Customer loyalty is dynamic, compelling and changing all the time. Awareness of a loyalty program’s importance was once relegated solely to a handful of sponsors of a program at a company, or those of us toiling in our industry to support the program. Today, loyalty programs are an enterprise initiative — reflective of the customer experience of brands, managed by customer service, finance, marketing, operations and IT, driven by segmented media and consumer campaigns, and expected to drive ROI, fostering lifelong connections and creating lifetime brand value.
The loyalty and customer experience landscape has been positively impacted by several exciting trends:
- The analyses of Big Data which derive meaningful consumer behavioral insights. We challenge ourselves and our clients to use it to create genuine experiences versus the more simplistic points-for-rewards stereotypes
- The need for devices and channels (think smartphones, tablets, digital signage, kiosks, radio, TV, print, etc.) to create a consistent customer experience. We need to build omnichannel loyalty programs, and then mine the data sets they create
- The importance of having programs that appeal to both the rational and emotional sides of the brain — emotional connections can include elements of gamification and social media, while rational are the tangible rewards e.g. discounts or coupons
These trends – and other insights – form the backbone of the Kobie Knowledge Quarterly Review. Our goal is to bring to you loyalty landscape commentary and analyses of where the loyalty industry is heading. We welcome conversations about loyalty through our observations, commentaries, insights and, in some cases, criticisms of the developments taking place.
We hope the Kobie Knowledge Quarterly Review leaves you with a greater appreciation that customer loyalty isn’t just about the program itself. Or even solely for driving ROI and heightening customer engagement. Loyalty, the bond an individual makes with another, is central to the human condition. It’s about reciprocity, faith, trust and at its greatest intensity, a type of moral obligation, akin to the connections we forge with family and friends.
Brands and businesses, the best ones, are no different.
Michael Hemsey, President
Kobie Marketing, Inc.