JEFFERSONVILLE, IND: Chief marketing officers need to shift from a narrow focus on customer acquisition to embrace the entire purchase cycle if they are to build greater brand loyalty a new report has said.

ACCENT Marketing Services surveyed more than 1,000 consumers across the US to see how they preferred to communicate with brands and what drove brand reputation. It found that the key to winning repeat customers was personalised communication from brands after purchases.

Significantly, nearly half of respondents said they interacted with brands after a purchase and 86% thought it was important to have a positive experience at that time.

Noting this evolution in consumer behaviour, David Norton, chairman of ACCENT Marketing Services, said chief marketing officers were beginning to move away concentrating so much on bringing in new customers.

"CMOs today need to spend time to understand and engage customers across the entire lifecycle, not only pre-purchase," he said. "What our research has uncovered is that when CMOs consider the entire lifecycle, they can maximize return on investment," he added.

While mobile offered an obvious route to follow up with consumers after purchase, ACCENT cautioned against relying solely on this: only 26% had used their phone to contact a company through an app with a service question after buying a product.

An EIU survey last year made a similar point regarding post-purchase follow up, when it found that consumers much preferred email (52%) to other marketing channels.

ACCENT further highlighted the continued importance of word-of-mouth marketing, as 79% of consumers told family and friends when they had a great experience with a brand.

Further, 93% of consumers said that a positive response or special offer could help restore a company's reputation after a bad experience.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff