Yes, brands are dazzling customers with virtual and augmented reality, interactive screens and AI-powered everything, yet this provides an opportunity for brands to differentiate through the emotional value customers gain from their entire purchase experience.
It means brands need to get better at being emotional. Customers want “emotional luxury” derived from feeling recognized, special, and known; yet, only 20% of consumers say they feel special and recognized by a brand representative. This is a massive, untapped opportunity for brands to better engage with consumers.
Almost all currency-based consumer loyalty Program designs inherently house a financial liability, which in many cases has a material impact on a brand’s balance sheet. Generally speaking, a brand incurs liability for a future loyalty Program reward as soon as it issues the Program’s currency (e.g., points, miles, credits, stars, etc.) to a Program Member. From an income statement perspective, there is a reduction in revenue as soon as the currency is issued to a Program Member. As such, the brand cannot account for the full sale, since a percentage will need to be remunerated in the form of a reward (or dividend) back to the Program Member upon redemption. The accounting principles which govern financial liability management are not for the faint of heart, and they more than often create an ongoing level of tension between a brand’s CFO and CMO. CFOs wish to minimize their currency liability and resulting financial exposure, while CMOs wish to issue currency to incent incremental transactional behaviors with the aspiration of maximizing Member redemptions.
In today’s mobile-driven marketplace, and with the rise of the Millennial “always on” consumer, having an app complement a retailer’s marketing strategy has become table stakes. Apps have evolved from simply being an extension of the digital ecosystem to leading the way for brand innovation, campaign awareness, and deeper loyalty engagement.
Never before has a brand had the opportunity to be part of such a personal customer connection—your customers’ mobile device is more than just a communication channel; it’s their hub to connect to all things, all people, and interact with your brand in more personal ways than ever before. The challenge this brings is for retailers to truly understand how users want to connect with their brand, and to develop features that enable those interactions in innovative, creative, relevant, and simple ways. The opportunity is to retain top-of-mind awareness for your brand, create habit-forming engagements, and obtain a higher reach of brand advocacy, especially when a formal loyalty program exists for your brand. Surprisingly, Bond Brand Loyalty’s 2016 Loyalty Report shows that almost 50% of consumers aren’t even aware if the loyalty program they engage with has an app, which is a lost opportunity for many retailers.
Over the past 15 years, loyalty programs have enjoyed a relatively low level of fraudulent activities. However, in recent months we have seen the level of loyalty program and loyalty card fraud increase. As “Chip & Pin” credit cards continue to become prevalent, specific industries whose business models include transactions where the physical card does not need to be present, have become the target of fraudsters. One of these in particular is the travel booking industry.
Lately, fraudulent activities have propagated to loyalty programs where the travel components of the program are the primary target. However, as there often is with fraud schemes, there’s a twist. The loyalty program is not the actual target of the fraud, but rather a means to facilitate the scheme.
Your dentist has a file on you. One that includes your name, birthdate, address and other personal details. You visit your dentist regularly, and tell your friends about your experiences with him. What if your dentist never used your first name? What if he never referred back to your visit history or dental records?
Apply this concept to a brand’s loyalty Program. When you enroll and participate in a loyalty Program, you’ve likely given up a good amount of personal information—and it’s not always put to good use, or at least not overtly. Consumers have noted this disconnect. The sixth annual survey by Bond Brand Loyalty has found that only 22 percent of loyalty program members are very satisfied with the level of personalization they’re receiving from brands. This highlights a tremendous opportunity for brands as satisfaction is 8X higher when programs are highly personalized. The thing is, personalization does not have to be complicated to yield this kind of payoff in satisfaction. Here are three steps to improve your personalization efforts today:
Make no mistake: Building authentic relationships with consumers is hard work—and getting harder by the day. Consumer expectations continue to rise. The pace of change continues to increase. The need to stay relevant is more important than ever.
Our latest research from the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, shows that consumers continue to value Loyalty programs—programs that pay dividends back to brands in the form of loyalty, advocacy and increased spend. It’s time for marketers to start paying closer attention.
If you’ve taken a “set it and forget it” approach you’ve likely overlooked what matters most to your program Members. Taking a closer look now might land some relatively quick wins.
Have you heard the news? This year will be the year of mobile!
We have been hearing this phrase uttered every year for at least the last five years and yet, somehow, we are still not prepared. We are barely scratching the surface of what is possible with mobile and are expecting big things, which are not going to happen by themselves.
We are aware of the consumers’ love affair with their mobile devices. According to Pew Research Center:
Also, quite importantly for marketers, consumers use their mobile phones while they are shopping.
A few months ago, I was asked what my vision of the future of marketing would be for when my 3.5-year-old son becomes an adult. This sparked my imagination and I felt compelled to share my vision of the future of marketing. Being a data-driven marketer myself, I realize that this vision is slightly utopian, and I don’t know how many years it will take for this vision to be realized in reality. Regardless, I would love to play a key role in making this dream come true.
The young man asking this question elaborated to ask whether I believe my son will be bombarded with too many messages and too much information when he comes of consumer age, which frankly I believe has already started. My simple answer at the time was “no.” By the time he becomes an adult, all content will be curated for and by him. Even today, we have the technology to personalize all content. Just a few years ago, this meant knowing who the customer was and targeting the message to her. In this day and age, we can go far beyond knowing “who.” We can push personalization to “where” and “when.” With the consumer carrying her mobile phone on her person virtually 24 hours a day, I know not only who she is, but I know where she is and even the time and the weather in her exact location.
The Internet has spoken – and it isn’t pretty. Turns out Amazon’s hyped up exclusive "Prime Day" event for Amazon Prime members failed to impress, leaving the “tens of millions" of members feeling a little slighted. Not to mention, the bad impression on the browsing non-members Amazon was attempting to court.
Buzzfeed was quick to publish this article with some of the best Internet responses. Of course, that was just the beginning. #PrimeDay trended on Twitter throughout the day with users even creating a second hashtag: #PrimeDayFail.