Introduction: From Customer Information to Customer Intimacy: What’s Behind the Curtain?
An introduction to Bryan Pearson, once an aspiring doctor and now head of Canada’s largest loyalty marketer, LoyaltyOne, an industry pioneer that has over two decades cultivated more than 120 million customer relationships worldwide. Each day, 1,600 people come to work at LoyaltyOne for the singular purpose of enriching the experience of the customer. Bryan describes a childhood filled with science and anatomy and how these lessons prepared him for a lifetime dedicated to understanding the ever-changing needs and aspirations of the consumer, through the careful study of shopper information.
As an established expert, Bryan will set the stage for winning and maintaining loyalty through a different lens—one framed in the context of data analysis. He will then present the key challenges and issues involving data usage, including the roiling debate over consumer privacy, and establish the framework for building consumer trust.Expand
Four Forces Are Reshaping Marketing. Can You Ride the Wave of Change?
In this chapter Bryan outlines four critical trends that are converging to change the competitive landscape and establish the new role of loyalty. They are: cost-cutting measures that have sharply reduced marketing budgets; an increasingly fragmented media; social networking and its power over consumer influence and attention; and the rapidly advancing capabilities of data collection.
These four forces are detailed against the powerful undercurrent of privacy issues, making for a chapter rich in anecdotes about media consumption and the consumer’s influence over brands. For example, the number of hours America’s youth spent on combined media rose 70 percent from 2005 to 2010, thanks in large part to multi-tasking their communications. Bryan illustrates the power of the consumer with stories that range from a YouTube video that lambasts United Airline’s baggage-handling services to a tweeted bedbug rumor that hijacked the Toronto Film Festival—two incidents that couldn’t have happened before the onset of social media.
Bryan also explains, in detail, how the different ways companies harness and respond to these emerging waves will eventually define those that survive and thrive.Expand
Privacy: Are We Really Going to $%@# This Up?
Bryan dives deep into the privacy debate and its implications for achieving loyalty while imploring marketers to use consumer data responsibly and not violate the public’s trust.
The specter of Big Brother watching over consumers feeds a core myth in the marketing industry: that worries about privacy are making measured marketing an impossible dream for marketers, and that privacy advocates are about to hamstring the entire process. The reality is that these concerns derive from instances of misuse or a lack of attention. The myth is driven largely by misunderstanding, explosive news stories and, in some cases, poor practices by marketers. What we have seen in our daily practice is that data marketing can be very successful and embraced by consumers who see the value in it, as long as they feel that marketers are respecting their rights. In this chapter we’ll look at the privacy-related concerns of consumers, some founded in reality and others driven by fear.
Using examples ripped from the headlines featuring companies such as Facebook, Tesco and Sony, Bryan details some of the common mistakes that companies make when collecting and using customer data.Expand
Customer Intimacy is Great, But How Does it Link to Growth?
In Chapter Four, Bryan defines the essence of customer intimacy and how it translates to growth. Getting there requires a deep connection with customers, understanding and anticipating their needs and going the extra mile to meet those needs. Data is the necessary tool to achieving this goal, but it must be expertly collected and properly handled to complete the task.
Bryan establishes the foundation by first describing two very different forms of loyalty: behavioral and emotional. He then leads us on an enlightened path, from using data merely to accelerate product sales to elevating it to deliver actual solutions to consumer needs.
Learning how to master the data tool requires that a company first be able to define its purpose as it relates to the consumer. Only then can it make the most important step it may ever face, by redirecting its entire organizational focus from the product to the customer. This is the Loyalty Leap, and it is the only way to reap the full benefits of customer intimacy. Regardless of whether your company is product focused or simply looking for the best sales opportunities, we all have the ability to be customer committed.Expand
Customer Loyalty Versus Customer Intimacy, Is There Really a Difference?
Is there a difference between loyalty and intimacy? Well, let’s say one cannot exist without the other. While customer intimacy is the desired outcome, it is deeply linked to a number of basic concepts in human behavior that are also the key drivers of consumer loyalty.
LoyaltyOne’s experience with designing some of the most successful loyalty programs in the world has resulted in one clear lesson: That it must deliver against what it calls the three R’s of Loyalty—Rewards, Recognition and Relevance. Intimacy is the three R’s tailored and hand-delivered, and it is most effectively achieved through a properly nurtured loyalty plan. Only then can loyalty evolve into this kind of kinship wherein the consumer knows that you “get” her, and considers it a privilege.
Pulling from examples that include Hilton Hotel’s sophisticated HHonors loyalty program as well as international coalition loyalty plans, Bryan shows how to achieve visibility, value and voice with the consumer. Hilton, for instance, uses its rich customer data to create more relevant messages and then combines these communications with cutting-edge technology that enables it to deliver meaningful offers without compromising its members’ trust.Expand
The Four Doors to Relevance: What are the Keys to Unlocking Opportunity?
Data comes in many forms and it reveals many aspects about a consumer’s loyal behavior. Here Bryan leads us to four thresholds of consumer understanding and provides the combination for crossing each. These doors open to key behavioral dimensions of the consumer that together will make your message STIC: spatial (location), temporal (life stages), individual (personal interests) and cultural (common beliefs, religion, and ethnicities).
Through these doors a marketer can understand the complete consumer and anticipate needs whether she is a recent college graduate or a grandmother. The balance of information within these four dimensions will shift throughout the course of a consumer’s life, but the proper data analysis and strategic reference points described in this chapter will enable companies to use it to best benefit themselves and their customers.
