500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Webinar: From Identification to Loyalty: How to Ensure a Successful Customer Journey

by Julia Leyrer
January 11, 2017
Webinar: From Identification to Loyalty: How to Ensure a Successful Customer Journey

Are you challenged with identifying a truly comprehensive view of your customers in order to recognize the types of incentives, interactions, and products needed to deepen the relationship between your brand and your customer? Ideally, loyalty programs are a solution to collect and connect more member data (beyond transactions) to help you better understand your members. However, loyalty program engagement may be limited by a cumbersome enrollment process. Even post-enrollment, a program faces an innate difficulty to create incentives suitable for very different member segments. Through the partnership of Gigya (awarded the highest score in Identity and Access Management for B2C by Gartner, Inc.) and 500friends, a Merkle Company (awarded the highest score in Customer Loyalty Solutions by Forrester Research), the resulting... Read more

Webinar: 5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

by Julia Leyrer
January 11, 2017
Webinar: 5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

Please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, January 25 at 11:00 AM PST (2:00 PM EST) presented by the Chief Technology Officer at 500friends, Geoff Smalling. Loyalty programs continue to proliferate, while customers’ expectations continue to evolve. Program innovations are more important than ever, facilitating new ways for brands to focus on delivering seamless experiences when and where their best customers want them. In this webinar, Geoffrey Smalling, CTO of 500friends, a Merkle Company, will outline innovative ways that technology creates experiential moments to keep your loyalty members engaged, driving deep consumer value. You will learn how technology enables brands to succeed with... Read more

Loyalty Programs and Leisure Travelers: How Can Loyalty Close the Engagement Gap in Leisure Travelers?

by Socheata Sam
December 15, 2016
Loyalty Programs and Leisure Travelers: How Can Loyalty Close the Engagement Gap in Leisure Travelers?

Spend-based travel programs are inherently, and effectively, focused on high-value business travel customers who tend to be less price-sensitive than their leisure counterpart. However, a significant portion of guests/passengers in the travel and hospitality industry fall outside of the business segment—with 3 out of 4 domestic trips taken for leisure purposes. Because of the sheer size of this untapped segment, your loyalty program could contribute more to the bottom-line by effectively engaging these overlooked customers. LOYALTY’S FOCUS TODAY: THE BUSINESS TRAVELER. The U.S. travel industry was worth a whopping $947 billion in 2015 (according to the U.S. Travel Organization), with high-frequency and high-spend business travelers... Read more

Four Credit Card and Payment Trends for 2017

by Marc Bellanger
December 12, 2016
Four Credit Card and Payment Trends for 2017

Across the spectrum of banking products, credit card portfolios remain a shining star. Low losses and strong net interest margins are driving robust profitability. Consumers have been willing to take on more card debt, fueling growth in the industry. Experian reports that bankcard balances were up 17% percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with last year. Much of this growth is coming from new cards, with over $100 billion in new bankcard lines having originated in the second quarter of 2016. As we look at the remainder of 2016 and into 2017, there are four key trends that we believe will drive continued fierce competition in the credit card market: Continued proliferation of products. Issuers continue to broaden their suite of products to address different market segments... Read more

Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2016

by Julia Leyrer
December 01, 2016
Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2016

Our parent company, Merkle, releases the Digital Marketing Report (DMR) each quarter, offering a detailed look at performance across digital channels, including paid search, SEO, product ads, CSEs, programmatic, and social media. It also provides insight into major digital trends including share of traffic for search engines, digital platforms, and across devices. Using many of our long-standing clients as an index, Merkle has compiled these reports since 2011 to provide the industry with a set of trustworthy benchmarks that can be leveraged to inform analysts and improve advertising. Download the latest report so you can learn more about the industry forces influencing your digital marketing efforts, including: What the addition of a fourth top-of-page ad on mobile search results means for Google growth, how Facebook ad growth is trending ahead of the planned sunset of... Read more

The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

by Arif Damji
November 02, 2016
The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

Two months ago marked the start of the 97th NFL season and it promises to be an eventful season. As many teams have witnessed, success this season is a function of team performance and fan growth, which all lead to greater levels of engagement in the stadium and beyond. Loyalty initiatives are certainly not new in the sports industry, but there are a number of reasons why sports brands will decide to invest further in connecting with fans. For example, each season, fan preferences provide an ever richer source of information on how to connect with them, and recent technological advancements allow expanded fan access both inside and outside of the stadium. This facilitates teams keeping fans excited about their team, even when their performance is not ideal and a fan is thousands of miles away from the team. In this post, we’ll dig into the drivers of loyalty in the sports industry and provide you with some... Read more

Upcoming Event: Mega Event

by Julia Leyrer
October 11, 2016
Upcoming Event: Mega Event

We are excited to be sponsoring this year's Mega Event! This event takes place October 25-26, 2016 in Toronto, ON, Canada. Fitting in with the theme of this year's event, "Where to Next," content presented at this year's event will outline the initiatives organizations need to develop for Loyalty, Ancillary Revenues, and Travel Co-Brand Card programs in the years ahead. We will have the opportunity to present in the Innovation Forum on Wednesday, October 26 at 9:50 am. Our session will be prestented by Zach Woith, VP of Loyalty Strategy at 500friends, a Merkle Company. His session titled "How Can Travel Loyalty Programs Close the Engagement Gap?" will be part of a larger block of sessions including panellists and presenters... Read more

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