Why Loyalty Programs Are Poised for GrowthRESSOURCES

Why Loyalty Programs Are Poised for Growth


In the marketing world, I am seeing the emergence of an exciting new era of “all things digital” that will require a change of mindset and skillset for marketers and service providers alike. Loyalty Clubs will take on a new level of importance and as a result, ongoing relevant customer communications that are personalized across different media channels, including print – will be more critical for marketing success than ever before. And the key to successfully deploy such massively individualized dialogs can only be through automation.

One disruptive force in our industry is the rise of virtual currencies such as the likes of Bitcoin which have gained acceptance over the last few years. Now with the latest announcements on smartphones supporting contactless payments with “digital wallets,” this trend is sure to be further accelerated.

If you think about it, though – Loyalty Clubs have been using a type of virtual currency for quite some time now – where points can be earned, and credits accrued in exchange for more goods and services – or in other words – digital currency.

As we usher in this new and the concept of mobile payment systems to transact business, cash will take second fiddle to digital currency because the convenience of an electronic transaction cannot be beat – and this is bound to further accelerate the growth of Loyalty Programs as a marketing vehicle.

For service providers, this is a huge game changer that will require the know-how and supporting systems to massively engage large bodies of customers and prospects. Focus will need to be on creating ongoing campaigns that consistently engage with members through continuous contact, across different communications channels – with the ultimate goal of influencing them to purchase more.

But how does one start to create such programs to the masses and still stay relevant? Combining data, business-logic and media design – integrated with rules and event-driven automation – is the answer.

Drip campaigns that keep loyalty club members informed, and eventually hit the jackpot by leading them to exactly the right resonating offer – at exactly the right time – is on everyone’s wish list.

Personalized email and/or direct mail touch points designed to keep the brand top-of-mind to members, should be sent on a steady, predetermined schedule. How often and what frequency to set the outbound schedule would depend on the product as well as the tolerance of the targeted audience.

Once the recipient engages and reacts, further nurturing can begin. Again, automation is the key and being able to kick off a communication or series of communications, not only because the schedule commanded it, but also because of a certain recipient behavior – is a very powerful thing. This type of event-triggered automation is sophisticated and requires robust analytics and an integrated system that embraces all the different media, including print. If a service provider would have to nurture each lead manually for every recipient in a database – it would be an impossible task. However, when a cross media personalization and communication system can be set up to make this all happen automatically – then this becomes a realistic and super-powerful proposition.

The “digital currency” of loyalty club points is only one catalyst that will drive the growth of individualized communications. There are more forces at play and enterprises should start evaluating marketing automation where print is also part of the mix, even if their needs are not immediate. Solutions such as XMPie, now with Circle’s campaign automation features, can elegantly solve such challenges.

With a special promotion, starting at the end of September ‘14 – XMPie is offering its server-class customers (Pro Editions or higher, or equivalent legacy configurations) the option to subscribe to a free one-year subscription to Circle with automation capabilities.

The Circle-special encourages XMPie PersonalEffect customers to start offering individualized customer communications solutions that go beyond the basic. And because we feel it’s important for them to get comfortable with the most powerful tools for campaign management and automation, we wanted to give them the opportunity experience it themselves!
To find out more, contact us at marketing@xmpie.com