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New Year’s Resolutions: Lose the Wait, Gain the Faith

Champagne1Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more often and to be a better person to others. Well, if a recent forecast of 2014 trends is any indication, loyalty marketers should not have any problem.

Marketers will be tasked with being everywhere the consumer is at once, offering especially thoughtful offers, and delivering on all promotional promises. And they will be expected to do this while respecting the consumer’s personal space.

These are the projections of the report, “Trendolutions: 7 Trend-Driven Resolutions for Loyalty Marketers in 2014.” Written by Jeff Berry, research director at COLLOQUY, the report suggests seven business-related resolutions that address key trends in loyalty marketing today.

Among the seven resolutions:

Be omnipresent: Omnichannel distribution and communications has been a hot topic among retailers for the past couple years, and now it is expanding to financial services and travel. An omnichannel strategy requires that the brand make its products and services available everywhere the consumer is, all at once, while maintaining a consistent brand experience. The point is that the consumer does not care which channel she is using, she just wants to order the desired product in the right color while having a pleasant experience. Loyalty programs, as unique identifiers, are key to capturing her preferences however she shops.

Respect the busy signal: The average smartphone user has downloaded 26 apps, but uses only six of them daily, according to the 2013 COLLOQUY study, “Hashtags, Tweets and Likes.” This indicates artificially high expectations – of both the apps’ performance and the consumer’s own free time. Despite the buy-in rate, consumers remain protective of their personal space and time. The increased opportunity to track consumer activity via mobile comes with a responsibility – that loyalty marketers use advanced discretion in their promotions.

Reward well, but fairly: Long-time loyal customers should be rewarded with special perks that reflect their commitment to a brand, from personalized promotions to acceptance into higher-level tiers. But these benefits are not exclusive if anyone has a chance to purchase them. Frequent flyers who rack up 100,000 miles a year have a right to feel indignant when the “elite” airline club they have earned their way into is packed with occasional travellers who just bought access for the day. Loyalty marketers have a responsibility to keep their promise of exclusivity.

These are just the highlights of the report, but to me the takeaway is this: The loyalty marketer is only half of the equation when it comes to achieving success. The formula also requires a consumer –an engaged, committed consumer ­– to carry us through the year.

That task alone should keep us on our toes, and those who do it well will end 2014 in great shape.

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