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Why Loyalty Data Should Be The Focus Of Your Brand Marketing Strategy

Every second, across every touchpoint, consumers are creating data that can help brands build more profitable and longer-lasting relationships. The trouble is that less than half of marketers -- 45% -- are actually collecting and consolidating the most actionable customer information into a single database. That means marketers are working with siloed sources of information and not getting a complete picture of their customers' wants and needs. Yet many of them already have actionable information they can use right now: loyalty program data.

For marketers, leveraging the data-gathering power of their loyalty program technology is essential for understanding customers' preferences in order to provide members with the most relevant offers that add value and keep them engaged with the brand.

Don’t leave loyalty for last

The technology most companies use today to manage their loyalty programs is a powerful source of detailed customer insights that can inform other once-siloed internal departments. And the value of that information alone can justify a loyalty program's cost.

Here are some recommendations for incorporating loyalty program data into your marketing strategy.

  • Test the power of promotions: Successful loyalty programs capitalize on fostering brand excitement and exclusivity. But that doesn’t mean only perks, products and promotions after they have reached a purchasing threshold. Loyal customers can be excellent product testers. This is a brilliant way to encourage customer empowerment -- when their feedback influences the brand and therefore executive-level decisions, they feel valued and are more likely to come back.
  • Utilize loyalty data in marketing strategies: Brands should strive toward omnichannel loyalty while empowering consumers. Omnichannel loyalty is an enterprise-level initiative to drive, track, measure and reward incremental behavior throughout the enterprise and customer experience. But it’s also about being omni-engaged -- listening to customers in such a way that makes them feel omni-empowered. Knowing which channels customers prefer -- and using the data they generate to give them relevant rewards -- matters more than being everywhere and anywhere.
  • Loyalty shouldn’t be an afterthought: Genuine loyalty, built on consumer trust and brand reciprocity, begins long before a transaction is completed and continues well after, through a combination of traditional engagement but also via social media. Loyalty should be promoted concurrent with the brand promise and marketing strategy.
  • Don’t overreach: While aligning a loyalty program to marketing strategy is critically important, it’s also vital not to let the loyalty program overshadow the brand itself – especially if discounts and deals are not central to your brand’s identity. Marketers should begin conservatively to ensure their loyalty programs reflect their brand promise.

In some cases, even a few flakes of pepper can strengthen customer loyalty.

Case in point: A hotel guest ordered in-room pizza, but forgot to ask for red pepper. Thanks to the data collected during previous stays, “enjoys spicy flakes on his pizza,” the hotel delivered a guest "request" without being asked. The guest was delighted by the hotel’s knowledge of his preferences.

The hotel was able to add a personalized touch to the guest experience by leveraging its loyalty program data. Other brands can learn from this example by tapping their program’s data and making it a vital part of their marketing strategy. Doing so can help them become much better at knowing what their customers want so they feel special and keep coming back for more.

If you’re sitting on loyalty program data, don’t let it go to waste. The ability to leverage this information to drive customer engagement gives you a significant advantage over your competitors.

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