CX + Loyalty Strategy

How to Transform Your Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are proven marketing tactics for encouraging repeat purchases and fostering brand affinity. However, these programs are not without their challenges. Members don’t engage, or they opt out after only a few months. Why? Because the loyalty program doesn’t meet consumers’ heightened expectations for relevant, personalized brand experiences.

When loyalty programs work, the payoff is significant: 57% of customers spend more with a brand to which they are loyal. Beyond transactional and behavior metrics such as frequency, spend, and retention well-functioning loyalty programs influence emotional metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and share of wallet, giving the brand a complete view of the program’s impact.

To demonstrate the power of a loyalty program transformation, consider these case studies.

Changing Course From Mass Discounts to Customer Engagement
A fast casual restaurant chain had a loyalty program focused primarily on mass discounts, which provided little information about its customers. With the goal of increasing customer engagement and brand loyalty, Ansira worked closely with the brand to create an analytically driven database marketing program that enabled its restaurants to exceed customer expectations when ordering online or dining in.

Tasks included migrating all customer data from the existing platform, mining the data to create unique customer tracks, creating a test-and-learn environment to see what content performs best and when, and designing interactive dashboards to monitor metrics. With a robust customer-relationship management (CRM) solution built on top of the brand’s existing technology stack, the restaurant chain distributes rewards based on specific customer variables. The program also drives new daypart usage and menu trial, providing insight into business patterns and causes.

As a result, the brand has generated millions of incremental visits and can track more than 50% of sales to loyalty members, which have grown by millions. The new CRM and loyalty program also delivers the data analysis needed to support the brand’s catering, real estate, media, and research business units.

Tackling a Next-Level Loyalty Strategy to Improve the Customer Experience
A national convenience store had a dated loyalty program with limited data access and disparate data sources that prevented it from gaining clarity about its customers. As a result, the chain was seeing high drop-off and extreme fluctuation of its high-value members.

The brand tapped Ansira to devise a complete loyalty strategy — including program design, customer modeling, platform selection and integration, and communications planning — that focused on experience-driven solutions to increase sales and propensity. We focused on need states and in-the-moment testing while expanding into new marketing channels and incorporating delivery and mobile scan and pay.​

Thanks to data visualization tools, the brand can monitor progress against program key performance indicators (KPIs) and understand impact at both a macro and local level.​ In the first year, the brand saw a 12% increase in total sales and $20 million in incremental sales.

Even Small Changes Make a Big Difference
We know a complete loyalty program overhaul isn’t always feasible. Nor is it always necessary to increase engagement with your existing members. If your loyalty solution isn’t performing as intended, we can help you get to the root cause and identify opportunities for improvement:

  • Analyze data to better understand your customers and the impact of the program
  • Review your existing marketing technology
  • Recommend martech integrations or new platforms based on business needs
  • Evaluate current creative and propose alternate content strategies

Whether you’re assessing your current loyalty program or considering an alternative, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it providing an enhanced customer experience? Does the loyalty program meet customers’ needs and match their expectations of the brand? Is it easy to understand?
  • Is it delivering the best of the brand? Does the loyalty program uphold the brand vision and mission, stand out from the competition, and deliver brand value in meaningful ways?
  • Is it operationally effective? Does the loyalty program deliver a seamless experience and provide a synergistic relationship between the technology, analytics, and experience? Can it be easily implemented by local operators?
  • Is it financially incremental? Does the loyalty program activate key business goals, grow the customer base, retain existing customers, and increase sales and profitability?

If we can help you answer the above questions, contact us today.

By Mike Bradley

Mike is a data-driven, results-oriented marketing practitioner with deep experience activating highly successful relationship-marketing initiatives.