In preparation for the new school year, Cogensia Cares foundation collected school supplies for local school District 211, and this past week, we participated in District 211’s supply distribution event for children. We had the privilege of helping students select the school supplies they needed to be successful this year. We are grateful for programs that help children and teens in our community, and it was a pleasure collecting the supplies and helping at the distribution event. We wish the hard working teachers and students in our community a great school year!

For the past nine years, Loyalty 360 has assembled some of the best and brightest in the loyalty space, and featured them at their annual Loyalty Expo. Cogensia was honored to again be featured as speakers in two sessions where we shared both what we’ve been working on with clients, and what trends we see developing in the area of loyalty. Not surprising was the fact that the trends we are seeing are the same topics other presenters and attendees were talking about throughout the show.

  1. Keep your program simple

Throughout the week I heard many debates on why customers are not engaging with loyalty programs. Everything from app redesign to consumer intelligence was thrown out, but the most common explanation for low engagement is program complexity; and I completely agree. As much as we love our brand and our program, we have to realize that our customers have busy lives. Customers do not want to dedicate hours of their day studying how our program works.  In order to have high levels of engagement, programs must make it easy to enroll, earn, and redeem. If customers don’t know that they are enrolling, or don’t understand how to qualify for rewards, they will not participate. Without actively participating in the program, customers and brands alike will not see the benefits of having a loyalty program.

  1. Personalization is key

One panelist clearly and accurately stated where the loyalty market is today – CUSTOMERS EXPECT PERSONALIZATION!  As someone who works with customer data every day, I know that brands are sitting on mountains of data that can be mined to drive personalized consumer interactions. Yet, so few are actually marketing to customers by applying purchase history, preferences, or where customers are in their lifecycle. “If it applies to everyone, it applies to no one” is how another speaker said it. I encourage you to know what data you have, and put it to use for your brand.

  1. Relevance drives engagement

The programs that presented at the Expo had both high levels of participation and engagement with their customers – that’s why they were on stage! Their advice to the audience – make sure your program is relevant with your customers. What does that mean?  It means customers want your rewards. It means your marketing messages actually influence purchase consideration (see point #2). It means that your customers want you to know them and recognize that you value their business. Many speakers spoke of relentless measurement of all aspects of their program, and they actually apply what they are learning to keep their program fresh.

As you prepare for back to school and the upcoming holiday season, and are searching for the secret ingredient you need to add to your loyalty program, realize that embracing these three ideas will have a tremendously positive effect for your company. Did you have more key takeaways from Loyalty Expo? I’d love to hear about them!

Cogensia will be exhibiting and speaking at Loyalty Expo in Orlando on May 24-26. Join us for our two sessions:

Tuesday, May 24 at 1pm – Learn How Ryder’s B2B Loyalty Program is Driving Business Intelligence and Incremental Sales 

Presented by Cogensia SVP, Loyalty & 1:1, Barb Olson and Ryder, Inc. Director of Marketing, Stephanie Wicky

 

Wednesday, May 25 at 1:30pm – 7 Consumer Trends and 7 Best Practices to Drive Customer Engagement 

Presented by Cogensia SVP, Loyalty & 1:1, Barb Olson and Vice President, Business Development, Pat Riley

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On June 9, 2010, Capt. Anthony Simone was the co-pilot of a helicopter that was shot down near  Sangin Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Capt. Simone, one of two survivors in the crash, sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Homes for Our Troops, an organization that sets out to build mortgage-free, specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured Veterans to enable them to rebuild their lives, is working on a new home built specifically for Capt. Simone and his family in Manhattan, IL.

On Thursday, April 28, Cogensia closed the office to help prepare both the inside and outside of the home for finishing touches. Dirt was moved and leveled, windows were washed, and much construction dust and debris were swept away. Cogensia Cares foundation was honored to be a part of this project and help get the home ready for Capt. Simone’s May 14th move-in.

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Brainstorming

President and CEO, Brad Rukstales will present as part of 6 Overlooked Keys to Unlock Engagement at the 2016 Chicago AMA Marketing Slam on February 23. The session, “How to Divide and Conquer Customers,” will demonstrate how advanced segmentation cultivates superior engagement. Early Bird Admission discount ends January 22. Get your tickets now! 

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