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

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

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

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