Tag: customer loyalty

the first club™ is excited to announce Movie streaming to the millions of Digital Reward choices it offers on its worldwide Enterprise Loyalty platform

London, Tuesday 16th February, 2016 – the first club™, today announced the addition of Movies as new content category on its worldwide Enterprise level rewards platform. the first club™ is constantly increasing its digital reward offering to meet the needs of its Clients, and Movies will add more than 6,000 titles per country to the rapidly expanding catalogue. Content can be streamed on a range of devices, offering hours of high quality entertainment redeemed for any rewards currency. The category is currently available in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain and will soon also be released in Ireland, Belgium and Austria. The long term goal of the first club™ is to provide massive value to benefit its Clients loyalty and corporate incentive programs and offer their customers the widest range of instant digital content redeemable to almost any device worldwide.

 

the first club™, the leading global Thank You platform, is considered one of the most innovative and advanced companies in the loyalty and rewards space, delivering millions of compelling digital rewards worldwide, including the latest music tracks, eMagazines, eBooks, audio books, software, apps and games, and with the new addition of Movies it will give Clients more options for acquisition, engagement and retention strategies to acknowledge their Customers and Employees.

 

As more companies turn to digital content to reward their top employees, the first club™ is privileged to have worked with some of the world’s most prestigious brands. The rewards industry is constantly changing in response to an evolving consumer market, and believes that the coming year will see instant, digital rewards such as Movie streaming growing in popularity among corporate incentive programs.

 

Denis Huré, its CEO says: “We have redefined the notion of Digital Rewards, and are pushing it to the next level. Films are a natural addition to our catalogue and as always we focus on getting the best catalogue available anywhere in the world. 2016 is a turning point for our company, we will add more content in more countries faster than at any time before.”

 

About TFC International, Ltd.
the first club™ is a worldwide digital content distribution solution particularly dedicated to rewards as a loyalty solution where consumers can access the very latest in digital content, including over 60 million choices in music, software, games, eBooks and Audio Books, mobile apps and now films in return for redeeming rewards instantly in multiple currencies. The solution has been specifically designed to enhance loyalty reward programs, corporate incentives and sales promotions giving unique access to the entertainment world on a global scale. TFC International, Ltd., founded in 2002, has its headquarters in the UK, with offices in the UK, France and the United States.

 

For more information, please visit our B2B site at www.thefirstclub.net, or the first club™ white label consumer site, www.thefirstclub.com.

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© 2016 TFC International Ltd. All rights reserved.

3 Missed Opportunities in Customer Loyalty

by Michael Greenberg

Customer loyalty is an incredibly lucrative opportunity for brands, yet marketers still struggle to maximize their relationships with existing customers even though recent research from Forrester shows that 93% of companies have placed customer experience on their list of strategic priorities, with 28% claiming it as their top priority.

Clearly brands understand the value of each customer, yet there is a disconnect between knowing what customers need and want and the ability to actually deliver in a way that creates an experience that builds long-term loyalty. Recent advances such as runtime modeling, location-based services and the increased use of smartphones as shopping devices have greatly improved marketer’s capabilities to deliver exceptional customer experiences by anticipating customers’ needs in near real time.

Lasting loyalty is built on three basic strategies: acquisition, retention and engagement. Here are three commonly missed opportunities and how brands can best address the needs of an increasingly mobile and connected customer to foster loyal and lucrative relationships.

  1. Acquisition: Connecting on a customer-by-customer basis

    The classic CRM approach of defining segments, setting up automation based on those segments, then watching for certain things to occur and responding is still the right mindset. However, marketers’ models and understanding of non-transactional behavior and the whole context of the customer interaction needs to come into play. It’s no longer good enough to know that someone has bought a particular product in the past. Marketers need to move beyond basic segmentation and start looking at: How do I construct models that I can calculate on the fly? How do I estimate lifetime value or potential? Marketers need to be able to do these things in very short periods of time—in milliseconds as opposed to minutes.

    Marketers have a very short window to change the experience for customers, get the right products in front of them, and show what offers might be relevant to that product. Armed with that knowledge, marketers can change the experience on a customer-by-customer basis, adjusting the product, pricing and offer and content that’s relevant to the individual. For example, if you know enough to predict a high lifetime potential for a customer, you should be much more willing to spend more aggressively to acquire that customer—whether through discounts, human follow-up or differentiated service.

