The power of data: achieving trust in your loyalty program

We talk a lot about consistency as it relates to data and marketing strategy. Being consistent with messaging is essential, and adding some repetition can be a good thing. Often times marketers’ want to communicate to new people instead of the same people repeatedly to drive incremental new customers as well as revenue, but research proves that the more times consumers hear from brands, the more likely they are to respond and interact with your brand versus a one-time communication.

Don't label (or segment) your customers in terms of a channel. For example, “I’m going to send one offer to my digital customers and another one to my direct mail customers,” is a common strategy implemented by marketers that are often operating in silos. In this scenario, “online customers” belong to the digital marketing team, while “retail customers” belong to the retail team and “direct mail” customers belong to the catalog or DM team.

But what if your customer transacts in all channels? These are high-value customers that deserve attention. Customers who use 4+ channels spend 9% more in store, on average, when compared to those who use just one channel, not to mention they tend to be more loyal. Would you want these customers to receive different and competing messages that feel irrelevant – a free shipping offer online, a direct mail coupon with 20% off the entire purchase and an email including a $10 off coupon? How can you earn your customers’ trust when you’re not consistent with your offers? Establishing trust is essential in creating loyalty and becomes the nucleus of the brand-to-consumer relationship.

To obtain a full 360-degree view of your customers and sustain the emotional connection required to grow the relationship, make sure to match your offline and online data through your CRM. Or have your emails reverse appended so you can create the link between a lone email address and full name/address. In the online world, when you don’t know who is on your site, focus more on product offerings as opposed to promotions, unless you’re offering that promotion across every marketing channel.

From extensive research and hands-on experience, we’ve learned that consumers will share their data if they feel brands know them. Once they’ve formed the emotional connection and know that the brand cares, it becomes a relationship where the conversation continues to evolve. In a recent study, 65% of consumers reported that they felt an emotional connection to a brand because they demonstrated a caring concern for their well-being. Don’t put a label on your customers. Leverage data to truly get to know them and deliver personalized experiences – no matter the channel they are interacting in.

This article originally appeared on Loyalty360 on March 1, 2018.