As you may have seen from the earlier blog by Erika, I had the opportunity to speak at the recent MPM show (Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association). It was an honor to be asked to share our experiences with loyalty and marketing with the c-store audience. Based on attendance and participation, it is clear to me that this industry is ready to move to the next level as far as marketing to their customers. So, why do I say that?
First, there is a need. When I asked the attendees simple questions like; do you have a customer list? are you using email or text? are you offering a rewards program?; very few said yes. Some c-stores are beginning to adopt loyalty marketing programs, both big and small; but the numbers are low.
Second, c-stores have an advantage with consumer adoption of any loyalty or marketing program they introduce. That advantage is frequency of visits by their customers, up to one or more visits per week. This gives them to ability to get their customers to use and benefit from their program and be one of the few cards that they carry. Of course this assumes the loyalty program benefits are there for the customer.
The third reason is cost. With more advanced POS and pump systems available that have integrated loyalty and marketing tools, the c-store owner can introduce a loyalty program that is cost effective to operate and does not slow down transactions at the point of sale. Also, the loyalty and communication options available with email, text, and social give c-stores the low cost option that works with their customers.
So, if you are a c-store, we recommend that you begin researching your options; and if you are investing in new POS or pump technology, be sure to include in your evaluation the ability of the systems to support your short and long term loyalty marketing needs. We look forward to helping the c-store industry identify and market to their customers through targeted promotions and effective rewards programs that give them the customer loyalty that drives revenue and bottom line profits. It will be a fun and exciting journey!
Founder & CEO