Steps to Building a Loyalty Program

In this series of blog posts we discussed the strategies and tactics for ensuring success when deploying new technology or projects within your Route to Market channel, the metrics to measure to determine User Adoption success, and how to use trust to move customers from Onboarding to Retention. With these as a foundation we can now look at the step to putting a valued loyalty program into place. Why is this important you may ask? Because if you get it right, loyalty programs can generate as much as 20% of a company’s profits.

Loyalty is linked to trust and customer experience. Customers want to feel good about their relationship with a brand. It’s no longer just about offering a fair price for products or services. Customers want to have experiences with the brand, feel good about their relationship to it, talk about the brand with friends and family, and feel part of a select group or community. And that’s where Three Rs come in.

The Three R’s of Customer Loyalty

In a margin game where price outweighs brand loyalty every bit of assistance is required to bring back the emotional aspect of loyalty built on trust. The Three Rs can help guide you in the right direction.

1. Reward

At the most basic level, rewards are the transactional part of the program. Provide a tangible thank-you to compensate for people changing their behaviour.These rewards should be easy to understand and provide true value, and may involve discounts, coupons, gifts, points, or access to special events and experiences. More importantly they can be tailored to specific products or times to better resonate with the consumer.

2. Recognition

Recognize your valued customers with gestures that show appreciation for the effort. How a brand responds to and recognizes customers from the moment they join a program can be critical to building long-term loyalty. When customers are proud of their relationship with the brand, that’s when they share their passion for its products and become natural brand ambassadors. 

3. Relevance

Relevance personalizes the reward experience and it shows you understand who your customers are and what they care about. It involves leveraging customer data in meaningful ways. Use the tools you need to identify specific customers and activities to analyse and understand in order to make decisions accordingly. In a time when customers are inundated with information and competing messages you create engagement by connecting in ways that show people you understand who they are and what they care about. Being relevant carries its own rewards.

Getting Started with Loyalty

Loyalty programs are one of the best means companies have for collecting information about their customers and, if done right, for enhancing customer satisfaction and generating new purchases.

A loyalty program “as a strategy” offers a form of currency available for trade between the customer and the brand. However care needs to be made to ensure that it is not:

  • A “me too” type commodity program that does not take into account the customer specific value proposition.
  • Built with a “set it and forget it” attitude to programs that don’t keep up with the changes in the marketplace.

For brands hoping to launch a loyalty program, here are our 5 steps:

1. Outline your objectives

To fully take advantage of the promise loyalty programs hold, marketers need to first design everything they do with a crystal clear sense of purpose. The first step to any loyalty program is concrete objectives. But more importantly, mapping the corresponding behaviours to those objectives.

2. Go digital

Consumers are changing and they are spending more and more time on their phones and various digital channels. This makes it much easier and often cheaper to access the consumer. Most importantly, digital produces a ton of customer generated data that can provide great customer insights.

3. Capture and manage the right data

Look past just transactional data. As many points of engagement should be monitored. The analytics helps companies better understand what behaviors actually drive the high-value customers. By following certain patterns you can design incentives into your loyalty program to drive that very specific behavior.

4. Refine the program over time

Understanding the analytics and insight helps you refine and fine-tune the design of your loyalty program. As trends shift and behaviours settle it is important that the design is flexible enough to remain viable as your company and strategy evolve. By doing so, the program can continue to meet the perceived customer value and remain economically feasible.

5. Start small and make it scalable

Starting with a pilot phase helps work out any potential kinks, quirks and misunderstanding that may jeopardize the program as a whole. By starting with a highly segmented audience, the program can prevent resources being invested in the wrong people and in the wrong places.

For some loyalty programs can get expensive very fast and don’t always create value for companies. It is best to approach this mindfully, designing a program that creates value for the consumer and for you. That often involves finding a way to leverage the gap between a consumer’s perceived value of something and your cost to provide it.

The Solution

MACmobile’s approach to B2B Loyalty is to encourage adoption, drive specific behaviours and foster true loyalty.

FIELDLoyalty is a platform that enables CPG manufacturers to deploy B2B Loyalty & Rewards within their route to market value chain to change specific behaviours to drive sales and meet target.

With FIELDLoyalty installed within distribution you can effectively:

  • Assist with user onboarding
  • Reward adoption
  • Drive process best practice
  • Encourage application stickiness

Once the project is well entrenched, FIELDLoyalty can then be utilized to further drive volume and availability KPIs; ensure promotion and compliance; and encourage engagement across the channel.

If you are looking at deploying new RTM technology or adding additional touchpoints to your channel, get in touch and we can arrange a deep dive into our best practices and unpack our learned experience.


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