  2. Retention: Nurturing a higher-value relationship

    What are the pathways to higher value relationships? Marketers may be able to identify and correct misallocations of capital around email, direct mail, website, SEM or elsewhere. Yet when a customer is in front of you, engaged right now, how do you best take advantage of that slice of attention you are getting?

    In many cases it’s smarter to think in terms of the longer-term customer relationship, instead of focusing on maximizing the immediate transaction to do a better job meeting your customers’ immediate needs. For example, by waiving shipping charges (which reduces revenue but increases customer satisfaction), extending a reward certificate past the cancel date, or sending your tier two support to handle a Twitter complaint (instead of tier one) for an elite customer. Treating elite customers as average is a missed opportunity. Treat these customers differently to gain their loyalty with an eye on the long term relationship.”

    While operating in this mindset may mean less revenue in the short term, the revenue brought in over the life of the customer relationship can more than make up for it.

  3. Immediate engagement

    Marketers need to think about the same things they’ve been thinking about in marketing for a long time, but frame them in a different way. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about your customer at interaction points.

    We know that 50% to 70% of purchasing decisions are made on the spot, while the customer is standing in a store. So how best can marketers tell when they are there and influence a purchase decision at that very point in time? Mobile applications are getting much better at using geofences to know when a customer is near or inside a location. It’s only a matter of time before customers expect real-time suggestions, coupons, or other notifications during their shopping experience. And when a customer raises their hand and interacts with your mobile app directly, they’re primed to share more information that will let you serve them better, now and down the road.

 
So if you aren’t actively engaging at these kinds of moments, they become a lost opportunity for cross-selling, upselling, targeted offers, surprise and delights, or any of the other small opportunities that may add up to large changes down the road.

The world is changing to a much more mobile and social-centric view; the way customers interact with brands has changed and very few companies are actually keeping up. The shift to mobile has taken a lot of companies by surprise; mobile has gone through early adopters—early majority and late majority—so fast that everyone, including your grandmother and your five-year old nephew, is interacting via mobile.

Learning to steer customers through all of the various small touch points, to guide them from their current value to their potential value as a customer, is an opportunity marketers can’t afford to miss.

Original document from Chief Marketer.

Consumers Want Loyalty (Rewards)

What kind of rewards does your loyalty program offer? Consumers are enrolled in an average of 7.4 loyalty or rewards programs, but according to Maritz, they actively participate in just 4.7% of them. How are you engaging your customers to make your program part of that 4.7%?

Instant rewards, such as digital downloads of music, eBooks, software, etc., are on the rise in consumer popularity and increase redemption by offering low-level rewards. Learn more about how we can help your loyalty program engage customers with our fully customizable digital rewards platform here.

Article below originally from Direct Marketing News.

U.S. consumers have a desire for more loyalty cards in their wallets—even though they use only half of the programs they’re enrolled in now, according to the newly released study: “Maritz Loyalty Report™: U.S. Edition,” which examines brand loyalty across six different industries.More than seven in 10 of the 6,000 surveyed consumers said they had room for additional loyalty programs, even though the currently participate in an average of only 4.7 percent of the 7.4 programs in which they are enrolled, according to Bob Macdonald, president and CEO of Maritz Loyalty Marketing.

Only 35 percent of respondents were active in all of the programs in which they were enrolled, while 47 percent stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. This high percentage of drop offs illustrates the importance of keeping customers engaged in loyalty programs, says Scott Robinson, Maritz Loyalty Marketing senior director of loyalty consulting. “Sixty-seven percent will modify where and when they buy and half will change brands depending on a loyalty program’s benefits.”

So, it’s essential that marketers recognize what will engage customers in a program and what will cause them to actively leave the program or to passively quit using it, Robinson notes. “Marketers can’t afford to outspend each other,” he says. “They can’t rely on enrollment discounts to maintain engagement. They need to focus on creating an experience.”

For example, loyalty programs should offer special experiences such as free upgrades, preferred seating, and similar benefits designed to meet customers’ desires and go beyond simple discounting, according to Macdonald.

