Loyalty Marketing In 2013
Loyalty marketing has been around for quite some time in one form or another. Many remember the good old days when banks gave away household appliances for opening a new account. Surely, you recall the local grocery store promotions in which customers received green stamps in exchange for discounts at the checkout register. These types of customer loyalty programs and incentives were created long before the new age loyalty customer programs we see now where customers can use their smartphones or desktop computers to download and win high-end products, daily discounts, and even VIP status. However, the goal was the same and that was simply to gain customer loyalty with customized incentives that resulted in repeat business.
While traditional loyalty marketing programs were simple in their approach and focused more on attracting new business, today’s loyalty programs strive to retain existing customers through incentives such as cash, rewards, and other gifts. Companies are quickly implementing mobile websites, scannable incentive codes, and e-mail marketing specifically to interact with the tech savvy customer on their level of engagement to promote and advertise their latest product campaigns.
Consumers are highly interested in customer loyalty programs whether they are online or in-store promotions because they want the benefit of getting more for their money. So much so that mobile apps are used frequently by customers to download interactive product information, surveys, and even coupons for use at the checkout register.
Some of the first customer loyalty programs were those offered by airlines, hotels, or credit cards where new customers or the general public benefited more than the current customers. With the advent of social media and customers speaking out about their service preferences and treatment, companies now use several loyalty marketing programs and platforms to promote incentives to entice customers on all levels including text and email alerts.
Loyalty marketing is also a very popular way for retail and service-oriented companies to distinguish their product from competitors with a form of customer proposition that allows consumers to compare value along with the overall return on investment. To remain competitive and appeal to prospective customers, a loyalty marketing program should be unique, consistent, versatile, and offer a timely incentive to ensure repeat business. Customer loyalty programs generally focus on those key customers who shop frequently and consistently, not only as return customers but also as referring customers who increase business visibility and sales in some way.
As a vehicle for marketing and advertising, some of the newer loyalty marketing programs have begun to successfully blend campaigns and link customer loyalty marketing with regular promotional strategies using everything from text messaging, email marketing, smartphone apps, and mobile websites. This enables companies to highlight specific brands, products, or features and benefits while attracting new customer who appreciate convenient incentives they can easily assess.