500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

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

The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

by Arif Damji
November 02, 2016
The Growing Role of Loyalty in Sports Franchises

Two months ago marked the start of the 97th NFL season and it promises to be an eventful season. As many teams have witnessed, success this season is a function of team performance and fan growth, which all lead to greater levels of engagement in the stadium and beyond. Loyalty initiatives are certainly not new in the sports industry, but there are a number of reasons why sports brands will decide to invest further in connecting with fans. For example, each season, fan preferences provide an ever richer source of information on how to connect with them, and recent technological advancements allow expanded fan access both inside and outside of the stadium. This facilitates teams keeping fans excited about their team, even when their performance is not ideal and a fan is thousands of miles away from the team. In this post, we’ll dig into the drivers of loyalty in the sports industry and provide you with some... Read more

Upcoming Event: Mega Event

by Julia Leyrer
October 11, 2016
Upcoming Event: Mega Event

We are excited to be sponsoring this year's Mega Event! This event takes place October 25-26, 2016 in Toronto, ON, Canada. Fitting in with the theme of this year's event, "Where to Next," content presented at this year's event will outline the initiatives organizations need to develop for Loyalty, Ancillary Revenues, and Travel Co-Brand Card programs in the years ahead. We will have the opportunity to present in the Innovation Forum on Wednesday, October 26 at 9:50 am. Our session will be prestented by Zach Woith, VP of Loyalty Strategy at 500friends, a Merkle Company. His session titled "How Can Travel Loyalty Programs Close the Engagement Gap?" will be part of a larger block of sessions including panellists and presenters... Read more

Upcoming Event: Shop.org Retail's Digital Summit

by Julia Leyrer
September 22, 2016
Upcoming Event: Shop.org Retail's Digital Summit

We are pleased to again sponsor Shop.org's annual Digital Summit - stop by to see us at booth #9009! Through Shop.org, the best retail minds come together to gain insight, knowledge and intelligence to make smarter decisions in the evolving world of digital and multichannel retailing. Attending this year's conference and available to join us for the Rangers game on Monday, September 26? Complete the RSVP form and reserve your spot today... Read more

Upcoming Event: America's Customer Festival

by Julia Leyrer
September 13, 2016
Upcoming Event: America's Customer Festival

We are excited to be attending this year’s America’s Customer Festival. This event takes place Monday, September 20, 2016 in New York, NY. America's Customer Festival brings together attendees from a range of industries including retail, hospitality, travel, e-commerce, education, entertainment, leisure, finance, healthcare, FMCGs, and telecoms to discover how to exceed expectations when the digital customer is in the driving seat. From keynotes to roundtables, attendees will hear more than 40 speakers and well as dedicated content on big data, omnichannel, and experience... 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

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