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Catering to multiple demographic segments (i.e. millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers) can often be a difficult task for a brand managing a loyalty program. But, that’s not the case for the San Francisco 49ers.
The team’s loyalty program−Faithful 49 presented by Esurance−has achieved sparkling fan engagement since its inception in June 2014. Faithful 49 presented by Esurance is a loyalty program that allows members a chance to earn points (which are called “yards”) that can be redeemed for team jerseys, the right to bid on practice-worn jerseys, and a plethora of other items. The program is free to join and members can start to earn yards without spending any money. One of the driving forces behind the Faithful 49 loyalty program is having game tickets available to the most faithful 49ers fans.
Loyalty360 caught up with Tori Willis, the Marketing Coordinator for the 49ers who manages the Faithful 49 program.
How is your loyalty program designed to meet the needs of multiple segments of the population (i.e. millennials, generation x, baby boomers, etc.)?
From a functionality standpoint, we have our loyalty program on both our 49ers app and Levi’s® Stadium app. This way, we can capture the local population who may use the venue-based app to enhance their game day experience, but also cater to those who live outside our market and are interested in receiving team content. Outside of the apps, we have fully functioning program capabilities on both a mobile site and online at Faithful49.com. The web version was designed with large, simple graphics and easy navigation. While we do work with technologically savvy fans here in Silicon Valley, we do recognize that many fans prefer simplicity, so there is a variety of opportunities to engage in the program and earn yards (our digital currency). Our tangible prizes attract varying segments and include field passes, Levi’s® Stadium tickets, including college football, family events and concert tickets, signed 49ers memorabilia, coveted game giveaways, and an away game road trip for two.
What are the biggest benefits you receive and challenges you face with surveying/listening to customers?
It would be impossible not to listen to the ideas of our fans, and suggestions daily, based on the way we set up our program. We’ve adjusted some methods in how fans earn yards (for example, setting the time limit to re-tweet and visit the 49ers Team Store to be less frequent), to adding the ability for fans to purchase items on our online store for those farther away from the Bay Area, and we’ve also listened to what types of prizes our fans would like to see and earn on the site. Overall our fans recognize the opportunities they can earn by completing activities they already are doing daily (following on social media, attending games, and purchasing gear). Receiving exclusive 49ers rewards is just the red and gold cherry on top.
Marketers are tasked to be more data-centric that ever before, yet the challenge of creating actionable insight from data is more challenging than before. What is your advice for marketers?
Marketers need to have a set range of goals, means to measure the goals, and a planned pathway on how to get from A to B to C. One cannot drive business decisions without hard data, yet one cannot collect gobs of floating data and let it sit there. Data for data’s sake is useless unless one can go back to the goals, measurement of goals, and evaluate those results holistically.
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