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‘Customer Loyalty’ – one of the most important concepts in marketing and one of the most complicated. The landscape of customer loyalty evolves every day and is dependent on thousand-and-one influential factors. However, there are a handful of loyalty marketing trends that are definitely not going away in 2019. We’ve summarized them for you below.
AI isn’t just for chatbots or automating customer service. It’s perfect for predicting highly relevant product recommendations that appear tailor-made for each member or customer. The best part? This isn’t about reinventing the wheel – your customer data provides all the information that this smart, predictive technology needs to create an incredible customer experience. All you need is the right tool.
Customers want to be recognized personally on all channels. They want a message that’s tailored to them, using their name, and including product recommendations based on purchase histories and what interests them. Most of all, they want to feel appreciated. You can make them feel appreciated by communicating with them about their interactions with your brand and their involvement with your rewards program. In fact, a recent study of consumers in the US shows that 69% of shoppers say acknowledging their loyalty and importance is a key factor in deciding which brands they are loyal to.
‘Customer Experience’ as a concept has seen a rise in popularity over the past few years, and 2019 will be no different. In a fragmented world, offering a fantastic end-to-end experience is your golden ticket to loyalty and retention. It is no surprise, then, that all (marketing) efforts should be put into this context, and should be evaluated based on how they contribute to the overall customer experience. Loyalty programs are important for enhancing the Customer Experience but need an update to match the wants and needs of today’s customers. With Momentum Protocol, companies can create a loyalty program that offers their customers personalized rewards, greatly increasing Customer Experience.
The use of Blockchain in Loyalty Marketing has steadily been on the rise, with multiple companies implementing the technology to create tokenized loyalty programs. Although development on Blockchain has its challenges, the benefits far outweigh the costs. The compatibility of Blockchain and Loyalty Programs is continually confirmed by industry developments, media outlets, business leaders and entrepreneurs. A great example is Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2019 report, which explores the technologies that will reshape business and government in the next 18-24 months. According to the firm, over the next five years, blockchain will likely become as important as digital experiences, analytics and cloud are today.
Treating loyalty points like ‘currencies’ (with simplified rules for earning and redeeming, more places to spend, more choice for the customer) would unlock growth and acceleration in loyalty participation, potentially unlocking high double-digit growth. Hotel chains Marriott and Hilton already set up loyalty programs with the possibility to exchange loyalty points to retail purchases. These efforts were rewarded with significant growth in membership, but more importantly, significant growth in activity among the base of existing loyalty program members. It is a welcome departure from the old-school approach of locking customers in, by creating incentives for them not to go elsewhere.
The “opening up” of loyalty programs to offer customers more choice and freedom is not a component of a strategy for 2019.
It’s the only way the brands behind them will survive.
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