In today’s crowded marketplace, creating loyal, engaged customers is more important—and more challenging—than ever. Here are some tips for overcoming the challenges:
1. Don’t treat loyalty like a program. Instead, approach loyalty marketing as if it is a journey with a specific goal. While points programs have been around for a while, look at the total customer experience when building loyalty.
2. Focus more on emotions than on rational, incentive-based initiatives. Behavioral economists tell us economic decision-making is 70 percent emotional and 30 percent rational. It’s the emotional side of the decision-making process that creates connected, passionate, and engaged customers.
3. Make the program relevant. Customers want loyalty programs to be about them—individual, relevant, meaningful, etc. Personally relevant deals are the second most frequently chosen reason for spending more with a company. Brands also need to use the information they collect to show customers they’re listening and trying to give them what they’re asking for.
4. Integrate cause-related marketing/corporate social responsibility programs that are aligned with strategic corporate goals. Consumers want to buy from merchants and brands that give back, especially to social and environmental causes. But the collaboration needs to make strategic sense to the brand and be relevant to the consumer. That’s why it’s essential to compare your base of loyalty customers with known causes to determine what types of campaigns will engage consumers, enhance your brand, and drive loyalty.
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