As Stellar Loyalty’s CMO, I am in a unique position of marketing our solutions to my peers, as well as being in the shoes of our end customers.  I am a consumer participating in many loyalty reward programs which sadly don’t meet expectations.

Why is that?

Perhaps as marketers we’ve been training for the wrong race.  What do I mean by this?  Well, consider this scenario.

A few weeks ago I participated in a charity race.  I love to run and training for this race was simply part of my regular exercise regimen.  No change in the program – just focus on improving performance.

Now, imagine if I had shown up to the event and discovered it was actually a triathlon – complete with “a refreshing 1.5K swim in the Bay, followed by a challenging 22-mile bike course through the state park, and concluded by a 10K run.”  Needless to say my training would have been sorely inadequate as I neglected 2 important aspects of the race – swimming and biking.

Our implementation of loyalty marketing often takes this 1-discipline program at a time approach. The challenge and opportunity as marketers is to bring together our siloed marketing disciplines and systems.

Frankly, we don’t have a choice. We must excel at navigating between digital, physical and human interactions in a consistent and seamless fashion. Case in point: data from Forrester Research as noted in the September issue of AdAge on retail:

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Our mandate is clear: we need to “train together” to execute a well-orchestrated and integrated customer loyalty program across all channels and interactions.

Only then can we deliver on the loyalty promise and create fantastic consumer experiences!