What programs do you belong to?
If we asked you to list all of the loyalty programs you belong to, you could probably rattle off half a dozen or so. Then you might stop and list off 10 more that you joined but don't use. In reality, the exercise would be less time consuming if I asked you to list retail outlets that don't have a rewards program.
Why does everyone want you to join their loyalty program?
How do you use the data to improve sales?
As an organization that thrives on measurement and strategy, incentive programs are a gold mine. Droves of transactional data that can be worked to produce insightful nuggets of information regarding a specific group of customers that can then be leveraged to conduct relevant marketing.
Specifically, we help with questions like:
- What kinds of offers are most effective with this group of customers?
- What customers are the most valuable?
- What types of creative / messaging receives the highest response rate?
- Given my budget, which marketing efforts or mix thereof provide the best return?
- What cross-sell products are most successful with this customer segment?
- What communication schedule (frequency) is appropriate?
- etc etc..
At what point does it makes sense to engage analytics in loyalty programs?
The earlier you consult with analytics during your program / campaign design, the more successful you will be. We help clients with their customer segmentation, targeting, customer experience, and response/investment measurement and reporting.
Ultimately, we are here to improve your marketing. If you are thinking of beginning a loyalty program or would like to improve the return on the one you have, please contact us for a custom assessment.
As we go about Christmas shopping this year, I can't help but notice the failed execution of various loyalty / incentive / rewards marketing programs. So in the spirit of giving, we offer 5 ways to improve your program in 2010.
- Recognize your best customers! This is what loyalty programs are all about.
- Identify your best customers. Find out who they are and what they look like (from a transactional, financial, and preference standpoint).
- Understand why they prefer your products or services. What makes you different from all of their other choices. This is key! Make sure you protect this competitive advantage.
- Reward them! Most customers enjoy discounts and sales. However, this is not the best way to recognize your best customers. Recognize them, honor them, treat them special.
- Do not punish your customers that prefer not to belong to your program. All too often organizations make such a big deal about their program that those who choose not to participate feel pressured, annoyed, and unwelcome. The flip side is, sales people will go out of their way to bypass the system if not belonging to the program makes customers feel uncomfortable (eg. sales clerks will use their rewards code for customers who don't have one).
- Be clear on the activities you are rewarding. Consumers want to know before they join if this is going to be worthwhile. Let them know what they must do to get rewarded.
- Be clear on your rewards! Let the customer know how this benefits them. What are their choices? How are you going to recognize them?
- Drive consistent execution of communication and recognition. All it takes is one poorly managed customer interaction to ruin the relationship you've built with a customer. Little is more important than delivering on the benefits you've communicated.
Now, we know that we could have labeled this post 'Rewards programs 101', but lets face it, running successful rewards programs isn't about innovation, technology, or some mystical customer understanding. Successful programs are the ones that execute the basics flawlessly. 'Blocking and tackling' a wise man once said. Do the basics well and win you will.
We hope everyone has a successful 2010!