The report’s best programs in this regard, based on customer satisfaction scores, were:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards, (84 percent) financial services
  • Kroger Rewards (83 percent), grocery
  • Carmike Cinemas Rewards (79 percent), entertainment
  • Kohl’s Rewards (73 percent), retail
  • IHG Priority Club Rewards (67 percent), hospitality
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards (58 percent), airlines

Beyond an engaging program, other essential elements of a successful loyalty program focus on communications and balancing those communications with the customers’ desire for privacy, Robinson notes. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they want to receive communications from loyalty programs, but only 53 percent said that the communications that they receive are relevant. A program’s delivery of relevant communications is closely tied to participant satisfaction, according to Robinson, citing the marketing axiom of the right message needing to be delivered to the right customer at the right time. Using the right channel and the right context are equally important.

Loyalty program participants are open to more frequent communications as long as they’re relevant, Robinson adds, pointing to the study’s findings that only 12 percent of loyalty program participants say they get too many messages. But one member’s communication frequency and channel preferences may be far different from another’s, so marketers need to pay close attention to those differences and recognize that preferences change. Consequently, marketers need to stay abreast of individual customers’ communication preferences.

Similarly, to be effective, loyalty marketers need to determine the amount of personal information that a customer is comfortable with sharing and with the company using. Some customers like the idea of a company using previous purchases to make offers, while other consumers find this “creepy and weird,” Robinson says, adding that Maritz has developed a “cool to creepy” index for loyalty program communications.

What do you think? Share and comment below!

IHG commits to free internet for all loyalty members worldwide; renaming Priority Club Rewards to IHG Rewards Club

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has announced that it will be providing free internet to all its 71m loyalty program members, worldwide. The announcement comes as IHG reveals the results of a global online survey which show that nearly half of adults (43%) would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.

IHG will offer free internet in all hotels to all loyalty program members, globally – whether they stay the night or come in for a coffee or an impromptu meeting. It will benefit millions of guests globally as IHG has the most rooms and is in more countries than any one of the other four largest hotel companies in the world. This will start from July 2013 for Elite members and extend to all members during 2014.

The move comes as IHG announces that it will be enhancing and renaming its industry-leading loyalty program Priority Club Rewards as IHG Rewards Club in July and introducing a range of new benefits for members.

Internet access is increasingly important to hotel guests and a key consideration when planning their hotel stays. New research commissioned by IHG reveals that:

  • 43% of adults surveyed said that they would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.
  • 23% of respondents said that free internet in rooms and throughout the hotel is the most important amenity when staying in a hotel for business, compared to 7% who chose room service.
  • Travellers from China placed the most importance on online connectivity – with nearly half (47%) listing it as the most important thing to them when staying in a hotel for business, followed by those from Russia (26%), the US (23%) and India (22%).
  • Travellers from the UK (18%) and the US (14%) both listed paying for internet as the second most annoying thing when staying at a hotel after noisy guests (22% and 24% respectively).
  • Globally, more female respondents (14%) say free internet throughout the hotel is most important to them when staying for leisure, compared to 2% who listed having an in-room hairdryer.

From July, new benefits will include:

  • free internet to all Elite status members from July 2013 and extending to all members during 2014;
  • the ability to earn Elite status faster by staying in three or more of IHG’s hotel brands;
  • Reward Nights will count toward earning Elite status; and
  • Platinum Elite members’ “extra” nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year

Original document from Colloquy.

Is loyalty a missed marketing opportunity for mid-sized retailers?

By Mark Croxton, managing director, UK&I, Aldata

Organisations have been taking advantage of loyalty schemes ever since the Co-operative (or the ‘Rochdale Pioneers Society’ as it was known then) launched its dividends scheme in 1844. The most notable loyalty system today is probably the Tesco Clubcard, started in the mid 90’s by Grant Harrison and Dunnhumby. Schemes continue to evolve, with Debenhams recently announcing a loyalty system using an iPhone app, helping the brand to interact directly with customers via their phone handsets.

According to the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, it is recognised that when loyalty scheme members are happy with the benefits of a programme, they will be less fussy about in-store prices, and more likely to return to the store and provide repeat business .

However, these days consumers are targeted with a variety of cards, vouchers, offers, membership deals and subscription-only loyalty schemes. Many of these soon become ineffective as consumers sign up to gain the benefits, but simply receive mass-mailed marketing and general, non-specific promotions.

A problem of size?

