I was recently at a CRM user conference and noted down the key pain points identified by retailers.  As you might expect, mobile topped the list, representing the most disruptive and transformative opportunity.  At the same time, retailers stated they are still struggling with how to capture an accurate 360 view of their customers because “data resides all over the place.”

It seems we have been talking about and investing in creating a 360 view of the customer for decades – from CRM, customer data master systems, integration and event hubs, legacy loyalty systems, to BI and analytics.  The unpleasant truth is that each of these systems created yet another silo of data – hence data is everywhere but at the fingertips of loyalty and marketing professionals when they need it, easily consumable and actionable.

And while brands are falling behind due to legacy systems and data silos, consumers are increasingly more empowered and sharing their knowledge with each other.  Distinguished Gartner analyst Michael Maoz recently wrote a blog called “The Mediocrity of a 360 degree View.”  His prediction is one all brands should heed and get ahead of:

“In 2015 we can still get away with mediocrity (360 degree view of the customer), but by 2022 the customer will hit you full on with their own advanced analysis of their and their cohort group’s relationship with you, and you versus the competition, and guess who will lose? Not the customer.”

The call to action is loud and clear – a 360 view of the customer is not enough and it is not the end goal.  Brands need to rethink their consumer relationship strategies.  According to Maoz, brands need to step outside of themselves, understand their customers’ wants and needs, and then deliver valuable experiences.

To support this creativity and innovation, brands need a modern, agile and transformative loyalty solution to power personalized, rich and compelling consumer experiences. 

Brands should evaluate how their current systems stack up to the following criteria:

  1. Designed for mobile from the ground up, not just mobile web access
  2. Offers powerful social integration that is continually adapting with new social platform rules of engagement, advertising and re-targeting
  3. Delivers targeted personalization and communication across all channels, taking advantage of location data, consumer preferences, attributes, purchases, etc.
  4. Built on a big data flexible technology architecture that supports rapid change and iteration, speed and scale
  5. Eliminates the data silo problem with integration to the wide and evolving landscape of systems that contain consumer information.

Without a modern loyalty and engagement system, brands will be limited in their ability to engage effectively with their consumers in compelling 2-way dialogues.  A costly and inflexible legacy customer loyalty infrastructure will predictably slow down a brand’s adoption of new strategies and creative approaches – leading to a competitive disadvantage, lower customer satisfaction and churn.

The Stellar Loyalty team grew up in enterprise software.  We know the benefits associated with these systems, and the risks to brand value when legacy systems are unable to keep pace.  It is with this understanding and experience that we founded Stellar Loyalty, with a mission to help brands drive more loyal and profitable customer relationships leveraging modern technology and rapid innovation cycles.

What is different about our approach?

  1. We developed a modern business-to-consumer system of engagement with the Stellar Consumer Relationship Cloud.

This is not a business-to-business transaction-oriented system nor an event processing hub masquerading as a customer engagement system.  From our real-time consumer interaction profiles – to our multichannel offers and referrals, challenges and community, mobile payment and loyalty / engagement and rewards apps – to our highly scalable and cost-effective cloud-based big data Hadoop platform — we have architected the next generation loyalty and engagement system to execute billions of interactions for millions of consumers.

  1. Our design goal: create a platform that is leading-edge, agile and easy to use.

Consumers want to be engaged, they want brands to keep pace with their changing attitudes and preferences, and they want personalized interactions that are relevant and timely.  This means marketers must be empowered to quickly create new offers or campaigns, refine programs, adapt global programs to regional and local levels, etc.  We believe this should not require IT involvement, it should be easy, simple and fast to rollout – by marketers.  This is how the Stellar Consumer Relationship Cloud works.

Our platform leverages modern, metadata techniques so that all the business logic is available to be edited and updated by non-technical users in seconds.  It is the first enterprise application suite purposely designed with a Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture to deliver real-time activity processing, live dashboards, and in-place analytics. With purpose-built embedded analytics, marketers can segment and create new audiences in seconds, track customer loyalty and profitability, measure offer and program impact and make changes on the fly.

  1. Mobile first is not enough, we aspire to be both mobile first and best for our customers.

Many mobile applications can claim to be “Mobile First” by delivering a visually appealing, read-only, pull-based mobile application for iOS and Android devices.  At Stellar Loyalty, we are leveraging our 20+ years of mobile experience to deliver much more challenging “Mobile Best” apps that are location-aware, push-enabled, media-rich, and transaction-ready.

  1. We are faster, better and cheaper.

Stellar Loyalty’s technology was designed with the purpose of helping customers take concepts and ideas and translate these into reality in days and weeks – not years.  We have demonstrated to many businesses that our solution can be deployed fast and at a lower cost versus what they are currently paying for maintenance on legacy platforms.  We stand by our commitment to delivering a faster and significantly better system at a fraction of the cost of legacy platforms.

  1. Drive differentiated experiences and profitable engagements.

The Stellar Consumer Relationship Cloud helps brands to optimize their consumer interactions from acquiring and engaging, to transacting and rewarding their loyal consumers.  We help them deliver personalized and differentiated experiences with contextual targeting, location-aware services, social and mobile engagement, recommended offers, and Immersive experiences (e.g.: augmented reality and image recognition).

While most of us belong to dozens of loyalty programs, it is a rare 1 or 2 that inspire us.  Our CEO Kevin Nix starts all of his meetings by asking people what their favorite loyalty programs are.   Think about yours.  What comes to mind?  I’d wager only a few gems sparkle amidst the plethora of non-value-adding loyalty programs.

How can you make your brand’s loyalty and engagement program stand out?

Ask yourself, is your loyalty system holding you back?  Is it helping you retain loyal customers, increase profitability and acquire new customers?  Or might it be an anchor sinking your loyalty program?