The Leaders in Loyalty Feeling the Love from the Loyalty Clubs

Today, customer loyalty and rewards programs are everywhere – it seems like every brand has one and the average consumer is carrying a handful of laminated cards from big retailers alongside a few hole-punched printed cards from their neighborhood burrito palace or dry cleaner. Yet, through the CMO Council’s research in The Leaders in Loyalty: Feeling the Love from the Loyalty Club these programs are leaving customers thinking of breaking up with brands rather than forging longer romances. In fact, 54 percent of the consumers surveyed let it be known that thanks to the barrage of irrelevant messages, low value rewards, and impersonal engagements, they are aren’t feeling the love. In fact they are thinking of asking for a divorce, threatening brands with defection.

In reality, loyalty programs are largely under-valued brand assets that, when leveraged to their fullest, do have the opportunity to drive revenue growth and maximize customer lifetime value. Companies, the study goes on to reveal, are not fully leveraging data analytics, insights and relationships drawn from their loyalty and rewards programs. While consumers and marketers agree that loyalty programs are an ideal channel to deliver deep discounts, savings, freebies and perks to drive incremental revenue growth, consumers lament over high levels of irrelevant communications and low levels of value, lacking those privileges, promotions or perks that are tailor made for them, based on their long and loyal history with a given company.

Consider the results of the CMO Council’s recent paper, Why Relevance Drives Response and Relationships, where we started to question the strength of the bond between consumers and their loyalty clubs. What we found was that among those consumers who belonged to loyalty clubs, nearly 20 percent had never received a personalized communication that was based on their individual preferences or behaviors. In fact, an overwhelming majority, 73 percent, admitted to being the recipient of promotions for products or services they already owned. Yet, even in the face of this blitz of mass impersonal messaging, consumers keep coming back for more, and try again to forge a stronger brand bond in the hopes of new rewards, perks or even just a better seat on the plane.

Read the entire whitepaper here.