Patrick Tripp, SVP of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital, gives the top five questions to ask your loyalty tech vendor.
For brands and marketers, a successful loyalty programme creates a competitive advantage. It improves customer experience, builds a customer data asset, and motivates profitable customer behaviour. Over the past several years, brands have evolved their loyalty efforts from offering pure points and rewards, to delivering personalised 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 per cent increase in loyalty membership, 87 per cent increase in email capture rate, and an increase in average player spend of 126 per cent, 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 allows you to take control and own your own loyalty programmes. If you are looking for the best loyalty engagement technology and strategy, ensure you ask your loyalty technology provider these five questions:
1. Do you have the technology that allows brands to create their own loyalty programmes?
This is not relevant for every brand, but for those that are interested in rewarding and incentivising engagement and fostering 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 personalised experiences, cross-channel messaging, all aligned around winning loyalty strategies.
2. Does your platform allow brands to create loyalty programmes 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 programmes. Does your vendor allow you to have access to the platform, so you can manage your own loyalty programmes, data, offers, creative strategies? Do you pay thousands of pounds 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 programmes, you should never be held hostage by your loyalty tech vendor.
3. Can the platform recommend dynamic offers for customers based on their history?
Offer management is a classic concept that has been revitalised 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 programme,” 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 programme generation, but they can also be used in many other contexts, outside of loyalty in regular ongoing marketing and customer engagement programmes. Adding “intelligence” to offers takes your programmes 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.
4. Can you facilitate Emotional Loyalty programmes that go beyond points and discounts?
Emotional Loyalty is all about moving beyond transactions and building a deeper relationship with consumers that creates long-term customer value and creates 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.
5. Can your platform deliver incremental revenue and customer lifetime value?
The key to success here is ensuring you are delivering a loyalty programme that provides a value exchange with the consumer to ensure they are getting utility from your programmes, 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 programmes for their customers using these methods.
The value in adopting an effective omnichannel loyalty strategy could mean increasing revenue to the tune of 10 per cent 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.