Are you the stakeholder involved with finding an effective way to develop or improve your consumer loyalty program and gain real business growth as a direct result? Does it sometimes seem like looking for the eighth wonder of the world? Here are 5 reasons your consumer loyalty program may not be working:
1. Communication with your loyalty program participants
Over the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to pitch for a number of established consumer programs. Without exception, the main reason why these programs were not performing was because they were not being communicated properly. Or worse still, had no communication plan in place. Every program needs its own communication plan to ensure that brands are able to drive engagement with consumers by sending seasonally relevant reward and benefit messaging.
2. Expecting a consumer loyalty program to run itself
Another cause of poor performance is lethargy. While we acknowledge that launching a consumer loyalty program is probably the most creative and exciting element of the process, it is just the start of the journey. The real work starts once a program has launched. If you look at a loyalty program as a living and breathing entity, then you begin to realize that if you do not nurture it, then it will simply wither on the vine.
The difference between a good program and an excellent program is that an excellent program has a team of specialists behind it; planning, creative, client service, product, communication and partnerships teams all working together to ensure all elements of the program run like a finely tuned engine.
3. Loyalty rewards are not quickly attainable
The key to an excellent reward program is to ensure that the reward options are not only relevant and appealing, but also attainable. Hence, the ambition of every program should be to reward customers as quickly as possible in order to generate an initial positive association that will then drive to continue to return and participate for greater or more frequent reward choices.
4. Complete consumer loyalty program planning
As mentioned above, there are many “moving parts” to a program. With that said, it is important to ensure that planning is not just restricted to communicating the program, but to every element of the program structure. In many ways the program is just a framework on which to launch a variety of successive promotions. Therefore planning each activity in detail will pay dividends in terms of overall program performance and lifespan.
5. Loss of appetite or change in direction
Anyone who has ever been involved in creating and deploying a large scale consumer program will appreciate the level of planning and work involved. Over the years we’ve seen many of our clients, quite rightly, promoted to other roles due to their input and performance of their program.
Occasionally this leaves a void in the process, which in turn can lead to a change in direction or long term inertia. Inevitably, when this happens, it can often be the start of a general loss of appetite from the business to continue the program. Although this is not always the case, sometimes programs just run their course. Make sure you know what direction to take your program by using research to make you a more informed decision maker.
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