For brands and marketers, a successful loyalty program creates a competitive advantage. It improves customer experience, builds a customer data asset, and motivates profitable customer behavior. Over the past several years, brands have evolved their loyalty efforts from offering pure points and rewards, to delivering personalized and enhanced experiences to support customer retention and engagement goals.
There is a more evolved mindset around loyalty, which factors in the lasting, emotional, and intentional bond that loyalty can become. The concept of “Emotional Loyalty” is the deep connection achieved when every action, input and communication a customer receives from a brand makes them feel valued and respected. And getting this right can pay off greatly for brands, including a 231% increase in loyalty membership, 87% increase in email capture rate, and an increase in average player spend of 126%, as seen with many of our loyalty customers.
In fact, Cheetah Digital just appeared in the new Forrester Wave for Loyalty Solutions and the Loyalty 360 Technology Today: Industry reports. Our unique focus has been on being one of the only independent technology providers that allow you to take control and own your own loyalty programs. If you are looking for the best loyalty engagement technology and strategy, ensure you ask your loyalty technology provider these five questions:
- Do you have the technology that allows brands to create their own loyalty programs? This is not relevant for every brand, but for those that are interested in rewarding and incentivizing engagement and foster loyal advocates are taking advantage of loyalty platforms that focus on loyalty management, loyalty marketing, and in many cases full lifecycle customer engagement. This enables marketers to deliver personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging, all aligned around winning loyalty strategies.
- Does your platform allow brands to create loyalty programs in-house? With digital transformation being accelerated by COVID-19, we are seeing more and more brands taking ownership of their digital strategies, including loyalty programs. Does your vendor allow you to have access to the platform, so you can manage your own loyalty programs, data, offers, creative strategies? Do you pay thousands of dollars in monthly service retainers? Do you feel restricted by a full-service agency model? The key is to have a choice and if you have inspiration and ideas on how to deliver great programs, you should never be held hostage by your loyalty tech vendor.
- Can the platform recommend dynamic offers for customers based on their history? Offer management is a classic concept that has been revitalized in recent years. Offers don’t have to be coupons or financial discounts, offers can be “thanks for being a great customer,” or “welcome to our program,” or “here is a great piece of content you might want to read,” or images, reminders, and helpful tips. Offers are at the heart of the creative process when it comes to loyalty program generation, but they can also be used in many other contexts, outside of loyalty in regular ongoing marketing and customer engagement programs. Adding “intelligence” to offers takes your programs to the next level, where the power of business rules and machine learning can help you scale and automate the offer selection and targeting process.
- Can you facilitate Emotional Loyalty programs that go beyond points and discounts? Emotional Loyalty is all about moving beyond transactions and building a deeper relationship with consumers that create long-term customer value and create passionate brand advocates. As mentioned above, it's not always about points, discounts, and redemptions. Brands like Fleet Feet are forming a community of like-minded health-conscious people and weekend runners, making their mobile app the central hub of the digital consumer experience.
- Can your platform deliver incremental revenue and customer lifetime value? The key to success here is ensuring you are delivering a loyalty program that provides a value exchange with the consumer to ensure they are getting utility from your programs, and in exchange you are learning more about them, capturing more zero-party data about preferences, and you are driving an uplift in revenue, average order value, and long term retention and loyal brand advocates. Brands like THUN are creating best in class programs for their customers using these methods.
The value in adopting an effective omnichannel loyalty strategy could mean increasing revenue to the tune of 10% day-over-day lift, and increasing membership and followers into the millions. Cheetah Digital was recently named a “Preferred Vendor” in the “All-in-One” category in the Loyalty 360 Today Industry report, and a “Strong Performer” in the Forrester Wave. Get access to both reports here.
To learn more about our take on Loyalty Tech platforms, view the latest episode of PULSE.
Patrick is SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, focused on the go-to-market strategy and team for the Customer Engagement Suite. A frequent industry event speaker, Patrick has over 20 years of experience in the technology, consulting, and marketing industries. Prior to Cheetah Digital, Patrick was VP of Product Strategy at RedPoint Global, leading the product roadmap and go-to-market for the Customer Engagement Hub. Previously, Patrick was at Adobe through the acquisition of Neolane, focused on email and real-time decisioning. He has also spent time at Pegasystems, leading product marketing for the next-best-action decision engine, and spent many years at Forrester Research in the research and consulting organizations. He is a certified product manager and holds an MBA from Boston University.