Loyalty programs are an extremely popular way for restaurants to stay connected with their customers and keep them coming back. However, developing a sustainable, successful loyalty program for restaurants is no easy task. In fact, only 30% of restaurants offer some type of loyalty program. And for those that do offer a loyalty program, many restaurants and franchisees have no way of knowing whether their programs are effective in terms of retaining customers and providing value.
Marketers leverage data attributes on consumers related to household purchases, demographics, interests, and self-reported information to better understand consumers and acquire and attract new prospects. As brand stewards, it’s imperative to ensure that the third-party data is qualified, properly sourced and relevant. For example, if you’re a brand in the travel industry trying to increase awareness of your new cruise ship offerings, you might look at a segment of consumers who often purchase international flights. But do you really know where this data is coming from? And is purchasing data based on one segment alone the best strategy?
I recently led a roundtable with Epsilon loyalty clients, and one of the key areas of discussion was how machine learning is transforming the loyalty industry. After more than 25 years in this space, I continue to be amazed by the many ways the industry can improve the customer experience and drive more revenue for companies. During the roundtable, there were discussions on how machine learning will reshape the way companies utilize loyalty programs in the near future, augmenting what can be achieved by humans alone, to deliver truly personalized experiences. Today, machine learning is enhancing data-driven marketing strategies, creating a shift from 1:1 (a messaging strategy that’s ‘generically personalized’ with promotional offers) to 1:You (a holistic customer experience strategy that’s personalized with the best choice for individuals across all points on interactions).