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A Loyalty Marketing Manifesto

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A Loyalty Marketing Manifesto
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At the beginning of 2012 we thoughtfully set about to identify three words that would guide our work for the next 12 months.

The three words were Data, Mobile and Social.

Data had already been thrust into mainstream conversation by Rupert Duchesne, Chairman of Aimia, as he spoke frequently during 2011 about “The Rise of the Datarati” explaining why customer data was becoming the “new oil” and could be converted into revenue through intelligent incorporation into loyalty strategy.

Mobile seemed an obvious choice as many voices were predicting the mobile handset to become the center of consumer purchase activity in the near term. The predictions were supported by research studies concerning mobile handset sales, smartphone penetration, mobile application development, and budding partnerships to build digital payment wallets.

Including Social in our list of three words responded to the explosion of activity in the social graph and the rapid changes in consumer purchase behavior seen both online and offline. We learned that brand conversations were taking place outside of traditional channels and that consumer purchase decisions were increasingly made based on new triggers.

As we enter into the fourth quarter of 2012, change continues to march on and we have learned that another word should be added to our “list of three”.

The word is Human.

Lest we overlook that our customers are all human, we are leaving opportunity on the table. If we are to successfully create customer strategies that engage and delight consumers in the next stage of digital development, we need to incorporate the disciplines of psychology with knowledge of human behavior to create value propositions that engage a new generation of digitally connected consumers – Consumer 2.0 as they are described.

Social Loyalty continues to be a solid descriptor for the new generation of loyalty programs being created today, but is limited by too much focus on channels. All the fuss about Omni-channel marketing is just a more inclusive way to address questions like “what do Likes on my Facebook page mean?”, “how should I make the best use of location based marketing?”, and “can my Twitter account be more than a public relations & customer service channel?”.

The pillars of Data, Mobile and Social have served well as a solid foundation for strategy planning and program design, but each refers to a distinct piece of the digital loyalty puzzle. A unifying term which capably describes the ways we are shaping new value propositions and delivering value to customers the way they find it most personal and useful is Contextual Loyalty.

Contextual Loyalty has several key components and if you’re attending Loyalty World USA, you can hear about it first hand as I will be presenting on the topic.

If you can’t make it to Loyalty World, hang on tight as we will be publishing a Loyalty Manifesto 2012 in the next few weeks.


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