downtown Milwaukee! Happy #hashtagging!

Help Us Celebrate Social Media Day! #SMDayMKE

Monday, June 30, is Social Media Day!

Initiated by Mashable in 2010, Social Media Day is intended to “recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.” Events are taking place all around the country — but how is our awesome city, Milwaukee, celebrating Social Media Day 2014?

Cultivate Communications, has BIG plans to celebrate Social Media Day.

Using the hashtag #SMDayMKE, we will rejoice in all that is Milwaukee and social. From personalized hashtag t-shirts to displaying #SMDayMKE on our van and driving around Milwaukee to take photos with locals, our staff is excited to take part in this national celebration. And did we mention social media themed food? Our mouths are watering already!

Social Media Day 2014 Milwaukee

Here are a few ways to celebrate Social Media Day in 2014:

  1. Tweet with the hashtags. The national hashtag for the day is #SMDay — and be sure to include #SMDayMKE.
  2. Find a local #SMDay event. There are a number of Mashable communities in the area; check them out and join an event!
  3. Take a photo with the Cultivate Van. If you’ll be in downtown Milwaukee, find the van to take a fun, social-themed photo, grab some free goodies, and enter to win an awesome prize.

You can find the Cultivate Communications Van in downtown Milwaukee at the following times:

11:30 am to 12:15 pm – Cathedral Square on Jefferson St., between Kilbourn Ave. and E. Wells St.

12:30 pm to 1:15 pm – The Third Ward on Broadway St., between St. Paul Ave. and Buffalo St

You can be our lucky winner! In additional to all the free swag and goodies we will be giving away this Monday, you can also enter to win this awesome prize pack!

Social Media Day 2014

Follow us on social media and don’t miss out on any of the Social Media Day celebrations!



AMA asks, “What is Marketing’s Impact on Innovation for Growth?”

“There is UNLIMITED potential for inventive thinkers.”

What is Marketing’s Impact on Innovation for Growth? Download this whitepaper on Growth Cycle Marketing— Bob Wendt, President of Cultivate Communications


This was Bob’s response to the topic question — What is Marketing’s Impact on Innovation for Growth?  — put forth by the American Marketing Association (AMA) last week at a “lunch & learn” event in Wauwatosa, WI.

Our very own Bob Wendt (president of Cultivate Communications) gave a presentation with fellow area leaders at a panel discussion hosted by the Milwaukee chapter of the AMA. The well-attended event offered participants advanced marketing insights and key industry knowledge.

Bob spoke about his journey reinventing one leg of his business (Heritage Printing) to expand it into a second successful business — Cultivate Communications — an innovative content-marketing firm. (Download our FREE content-marketing eBook to learn how to take a kinder, gentler [yet more effective!] approach to your marketing.) Bob offered practical tips and strategies for leaders of every industry who are facing slow sales and declining markets.

MaryAnn Long (AMA-Milwaukee’s VP of Programming & Events) particularly enjoyed Bob’s enthusiastic take on innovation and opportunity:

GCM-Graphic-Circular-NoWords“There is UNLIMITED potential for inventive thinkers.”

— Bob Wendt, President of Cultivate Communications

Many attendees commented to Long about the ingenuity of “Growth Cycle Marketing,” Cultivate Communications’ innovative model for aligning a marketing strategy to the way that ‘buyers’ buy. Nowadays, the decision to buy isn’t a moment, it’s a process — so your marketing cycle must follow suit.

If you didn’t make it to the AMA luncheon to hear Bob’s presentation, we invite you to click here for an introduction to Growth Cycle Marketing: a long-term, cyclical marketing strategy developed with an understanding of how today’s empowered consumers expect to experience your brand (regularly and across multiple platforms).

What is Marketing’s Impact on Innovation for Growth? Download this Free White Paper on Growth Cycle Marketing

And be sure to connect with Bob on LinkedIn to learn more about this proven process for attracting and growing more profitable customers.