In this chapter, Bryan deciphers the deft combination of insight and access that will result in brand respect and loyalty. But mix these elements in the wrong proportion or inappropriately, and the organization risks alienating its customer forever.Expand
Turning Fear on its Ear: Can you Inspire Loyalty Through Hope?
It is as obvious as the SPF rating on a jar of moisturizer: fear sells. Many very successful marketing campaigns have motivated through fear, of which there are five major forms: death, strangers, the unknown, chaos and insignificance. But if you examine the inverse of each of these fears, what emerges is pure hope.
The flip side of death is security, and of strangers, friends. If an organization builds on clarity rather than the fear of unknown, it is providing transparency. If it chooses order rather than chaos, it gives customers the power to opt out. And by recognizing its customers and providing them a chance to contribute to society, it offers significance.
These fears link back to the foundational underpinnings of building loyalty. Companies are sitting on data but not recognizing the concerns consumers have regarding how that information is being collected and used. By turning fear on its ear, companies can create real value among their customer base.Expand
Enterprise Loyalty: What Defines the Customer Experience?
Bryan calls it his “calling cards to coconuts” moment. The best customer experience is not delivered merely through promotions, communications or even good service. Rather, it is the result of all these elements combined, and only after they have been informed by customer data. This is Enterprise Loyalty, when an organization puts all of its shopper information to work beyond the marketing department—to shape pricing strategies, new-product development and even store layout.
Enterprise Loyalty means using the “what, when and where” of shopper behavior as a means to aligning behind service and delivering an experience that doesn’t merely say, “We hear you,” but “We get you.” In essence, data collection is nothing more than the launch point for Enterprise Loyalty. Once it is set loose across the organization and examined through a collective prism, data can be employed in non-traditional ways, meaning beyond marketing. It is what enabled Bryan to see why people who buy coconuts also buy calling cards.
In this chapter, Bryan describes how releasing the data leads to untapped opportunities in unexpected places.Expand
Employee Loyalty: How Do I Build A Customer-Centric Culture?
People don’t put their trust in brands; they place their trust with people.
Too many companies believe that the face of the brand exists in its logo, or in a distinctive store design. But the true face of an organization, the one that remains most clearly fixed in customers’ minds, is s a human face—a front-line worker, a sales associate or even a voice at a call center. It is the human face, and voice, that completes the customer experience so critical to executing Enterprise Loyalty.
But your employees are only as knowledgeable about the customer as you permit them to be. In this chapter, Bryan explains the role of data in empowering the employee to deliver tailored and meaningful customer experiences. Drawing from such customer-centric visionaries as Zappos, Caesars and Neiman Marcus, this chapter outlines, case by case, how the power of data empowers and engages employees to deliver an exceptional customer experience. But the data does not work on its own; employees should be given the freedom to proactively engage with and reward the customer as they see fit, and then be recognized for their own good service.Expand
I Call, I Tweet, But How Do I Use Communications to Complete the Customer Experience?
Regardless of the message, an email is rarely just an email. In fact, the more straightforward the communication seems to the customer, the more complexity exists behind the scenes.
To maintain sustainable customer engagement, we should invest in an ever-changing, multi-channel network of relevant communications. But how do we ensure that the very capabilities that enable us to build customer intimacy aren’t translating into a cacophony in the communications stream? By comparing the many components of communications to those of an assembled vehicle, Bryan explains that while each channel may be sufficient on it’s own, it can realize increased horsepower when bound with others through a common purpose, such as delivering a brand experience and customer intimacy.
Here, Bryan explains how successful communications programs work because they start with customer attributes, rather than with a channel-by-channel marketing plan. By taking a long-term view of customer behavior, responding in real time and integrating new channels along the way, he shows, organizations should be able to reach their best customers in a voice that sings.Expand
How Do We Take the “Pry” Out of Privacy?
In the spring of 2011, more than 100 million people woke up to learn that their personal information had been breached or compromised. By June, 2011 was on track to be the worst year ever for these types of occurrences.
It is an occupational hazard that the same data that can so enrich the customer experience and deliver brand intimacy is also occasionally the target of hackers and scammers. And while marketers may see privacy and security as different issues, the consumer does not distinguish the two.
Based on his own experience over 20 years, Bryan has established five basic guidelines for using customer data responsibly to create real value for the customer.
1. Be transparent and reasonable
2. Be permission-based
3. Guard consumer data as if it were a corporate secret
4. Monitor frequency of usage
5. Focus on mutuality of value
In his final chapter, Bryan reinforces his message that consumer data is a requisite tool of differentiation when used properly, not only for multinational corporations, but also for single-site operators. The principles and approaches are the same for all: Only by placing the consumer at the center of purpose can an organization truly cater to and value her needs. The misuse of data benefits no one.Expand
Appendix: Excuse Me, But Have We Met?
Drawing from the results of a 2011 survey of 2,000 U.S. and Canadian consumers, Bryan delivers a sobering message regarding how people feel about data collection and use. It turns out that despite decades of hard work to better understand consumers so marketers can offer more relevant services and values, roughly half of the population still does not expect any benefit at all.
This is a call to action to recognize the power and value of data. Organizations need to bridge the gap between meeting the unique needs of their customers and building loyalty and trust, because the role of the consumer in is not a passive one.
Based on the survey’s results, Bryan offers three tips for knowing the customer better, because without really knowing the person on the other end of that transaction, it will continue to be a guessing game.Expand