How loyalty programs deliver data wins across your business

By | 27 October, 2016

Data won’t just influence your loyalty program. It can change the way you do business.

Generally when an organisation starts to consider a loyalty program they head straight to exploring program design, how they will award points and, of course the fun part of the equation — the rewards!

Now, these are all great factors to think about. But equal thought needs to be given to the fundamental building block that will drive the program. The data.

The intersection of data and loyalty is a component that many companies underestimate and have trouble navigating. But not only will investing in data help drive your loyalty program, it can add value to your business and how it interacts with customers in other ways.

At DCA we see every day how investing in data when developing a loyalty program can create positive results that reach other parts of your business. Here’s five ways how.

1. Builds the right foundation for more accurate marketing

Have you ever tried to have a conversation about unlocking data to invest more in data-driven marketing so you can make more accurate decisions? It’s not always easy ‘talking data’ with colleagues who don’t really understand it or its potential.

But loyalty programs — and the way they drive customer spending and behaviour — are something that everyone understands because most of us are personally engaged with one or several programs.

So, if you re-frame the conversation to talk about how your business’ ability to create the most appropriate loyalty rewards for your customers relies on your capability to manage, store and derive insights from data, then you might make more headway.

When a company recognises the value in data and loyalty programs, it can start to move to a more data-driven culture and can transform the way it operates. No more relying on ‘guess-timations’ or HIPPOS (Highest Paid Persons Opinions), or continually reacting to your customers rather than pre-empting their next moves.

Quality data can provide more certainty and allow a business to focus its efforts on where they will derive the most value. And what business wouldn’t want that?

2. Tells you what you don’t know

Are the databases that house information about your customers and their interactions with you integrated? Do they allow you to gather ongoing insights?  If you’re shaking your head, read on.

When an organisation has disparate data systems across a range of channels, it’s tough to get a clear picture of how your customer interacts with all parts of your business. You don’t know, because you can’t see all their actions. For example, a retailer might know that a customer is very active online, but has no insight about their in-store activity.

Integrated databases that allow for information to flow back and forth between your Marketing Technology stack will help you learn more about your customer. More knowledge leads to better quality engagement and greater insights about your customers to drive them to action.

3. Move towards a single customer view (SCV)

The idea of attaining a single customer view (SCV) certainly gets many marketers excited. Depending on your needs and strategy, a loyalty program can help you either reach a SCV, or take the first steps towards it by matching together a few of your key data streams.

We’ve successfully worked with clients to pull together information from their loyalty program with their CRM, points of sale, ticketing, social, email and other data sources to get a complete 360-degree customer oversight.

Regardless of how far you want or need to go, any work to start unlocking the data to get a more complete picture of your customer will put you in a better position to make informed marketing and business decisions.

4. Segment your customer base

Which group of customers spend the most money with your business?  Which of them might be influenced to spend more money? What is the lifetime value of different customers?

A good loyalty program will enable you to capture customer interaction from a series of touchpoints across your business and bring them together. Once you have this segmentation in place, the fun begins as you capitalise on your ability to market smarter to specific groups and influence business decisions.

Segmentation is a key tactic to ensure that you are spending your time and energy with the right group of customers.  Should all customers be treated equally? Not always. In fact, some should probably be ignored! This advice won’t sit well with all marketers, but if the data shows that you have some customers who offer no real long-term value to your organisation, you shouldn’t be investing too long with them unless you can move them onto another segment.

A quality loyalty program will help to identify which customers you should give the most attention —and rewards!

5. Gain insights

Unless you know how to derive actionable insights from it, data can end up seeming like just a bunch of confusing numbers and letters.  A loyalty program will set you up to start learning more about data and how it reflects your customers’ movements across time.

As well as influencing the program design for your loyalty program, data insights can also inform the products and services that you offer.  And as you track behaviour over time you will get an understanding of what marketing interventions are working and where you can direct your efforts to work smarter, not harder.

DCA’s fully-customisable Loyalty System can help you get the most from your data when developing a loyalty program by drawing insights from and reporting on all aspects of customer interaction. We’d love to hear from you…. don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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