DataCandy was named among ‘end-to-end loyalty solution example vendors addressing the broadest spectrum of loyalty-specific needs for small and midsize organizations’ in a new report released by Forrester Research titled, Vendor Landscape: Customer Loyalty Solutions.
The report segmented and categorized more than 50 solution providers to help B2C marketers make sense of the various types of technology and service partners available in today’s mature customer loyalty landscape.
In the Vendor Landscape: Customer Loyalty Solutions report, providers named as examples in the end-to-end loyalty solution category possess competencies in loyalty strategy, loyalty management, and loyalty marketing. DataCandy was cited in this report for delivering a full suite of tools, partners, and services to support the loyalty program and marketing needs of small and midsize organizations. Services include strategy and design, campaign and offer management, segmentation and analytics, fulfillment, and operational support. DataCandy was also identified as a strong performer in The Forrester Wave™: Customer Loyalty Solutions for Midsize Organizations, Q1 2016 Report by Forrester Research.
Loyalty360 talked to DataCandy CEO Lorne Schwartz to find out more about DataCandy’s work with companies and their respective loyalty programs.
Can you talk about this recognition from a validation perspective of what you are doing and how you are helping clients long-term loyalty initiatives?
Schwartz: From Day 1, the company had a vision to become a full-service loyalty solution provider and partner to retailers and restaurants. Mid-market clients, especially, prefer working with one vendor who can deliver a complete end-to-end loyalty solution. Being named in this report for having the capabilities to provide clients with loyalty strategy, loyalty management, and loyalty marketing affirms our tireless efforts. DataCandy has been very diligent and strategic in aligning ourselves with the best partnerships and technology innovators to support our goal of supporting and sustaining our client’s long-term loyalty initiatives.
How have your services evolved in recent years as the loyalty industry has changed?
Schwartz: A lot less time is spent educating clients on ‘why’ they should implement a loyalty program. When done correctly, loyalty programs have proven to increase sales and repeat traffic, so conversations today are more focused on the ‘how.’ Retailers are ready to adopt best practices and concentrate on how to create an engaging program, how to incorporate mobile, and how to personalize the experience for their customer base. We did implement a mobile-first strategy at the company this year to ensure every feature or functionality passed to our client’s is mobile ready.
What are loyalty marketers doing well and where do the challenges lie?
Schwartz: There is no longer a need to market the benefit of loyalty programs. Customers expect loyalty programs and want to join loyalty programs because they know there will be perks and savings. Again, marketers no longer need to focus on the why or the benefits. The best programs clearly offer something unique and can marketers can focus their messaging around key differentiators. The new challenge lies in creativity and pushing past traditional rewards and incentives to keep program engaging and cool and simple.
How are your clients connecting to new technologies? It is daunting to them or are they aggressive so as to help their customers?
Schwartz: We’ve found that most clients understand technology plays a vital role in the loyalty program. They aren’t resisting it anymore. I don’t think they find new technology daunting; it’s more about identifying the best technology to stay connected to their customers.
Today’s consumer wants to participate in tech-smart loyalty programs so it’s important for retailers to launch a loyalty program that integrates technology into long-term plans and strategies. Simply put, we don’t have to spend a lot of time convincing retailers to integrate loyalty program software with their POS system. They are then quick to ask where they can go next with technology to keep evolving.
What trends do you see going forward in the loyalty industry?
Schwartz: Mobile-friendly loyalty programs are a must and gamification is wildly popular. I’m anxious to see how the Internet of Things takes shape. It will also be interesting to see how technology is further developed to interact with a customer’s smartphone or wearable device as they make purchase decisions.