In the US, Maritz Loyalty Marketing has launched its new 'Partnership Marketing' customer rewards programme, aiming to help banks and credit card issuers provide cardholders with rewards from participating retailers.
The Maritz Partnership Marketing programme is being promoted to banks as a way of differentiating themselves and their customer loyalty programme offerings, as well as a way to help improve activation and spend rates for credit card issuers.
Consumers choose reward cards
According to a recent Maritz study, the majority of current and prospective credit and debit card reward programme participants (63%) said they would choose a card that allowed them to earn more points by shopping with a specific merchant over other cards.
These findings are supported by the fact that, in a merchant-funded customer loyalty programme that Maritz runs on behalf of Scotiabank, 23% of members increased their card usage when enrolled.
No more battles?
"Traditionally, there has been a struggle between credit card issuers and retailers over interchange fees," said Alan Goldstein, director of business development for merchant networks at Maritz Loyalty Marketing. "The Partnership Marketing programme is a win-win for banks and merchants as they reap the benefits of working together. And cardholders also receive more attractive reward options, and merchants gain from stronger brand loyalty among cardholders."
Issuer and retailer benefits
Maritz says that the most obvious benefits for banks and merchants participating in the new programme will include:
- Credit card issuers: According to Maritz, credit card issuers differentiate their cards, making them the top of wallet choice for consumers. Banks also benefit from a new source of rewards funding as merchants pay for the rewards in the programme.
- Retailers: Initially, Maritz has found, participating merchants see incremental sales from customers seeking additional rewards being offered through the card loyalty programme. Over time, merchants have the opportunity to deepen their relationship with the customer to create increased brand loyalty. The bonus for the retailer is that the programme is, in effect, a pay-for-performance arrangement: they do not make any payments until customers use the card with the desired behaviour at the retailer.
Currently, Maritz Loyalty works with nine out of the top 10 banks, and manages over 40 million customer rewards programme members.