The loyalty marketplace is becoming more and more crowded every day. To stand out, differentiating your program is essential. Marketing guru Seth Godin once said, “In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
You’ve heard it before: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” But that absolutely should not be the case when it comes to customer loyalty. Where loyalty programs are concerned, getting personal makes for better business. Neiman Marcus’ VP of Customer Insight and Analytics, Jeff Rosenfeld, summarized it beautifully (and succinctly) when he told CMO.com: “Personalization is the new loyalty.”
If you don’t know your customers’ interests, preferences, and history — and interact with them accordingly — you are stuck in the dark ages of marketing. But fear not, there is a way out!
The number of potential loyalty touchpoints where consumers can connect with their favorite retailers, restaurants, and more has grown exponentially. For loyalty programs looking to take full advantage of all of them, that can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, think of the loyalty opportunities. On the other hand, think of the integrations required.
Engagement is arguably the most important component of a winning loyalty program. Enrollment is obviously important, but, as the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water,” but you can’t make them engage once they’ve enrolled in your loyalty program. It’s this next step and the ongoing, engaged relationship that matters the most. It’s also the most challenging.
Navigating the loyalty landscape, a terrain that is always evolving, means constantly being on the lookout for the next big thing. The masterminds of modern loyalty programs are keenly that loyalty has moved well beyond the point-heavy system it once was and know not only the current loyalty landscape, but are aware of every shift and where it’s heading.
The loyalty landscape is changing.
The days of simple loyalty punch cards are behind us. Immediacy and personalization are now the name of the game in the modern loyalty world where consumers expect real-time engagement – in the moment, when it matters. As a result, loyalty has evolved far past a points and rewards engine to become a full suite of sales and marketing tools that includes marketing automation, a customer data platform, CRM, customer engagement, analytics, and more.