As a business owner or marketing manager, one of your never-ending quests is to find a digital marketing strategy that does the job of both serving your customer base and growing your business. At the same time.
While that sounds simple enough, the reality is that with the rise and fall of social media platforms, increasing marketing costs, and changes in consumer behaviours and expectations – all seen in the context of the current economic landscape, this can be a daunting task.
However, one solution that has stood the test of time globally is the good old loyalty program.
Lost Opportunity Cost
There are very few truisms that can be applied to life; however, at the core of any business is the reality that in order to be successful you need to Gain, Retain and Maintain your customer base.
Gaining customers – without a steady increase in new customers you run the risk of having a product with no brand awareness or market penetration.
Retaining customers – finding a loyal customer who drives revenue in your niche is expensive. Retaining these customers is a smart way to keep costs down and your business profitable.
Maintaining customer loyalty – rewarding your customers can convert the relationship from a simple sales engagement to one of brand loyalty.
Smart loyalty programs use customer and sales data to serve all three areas of this successful business trinity.
When your customers feel heard and rewarded by your incentive program, they’re more likely to share it with friends and even invite them to join. A behaviour you can, in turn, reward to create brand evangelists. This creates a base of low-cost customer acquisitions which allows you to spend your marketing budget on more expensive, perhaps even high-risk, campaigns.
Finally, loyal customers go a long way towards protecting your brand identity and reputation online. Any brand can come under fire for real or perceived errors. Brands with loyal followers, however, will see them coming to their defence and upselling the benefits and features of the business in question.
These peer-reviews and recommendations are one of the most powerful marketing and sales tools imaginable. The catalyst for this groundswell of customer support can begin with a good loyalty program.
7 Characteristics of Successful Loyalty Programs
A successful loyalty program is one which changes customer behaviours, their mindset, and their opinion of the business.
Here are 7 characteristics of loyalty programs which are more than just a run of the mill series of transactional rewards:
- The loyalty program meets specific customer needs
- The rewards align with the specific market it is serving
- The customer feels seen & personally appreciated
- The program creates a sense of exclusivity
- The plan is simple to understand and share with others
- The program drives customer activity & engagement
- The program has a clear and inviting communication strategy
Implementing a rewards program which is on-brand and uses your customer purchasing and behavioural data to provide meaningful and desirable incentives will allow you to reap massive rewards in terms of customer growth, customer longevity, brand shares, and lifetime customer value.
Learn more about UBU’s mobile-first approach and how your business can navigate the world of loyalty programs with our help.