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10 Most Common Mistakes by Loyalty Marketers

10 Most Common Mistakes by Loyalty Marketers

The efficacy of loyalty programs is one of those topics that comes up for debate a lot. I recently came across a slide show on CMO.com crafted by Zack Loith, Head of Loyalty Strategy at 500 Friends titled “The 10 Most Common Mistakes of Loyalty Marketing”, prompting me to write this article. 500 Friends is a cloud-based loyalty solutions provider, recently acquired by Merkle, the largest privately-held marketing agency in the U.S.. One of the ways you can be sure to make your loyalty program more successful is to first understand where they often can go wrong. Let’s go through Zack’s list and add a few insights that should help you in your own planning. Mistake #1 says that “Deploying a one-size-fits-all program” can lead to disaster. We agree that every single consumer is unique. Each of us responds differently to ads and promotions, as well as to loyalty programs in general. Personalisation is key in 2015 and should be made a priority. Marketers need to stop talking about personalization and start executing better in this area. Mistake #2: “Setting reward levels without talking to customers”. Customer feedback can strengthen the process of creating rewards that are relevant to consumers. Let’s face it – rewards are one of two critical touchpoints for a loyalty program. You’ve got to get it right at enrollment and the rewards have to be compelling enough to keep members engaged. If you structure rewards based on customer feedback, they should respond as they identify with the value of the rewards available. Mistake # 3: “Celebrating and encouraging use of rewards”. Many marketers continue to... read more

The convergence of Loyalty Marketing and Gamification

I’m thinking a lot about where the convergence between Loyalty Marketing and Gamification will have the most impact for marketers. My participation as a judge in the LoyaltyGames has me focused on this subject, as did my presentation last month at Gabe Zichermann’s GSummit. My topic was titled “Beyond the transaction, Could Loyalty’s next act be Gamification?” The format was Ted-like in that presenters had a tightly defined 21 minutes to present, with Q&A deferred to networking sessions throughout the day. Attendees to the event remained highly engaged as the steady turnover of presenters with fresh material kept everyone’s attention. Here’s a link to the conference video site if you want a first hand view of the GSummit, an event that I’m sure to include in my 2015 calendar and suggest that you should too. I set out to take attendees on an adventure, to play a collaborative game. Call it the Clue version of “Loyalty Marketing”. You might remember Clue, the old school murder mystery board game. Well, it has been refreshed and relaunched, now carrying the persona of “the mystery you love to solve again and again…only now its more intense”!!! That’s about where the state of Loyalty Marketing sits today. It’s a familiar game, but it’s still a mystery to some people. There are widely distributed clues and well understood rules of the game, but players tend to arrive at vastly different conclusions after playing for a while. One Clue that we have is that making loyalty programs more “contextual” could be the key to engaging today’s digitally connected consumer and find renewed success with data-driven marketing.... read more

Freshbooks takes a personal approach to loyalty

The rush of to-do’s on a Monday morning provided a fantastic reminder of how some brands get it right with customer loyalty and some continue to struggle. I’ll share the story of two contrasting approaches to customer loyalty in this post, then follow up later this week with a specific analysis of why brands emphasizing a pure acquisition strategy leave lots of customer value on the table. First the good news. I receive my business mail through a UPS Store and checked my box this morning in the process of returning a pile of Cisco routers to ATT (that story comes in a moment). The cheerful business owner of the UPS Store handed me the accumulated mail from the box, and I noticed a cushy envelope with return address of Freshbooks, the cloud based accounting solution based in Toronto which I’ve used almost since its inception. Opening the envelope, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a hand-written note from a customer care person thanking me for a mention I made of the company in this Retail Wire discussion and offering to assist me if I needed help with their service in the future. Also enclosed was a great looking Freshbooks t-shirt. This small effort by Freshbooks had a big impact on me, so much so that I’m happy to include this referral link here in case you’re looking for a great cloud based accounting solution and want to give Freshbooks a try. First off, the company is paying attention to its online reputation. They’re not just tracking their name mentions and responding to people who look like they are prospective customers.... read more

Boomers and Millennials square off over digital payments

Earlier this week, our consulting firm Hanifin Loyalty engaged a service provider who presented an invoice to be paid via Square Cash. We managed to remit funds as requested but the transaction didn’t go down without a healthy debate between myself and my Digital Strategy Director about the efficacy and security of this new payment channel. Call it a debate between Boomers and Millennials on the changing face of the payments landscape, or just an illustration of the type of dialogue that needs to take place to keep the generation gap between Millennials and Boomers as tiny and manageable as possible. Either way, its clear that Millennials are making payment choices and are comfortable with a range of payment technology that still give Boomers pause for concern. Here’s a view into our discussion: Boomer: I don’t mind trying something new. I’m already familiar with Square as a merchant acceptance method and have a Square dongle myself. We routinely use PayPal and I’ve made Peer to Peer payments with Chase’s Quick Pay. But come on, is this one step too far? Millennial: Not sure what you’re worried about (haha). I’ve been using Square Cash for a while now. It is easy, secure, and most of my friends use it too. Remember that you reimbursed me for the office lunch last week using Square Cash? Boomer: You’re right, I did pay for lunch with Square Cash, but that was a $27 lunch. This is a much bigger invoice. What concerns me is linking an online app to my business debit card. Millennial: Maybe you just don’t know enough about it. It’s... read more

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