Although many loyalty programmes do function well, there is a perception that these are only run by large companies; smaller organisations are limited to ‘cards to get stamped’ to get a free beverage, for example. Indeed, many mid-sized retailers have hesitated over getting into loyalty because of the perceived barriers to entry. Many retailers believe that loyalty systems, with their complex tracking and prediction algorithms, are both difficult and expensive to implement.

But let us take a step back for a moment. There are many mid-sized organisations which are better suited to loyalty schemes by virtue of their specialism or the nature of their services. Small hotel chains, for example, are in regular physical contact with their customers, presenting a strong opportunity for a bespoke scheme and tailored communications. They also gather a wealth of data via bookings systems, which they could potentially feed into loyalty systems, providing customers with offers which exactly suit their requirements – or offer them new opportunities, encouraging new visits and building up the store relationship with the customer.

Loyalty schemes can certainly help these mid-sized players compete with their larger rivals andengage with existing customers. A tailored experience and custom-fit offers can go a long way to make customers return to the store again and again. It also offers a way of testing new products and services with existing loyal customers, or cross- and up-selling. Tesco’s Clubcard, for example, makes no secret that although most of the discount vouchers sent out are for already-purchased items, two out of every six are for items related to existing purchases, expanding sales opportunities.

A new wave of accessible loyalty

As we have said, many small retailers and organisations believe loyalty systems to be inaccessible because of the cost barriers. However, this is far from the truth – with the latest wave of ‘Software as a Service’ offerings, companies can purchase ‘pay as you go’ access to loyalty solution, based on a rental, rather than purchase model, eliminating many of the costly outgoings.

Indeed, Finlandia (a chain of boutique independent hotels in Finland) is using a highly effective loyalty programme, and pays for its loyalty software based on the number of customer sign-ups to the scheme. Finlandia also charges customers €26 for its loyalty card for three years, so the procedure is quite painless from a budgetary point of view.

Once organisations do overcome the perceived barriers, loyalty schemes not only increase customer ‘stickiness’ but also enable organisations to engage with customers, improving brand experience both in-store and out. It can also act as a catalyst for business and a safety net in adverse times.

Today’s need for loyalty

To put this in context, customers included in Finlandia’s loyalty scheme currently account for 5-25% of turnover. During the downturn, overall sales dipped by 20%, but sales from customers in the loyalty scheme only dropped 10%, clearly showing the value of such a scheme properly executed.

Although retailers can hesitate over loyalty schemes, mid-sized retailers should not flinch from the opportunities which they can present. In fact, with many of the issues now a question of perception, rather than of fact, and with a loyal customer often making the difference between a lean year and a good year, now is certainly the time to get involved.

Original post from Ulta Marketing.

How Red Letter Days strengthened its affiliate programme

Background

Gift experience retailer Red Letter Days has been running an affiliate programme for five years. The affiliate channel has been a major focus for the organisation over the past few years and significant effort has been invested in growing this channel. In 2008 the programme was expanded to a second network, thereby increasing the overall presence of the Red Letter Days brand across the affiliate industry as a whole.

For Red Letter Days one of the main aims was to focus on consolidating affiliate relationships, and to continue to motivate affiliates to promote the Red Letter Days programme by engaging with them on an individual basis. The overall objective was to increase affiliate sales turnover by 15% in 2010.

Strategy

In the last few years Red Letter Days has seen its affiliate programme go from strength to strength; from a channel that only contributed 12% of total online sales, it has grown to a programme that now accounts for 30% of all its online sales.

Red Letter Days felt it was important not to neglect the foundation their success had been built on, or the affiliates who helped them achieve this. So its strategy focused on forging closer than ever relationships with its affiliate partners – both by getting out to meet them in face-to-face meetings and by building on its already thriving its incentive scheme to encourage greater than ever affiliate activity.

Implementation

In 2010 Red Letter Days hosted its first official affiliate day. The day was designed to bring Red Letter Days closer to their affiliates and to give them a chance to get closer to the brand by trying out some of the experiences offered by Red Letter Days.

It also set out to meet as many affiliate partners throughout the year. These were not necessarily the top performers but affiliates that Red Letter Days had considered significant contributors to their success. Meeting their affiliates would give the retailer a better understanding the challenges they faced and find out what could be done to improve the performance of their programme.

