In today’s marketing landscape, brands often focus on the transactional component of consumers’ interactions. Several industries are doing basic transactional communications and apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
While transactional insights shed light into the likes and dislikes of your customers, they don't tell the whole customer story. As marketers, we need to think beyond transactions to focus on the micro-moments to understand our customers and determine the role we want our brand to play in the customer’s life.
How can this be accomplished? By learning how to increase member engagement within your loyalty program.
How to increase member engagement within your loyalty program
The interactions that people have with your brand impact their lives.
Whether they’re getting a discount with a digital coupon or learning more about your brand in an email, these moments of engagement are chances for you to influence their daily activities and enforce your branding.
Let’s look at a few ways to gain more engagement.
Expand your data set beyond member data: Understanding your customers beyond your loyalty transactional view is essential for truly getting to know your customers and establishing the 1:You relationship.
Member data helps guide communications, but knowing how members are interacting with other brands (even outside of your industry) is also important. Knowing their items of purchase, frequency of purchases and channel preferences lets you further reach your personalization goals while creating the emotional connection.
Our MarketView™ data offers exclusive access to a multi-sourced transactional dataset capturing $2T of consumer spend across hundreds of leading merchants allowing marketers to identify and reach your most valuable customers, and learn what they spend with both you and your top competitors.
Take time to assess your data marketing strategy to determine if it’s currently meeting your member engagement goals. And don’t forget to the role of testing. Establishing test controls within the member’s journey will allow for you to continually enhance your program.
Think beyond the traditional offer: We’ve all heard it multiple times – loyalty marketing is shifting from transactional to experiential reward fulfillment.
While marketers are aware of this experiential desire by members, it seems like the majority are still focused on transactions, because let’s face it, rewarding an experience is no easy task and it can be quite costly.
I have the opportunity to work directly with brands here at Epsilon. One of the strategies I often discuss with my clients to help fulfill on experiential marketing is gamification.
Gamification adds an element of fun and rewards members beyond the traditional offer. Studies have shown that gamification can lead to a 100% to 150% increase in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities and time on site.
For example, Dell leverages gaming strategies, and their gamification is informed by human psychology. They implement event-based games, such as “Weekly Quests” which invite users to work together in forums to solve difficult problems.
As a result, these games have created substantial engagement between the gaming community and the Dell brand. Winners’ names appear on a leader board with a complex tiering system which increases engagement in the gaming community as gamers tend to appreciate elaborate scoring systems.
Remember that technology enables gamification. Evaluate your technology platform to ensure it’s not at risk for becoming part of the ‘Frankentech’ era.
We define ‘Frankentech’ as a compilation of miscellaneous (or ad-hoc) technology products and applications that are integrated together from a variety of technology providers. ‘Frankentech’ creates an operating system environment of disparate systems which can be challenging to integrate and maintain over time.
From our experience, we’ve learned they can be configured initially to ‘talk to each other’, but it isn’t easy to sustain due to different APIs, data schemas, etc. And when the software gets upgraded, it can be a challenge to ensure they can still ‘talk to each other’.
Consider choosing a technology partner that can fulfill all your technology goals and includes strategies and tactics, like gamification, that are incorporated into the platform.
Don’t forget about the human part of your brand – your people: As my colleague recently shared in his blog, as marketers we want our customers to establish a Big L Loyalty relationship with us.
That is the passion, dedication, feelings, emotional connection and trust consumers establish with your brand that motivates them to continue their purchases and move through the customer lifecycle towards lifetime brand loyalty.
Yes, technology plays a critical role in achieving Big L, but never dismiss the human component of your brand. Think about the brands you often engage with and the reasons why.
As consumers, we have a natural tendency of wanting to go to brands “where everybody knows our name” along with our preferences, wants and interests. Make sure your employees have tools that help them to get to know your customers. It begins with understanding the emotional phases of becoming loyal or what we refer to it as the Loyalty DNA of human experience.
Marketing is a journey. As your brand continues to evolve, so do your customers. Always keep front and center the role you want your brand to play in your customer’s life.