Fellow marketers, just because you have a deployed loyalty program doesn’t mean you are relishing it! It’s somewhat like a flavor of tea you have been sipping for years and you think ir works just about fine for you without realizing that the world has moved ahead and are relishing far better with a different flavor in their cuppa!
You understand the analogy here. Now read on.
Your are a subconscious consumer yourself to so many brands which you patronize. Everyone around you values your loyalty and the brands in themselves – the politicians, administrators, your organization, your friends and of course your spouse. Everyone in their mind have a set belief of what value they derive from your loyalty. And all of them invest in you to behave responsibly, love them, chose them and stay upright on the ethical relationship standards. But how many of them get it right, every time? Quite often the loyalty paradigms make a shift. Not because you failed to be loyal. But because the other side just stopped investing in you and you altered your way. Look around, the organizations keep losing precious employees, politicians lose their vote banks, friendships go sour and divorce cases are steadily looking north. So what do we derive out of this?
Like every relationship, brands on their loyalty programs often take a “fill it and forget it” approach to that just fail to keep up with the changes in the marketplace. The customer behaviors transform every few years, product ecosystems change, market dynamics change, new competitors emerge while the traditional one’s fade away – but the brand’s loyalty programs often just fail to innovate instead of constantly refocusing on where the next opportunity to market is.
The very foundation of deploying a loyalty program is to map it with the customer decision journey and their life cycle. And anyone that fails to keep up with customers in a critically important and righteous loyalty loop, potentially impacts the brand advocacy and sales.
So what was not important any more has now become more important. The earlier ideas and notion of deploying a set template based loyalty programs are now primitive. Innovation in loyalty offering is now a necessary thing to do. Newer tactics have to be adopted. Medium of communication have to change, technology has to play a frontal role, the relationships have to be created, nurtured and then strengthened, rather than serving a typical rewards basket in lieu of sales your enrolled loyalty members have delivered for you.
Don’t just make it Large, Make it Fine!
The volumes generated in loyalty program for all does not matter anymore, but the value it generates for a few will take you far. A well catered loyalty program matters most when it understands, interprets and reacts to customer baskets. It matters most when you have a particular strategy and defined path ahead for your high-value customers, high potential customers and those are high-risk ones. And to ensure that this happens be willing to do these five things:
- Bring in ninja-level clarity on your objectives. Only if you know your goal, will you be able to target it right, design custom benefits and will be able to see the right metrics. The days of carpet bombing are over, the marketing warfare has moved to precision targeting. Fire one missile and fire it right!
- Deep dive, the ocean is more beautiful when you go beneath. Most loyalty programs see the floating ducks and aims them. The one who swim on the top of the surface are often the marginal customers, the real customers and more profitable ones are often hidden inside the data. They are your real pay-off for your significant investments.
- Attempt to make a pyramid. Create a segmented approach. Even in our personal lives, we do things to gain visibility and others which we really mean. Similarly, do things for the masses – that are visible, helps you gain appeal, makes you the affable charmer. These things help you drive motivation and hence are meaningful. For the few more important ones, bring in surprises and delight. Do it only for the few more profitable ones. Make them feel like an Emperor that grants them a special status. And do things which are difficult to imagine, extremely difficult to imitate and impossible to comprehend. See how Amazon has beautifully done this with its “Prime memberships”.
Its about time that most of the brands have realized and raise their flags to the need of a right loyalty initiative. It is undoubtedly one of their top agendas today! They have realized that these are time times to be in sync with the customers or fade away. Money is difficult earning and everyone spends it with caution. So it is far more important to spend it right.
We can help! We have refurbished and not just redecorated some of the industry’s best brand loyalty programs and taken them to the moon and served them a new flavor of tea. We can tell you more only when you meet us. Let’s see what\’s brewing in your cup!
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