500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

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

Four Credit Card and Payment Trends for 2017

by Marc Bellanger
December 12, 2016
Four Credit Card and Payment Trends for 2017

Across the spectrum of banking products, credit card portfolios remain a shining star. Low losses and strong net interest margins are driving robust profitability. Consumers have been willing to take on more card debt, fueling growth in the industry. Experian reports that bankcard balances were up 17% percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with last year. Much of this growth is coming from new cards, with over $100 billion in new bankcard lines having originated in the second quarter of 2016. As we look at the remainder of 2016 and into 2017, there are four key trends that we believe will drive continued fierce competition in the credit card market: Continued proliferation of products. Issuers continue to broaden their suite of products to address different market segments... Read more

Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2016

by Julia Leyrer
December 01, 2016
Digital Marketing Report, Q3 2016

Our parent company, Merkle, releases the Digital Marketing Report (DMR) each quarter, offering a detailed look at performance across digital channels, including paid search, SEO, product ads, CSEs, programmatic, and social media. It also provides insight into major digital trends including share of traffic for search engines, digital platforms, and across devices. Using many of our long-standing clients as an index, Merkle has compiled these reports since 2011 to provide the industry with a set of trustworthy benchmarks that can be leveraged to inform analysts and improve advertising. Download the latest report so you can learn more about the industry forces influencing your digital marketing efforts, including: What the addition of a fourth top-of-page ad on mobile search results means for Google growth, how Facebook ad growth is trending ahead of the planned sunset of... Read more

Should You Shift to a Spend-Based Program? Lessons Learned from American Airlines and Others

by Arif Damji
August 05, 2016
Should You Shift to a Spend-Based Program? Lessons Learned from American Airlines and Others

As of August 1st, American Airlines changed the method by which its (roughly) 100 million members earn miles on their airlines. Instead of the number of miles flown, as was the case for the past decades, it has now shifted to a spend-based model that is built on multipliers applied to the base fare purchased. As United and Delta made this move in 2015, we now have over 250 million members in the airline space earning miles based on spend. High spenders have been rewarded and we see a more transactional style of program becoming prevalent. In fact, the real lesson for other programs is not to simulate the same structure, but to understand the motivation and best practices apparent in these changes. Today, we’ll explore why the airlines made these changes, and... Read more

The Impact of "Brexit" on Developing and Operating Your Loyalty Program

by Arif Damji
June 30, 2016
The Impact of "Brexit" on Developing and Operating Your Loyalty Program

Last week’s announcement of the UK’s electorate decision to leave the EU was quickly followed by a number of humbling warnings for businesses based in the UK. UK consumers were told that their visits to the continent would be more cumbersome and expensive, businesses in the UK were warned of the riskier investment environments, and European talent was urged to look elsewhere. It is clear that the implications will be wide and significant, but for CIOs and CMOs with a significant investment in a loyalty initiative, there are clear and direct implications on their operational support and financing for programs. Here are a few thought starters... Read more

Loyalty Marketing 2.0: The Search for Effective, Relevant, and Engaging Loyalty

by Zach Woith
May 19, 2016
Loyalty Marketing 2.0: The Search for Effective, Relevant, and Engaging Loyalty

Originally posted on The Huffington Post: To keep customers coming back, many companies have implemented customer loyalty programs based on transactions with promotions and discounts, and others have instituted programs based only on gamification and engagement. Although both structures have seen success in the past, they have been predicated and built on a brand-led choice, rather than from the customer perspective. Loyalty design was assumed to be a brand’s choice, and success was independent of that design. Today, a number of new programs have appeared with a clear idea of a customer-centric loyalty approach; one that combines customer excitement with a use of relevant transactional opportunities. This discovery of the right program structure has over time become based upon an understanding of relevancy to the customers and financial sense to the brand. In this article, I cover the... Read more

eMarketer Interview: Building Loyalty Programs That Keep Customers Connected Post-Purchase

by Zach Woith
February 10, 2016
eMarketer Interview: Building Loyalty Programs That Keep Customers Connected Post-Purchase

Originally posted on eMarketer: Today’s savvy shoppers are members of several loyalty programs, but there is little engagement with these programs beyond the point of purchase. eMarketer’s Tricia Carr spoke with Zach Woith, vice president of loyalty strategy at service provider 500friends, about the reasons why customers stop using loyalty programs and what marketers can do to keep them engaged post-purchase... Read more

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