By Colin Samson, CLMP™, CEO of Incentive Solutions Ltd.
In a world where Digital Marketing, Customer Experience and Shopper Marketing have become industry buzzwords for brands and businesses, it would be easy to think that these were some of the more important marketing disciplines.
Let’s not forget that for every customer, there is an important job to do in influencing and encouraging them to come back. And that’s where the loyalty marketing discipline becomes increasingly important. Brands and service providers all over the globe have begun to realize the significant advantage associated with upskilling their people with the proven principles and practices associated with this discipline. The Loyalty Academy has become the global standard for formalized, professional loyalty education with over 580 qualified professionals in 41 countries around the world. The Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP) credential is the global benchmark for our profession.
At Incentive Solutions, we focus on delivering Loyalty Programs for our clients throughout the world. And we do that with a professional, qualified team of Loyalty experts. We are a strong believer in the CLMP™ workshop’s value and training methods and have put all our key staff, including our Executive Team, through the program because it’s important that this discipline is recognised as a specialist skill. It needs to be a healthy mix of both science, psychology and creativity, and as such, deserves an internationally recognised professional qualification.
Both during and post-COVID, businesses realised that they needed to hold on to their customers, understand them better and then use this understanding to manage or adapt their behaviours.
A Scientific Approach to Success
The science of data analysis enables us to segment and drill down into existing behaviours and understand the drivers behind them. It’s a vital part of our onboarding process as well as a core part of our ongoing measurement. Loyalty marketing is all about changing behaviour, and therefore, we need to measure these changes, report on them and then adapt our programs in order to continue to drive agreed results. Like any good marketing, the returns should outweigh the costs involved.
At Incentive Solutions, we don’t believe a Loyalty Program should simply be an app or some kind of cookie-cutter solution. This only belittles the science behind the approach and often results in program failure. Like all CLMP-qualified professionals, we deliver a bespoke approach that we know is effective, because it is tried and tested within programs throughout the world.
A Proven Approach
The companies with the most loyal customers and consumers today have gained them through strategic and continuous efforts to ensure customer relevance, satisfaction, and long-term engagement, not just ongoing sales and discounts.
One of the most effective ways for a business to gain long-term customer engagement and loyalty is through a tiered recognition program. We use tiered programs and so invite program participants to enjoy a range of benefits directly related to their level of support to a business. The more a customer spends or advocates for the business, the better the benefits on offer. Get those benefits right, and you’ll have participants falling over themselves to reach the next level.
We firmly believe that effectiveness in the loyalty space is directly tied to data analytics. Key metrics need to be agreed upon prior to program roll-out or re-launch. Operational reporting against those metrics is key, but equally important are the learnings that lead to recommended changes or campaigns. Test, learn, recalibrate. Tools require investment in order to improve analytical functions. People trained to use those tools and suggest important strategic or tactical reforms are worth their weight in gold.
This proven level of support is equally important in both B2B and consumer loyalty programs. Our portfolio of clients includes both, in the Australia/New Zealand markets and North America, through our Reward Paths subsidiary. We often take an approach from one sector and apply it to the other. You may be surprised by the outcomes.
Our Full Support
We have been supporting the Loyalty Academy for many years, and we are delighted to be a sponsor of their forthcoming CLMP™ workshop in Melbourne next month. As part of this sponsorship, we will be participating in the sponsor forum and Q&A session where we are happy to discuss insights into effective loyalty marketing. After 25 years in the profession, we have learned what works and what doesn’t. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience.
Colin Samson, CLMP™, is the CEO of Incentive Solutions, Auckland New Zealand, and President of North American subsidiary, Reward Paths. For more information visit Incentive Solutions on the web.