Re-shaping loyalty schemes for a mobile first world

In Featured on App, Loyalty & CRM by Oliver Arscott

Sponge, Alex Meisl, mobile loyalty, customer empowerment 

Alex Meisl, Chairman of leading mobile marketing agency Sponge, expands on the presentation he gave earlier this week at Loyalty World, and offers readers of Total Customer a free download of their latest white paper

Securing Profitably Loyal customers is the key goal of any business; so it's hardly surprising that Loyalty Programmes have become ubiquitous. 96% of UK adults are now members of at least one.

Such schemes clearly work. But the real question is whether they could work harder, especially given the radically heightened expectations of today's smartphone-enabled shopper. We think the answer is ‘yes', and that significant and sustainable commercial advantage awaits those brands who seize the particular opportunities offered by Mobile.

The title of our new white paper is From Entitlement to Empowerment. The world is shifting (in good part because of Mobile), and people are increasingly looking for brands to provide them with new kinds of utility and more transformative experiences. This obviously has important implications for Loyalty Programmes; and our paper focuses on the three key areas in which brands need to respond.

First, there should be an evolution in the actions and behaviours we reward. In addition to Purchase, brands need to start working harder to attract those scarce resources of Attention, Data, Permission and (perhaps most interestingly) Location.

Second, the Reward model should be extended to include Recognition, Information and Entertainment. By layering these on top of current exchange-based ‘cash for points' systems, we believe brands can better achieve the fierce and passionate loyalty for which they strive.

Finally, there needs to be a fundamental re-evaluation of the contact and CRM strategies that accompany Loyalty Programmes. In particular, greater emphasis needs to be placed on harnessing spontaneity. The focus of every piece of communication should be on immediacy of response, which will require the development of new, ‘smaller step' customer journeys.

Being the helpful people we are, we've summarised our thinking into a 10 Point Action Plan at the end of the white paper. If you have time for nothing else, I think you'll find those pages useful.

For some thoughts on the impact that the millennial generation is having on the loyalty marketplace follow this link