Loyalty 360 and SAS have delivered an eye opening study that repoints the focus on how companies are treating their loyalty program investment. To us it suggests that the current economic environment is also skewing how companies are seeing their loyalty programs, allowing them to fall into the same short-term, survival oriented approach as most marketing programs these days.
To us, the study also suggests keeping a few key principles of running loyalty programs front of mind at all times:
1. Defining loyalty correctly -- keeping the more strategic goals of reducing churn and shifting more customers to (NPS style) promoters rather than increasing customer spend
2. Social media is key -- the most active and expressive customer feedback is happening on social media, and brand must be turned in to if their goal is sustainable loyalty
3. An equal focus on data -- gathering data from loyalty program and integrating with data from other sources represents the another big ROI opportunity from loyalty programs (which fill the gaps in customer data gathered from other VOC efforts).