In my first post for CMA, I blogged about how loyalty programs are largely becoming a commodity due to their ubiquity and lack of creative differentiation. At a time when consumer demand and expectations are on the rise, program innovation just isn’t keeping up. And the reaction of consumers is a marketer’s worst nightmare … loss of interest.
It’s been five years since COLLOQUY, the research arm of LoyaltyOne, conducted its first study of the loyalty marketing industry in Canada. Back in 2008, Canadian households were involved in an average of 9.2 loyalty programs. This year, the soon-to-be-released 2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census found that there has been a nearly 11% drop in the number of memberships per household. At 8.2 memberships per household, this is further proof that marketers are creating loyalty plans that underwhelm and, in response, Canadians are consolidating their portfolio of programs in which they are willing to engage.
And as disgruntled consumers demand more tailored, immediate and relevant rewards and recognition, it’s likely that this trend of consolidation will continue. So what can marketers do in a saturated, sophisticated loyalty marketplace to gain wallet share? Make use of the collected data to garner insights that will enhance the value proposition and relevance to consumers. Not all customers are equal; therefore not all offers and communications should be the same.
And no, I’m not talking solely about Big Data. In the past decade, massive shifts in both technology and consumer behavior have provided marketers with oceans of data about the actions of consumers. While this trove of information may be the hype, marketers must go a step further.
By taking that data and improving predictive analytics capabilities, valuable insights can be achieved that allow marketers to take action towards better serving customers as individuals and not as one mass unit. Filtering and processing of data is, put simply, the game changer. And through the use of Right Data, instead of Big Data, businesses can plan and execute a strategy to close performance gaps in the delivery and perception of the customer experience.
Analytics 2.0, says Harvard Business Review in a March 2013 article, is here and in use. Through a set of capabilities that can run through terabytes of data and a plethora of variables in real time, companies can form uber elaborate dashboards of their marketing performance and make required shifts in marketing strategies as needed. Talk about nimble.
Data insights have the potential to transform the customer experience by delivering more relevant, targeted offerings. By delivering an experience that is custom-made marketers can maintain program excitement and ensure their organization’s loyalty program card remains active in that crowded wallet.
Stay tuned for more on the 2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Census in my next post.