The Next Generation of Loyalty Programs Will Drive True Customer Advocacy

next gen of loyalty programsHybris is an extremely powerful omni-channel customer engagement platform that purports to map the infinite possibilities of each consumer across their entire journey.

As the complexity of driving growth across B2B and B2C channels exponentially increases, intersecting every touchpoint across every channel to leverage personalized customer engagement solutions is now crucial. Technology and data are making this possible, but not always easy. Hybris, however, is offering substantial assistance. 

Many brands seeking answers in the face of this digital transformation are turning to hybris for its high performance, data centric customer management, and context driven marketing tools to meet and exceed today’s customer engagement demands. During the SAPinsider’s CRM conference presented by SAP in Las Vegas, many sessions highlighted the wide range of features that hybris can bring to brands in almost any industry.

This was the focus of Vikas Venugopal's session titled, Marketing Experience & Agility: Turn your Customers into Fans. Specifically, Venugopal, who serves as the head of Marketing, Strategy and Corporate Development at hybris software, treated the audience to an in-depth presentation that zeroed in on the specifications that drive the campaign management, agility acquisition, and customer experience sections of the massive hybris engine.

Venugopal described, in great methodical detail, the models that support hybris’s ability to collect data from almost any source, “explode” that data to gain piercing insights, clean and finesse it so those valuable insights can, through rigorous predictive analytical algorithms, be personalized and targeted to customers across several channels.

This is all highly technical, and mostly occurs within the backend of the computer’s operational systems. But to ultimately improve the customer experience on the actual frontlines of reality, hybris builds a number of data-driven planning and orchestration applications that run through a user-friendly interface, which intelligently optimizes acquisition campaign management across diverse segmentations.

In plain speak, this all means that Venugopal can help brands create more dynamic and advanced loyalty programs for the future.

“The old loyalty program solution was primarily on points based loyalty management, where the idea was to give points for interactions,” Venugopal said. “The new loyalty solution is focused on rewards and experience. So we want to make it easy to create a loyalty program that encourages advocacy.”

Venugopal’s vision is to encourage people to do things like post positive reviews to earn rewards, not necessary to just trade in points for stuff. In his view, merely offering points may increase customer engagement to some extent, but it also creates detachment. It does not help brands retain customers. The next generation of loyalty programs should entice customers to actually want to talk about products to their friends and family and to bring even more customers in as a result. 

This is an important step forward for customer advocacy. As most people rely on those they trust for consumer recommendations, this can be immensely valuable for brands seeking to develop those deep B2C connections. But Venugopal believes that this process is applicable to B2B relationships as well.

“We approached B2B in the same way,” Venugopal said. “We thought that if we could solve for B2C, we already solved B2B. It’s just flavoring it for B2B. In the end, you are still dealing with people. In a B2C case, we have one user profile and we know everything about them. For B2B, we have an account, all the contacts that are attached to that account, we aggregated all those interactions on a contact level, and create one profile of the account. The concept is the same.”

The power hybris has to “slice and dice” information brings a number of additional advantages to marketers wishing to bend the data to their will. Customer profiles can be selected, targeted, merged, intersected, cross-referenced, and correlated based on almost any criteria, or combination of criteria, that can be defined. The segmentation can also be as broad or as specific as one requires.

“For example, I could only focus on people with a certain level of interest,” Venugopal said. “Let’s say that in California and Texas, I only want to focus on customers that like rock n’ roll and Fifa, who also carry positive sentiments. This way, I am integrating demographic and behavioral data to create a targeted campaign, which can also serve as predictive data to ally against the right segment of customer you want to push.”

Of course this is just one quick and easy example, but it effectively serves to demonstrate both the scope and the need marketers now have to create and convert demand among such incredibly precise customer segments.

The old traditional tactics of devising large mainstream marketing campaigns to attract and retain customer loyalty are long gone. Targeted campaigns that create meaningful and relevant customer experiences for each individual demand an entirely new approach. And this where the new world of personalized customer engagement and data driven revenue marketing enabled by market leading companies like hybris is headed.

But in the end, Venugopal hopes it will all be worth it. Because if you can create the personal relationships that drive true customer advocacy, the most important people selling a product or service won’t be the marketers. It will be the customers themselves.

About the Author: Mark Johnson

Mark is CEO & CMO of Loyalty360. He has significant experience in selling, designing and administering prepaid, loyalty/CRM programs, as well as data-driven marketing communication programs.

Recent Content

Membership and Pricing

Videos and podcasts

Membership and Pricing