Consumer expectations are evolving. To keep pace, loyalty marketers must be deft and strategic in their approach. Are you up to the challenge?

This week I moderated a discussion at the 2014 COLLOQUY Loyalty Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. During the discussion, many agreed that we shouldn’t focus solely on the latest shiny objects, as the best loyalty experience programs continue to be rooted in the core guiding loyalty principles: a balanced value proposition, brand integrity and trust—and in generating reciprocal dialogue and engagement with consumers.

However, while it’s important to maintain these guiding principles, we also need to ensure our programs continue to evolve and meet the new demands of our members.

A recent COLLOQUY study found that 36% of consumers opted to join loyalty programs that offer non-transactional rewards that help them lead a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, 87% said they would join a loyalty program that offers rewards for activities other than spending with that particular brand.

Epsilon has several clients using non-transactional opportunities to identify and strengthen the brand with key consumer groups. From Walgreens, FedEx and Dunkin Donuts, we’re seeing results that reinforce the need to shift program designs from a traditional “earn-for-spend” model to a “connect brand to individual consumer goals and interests” model. Our clients making this shift are witnessing the benefit of amplified consumer engagement.

Have your loyalty programs evolved? To ensure you're keeping pace with the demands of your customers, marketers must take an introspective look to identify the ever-evolving needs and demands.

Use the four questions below to gauge how your loyalty program stacks up. Be honest, as the responses can help guide your strategy moving forward.

Question 1: How are you supporting the personal goals and aspirations of your consumers? Have you incorporated non-transactional opportunities linked to your brand to support and reward a consumer’s achievement of their personal goals? How can technology help you achieve this?

Question 2: What tactics have you implemented within your organization to shift your customers from loyalists to brand advocates? Are you leveraging social channels?

Question 3: Are you marketing to your customers when and where they want to engage with your brand? What other areas of marketing are you consulting to make this possible?

Question 4: What are some of the tactics you’ve integrated into your programs to enhance your customers’ experience with your brand?

So, how did you do? Do you think your loyalty program meets the needs of today’s consumer? Comment below.

Topics: Article, Loyalty, rewards, strategy, Topic, US

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