Loyalty program partnerships can dramatically increase the relevance and appeal of loyalty programs for any participant brand, particularly those with infrequent purchases or smaller customer bases. For the anchor/sponsor brand, it can help expand your reach into new segments or markets. In either case, tapping into the right kind of loyalty partnerships is beneficial for two reasons: you attract more high potential customers to your brand, while also expanding relationships with your existing customers. With the advent of technology solutions and open API’s, connecting with loyalty partners is easier and more cost efficient than ever. In terms of best practices, United Airline’s MileagePlus program provides a comprehensive example of loyalty partnership design.
Loyalty Program Transformation
The driver behind most loyalty program reviews is a general sense that the current loyalty benefits are not performing well. The opinion is usually formed from a patchwork of observations, for example churn is increasing, redemptions are decreasing, share of revenue is flat, or overall costs are escalating – just to name a few. This article provides an overview of the LoyaltyLevers Foundational Analysis, which provides a fact-based view of Loyalty program performance with loyalty KPI’s across the three crucial questions:
• Is the program activating engagement among the members?
• Driving profitable behavior?
• Building loyalty sentiment and an emotional connection?
The LoyaltyLevers Foundational Analysis is a key part of the Discovery process. You can find more information here on the full loyalty design process and how this critical piece fits in.
Often, the executive order comes down to launch a loyalty program, or perhaps overhaul the current one. It is a challenging assignment, because if you ask 10 people what makes an effective loyalty program, you’ll get as many different answers. For example, the CEO might be a frequent flyer and believe that it’s all about earning miles, while the CFO may be more in favor of a recognition program that doesn’t carry points liabilities. Meanwhile executives in operations could be more interested in a program that improves the customer experience and reduces strain on front line staff. So, what’s the right answer?!
As noted in Loyalty Measurement: C-Suite Needs a Balanced Scorecard, executives need a balanced presentation of results to gauge program performance. As part of that, loyalty practitioners must measure and optimize the incremental impact of their programs. LoyaltyLevers Balanced Scorecard provides a unique solution to the challenge of causality. This article goes deeper into measuring Behavior changes and translating that into an estimate of incremental margin attributable to the program.
Have no doubt, this is a moment of opportunity for loyalty programs. Data privacy laws continue to tighten, which only increases the importance of first party, permission-based data. Consumers know the importance of their information, and loyalty programs can provide an important value exchange for the permission to use it. Presto -- loyalty programs are now becoming THE foundation to all data driven marketing, quite a turnaround for what brand marketers once viewed as a promotional side hustle.