CVS ExtraCare Wins the Gold Medal in Pharmacy LoyaltyPrevious Article
Living on the edge of LoyaltyNext Article

Independent and unbiased insight on customer loyalty and data-driven marketing

The Politics of Loyalty: Earn points for supporting McCain

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Related Articles

National politics, especially presidential campaigns, have always been known for the showbiz, the posturing, and the finger pointing. While we enjoy the theatre that results, all the drama can serve to distract voters from the real issues at hand. The 2008 presidential campaign has gone one step further, with John McCain including a type of consumer loyalty program to encourage support of his candidacy.

As loyalty programs go, the “Spread the Word” program does not align well with best practices. For the non-enrolled who visit for the first time, there is no hint of the rewards program. Only by searching the site to arrive at the Volunteer Action Center can you find details of Spread the Word, the essence of which is to earn points for posting scripted talking points about Mr. McCain on a list of recommended blogs.

There are no program rules posted and it is unclear how many points can be earned for various activities or what rewards are available. Only by reading an account of the program in the Washington Post did I learn that rewards would include such items as autographed books, preferred seating at events, and a ride on a campaign bus.

The web site instructs:

“Help spread the word about John McCain on news and blog sites…….Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known……..After your comments are verified, you will be awarded points through the McCain Online Action Center”

The site does not elaborate on whether points may be earned for donating funds to the campaign, organizing events, or any other activities. It seems that seeding of positive comments in the blogosphere is the only activity deemed worthy of a reward.

There is an irony in all of this. As each campaign strives to promote transparency to the masses, at least one has decided to “pay for performance” of its volunteers. In the context of politics, aren’t loyalists supposed to be driven by their conviction of belief and their emotions? If that is the case, a recognition program which scored the cumulative contribution to the campaign by individual supporters would be more elegantly communicated without a point based system.

There are many ways to “keep score” in the background and offer valuable supporters their day in the sun through ego-driven participatory events. Recognition should be enough to motivate campaign supporters. Imagine if every supporter who posted one of the prescribed talking points to the range of blogs on the McCain site were forced to declare that “I received points for this post”. That simple disclosure illustrates the folly of points based rewards in this setting.

I’ll bet over the past year the McCain campaign hired enough consultants to fill a small stadium. Too bad they missed the Loyalty Marketing consultant!




Loyalty Truth Reboot – what does the future hold?

Loyalty Truth Reboot – what does the future hold?

It has been a while since I have posted here on a regular basis. I wanted to share an update with you and reconnect with a fresh perspective. The original inspiration: I [...]

Become a Loyalty Truth Insider!

Want to get connected with some of the best minds in customer loyalty? As an “Insider”, you’ll benefit from powerful information framed with a practitioner’s perspective. You can expect a bi-monthly summary of some of our most compelling posts and sharp reads from other sources, combined around a theme to provide insights on trends and hot topics in the market.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Event Calendar for Loyalty Marketers