A remarkable amount of change in the consumer world is ushering in a new definition of loyalty. What have long been static programs of points and plastic cards are becoming dynamic, individualized and much, much more engaging. Said another way, everything is changing…all at once.
The old way of simple ledgers and confusing redemption schemes was a fundamentally flawed proposition. Customers were able to accumulate points but struggled to keep track of and gain real value in return. Something had to change, anyway.
Enter Customer Loyalty ManagementCustomer Loyalty Management is the new, holistic approach to driving higher levels of loyalty to brands. It puts a focus on what have emerged as the four ‘pillars’ of loyalty:
- Loyalty programs
- Wider event streams
- Marketer-driven relationship marketing
- Test & learn
Each of these four is key to finding the ‘Holy Grail’ of marketing: creating ‘fans’—people who think of a brand first and represent a much higher lifetime value. But today’s technology combines social, mobile and analytics to create new ways to drive another layer atop the four pillars, including higher trust, greater insight and relevance, and recognition leading to virtuous cycles of increasing value.
These are lofty goals that would be impossible without the new approach in technology and strategy offered by Customer Loyalty Management.
Aligning the Tools and Techniques
As consumers’ buying patterns change, the tools and techniques of loyalty need to change alongside them. There are four specific areas where the tools and techniques align with the four pillars and matter the most for the new Customer Loyalty Management:
Each of these areas is impacted by those changing buying patterns, and there’s an opportunity for brands to avoid disruption and benefit from the shift. These points of personal and digital engagement are the new realities of letting consumers engage in ways that increase their experience and create true fans.
Where do we find the elusive Holy Grail of marketing? We find it at that intersection of loyalty, contextual awareness of the customer, deeper relationships, and a philosophy of, “We can never know enough about what works.” Customer Loyalty Marketing is an extremely dynamic line of work. Are you ready for that?