When I came to Tecmark 5 years ago I had no idea what the term loyalty marketing meant. I quickly learned about the world behind rewards programs and saw firsthand how important loyalty marketing can be to a business, but I have still struggled to explain to friends and family what exactly I mean when I say loyalty marketing. Even now I occasionally find myself going back to the old “we run customer rewards programs, you know like airline miles” example which in all honesty could not be further from what we do at Tecmark.
As I was working on keyword optimization for our website, blog and other sales materials this week I started thinking more about the way we use the words loyalty marketing and rewards programs and what those phrases mean to the businesses we are trying to reach. Tecmark has traditionally provided the technology for customizable, integrated loyalty programs for medium to large sized businesses in the B2C space. With our new product Simpli we are enabling small to medium sized businesses to create a rewards program and communicate with their customers easily and for a low cost. Our demographic is changing and getting larger but the message about the importance of loyalty marketing to a business stays the same.
But what exactly do the phrases loyalty marketing and rewards programs mean?
- Fluffy marketing industry speak (according to Wikipedia which is correct about everything) – is an approach to marketing, based on strategic management, in which a company focuses on growing and retaining existing customers through incentives.
- Fluffy marketing industry speak (from about.com) – A customer loyalty program is a structured and long-term marketing effort which provides incentives to repeat customers who demonstrate loyal buying behavior.
- In Erika’s words – loyalty marketing/rewards programs give you the ability to differentiate yourself from your competition, connect with your loyal customers and deepen your customer relationships to increase your revenue and customer retention.
I often switch back and forth between loyalty marketing and customer rewards programs in our materials and we will continue to use both phrases depending on the audience. What’s more important than which phrase we use is that we go beyond the fluffy marketing definitions to convey what this industry means to us at Tecmark. We are passionate about connecting businesses with their customers so that they can deepen the relationship with their loyal customers and retain them. Loyalty marketing gives you the ability to identify who those loyal customers are and stay top of mind when they are considering where to shop.
I’ll leave you with one statistic that I heard this week and can’t get out of my mind. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average American business loses 50% of their customer base every 5 years. What are you doing to connect with your customers?