Red Letter Days had already been running a quarterly incentive scheme since 2009, giving affiliates the opportunity to push themselves through sales tiers to receive their desired prize. As the quarterly incentive scheme had been running for a couple of years, Red Letter Days had to ensure that it had an even more attractive proposal for their main Q4 Christmas campaign.

For Q4 2010, Red Letter Days offered affiliates the chance to win a trip to South Africa. The holiday was determined by a prize draw, but with a twist. Affiliates earned tickets into the draw in return for fulfilling certain criteria e.g. uploading a particular type of creative, or selling a particular product, rather than the traditional model of rewarding revenue generation alone.

Red Letter Days announced new ways to earn extra tickets into the draw on a weekly basis from October to December, to keeping affiliates continually engaged with the Christmas campaign. The winner was announced on YouTube in the form of a video showing the final draw.

Meanwhile Red Letter Days also honed its voucher code offering. The use of voucher codes has always been an issue at the forefront of the affiliate industry. Red Letter Days tackled this by developing a solution that displayed or hid the basket promo code box based on the type of referring affiliate. This ensured that customers driven from non-voucher code sites would not see the box (and therefore not be prompted to search for a voucher code), whereas visitors from a voucher code site would see the box.

The next stage of this development incorporated the embedding of a “deal id” in the inbound URL, allowing Red Letter Days to create bespoke deals for individual affiliates. The “deal id” was associated with the affiliate id therefore making it impossible for another affiliate to replicate the offer. Deals can only be obtained by clicking through from the relevant affiliate site, therefore giving the affiliate’s customer a higher call to action and ensuring that the customer returns to the affiliate site to activate the deal; creating stickiness and loyalty.

Results

Through strong communication and close partnerships the Red Letter Days programme continues to grow; the number of active affiliates contributing to this success has increased by 300%.

Between 2009 and 2010 online sales through the affiliate channel grew by 20%. In 2010 the average affiliate basket size grew by 20%, from £90 to £108. URL based deals has driven an increase of 212% in traffic and 68% in revenue from content sites.

Original document from Ulta Marketing.

The Key to Loyalty

By Nick DiUlio

Retail rewards programs are gaining in popularity, but the quick-serve industry hasn’t quite figured them out.

For years Brandon Ansel frequented Steak n Shake on a monthly basis. He was a regular, a loyalist in the purest sense. Slowly, however, his habits changed, and Steak n Shake faded completely from his mealtime routine for more than a year.

Then one day Ansel got a promotional coupon in the mail, and he was back on the horse.

“That coupon came because [Steak n Shake] knew I was once a regular, and it got me back in the door,” he says. “I’ve now been back there five times in the last month alone.”

Ansel owns and operates a Biggby Coffee and a Roly Poly in the town of Jackson, Michigan, and recognizes the importance of the loyalty programs he has implemented at his two quick-service locations. Even though Ansel knows he already has a loyal base of customers, he also knows habits change, and a successful loyalty program, he says, helps guard against the fallout from customers’ fickle dedications.

“We are creatures of habit, and loyalty programs reinforce habits,” Ansel says. “If we don’t have a way to constantly stay in front of customers, we run the risk of them forgetting about us and developing other habits.”

Evidence seems to be growing in support of the potential power loyalty programs could have in the quick-service sector. A recent study conducted by First Data, an information commerce provider that processes point-of-sale transactions, surveyed more than 2,400 U.S. consumers about their attitudes and behaviors toward loyalty programs in the retail and travel industries. It concluded that consumers are more eager than ever before to sign up for reward programs.

But while 60 percent of quick-serve loyalty program participants report using their rewards membership “every time” or “most times” when making a purchase, the survey also shows that the quick-service industry has the second-lowest rate of participation in retail loyalty programs, edging out only sports teams. According to the study, the low rate of quick-service participation in these programs is “primarily due to the limited availability and newness of such programs.”

The time seems to be ripe for owners and operators to step up their loyalty efforts.

“For operators, loyalty programs are first and foremost a great way to bring better insight into a consumer base,” says Stuart Kiefer, vice president of loyalty solutions at First Data. “Most of these quick serves don’t know much, if anything, about their individual consumers, and the nice thing is that loyalty programs provide all the metrics you need to know your customer base.”

But gathering that data is the easy part, and experts say there is more to running a successful loyalty program than simply offering a frequent-eater card or rewards coupons.

