Loyalty and incentive programs attract, motivate and reward your best customers and there is no doubt that they can be very powerful marketing tools – their success has been well documented in industry case studies, academic literature and loyalty marketing awards programs.
Your best customers are the ones that listen to and respond to your loyalty promise. But delivering on that promise is highly dependent on structuring an effective program. All too often loyalty programs fail to deliver their promise not only to participants; they also fail to meet the high expectations of senior management.
Thus, to deliver on the ‘spectacle’ of a loyalty program, it’s vital we work on the ‘science’ behind it. Here are 8 key elements to applying this science.
What does 2019 have in store for B2B loyalty marketing programs? Read on to see what our loyalty doctors have predicted to be the top 10 advancements in B2B loyalty programs for 2019.
Whilst a lot of time and money is spent creating brand and positioning, little effort is spent on developing the “loyalty avatar” that will be used to communicate to program participants, both formally and informally.
One of the growing challenges facing all loyalty practitioners is how to drive higher levels of engagement. Traditional methods such as bonus points and bespoke communications, whilst still effective, are losing their impact, particularly when competitor loyalty programs are also engaging in these tactics.
This variation on an old Queen song came to mind when we asked ourselves a question that challenges one of the fundamental aspects of loyalty programs. Are those hierarchical program tier structures that group customers in different levels, depending on spending or selling pre-specified amounts, really the most effective design feature? Tiers foster feelings of status, depict various degrees of member loyalty, motivate people to keep their status and can easily be extended.
In today’s markets company success seems to depend increasingly on the capabilities of their business partners. The proliferation of online courses and just-in-time knowledge available through mobile is prompting organizations to pay attention to innovative modes of instruction. Yet, we often see that too many enablement programs focus on the wrong content. When we point this out to clients, we invariably get asked the question ‘But how can we design programs that link to our strategic channel priorities?’ Here’s input for starting that very strategic conversation.
What does 2018 have in store for the B2B loyalty sector? Our loyalty doctors have gazed into their crystal ball and are predicting greater transparency about privacy, more ‘loyalty hacking’, increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate program members attention and interest (A&I) and more programs going local, not just in Acapulco. 2018 will also see a new era of ‘influencer loyalty’ via online reviews from proactive program members and more member-to-member live video streaming in a quest for personalisation. Programs will also see more effective loyalty cycle management so that they don’t become complacent about longstanding participants. You can read the full list of top 10 B2B loyalty program trends for by clicking here:
The development of online education modules continues to be a growth market for Motivforce. While we keep expanding our enablement portfolio with some of our accounts in conjunction with the latest social loyalty tools (such as gamification), others are simply all about business partner learning. We often get asked to come up with a convincing business case that outlines how clients will start earning by learning.
We think there are four key benefits, all with direct important bottom-line implications.
There has been a lot of debate in recent months about the most effective metrics to use when assessing the performance of a loyalty or incentive program.
To see the real effect of the power of loyalty and incentive program it is also recommended to use Confrere Analysis.
Loyalty and incentive programs are powerful tools. Used effectively they can generate habitual behavioral loyalty, increase sales revenue, decrease customer churn, increase share of wallet and limit variety-seeking behavior. Many of these results have been empirically tested in academic research and in award winning case studies.
At Motivforce we have been helping clients to deploy Business Partner-driven strategies in order to improve their performance, agility and profitability. Although this is still core to our business, we also work on a growing interest in measuring the impact of employees on the bottom line. Employees are arguably a company’s most valuable resource, as they are sources of innovation and knowledge and allow for competing through service excellence.
The future of loyalty programs is mobile. This mantra has been reiterated across many loyalty marketing industry trend reports. It is a mantra that clearly has face value. In fact, it is a no-brainer, as much of our life now revolves around our little handhelds. Most loyalty programs are migrating to mobile platforms, allowing their members instant access any place, any time. Being able to check your points balance, the latest reward additions or quickly swiping through a learning module in a client’s parking lot definitely ups the convenience factor. But, it does not guarantee an engaging mobile program experience. That is why a number of forward-looking brands have started to engage their members by inviting them to share their ‘must-share-moments’ with the brand and explore the face value of the mobile camera.
In our conversations with organizations that are assessing B2B loyalty and incentive programs, a number of negative perceptions inevitably surface.
Here are the top 5 myths about loyalty programs and our evidence as to why they simply aren’t true.
Over the past 20 years, the structure of B2B loyalty programs has grown from simple sales incentives that reward for achieving sales targets to rewarding for profile performance. Profile performance is the concept of creating the ideal participant profile and rewarding for all behaviours that a participant demonstrates in adopting this profile.
There are many variables to consider when creating the ideal channel loyalty program participant profile and these are broadly classified into the following 5 types of loyalty program participant profiles:
Our research has shown greater loyalty (measured by sales and other valued added behaviours) amongst program participants who are active in enablement tasks, compared to those who are not. In looking at correlations between those participants who have undertaken enablement tasks, versus those who have not, we have observed three traits....
A term that we commonly use in channel loyalty and incentive programs is the effort advantage ratio. This is the study of consumer loyalty programs and the effort a participant must undertake to achieve a loyalty program reward and how this effort impacted on attractiveness of the loyalty program for their continued participation.
These are 7 things to consider when weighing up the Effort Advantage Ratio.
Technology is now defining the route which companies need to take in order to stay relevant and is changing at a rate so fast that organisations and to some extent, society is struggling to keep up.
And whilst digital transformation can start with the introduction of new tech, business transformation is inevitable, which can mean a complete overhaul in a company's products, positioning and ultimately, business goals.
Is a loyalty program right for your business?
Like any marketing strategy, loyalty programs have a place and an ideal environment in which they should be deployed and managed. So, it is important for firms to undertake a detailed diagnostic assessment to see whether a loyalty program is the best marketing strategy for their product or service, as opposed to rushing to set up a program in the hope that it will solve all your business challenges.
Here are 3 reasons why a loyalty program may not be right for your product or industry:
Many loyalty and incentives programs have built status tiers to segment and reward their most active, profitable, engaged and loyal participants.
However there are a number of pit falls that destroy the integrity and motivational pull of loyalty programs if the tier strategy is not properly planned. Here are our 5 tactics to manage downgrading participant tier status...
Motivforce recently undertook a study looking at the most appropriate and effective way to respond to a B2B Loyalty Program participant’s feedback – particularly in the social media environment but with direct implications to contained environments. The results revealed that the most effective response is when help desk employees put themselves in the shoes of the customer before they respond.