Loyalty Marketing Feed

Never Hesitate to Market

Now that their is much more symmetry between the consumer and the marketer, I'm noticing more hesitancy on the part of marketers to act.  They are in fear that too much email may infuriate someone, so we shouldn't send email.  Outbound telemarketing may anger someone over dinner, so we shouldn't ever call.

My experience is that angry individuals are always in the minority, tend to be cranky in general and probably wouldn't buy from you anyway.  The key to all this is to always act within brand character and consumer expectations of your brand.

It's impossible to predict exactly how often someone wants to hear from you until they respond and tell you.  My guess is that like anything else it follows a bell curve with the top 20% of consumer loving your communications and the bottom 20% wanting less.  In the age of 1:1 communication we can easily control for this anyway through opt outs and by just asking.

Why Does My Bank Hate Me?

Every day my bank sends me an email asking if I want to borrow money.  When I stop by the branch they ask if I'd like a home equity loan.  When I go to the customer service desk they ask if I'd like a pre-approved credit card.  Since I constantly don't respond, they called asking if I'd like to borrow money with no interest for three months.  The only time they mentioned savings was in a solicitation for a variable annuity which was offered in the absence of any understanding of my personal finances.

Now call me stupid, but in business school I was taught that credit is bad and equity is good when it comes to personal finance.   I was taught that finance requires planning.  All you demonstrate is a complete disregard for me and my money.

How about this idea.  Help me save more with programs that boost my interest rate.  When you've earned my trust I'll expand my relationship and pull some of that money that's been moving to other institutions that I trust more.  From there we'll grow together, adding investment vehicles and then, and only then, will we consider some of those new fangled instruments that promise higher returns, but often prove to be illiquid such as the auction rate bonds that you sold.  Ok, skip that last point.  Let's say I'd get one of those credit cards you are begging me to take. 

If you are particularly nice to me I might actually use it.

Engaging Generation Next - Customer Loyalty

Loyalty marketing is being redefined in the age of multiple product alternatives and equal quality between products.  While many continue to chase loyalty, customer loyalty meaningfully exists in one or two product categories:

- Insurance (72%)
- Healthcare

As a juxtaposition, apparral brands have a 26% loyalty quotient.

Source: Focalyst UK - study of Baby Boomer Behavior - 2007

Susan Wagner, the CMO of Orbitz has some helpful perspective in the September issue of 1:1 Magazine. (Psychology of Next - by John Gaffney).  Susan points out that the key to loyalty is to build engagement over time...at purchase and in between purchases.  She outlines several objectives for a contemporary loyalty program:

- Discover a Point of Connection - focus on human truths with microsites targeted individual audiences (family, business etc in the case of Orbitz)
- Measure things that are actionable - where does the brand make a difference in people's lives
- Strive for engagement, not loyalty - this is where things like online games come into play.

Source: 1:1 Magazine, Forrester Marketing Forum (April, 2007)