A loyalty program, by its’ nature, tracks every customer interaction and builds out a powerful set of marketing data, that often becomes the key to the long-term success of the program. At Purple Square, we’ve seen first-hand the difference it makes when a brand pays close attention to this wealth of customer data, and uses it to bring to life their customers experiences. In this article we delve into the kinds of data that loyalty marketers should pay the most attention to.
Customer data can empower loyalty brands to identify their most valuable customers and to make smart marketing decisions. Connecting emotionally with customers to drive true loyalty means understanding the data you have and how to apply it.
A report by Kognitiv around how loyalty brands can build emotional connections with customers states the importance of using customer data to grow programs. Many businesses “choose to start their customer loyalty journey with the ability to easily obtain and redeem rewards, but as customer interactions increase, businesses should be using the data to inspire customers along the ideal journey to becoming a high value customer.” (Global Emotional Loyalty Study, Aimia U.S Inc, 2019)
However, more data is being produced than ever before and not all of it is useful. Twenty-five years ago, marketers were limited to the data captured in transactional systems, storing purchases and occasionally contact history of the direct mail or telephone calls made. Since then the availability of data has exploded with; email, SMS, push notifications, connected devices/IOT, web traffic, social platforms and more. Understanding which data to focus on has become paramount.
The main data source for any loyalty program is that stored in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. This is often a “single data truth”, but also needs supplementary data to provide a 360-degree view of a customer’s relationship with you.
This provides details of the customer’s previous purchase history with you, records of points collected and redeemed. Do they buy from some product categories and not others? Do they only redeem rewards in certain categories?
Under initiatives like GDPR and the Australian Privacy Act, customers have total control of how you engage with them. Building and maintaining a good relationship means you must ensure that they have the option to opt-out or express a preference for certain types of content or communication via alternate channels.
Where do your customers live? Are they close to your retail locations? What about competitor locations? Are they close to your store right now? Geographic and location-based insights aid marketers in providing relevant and timely loyalty messages.
What do you know about the key lifestyle traits of your member base? This could include gender, age, life-stage and socio-economic factors.
What have you sent to the members, when and through which channels? How did they engage with the messages?
This data pertains to the attitudes and opinions of your customers. What do they value? Typically gained through rewards redemption information, it can be built over time to create an insightful picture of who your customer is.
How are customers interacting with your digital touch points? Which web pages do they visit? Do they click on certain banners and links? What do they search for?
What do your members say about your brand? How do you react and respond to social media conversations?
Can you identify the next most likely action a member will take? Are they behaving similarly to other groups of customers? Which offers work best for which customers, at which time?
Making these types of data sets available to loyalty marketers in an easy-to-use way, empowers them to build out a long-lasting, effective loyalty program.
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