SA radio station launches innovative loyalty scheme

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 7, 2007

SA radio station launches innovative loyalty scheme

A South African radio station has launched an innovative loyalty programme that should appeal to listeners across the board and drive listenership activity. Loyalty expert Deon Olivier describes and analyses it for us.

A Johannesburg-based radio station from the Primedia stable, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, has launched a points-based stand-alone loyalty programme, Club VIP, that it describes as a "loyal listenership programme".

Radio "jocks" provide daily keywords, which club members need to SMS, at a cost of ZAR1.50 (approx. US$0.21) each, to the station. Alternatively, they can enter the keywords on the Club VIP website. Bonus points will be made available on an ad hoc basis. 90% of all unredeemed points earned in a year expire in December of that year.

Imaginative rewards The programme is intended to drive listenership activity. Points can be redeemed for a range of mostly Highveld- and Primedia-related stock, as well as sponsored stock, including:

  • Personal voicemail messages made by popular announcers;  
  • A chauffeured drive from home to school and back for a full week in a station-branded vehicle;  
  • A collection of 17 top CDs and DVDs, selected by the station's team;  
  • Tickets in the hospitality suite or box for major sports events;  
  • Breakfast for the member plus five friends with the morning show team;  
  • A four-ball round of golf with three top jocks.

A mobile phone-based web portal has been set up to facilitate interaction. An innovation worth highlighting is the channels offered: web, cellphone, and a mobile web portal with a .mobi extension.

Carefully thought out According to Deon Olivier, Business Director, Loyalty, for Cape Town-based loyalty systems provider Achievement Awards, it's clear that the rewards have been carefully thought through and researched: "The mix is attractive and aligns very closely with the brand offering of the sponsor. A limited selection of mostly in house stock is offered - providing benefit to the sponsor and other Primedia companies that will linger in the mind of the member for a long time after the event (compare this with other programmes that offer simple food retailer shopping vouchers). It's likely that the rewards will drive word-of-mouth within their target market."

And while there is a small cost for those who enrol by SMS, the web option is there for those who want to save the money or are not at ease typing on a mobile.

Surprise and delight Olivier also pointed out that the programme is fun, as it employs a classic "surprise and delight" element by offering ad-hoc bonus points (usually during peak hour traffic, which will tend to drive up the SMS activations and claims).

The earn rate with base points and bonus points is always a winner with members. It appears that the station can issue up to five or six codes a day (with 100 points for each code), meaning that a dedicated listener could potentially earn enough points within one week to redeem for an entry-level prize.

With all points expiring in December each year, the strong call to action will reduce the liability to the sponsors and encourage members to redeem their points for prizes. As a result, Olivier believes that other radio stations may follow, and the Primedia group could easily extend this to its other radio stations.

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