500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

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

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

Striking the Right Balance with Loyalty Design

by Socheata Sam
May 31, 2016
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-dimensional loyalty programs of the... Read more

CPG Loyalty: How to Create an Effective Structure

by Arif Damji
April 19, 2016
CPG Loyalty: How to Create an Effective Structure

It is no secret that code-on-pack is on the decline. The approach of using product packaging as a method to allow registration of product purchases can be expensive to the brand and inconvenient for the customer. As a result, many CPG programs have been left with low enrollment and participation rates. However, this is certainly not a reason to overlook the power of a loyalty program for your CPG brand, and today we’ll discuss how CPG brands are utilizing new partnerships, structures, and technologies to create effective loyalty programs. So, why is CPG loyalty traditionally seen as ineffective? Our VP of Loyalty Strategy, Zach Woith, often says that “the purpose of a loyalty program is to change the behavior of a member segment to align them with the objectives of the brand.” This means that you want your members to increase spend, stay active, become brand advocates, and build further brand affinity. In order to be... Read more

Loyalty Experience and Design for Globalized Brands

by Arif Damji
February 22, 2016
Loyalty Experience and Design for Globalized Brands

In today’s world of globalized brands and the aspirational 360 degree of customers, the question arises around how uniform a customer’s loyalty experience should be across countries. Undoubtedly, years ago when many large established globalized and brands moved into Europe and Asia, they wanted to create a differentiated image tailored to these geographies to help penetrate into those regions. However, as their presence expanded their loyalty footprint has become equally regional with a differentiated program in each market. Recent trends of mobility across geographies, transparency of eCommerce and a desire for a globalized brand image has helped to flag the need for a global customer experience for brands, inclusive of course of a consistent loyalty experience... Read more

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

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

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