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Loyalty trends and best practices

500friends is now Merkle Loyalty Solutions!

by Julia Leyrer
August 14, 2017
500friends is now Merkle Loyalty Solutions!

Today, we are excited to introduce Merkle Loyalty Solutions, our new brand resulting from the acquisition of 500friends into Merkle! In 2014, 500friends was acquired by Merkle Inc., a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing firm and the nation’s largest privately-held agency. This combination created the industry’s most robust loyalty resource for our clients, based on the synergies of 500friends’ platform with Merkle’s industry-leading practices in data strategies, 1st and 3rd party data linkage, and predictive analytics. Our brand transition to Merkle Loyalty Solutions today further shows the strength of the partnership and the breadth of service we are able to offer our clients... Read more

Financial Modeling Guidelines for Loyalty Programs

by Julia Leyrer
August 08, 2017
Financial Modeling Guidelines for Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are not risk-free endeavors. An organization’s CMO and CFO demand to know the ROI of all initiatives, especially for a large undertaking like a loyalty program. Brands are slowly changing their perspective of programs to revenue generators, as opposed to continued cost centers. This, in turn, necessitates the need for a complete financial analysis to understand the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow implications of your loyalty initiative. The financial modeling process for a loyalty program is a complex one, involving large data sets and customer assumptions based on understanding behaviors of a subset of members. Several inputs influence the program’s impact across enrollment, revenue, cost, and profitability. A credible financial model allows you to have the confidence that... Read more

The Wise Marketer Sponsor Spotlight: Allison Cripps Ferguson

by Allison Cripps Ferguson
August 03, 2017
The Wise Marketer Sponsor Spotlight: Allison Cripps Ferguson

For this month’s sponsor spotlight, we talk with Merkle Loyalty Solutions Senior Strategist Allison Cripps Ferguson about the Great Loyalty Reset: the need for retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) loyalty programs to become more effective, meaningful, and relevant to today’s shoppers in the face of profound and irrevocable changes in the shopping experience. The solution: deliver “connected loyalty” – a deep understanding of today’s consumers through the orchestration of strategy and technology to connect all customer capabilities within the organization and across every touchpoint. Q. Tell us a little about your background in loyalty marketing and about Merkle Loyalty Solutions. Ferguson: I’ve been a loyalty practitioner on both the client side and consulting side for 20 years. Today, I primarily help clients in the retail, hospitality, and financial services industries with loyalty program strategy... Read more

A Way to Think About Modern CRM

by Jose Cebrian
July 31, 2017
A Way to Think About Modern CRM

When viewed in comparison to the paid media evolution over many generations, from newspaper to radio to TV to the many digital formats of today, customer relationship management (CRM) is considered less than sexy — even antiquated, in some circles. I beg to disagree. Mass media and top-of-the-funnel tactics are critically important to grow a brand and a business. From the agency side, the big dollars associated with them are also attractive. But CRM is exciting, too, for many reasons. Here, I’ve outlined a few. CRM is multichannel. No longer confined to direct mail and email, CRM encompasses push and in-app messaging, SMS, addressable display and social, as well as messaging apps embedded on your site or in platforms like Facebook Messenger. The channels you use will depend in part on the data you have today, but over time, they will expand. As you move into new channels, think about them as part of your overall customer... Read more

What Do Leaders In Marketing Have In Common? A People-Based Marketing Approach!

by Becky Starkey
July 13, 2017
What Do Leaders In Marketing Have In Common? A People-Based Marketing Approach!

As we approached the final day of the Merkle Performance Marketing Executive Summit, I couldn’t help but feel the energy from the previous speakers, and I was pumped to hear from Steve Olenski, Director of CMO Content and Strategy, Oracle Marketing Cloud (@steveolenski), because his presentation was titled From Rocky to Downtown Abbey. Life Lessons From the World of Pop. Who wouldn’t want to listen to that topic at 7:45am? Steve discussed what pop culture can teach us as marketers. He used quotes from Rocky, Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and dozens of other movies, songs, poems, and speeches. He then interviewed c-suite individuals to learn about the pop culture quotes that had influenced them in their careers. Steve ended his presentation by getting the audience involved. Do you know which movie, show, or person these quotes are from... Read more

[Webinar] Building Customer-Centric B-to-B Loyalty Programs for Today's Buyers

by Julia Leyrer
July 12, 2017
[Webinar] Building Customer-Centric B-to-B Loyalty Programs for Today's Buyers

Business-to-business (B-to-B) loyalty programs must move beyond the traditional appeal of financial incentives and transactional benefits if they are to provide customer-centric value and create lifetime loyalty from the business owners who join them. Merkle conducted a survey of B-to-B sellers and buyers in North America and the UK in April of 2017. The results provided clear direction around the types of features, services, and resources that B-to-B buyers consider. By understanding their customers, B-to-B sellers can design programs that retain high-value members, attract new members, and are profitable to the enterprise... Read more

Most Consumers Focus Loyalty Program Attention on Five Retail Brands

by Sara Hogan
July 10, 2017
Most Consumers Focus Loyalty Program Attention on Five Retail Brands

500friends, a Merkle Company recently released a comprehensive report titled, “The Great Loyalty Reset: Defining the Future of Loyalty for Retail and CPG brands,” which was based on a global survey of loyalty program managers and consumers. Sara Hogan, Director of Growth Marketing for 500friends, a Merkle Company, talked to Loyalty360 about this eye-opening report. What was the biggest takeaway (s) from “The Great Loyalty Reset” report? Hogan: Most consumers in North America, Europe, U.K., and Asia who belong to retail and CPG loyalty programs concentrate the majority of their attention among just five retail brand programs, a contrary finding to oft-cited Colloquy statistics showing that consumers... Read more

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