500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Why Facebook Messenger Could be the Preferred Communication Channel for Retention Marketing by 2018

by Matt Gilbert
February 01, 2016
Why Facebook Messenger Could be the Preferred Communication Channel for Retention Marketing by 2018

In a recent blog post, Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products, David Marcus, announced that Facebook Messenger has crossed the 800 million monthly average user threshold. According to Nielsen, Messenger was the third most popular app in 2015, delivering 31 percent year on year growth. While Mr. Marcus downplays the milestone with an “early days” designation, businesses should be paying very close attention to the emergence of Messenger as a communications hub as they plan their retention marketing communication strategies for 2016 and beyond... Read more

Webinar: Create Loyalty with Real-Time Personalization

by Julia Leyrer
January 21, 2016
Webinar: Create Loyalty with Real-Time Personalization

Your customers know what they want—do you? It’s no secret that customers now expect to feel like your brand personally knows them. According to a recent study by Gartner, 89 percent of CMOs expect their brand’s customer experience to differentiate them from their competition. Using real-time data and customer understanding through your loyalty program, you’re able to deliver an experience tailored to each member. This is becoming paramount to create unique and satisfying customer experiences that drive results. Join Arif Damji from 500friends, a Merkle Company, and Chris Parker from IBM on Thursday, February 11th at 10:00 am PST to learn about... Read more

The Future of Loyalty In 2016

by Julia Leyrer
January 18, 2016
The Future of Loyalty In 2016

As we exit 2015 and reflect on the ways in which the loyalty market is continually evolving, we have compiled a list of seven main areas where we see loyalty going in 2016: 1. “Omni-channel” will become an outdated term. “Omni-channel” has been a buzzword in recent years, and with good reason. Consumers own an average of 3.4 devices, and brands have been able to set themselves apart by recognizing and interacting with their customers across all channels cohesively, rather than individual channels. It is already expected among customers now, and 53% cite it as important to them. If brands are still not keeping up with the omni-channel trend, they will be overshadowed by those who are. 2. Also becoming outdated... Read more

Webinar: How Advanced Analytics Can Optimize Loyalty Program Results

by Julia Leyrer
January 11, 2016
Webinar: How Advanced Analytics Can Optimize Loyalty Program Results

Join us on Thursday, January 28 at 2 pm ET for the webinar “How Advanced Analytics Can Optimize Loyalty Program Results” presented by Arif Damji, Sr. Director of Strategy and Development at 500friends, a Merkle Company, and Christopher Matz, VP Analytics, Retail and Consumer Goods at Merkle. To best understand your loyalty program members, keep the program relevant to them, and ensure you maximize the profitability of each interaction, it is essential to track and understand their behaviors. For a customer, their traceable behavior consists mostly of a single transaction. Loyalty programs tie together all of a member’s transactions and include information from their social networks, reviews, preferences, employee interactions, and other program engagement activities. This source of data is enticing to brands wanting to optimize their program performance, but one needs to have a strong analytics team… Read more

500friends, a Merkle Company Named a Leader among Customer Loyalty Solution Providers for Midsize Organizations

by Julia Leyrer
January 04, 2016
500friends, a Merkle Company Named a Leader among Customer Loyalty Solution Providers for Midsize Organizations

500friends, a Merkle Company has been recognized by Forrester Research as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Midsize Organizations, Q1 2016. The Forrester report assessed the state of the loyalty solutions market and how seven vendors stack up against each other across 40 criteria. The evaluation focused on current offering, strategy, and market presence. 500friends received the highest overall score within the evaluation, supporting its strong, complete offering and vision for continued innovation. The highest individual scores 500friends received were in pricing structure, company performance, and loyalty management. According to the report, 500friends’ “clients praise both the platform and the people. Specifically, they like LoyaltyPlus’s flexibility and ease of use, and indicate that implementations are typically on-time and… Read more

Direct Marketing News: Two Views of Customer Loyalty

by Julia Leyrer
December 30, 2015
Direct Marketing News: Two Views of Customer Loyalty

Direct Marketing News’ loyalty ebook, One Tough Question: Two Views of Customer Loyalty, featured the thoughts of Justin Yoshimura, CEO of 500friends, on two differing definitions of customer loyalty, and what marketers should do. You can download the full ebook here. The question from Direct Marketing News: One of the biggest challenges with customer loyalty is the often-conflicting definitions that marketers and customers have regarding loyalty. In grocery, for instance, customers who purchase bulk items monthly may consider themselves loyal; however, the grocer they buy from might not because—despite the regularity of their purchases—those customers aren’t buying their staples from that grocer. And buying staple items weekly is how that grocer defines loyalty. So, the question for marketers, then, is this: How should an organization best reward or recognize customers who see themselves as loya… Read more

The Plenti Program: What does it mean for the competition?

by Arif Damji
December 12, 2015
The Plenti Program: What does it mean for the competition?

It’s official—the U.S. finally has its newest attempt at a coalition loyalty program. Though it’s not the first to try and break into the tough U.S. market, Plenti has clearly become the latest coalition program in North America to gain traction. That being said, many observers and competitors are baffled about what a coalition program is and why it is compelling, whether Plenti has and will be successful, as well as what it means for the competition. What is a coalition program and why is it compelling? A coalition program is built off the premise of loyalty being a network effect whose appeal grows with further ways to engage and be rewarded by the program. Imagine the situation where you frequent a particular restaurant twice-a-year and they create a loyalty program. The program will probably not be very appealing to you as (a) you don’t visit the restaurant enough to really engage and ea… Read more

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