Today, redemption is one of the most important levers to engage loyalty members with a brand. More and more organizations therefore have also come to understand the importance of non-core rewards that inherently provide attainability (early redemption), availability (unlimited choice) and inclusivity (everyone participates). In addition to increasing loyalty engagement, non-core rewards enable strategic program management, for example, they can be used as tier-based benefits to members and even reduce the average cost per point. Members engage more and costs come down. Isn’t that what economic dreams are made of?
But progressive, ambitious loyalty programs should not stop here. While this still seems to be working fine today, the key is to search for what will be the future of engagement. Let us have a deeper look into this by elaborating three key aspects which clearly impact member engagement and work towards long term program success:
1. Engagement is proportional to personalized choices.
Multiple reward categories like merchandise, donations, sweepstakes, utility bill payments, investments, bitcoins, auctions etc. can all be included in today’s reward shops. And yet the choice and offering would always be limited within the reward store’s scope. According to the 2015 Freddie’s survey, members want more liquidity of their loyalty currency and in return they are actually happy to forego point value in the bargain. However, obviously not every member is the same. So it’s important to identify and distinguish your “value buyers” from “choice junkies”. And the answer to profiling your member correctly lies of course hidden in your data and analysis. So while choice obviously is not only of the utmost importance but already expected by today’s pampered consumer, there is another important aspect that plays into this.
2. “Follow the customer” paradigm applied to member engagement.
Every marketer knows that it is about bringing products to their customers rather than trying to bring customers to their products. The ever-impatient member today requires personalized relevant offers delivered preferably in every channel where they interact with a brand. In loyalty engagement, this becomes even more relevant. With only a limited number of communication slots available in a busy program email marketing calendar to promote your channels, it’s a loyalty marketer’s dream to enable members to earn and burn points directly at brands and online shops where they usually shop every day. Companies such as Loylogic are excelling in this paradigm with smart loyalty solutions such as PointsPay and Rewards Card. For example, members shop at their favorite online stores and can choose to pay their entire purchase with their points directly at checkout of the merchant’s own website or use their credit/debit card and earn points instead - even a combination of both is possible. How you ask? Let’s see.
Earn and burn marry to become combined earn and burn (CEB).
The above thinking is taken to next level with the so called combined earn and burn. Soon there will be no distinction between those two traditionally separated channels. In other words, a member may pay using a combination of cash and points, and while redeeming, the member also earns points for the cash spent. So with a well-executed CEB, a member can now even earn points whilst redeeming. As a consequence, programs no longer need to differ between those two options when communicating or engaging the member. It is the member who decides when, where, and how they want to shop trough their loyalty program while having the option to either burn or earn or both. This creates constant, positive touchpoints between the member and a program at places where the member just naturally appears. It creates redemption and points sales that stimulate further redemption while always “being with your member” where they want to be.
Keeping these nascent trends in loyalty in mind, programs can bring their member engagement to the next level and prepare themselves for a future where they stay relevant to their members. Offering the right choices and the possibility to make smart decisions for programs and members alike can ultimately decide on a program’s success.
At Loylogic, we passionately believe in providing you and your members with these choices. If you are interested to see how you can improve your member engagement, optimize your program management, and reduce its cost, talk to us. We are happy to advise you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the hashtag generation, member engagement boils down to #Choice, #Personalization, #FollowTheCustomer, #Transact@PoS, and #CombinedEarnAndBurn pushing your strategy truly on its way to the future.
By Piyush Khandelwal, Chief Operations Officer, Loylogic