Trends in Loyalty Marketing

Posted by Erika Stevens on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 04:09 PM

Earlier this week I was collecting data for a future fact sheet on loyalty marketing statistics on one of my favorite online sources Colloquy.  Colloquy not only has a print publication but also an extensive website full of resources about the loyalty marketing world.  I came across an article titled, “Under the Radar – Ten Trends Loyalty Marketers Might Not See Coming in 2013” by Carlos Dunlap.  There are so many articles and blogs that highlight the current trends in the loyalty marketing industry that I was excited to read about someone’s predictions on where the industry could be going. 

The article is split into three different types of trends: those that influence relevance, those that affect customer engagement and those related to the economy’s effect on creating value. 

There were two trends in particular that resonated with me. 

Customer Loyalty

  • Rewards for non-purchase activity. 

Customers no longer just want to be rewarded for spending money, they want to be rewarded for promoting your business.  With so many social media channels customers are constantly sharing with their networks.  If a customer loves your product and raves about it they want to receive recognition for doing so and the same goes for referrals.  If I tell someone to go to your coffee shop because it is the best coffee shop I want you to acknowledge that I promoted your business.  This needs to be integrated into your loyalty program strategy in some way. 

  • Data scientist shortage.

This one stuck out because it is something that is not just important in the loyalty marketing industry but in all business.  The article points out that the data analytics field is growing in importance but we will have a shortage of professionals in this field.  Even though we often talk to businesses about how important marketing is it is of equal importance to be collecting data and analyzing what that data means.  Every time I watch Restaurant: Impossible on the Food Network, Robert Irvine is drilling some clueless restaurant owner about the basic business data that they don’t know.  Understanding data analytics is no longer optional it has become a necessity to survive in any business.

In the beginning of the article he states, “Today’s loyalty marketers are struggling with major trends that are redefining the industry.”  This is true for not only the loyalty marketing industry but much of the world around us.  Things continue to change at a fast pace and maintaining relevancy can be difficult.  One way that we continue to change our business and advice that we give to our customers about their loyalty programs is to educate yourself, adapt and evolve. 

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Tags: Loyalty Marketing