Forrester’s Emily Collins recently published Build a Road Map to Intelligent Loyalty - a report that spotlights three maturity stages which clearly define the challenges of today’s customer loyalty programs. For those in the right-time marketing business, intelligent loyalty is the secret to significantly better customer engagement.
Foundational Planning – Setting in place the building blocks of loyalty that involve identifying objectives, getting organizational alignment, and establishing what the organization will do for people, process, and technology.
Programmatic Alignment – Executing the plan for intelligence-driven loyalty including requirements for strategy, data, customer intelligence, offer management, and measurement.
Intelligent Integration and Automation– Leveraging customer intelligence across loyalty program data to both optimize their program and impact the business strategy.
Collins also asserts that organizations need to base their program optimization on customer understanding as a way to deliver differentiated experiences, hone offers, and constantly improve communications. She specifically calls out building real-time capabilities that include location and social data as a key part of refining offer management, targeting, and relevance.
Collins is absolutely right and getting to the highest maturity stage is all about having a platform approachto accomplish what she is stressing. Without a platform, each of these maturity steps would mean performing a significant reinvention of the loyalty wheel. Simply put: It would be very wasteful.
A flexible, open platform offers the following at a minimum:
- Common strategies used across loyalty marketing that can be modified, improved, and augmented.
- Data models that give a big head start on what you’ll need, but don’t lock down the sources or destinations of data.
- Customer contextual information to look for and incorporate (location, weather, etc.) without limiting the future of undiscovered resources.
- Typical offers and interaction points, but an ability to expand and get more granular as maturity and market increases.
- Optimization tools and metrics that constantly improve the system in the moment and allow transparency into what’s working and what’s not.
Not every platform is ready to offer this kind of head start. Learn more about the kind of capabilities and results that we see from clients taking a platform approach to loyalty in this webinar and whitepaper on right-time marketing.
This post first appeared on theLoyalty Lab Blogand has been lightly edited.