Despite a sluggish economic recovery, Americans continue to shell out ever-growing amounts during high-spending times of the year. Take, for example, the record $4.7 billion consumers spent on movie tickets during the summer of 2013 and their total holiday purchases, which have been climbing steadily since 2010 after a two-year drop. During the run-up to these free-spending periods, companies put in many long hours devising sales strategies to maximize consumer engagement and ROI. Consumers plan ahead, too, relying on friends, family, social media and mobile devices to research products, land the best deals and discover the ultimate customer experience.
During these times, loyalty programs take center stage – not just in the retail sector but also in financial services. And some exciting recent developments have helped financial services loyalty programs turn the image of the faceless, unresponsive bank into one that is driving genuine customer engagement year-round, including:
• The evolving importance of Big Data and its accumulation and analysis beyond traditional loyalty metrics. Financial services, like other verticals, are learning to cater holistically to customers. What can a brand learn about program members outside of how they shop, what they buy and how they interact with their financial institution? How does their lifestyle impact their loyalty experience?
• The growing need for FIs to get moving on mobile while attracting, engaging and retaining Millennials – a generation poised for significant spending power, but whose loyalty remains up for grabs. Banks need to be where their customers are and increasingly that means offering them an on-the-go experience that is seamless, intuitive and fun.
• The fundamental rethinking of how a customer’s predicted long-term economic value – commonly known as customer lifetime value (CLV) – is determined. FIs must embrace CLV as the total amount customers could spend over time if properly engaged, with transactional barriers removed.
These trends – and additional insights – are at the heart of the Kobie Quarterly Review: Financial Services edition. Its goal is simple: to educate readers about the evolving loyalty landscape in specific industries and where it’s heading. Our Quarterly Review also offers suggestions and analyses on how brands can improve their loyalty efforts, discussions on mobile technology and today’s two-way brand-consumer dialogue.
We hope the Kobie Quarterly Review: Financial Services edition broadens your appreciation for what loyalty programs are all about - a way for brands and customers to truly develop genuine relationships – relationships that can grow as robust as the most revered financial institutions.
Tell us what you think and keep the conversation going.
Michael Hemsey, President