Chuck Sullivan is director of hosted solutions for Radiant Systems, which provides technology solutions for loyalty programs in the hospitality and retail industries. He says the most critical consideration when rolling out a loyalty program is its ease of use on the front end. “It cannot have any impact on the speed of service,” Sullivan says. “You can have the best loyalty program in the world, but if it slows down your line it defeats the purpose.”

Sullivan says quick-service merchants should also make sure the program is as simple as possible for customers. If they have to jump through complicated hoops to gain their reward, he says, the program will not be effective. Finally, the rewards have to be meaningful to each individual customer.

Bob Paine, restaurant category consultant for Affinity Solutions, says operators should not only consider broad-based loyalty programs, but also ones that focus on a niche product or individualized consumer reward. For example, Paine says he sees great success in Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Fan Club, which rewards new members with a free Blizzard Treat e-mail coupon when they sign up as well as a buy-one-get-one e-mail coupon on their birthdays.

“The quick-service ice cream business has been keen on the idea of birthday loyalty rewards for some time now,” Paine says. “Not only does a free birthday Blizzard sound good, it’s also an opportunity for Dairy Queen to sell a bigger product when customers come in to claim their reward.”

While these approaches are all positive, Lori Walderich, CEO of IdeaStudio, a national restaurant-marketing consulting firm, says they only scratch the surface of the loyalty equation. “Too many quick serves just pull a discount or coupon out of their hats and think that’s going to generate a warm and fuzzy feeling for the brand,” she says. “It might generate a spike in sales, but management would be seriously misguided to conflate that with loyalty.”

Walderich says successful loyalty programs should ultimately aim at building a long-term relationship with customers, which means finding ways to not only reward repeat visits, but also ways to reward an increased frequency in those visits.

“Quick-service operators need to remember that programs work best if they’re structured in a way that rewards customers when they step up their loyalty just a notch,” Walderich says. “So maybe you turn a twice-a-month customer into a once-a-week customer, or turn a once-a-week customer into a twice-a-week-or-more customer.”

The loyalty relationship is also about feedback. Steen Anderson, co-founder and vice president of 5th Finger, a mobile-marketing agency that has overseen such national loyalty campaigns as My Coke Rewards, says operators need to have an open “feedback loop” with loyalty members. “You need to give the customer a chance to either choose a different offer or ask them what they prefer,” Anderson says. “You can use that as a poll, and you will know who prefers what.”

Eric Abrams, sales and marketing manager for Fishbowl Marketing, says social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are fantastic resources for building loyalty.

“Just be sure that when you start utilizing these sites you are prepared to pay attention,” Abrams says. “Guests who engage with your brand through these channels expect to be acknowledged and will graciously reward you if you do.”

Original document from QSR Magazine.

Can Technology Really Build Customer Loyalty with Banks

by Alex Matjanec

Over the past year, banks have been using technology to create new channels of communication, with the hope of deepening consumer loyalty. As other traditional benefits are swept away, can a multichannel approach be enough keep consumers from switching?

Last month, market research firm eMarketer released a report that banking online deepens customer loyalty among banks. This research should be valuable to banks considering a J.D. Power & Associates study found that retail banking consumers are shopping and switching banks faster than ever. The main reason being life circumstances such as; divorce, unemployment or moving.

The eMarketer study also mentioned the preferred banking method for U.S. consumers was online banking (44%) for ages 18 – 54 in 2010 and second most popular for those age 55 and older. Not surprisingly, for 18 – 34 year olds branch banking was the lowest among the age groups at 20 percent. This same age group pretty much never uses mail (1%) and had the highest usage of mobile banking at 4 percent.

With so many channels of communication available, the study determined that “online banking customers are more likely than offline customers to take advantage of additional services with the same bank,” and in the end, “are less likely to switch to another bank.”

In most situations, banks can’t control what life changing events occur to their consumers, but what they can control is how members engage with the bank for their financial needs. This, for me, is the key takeaway and reason why banks will continue to shift their business to rely more on services driven by technology such as; personal financial management tools, mobile check deposits and merchant-fund rewards.

Who are Online Banking and Financial Technology Targeting?

