500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Win the Connected Traveler with Connected Loyalty Strategies

by Allison Ferguson
March 23, 2017
Win the Connected Traveler with Connected Loyalty Strategies

"Travel in the young is part of education, in the elder a part of experience." Francis Bacon made this observation in the 17th century, and it resonates now. Travel today is a highly aspirational, emotional, and educational experience. However, today's experience is largely a digital one, which is evolving our roles as hoteliers and marketers at the very pace of innovation. We must constantly use people-based marketing to re-imagine how we connect with travelers and inspire them to connect in return. There is much in play to win the hearts, minds, and spend of the digital or so called "connected" traveler, who controls an estimated $180B global stay spend on hotels, vacation rentals, and packages. Hotel companies, via their loyalty programs, have the opportunity to become the hub for the self-service, end-to-end experience of the connected traveler... Read more

How to Increase Member Engagement by Striking the Right Balance with Loyalty Design

by Socheata Sam
March 22, 2017
How to Increase Member Engagement by Striking the Right Balance with Loyalty Design

With the proliferation of loyalty programs in the marketplace, wallets are becoming increasingly saturated with membership cards, mobile phones with retail program apps, and key chains with key fobs. In fact, the average American household is enrolled in 29 loyalty programs--the problem, however, is that they only actively engage with 12 programs on average. So, why are so many programs failing to engage members post-enrollment? For starters, loyalty program design can be challenging. One of the more foundational challenges--and perhaps one of the more obvious challenges--is balancing the interests of the customer with the priorities of the business. Striking the right balance here requires a deep understanding of what matters to your customers (deeper than what might be obvious), alongside clear and concise alignment across the entire business around loyalty objectives. The one... Read more

Webinar: Retention and Loyalty. The End Is Only the Beginning.

by Julia Leyrer
March 20, 2017
Webinar: Retention and Loyalty. The End Is Only the Beginning.

Join Merkle to understand how to better leverage digital tactics through addressable marketing and owned media experiences for cross-sell, upsell and retention. We will help you identify your target audience for retention messaging and how can you drill into channels and influencers. Retention is much more than loyalty programs, learn how you can upsell your offerings. Learn the importance of retention and understand how you can... Read more

5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

by Geoffrey Smalling
February 23, 2017
5 Technology Trends Driving Engagement-Based Loyalty

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 500friends’s recent webinar, Geoffrey Smalling, CTO of 500friends, a Merkle Company, spoke about innovative ways, outlined below, that technology can facilitate collecting loyalty data to create experiential moments, keeping your loyalty members engaged and driving deep consumer value... Read more

When Navigating The Complex IoT Channel, Marketers Need To Think Big But Focus Narrowly

by Michael Hemsey
February 09, 2017
When Navigating The Complex IoT Channel, Marketers Need To Think Big But Focus Narrowly

The rise of artificial intelligence and its voice interface will force brands to scramble if they are to become the default recommendation for Alexa-type home devices. At the same time, increasingly effective face-and-gesture recognition will capture real-time emotional responses that can influence buying decisions. And an influx of consumer data and connectedness suggests a marketing future of increased utility, robotics and hyperrelevant personalization. These trends will no doubt prove highly disruptive as more brands endeavor to become indispensable to consumers. I don’t think any brand will escape the impact of the internet of things (IoT). Whether it’s through fear of being left behind or envisioning how a brand’s literal and figurative fabric can be woven throughout consumers... Read more

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

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