Reaching the right customer: Mobile’s impact on loyalty marketing

Loyalty programs have traditionally been popular in American households. Consumers like to feel as if their business is valued by a particular brand, which is a likely driver behind the widespread acceptance of rewards programs in the consumer landscape. Domestic shoppers now hold 3.3 billion memberships in customer loyalty programs, which is a 26 percent increase since 2013, the latest COLLOQUY Loyalty Census showed.

The biannual report found American households have memberships in 29 loyalty programs spread across retail, travel, financial services and a variety of other verticals. While data showed shoppers are currently active – either earning or redeeming at least once a year – in just 12 of these programs, that figure represented a 33 percent jump from 2013. With an increasing number of companies across various industries implementing loyalty programs, it’s evident businesses need to do likewise in order to keep up. As competition increases, companies must leverage back-end data analytics to better understand and communicate with customers in regards to loyalty programs.

Mobile making a splash in loyalty marketing
It’s always a challenge for marketers to determine the best way to reach the right customer. Today’s consumer is interacting with brands through different channels. While it’s difficult to predict where he or she may be at a given time, one thing is certain: They’ll likely be interacting with their smartphone at some point in the day.

According to the latest comScore statistics, 166 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone as of March 2014, representing a nearly 69 percent mobile market penetration rate. Smartphones have integrated into everyday consumer life and the average person spends hours on their smartphone each day. Two-thirds of cellphone owners in a recent Pew Research Center study said they often find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls, even if they don’t notice an audible ring or vibration. Smartphones have become life’s portable remote control. In fact, 29 percent of Pew respondents described their phones as something they couldn’t live without.

Given this, marketers must invest in the right data analytics capabilities to best reach current and potential clients on the channel they use most frequently: their mobile phones. Smartphones are inherently engaging devices; any type of action – often even unlocking the gadget from idle position – requires user interaction. Marketers have a golden opportunity to reach the right customer at a moment of engagement, they just need to understand how to get there and give customers a reason to engage with their brand’s mobile app.

Data analytics can bridge that gap. Evaluating customer transactional and profile data can provide insights into relevant information and interactions. From there, a brand can determine contextually relevant offers to send via email and mobile app pushes. Businesses can also send personalized status updates to loyalty rewards program members, keeping them in the loop on promotions and exclusive offers. If a company has the right insight into their customers’ buying habits, they can better target a message to each client using omnichannel marketing, including mobile. While mobile devices are a great way to reach consumers, intuitive analytics provide proper insight into consumer preferences, shopping habits, location and overall contextual relevance.

Bottom line: Use data analytics to know to better understand your customers and provide engaging communications including mobile app notifications. Give consumers a reason to join your marketing initiative, download your mobile app and engage with your brand more frequently.

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