Why You Need To Run Loyalty Campaigns

Every new piece of data published on loyalty seems to be greedily consumed. For example, influencer marketing seems shiny and new, although there’s nothing new about the concept. However, throw in a stats that business who use influence marketing programmes receive $11.69 in earned media value for every $1.00 of spend, on average, and there’s plenty of brands clamoring to find the influencer in their niche. We try and see who is most likely to ‘convert’ from our efforts. Crowdtwist say that women are more brand loyal than men. What about the Facebook study that shows millennials are 1.75x more likely to be loyal to a brand than baby boomers? Or that 28.77% of women consider better quality brand alternatives?

In trying to understand the stats and sift through the percentages and apply them to our own aims – we forget the standout headline that we know to be true – the brands and businesses that can engage us in a way that is appropriate for the product and service and offer a great service make us loyal – and that over time, that equates to more cash on the bottom line.

Why is it that as marketers, business owners, and product owners we always want evidence. The evidence in place that we seek isn’t always as clear as this ultimate fact. For example, a Wunderman survey showed that 79% of consumers felt that they needed a brand to demonstrate care about them before they considered a purchase. Can this be true?

Do you have to feel your toilet roll provider cares about you before you grab a 4 pack of double quilted?
What about the business who provides your electric, water or even the recruitment agency who have sourced your new job? Necessity drives purchase. Care isn’t always a factor, and even allowing for the brands you don’t want engagement with (condoms, toilet roll and hemorrhoid cream spring to mind) 79% seems remarkably high, given the money we spend in areas where we have little to no interaction with the ‘brand’ at all.

It seems strange that we position ‘caring’ as a reason to purchase.  We try and get buy in to run loyalty schemes and plans. We hold off spending extra on that branded gift, the free offer – until we have the assurance of an immediate, trackable return. We dig around for statistics to try and play it safe – even though we know, from our own experiences that we return to brands and businesses that treat us well.

What would happen if this loyalty and a great experience built to drive loyalty, was something that we didn’t try and position with our strategy, but instead that we delivered anyway. A great experience, built around the customer. Instead of making loyalty and brand advocacy one of the pillars of a strategy used to attract customers – it could be delivered as ‘business as usual’. Too often we hear complaints of the businesses focused on acquiring a new customer at all costs, forgetting the customer at hand who has been paying a Direct Debit. Silently, without fuss for a year.

Insurance is a sector particularly at fault here, with no reward for loyalty, no perk for remaining a customer at renewal period. We want to make loyalty come to life, but are we focusing 100% on all areas of our existing business?

By doing just this, and ‘raising the bar’ of your current strategy you can start to track average spend vs your new ‘engaged spend’ as well as a dozen other metrics.
Customers are enticed and retained by a huge range of different incentives. It could be financial rewards, specific loyalty programmes, cards, referral schemes, branded merchandise, gifts – your job is to find the key that unlocks real interest and trust in your brand.

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