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Join The Loyalty Road Show

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Join The Loyalty Road Show
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It’s good to get out of the office and connect with your peers and colleagues. To me, there’s no better way to disrupt your daily thinking and stimulate new thoughts than going “down the road”.

Last week, I was privileged to present at NG Customer Experience in Miami Florida. The subject was Retooling Loyalty Marketing in a Digital Economy. My thoughts about evolving loyalty marketing to include and incorporate digital communications channels is moving into a new realm. It’s good to know that 88% of CEO’s and CMO’s rank “getting closer to their customers” as a number one priority over the next year (IBM study) and also that 82% say they plan to increase use of social media over the next 3-5 years….

BUT

Only 26% of these same organizations are currently tracking blogs for brand mentions while 42% track third party reviews and 48% follow customer reviews of their products and services to help shape their marketing strategies.

There is a clearly a significant gap between the desire to incorporate “social” with “loyalty” and the reality of making it happen. The challenge today is to reward behaviors across the entire customer lifecycle of interactions with your brand, but also to catalogue non-transactional interactions and create value propositions that are better described as “contextual” than “social”.

The tools for marketers are expanding. Just the day before the conference in Miami, Facebook released its “enhanced page post targeting” which promises to  allow marketers to target posts by a variety of demographic metrics collected on users. The idea was originally announced last summer, and some marketing veterans caution about giving Facebook too much credit, but its a step in the right direction.

Twitter has announced that it will allow advertisers to more easily target messages based on user interests and Polaris, the supercharged search engine from @Walmartlabs, promises to dissect shopper comments to better understand intent to purchase.  It’s early, but read this as a primer on what seeds of brilliance are germinating at Walmart.

Next up will be a Tour Stop with Badgeville at their Engage 2012 Chicago event. I am pumped to be a part of this night of innovation which surpasses the predictable sales-driven cocktail party to deliver true value and cutting edge content to those in attendance. It’s an invitation only event, and if you are able, I would request an invitation.

If you need additional motivation to attend Engage 2012 Chicago, here’s the kind of story you might hear about. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company and MuchMusic.com is their digital property which has become Canada’s #1 destination for music, videos, live performances, and interviews with the hottest artists of the day. Seeking to build traffic and increase engagement with visitors, MuchMusic.com launched a true social loyalty program “Much Closer” powered by Badgeville’s behavior engine.

Music fans that joined the program could execute a series of specific behaviors to reach achievements, and string them together to accomplish a “Mission”.  Points were earned by the simple acts of visiting certain pages, reading blog posts and “Liking” content on Facebook. The short version of the story is that, since launching in May 2012, more than 325,000 behaviors have been executed translating to a 59% increase from pre-program levels. Registered user figures have increased 21% and nearly 33% of these users return to the site on a daily basis.

Screaming for more knowledge on how human behaviors triggers might be the next wave of loyalty program innovation? See you in Chicago.

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