A new guide from Maritz Motivation Solutions offers brands and marketer advice on how to create a successful loyalty program.
Maritz Motivation Solutions is now providing insight and tips on loyalty programs to marketers and brands with the new Insider’s Guide to Customer Loyalty.
“Engagement and loyalty are what all brands desire from their customers. In today’s economy, customers are continuously evaluating which brands are worthy of their scarce dollars and attention. That’s why a smart loyalty strategy is crucial for any brand looking to engage, retain and nurture their customers,” said Barry Kirk, vice president of customer loyalty strategy, Maritz Motivation Solutions. “But loyalty can be hard to define, difficult to earn and easy to lose, which is why we created this guide.”
According to the 2016 Maritz LoyaltyNext Customer Insights Study, 84% of customers report being members of points-based loyalty programs and 45% of consumers cite the opportunity to “earn rewards” as a primary driver for purchasing from a brand.
Maritz’s guide covers all the essentials for marketers including an explanation of customer loyalty; the four different loyalty frameworks; design criteria for loyalty programs; how to measure program success; important financial considerations; and how to select the right loyalty partner.
As a marketer considering a loyalty program, how do you know if it’s the right strategy for you? The guide lists six questions you should ask before launching. Is your objective to:
- Identify and track active customers?
- Increase the lifetime value of your customer base?
- Increase the purchase frequency rate for your existing customers?
- Improve customer retention and reduce churn?
- Improve the satisfaction of your best customers?
- Incent customer advocacy and referral?
“Determining whether a loyalty program should be part of your marketing strategy largely depends on what challenges you are trying to address and what resources you have to devote to a program,” Kirk said. “While a loyalty initiative can address a wide range of business challenges, it is not a panacea. A loyalty program will not effectively address issues relating to product quality, customer service, pricing or market shifts.”
The guide also outlines five components marketers need to support a loyalty initiative for their brands. These are:
- Repeat purchases.
- Readily accessible customer behavior data.
- Metrics to identify active versus inactive customers.
- The ability to market directly to customers.
- Executive support for the importance of a retention strategy.
“It may seem counterintuitive, but loyalty programs are elitist by design. Successful programs should be focused on a narrow subset of customers who represent high current or potential value, about 40% of customers or less for most companies,” Kirk said. “And it’s crucial to educate your peers and executives that loyalty takes time. Most programs do well to break even in year two, and show profitability in year three. Be sure to remind your stakeholders that loyalty is about relationships, not response rates.”