Based on findings, we now know that Generation Y is adopting a digital form of banking quicker. Giving any bank or credit union a new opportunity to become the primary financial institution for this generation. As much as financial institutions enjoy seeing their older members engaging with these tools, they also understand that the institution that connects with Generation Y will be in the greatest position for future profits.

Can this new level of multichannel engagement create a new from of vendor lock with banks? Would you be less likely to change banks if you were managing all of your finances through their online banking platform? What do you think?

Original document from My Bank Tracker.

Building loyalty in the mobile era

by ICLP Loyalty

The world is arguably undergoing one of the greatest media transformations in history. While the internet has been an evolutionary and revolutionary step, thanks largely to Apple, the mobile device has turned into a personal computer in the consumer’s pocket – and one which is always available and always turned on – offering marketers a whole new gateway to new and stronger customer relationships, according to Garret Ippolito of MasterCard.

We live a mobile lifestyle. This lifestyle has been fueled by the near ubiquitous penetration of messaging devices. You can’t escape it. Video screens are talking to you in the elevator, when pumping petrol or riding in a city taxi. How we consume media has fundamentally changed. Marketers have been treading slowly into the mobile pool. But we are at a point where it is critical to engage customers via the mobile device, creating whole new ways to experience your loyalty programme and enhance its value.

The number of global mobile subscribers is now at least double the number of global internet users and, as mobile internet usage penetration increases, these figures are starting to converge. In Western Europe and North America, the market has already hit a 3G penetration inflection point (3G being the technology backbone upon which smart phones operate). As such, the mobile era has truly arrived. The key question, then, becomes whether or not marketers can risk others solidifying customer relationships, or should they do it themselves?

World demographics are also rapidly changing. In East Asia, up to 60% of some country’s populations are under the age of 30. In the US, the second fastest growing age segment is under 35. Much of the online usage changes we are witnessing are being driven by the younger generation (for example, Twitter, Hulu, Shop Savvy, and FourSquare). This demographic is also the most mobile savvy. On Facebook alone, there are more than 65 million active mobile users (incredibly, 1 million users commented on their friends’ status changes via mobile handsets within the first 24 hours of this feature’s launch). This is a testament to the power of the mobile channel. But no one in the loyalty arena has yet locked in their relationship with this up-and-coming, mobile-savvy demographic. This is clearly an opportunity for loyalty practitioners.

So, in venturing into the mobile realm, it is critical not to have your mobile strategy dictated by the technology itself. Many mobile strategies go astray as companies do not fully understand how their customers use their mobile devices, instead adopting tactics merely because they want to be first, because their competitors are active in the space, or because it is seen as being ‘trendy’. Rather choose a strategy and tactics that support your business goal of solidifying customer relationships.

Original document from Ulta Marketing.

Forty-Four Percent of Consumers Have Had a Negative Experience with a Loyalty Program

A new study finds that Americans say loyalty and rewards programs miss the mark with membership benefits and aren’t driving loyalty.

ACI Worldwide, a provider of payment systems, released the results of a recent study of U.S. consumers that shows many retail loyalty programs leave consumers feeling under-appreciated, and many consumers are enrolled in programs they don’t completely understand.

Although three out of four Americans are members of at least one retail loyalty card program, 85 percent of members report that they haven’t heard a single word from a loyalty program since the day they signed up. Likewise, 81 percent say they don’t even know the benefits of the program or how and when they will receive rewards.

“Loyalty programs have long been a logical way to leverage consumer satisfaction, but retailers are missing the mark when it comes to reaching out to consumers with information and offers that are relevant to them,” said Rob Seward, senior industry marketing manager at ACI Worldwide, in a statement. “The end result is that memberships are becoming meaningless.”

While loyalty programs are designed to build devotion, they sometimes send mixed messages. Whether it was a reward they didn’t want (27 percent) or a reward that was too small to take seriously (22 percent), more than two in five consumers have had negative experiences from loyalty programs.

The survey also shows that the majority of American consumers (62 percent) join retail loyalty programs so they can get discounts on the things they buy most. However, only about one-third of Americans (36 percent) received a reward or promotion that made them come back to the store again and one in four consumers complain they have received a reward or promotion for something they would never buy. Conversely, only 27 percent of Americans have received a loyalty program reward or promotion that made them feel valued as a customer.

This survey was conducted in by Wakefield Research and involved 1,053 interviews of Americans aged 18 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Original document from Destination CRM.