This post is sponsored by Epsilon.
Let’s face it: consumers are now always connected. According to research conducted by Nielsen, adults spend more than 11 hours per day interacting with media, whether at work, shopping online or watching TV.
This has created the need for “always on” marketing as brands look to identify, interact with and react in real-time – with a consistent approach – with potential and actual customers through whichever channels they prefer. The most critical segment for brands is its loyal customers.
You have their permission and with that comes their identity and trust
Loyalty is permission-based marketing and your customers have willingly agreed to be marketed to. Think of this as a “safe harbour” for your customers and your brand. Customers offer this personal information trusting brands to use it wisely and in a way that benefits them, and brands can feel confident in knowing this is accurate data.
Brands consequently spend a lot of their marketing budgets on loyal customers. So, it makes sense that marketers spend more time and energy making sure these messages are individualised, relevant and consistent across customer touch-points.
It’s important to understand the true value of loyalty programmes
Understanding what your customers (or members) value about your loyalty programme helps marketers to customise their programmes to what’s relevant and valued to members.
For example, while points and miles are still very much in demand, many of today’s busy consumers are focused on how the brands can save them time or hassle. Maybe it’s getting them through the airport security line at a speedier pace or offering expedited shipping to meet their urgent needs.
It’s understanding that there are other benefits that can be more valuable than points and miles such as rewarding consumers with time and providing them with a better experience.
Personalisation – the combination of understanding identity with understanding true value
If you can identify your customer as an individual and map their interactions with you across channels, you are partway there. But layer on understanding what offers them true value or what makes them more loyal to your brand and you could hit marketing gold.
In other words, you can move from a messaging strategy that’s “generically personalised” with promotional offers by segment to a 1:You, a holistic customer experience that’s personalised with the best choice for individuals across all points of interaction.
1:You takes some time. Remember, your loyalty programme is permission-based, which means customers’ trust is at stake, and you need to meet their expectations. They’ve chosen to take part in a relationship with your brand.
It is why at Epsilon, we recommend a crawl-walk-run approach, with frequent testing, measurement and feedback. We would also recommend you:
- Continue to evolve your strategy to make loyalty experiences more human.
- Optimise your marketing across channels.
- Tell individuals a connected story everywhere they go, anywhere you want to reach them.
- Make the most of technological advances to provide personal, cohesive interactions that make people feel recognised.
Then you’ll succeed in delivering true 1:You experiences that drive value every step of the way.
The writer is Paul Davies, senior vice-president for Epsilon in APAC.