Is your brand’s loyalty program keeping up with the times?
Not if you’re still providing the same generic offers to all your existing customers. Experian Marketing Services’ report Building Brand Loyalty in a Cross-Channel World shares some insights about what makes a good loyalty program today. Here are three things to know, and three questions to ask yourself:
1. Successful loyalty programs are customer-centric. A good loyalty program mines customer data about past interactions and purchases to better understand how each customer wants to interact with your brand. This includes pinpointing which products and services are most relevant and what offers, discounts and approaches are most effective in spurring action. Transactional-based loyalty programs are not enough anymore: Today’s customer wants relevant, meaningful messaging tailored to their concerns. For example, some customers value being the first to know about a new product or service, while others value being seen as “influencers.”
Ask yourself: Are we gathering the data we need to customize our loyalty program for each customer?
2. You must know who your “brand loyalists” are. Your existing customers are valuable, but the subset known as “brand loyalists” is even more important. Brand loyalists buy more than other customers; rarely consider other brands when making purchasing decisions; and tell their friends, family and social media connections how much they love your brand.
According to Experian, brand loyalists, who make up 34% of the U.S. population, are less likely to switch brands just to save money; are more likely to respond to requests to review your brand, follow your brand on social media or take a survey; and respond with double the transaction rates to campaigns highlighting new loyalty program benefits. By targeting brand loyalists, you can not only sell more to them, but also use their influence to grow brand awareness among new customers.
Ask yourself: Are we clearly identifying and segmenting existing customers and brand loyalists so we can offer tailored loyalty rewards to each?
3. Successful loyalty programs take a cross-channel approach. Identifying customer preferences must go beyond pinpointing what types of offers or rewards your loyalty program should employ. You must also identify which channels work best to deliver the loyalty message. Customers want to hear from your brand via preferred channels and enjoy a consistent experience across those channels. For example, some customers may want to engage via SMS text messaging, others by mobile-friendly emails, and still others may prefer social media.
Ask yourself: Does our loyalty program consistently integrate the channels our customers prefer when engaging with our brand?
By leveraging the appropriate channel for the customer’s preferences and delivering relevant offers and rewards based on customer profiles, you can attract and keep loyal customers.
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