Is Consumer Loyalty Possible in the Digital Age?

According to research by Accenture Strategy, 71% of loyalty program members claim that loyalty programs do not engender loyalty, and 77% admit that they retract their loyalty more quickly than they did three years ago. As a brand or agency, should we give up on the idea of a consumer loyalty scheme? Or does this mean we don’t understand rapidly evolving consumer behaviour?

The way consumers interact with brands has shifted from a one-way broadcast to a two-way conversation, and consumers today have high expectations of brands to deliver an up-to-date multi-channel technological experience.

Brands should now realise that loyalty isn’t measured by the volume of consumers sitting on banked points indefinitely, in itself a liability, but in the activity around earning and redeeming. Engaged and profitable consumer-brand relationships are possible, but require agile business models, innovative listening technology, and comprehensive consumer data.

Any brand, marketing, shopper or loyalty agency interested in rewarding loyal consumers should be aware of the following key shifts in the market:

Get Personal

Marketers should study their prospect base, identify customised buyer profiles based on behaviour patterns and then develop highly targeted positioning strategies. Technology has allowed consumers to access information in seconds, and has created a demand for responsive communication between the brand and the customer.

Cloud computing and artificial intelligence have elevated customer experience to allow for personalized information exchange, which consumers now expect with every brand interaction. A Red Dot Research study found that twice as many 18-24 year olds than 45-55 year olds have higher expectations of retail delivery performance compared to two years ago.

Don’t Limit Your Rewards

According to EY, the percentage of consumers who take advantage of discounts or coupons has steadily declined since 2012. Coupons aren’t appealing enough as ecommerce eclipses traditional purchase methods; free shipping, on the other hand, is a clear purchase driver.

Move Quickly

Traditional business models prevent brands from making agile marketing decisions to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the digital marketing space. Businesses must make strategic changes to consumer research and marketing strategy to effectively communicate with an evolved consumer. 51% of US consumers are more loyal to a brand that innovates and provides up-to-date technology to enhance the brand experience.

Use Social Media Data

Social media contains a wealth of insights and data on consumer behaviour, preferences, and purchase decisions, yet 70% of companies are not collecting data from social channels according to DMA, which is a missed opportunity. Accenture’s research found that more than half of loyal customers actively recommend brands to others, and 14% express their brand loyalty publicly through social media – use social media to your advantage.

Make Loyalty Simple

Loyalty programs should be made simple to encourage adoption and frequent use. From the first touchpoint and enrolment to reward redemption, the process should be a clear, simple, and enjoyable one for the customer. Complicated points systems can be perceived as a sneaky way to encourage mindless purchases with no real benefit to the customer.

Considering a loyalty offering within your company or think your current programmes may be in need of a refresh? Feel free to get in touch.

Everyone is talking about receipt validation for promotions, rebate & loyalty, but why and when should you use it?

In the past, activating a proof of purchase sales promotion or loyalty program required significant investment in product packaging, integration with a limited set or single retailer or cost-prohibitive inflexible solutions, along with the blind hope that the model would deliver ROI.

With a number of receipt processing platforms coming to market, it’s now possible to use scalable and flexible automated purchase validation as part of your sales promotion, rebate incentive or rewards program. But when is it best used, and why would you choose this mechanic over more traditional models?

Five Reasons to use Receipt Validation:

  1. As an alternative to unique code on pack
    Quickly deployable and with no impact on printing or packing, purchases can be validated almost instantly. Run promotions or loyalty programs in a more cost-effective fashion without having to worry about the effect on production lines or packaging design.
  2. Where / when retailer support isn’t available
    A truly retailer agnostic digital and mobile solution that is not dependant on integration with POS systems or geography. Works with any retailer or multiple retailers, if the purchase can be identified, the receipt can be processed and rewards activated. This is especially relevant for products that can be purchased anywhere, such as a can of Pepsi.
  3. Gain extra market research
    Data capture can digitize not only the content needed to verify the relevant purchase, but also retailer, date, location, payment method of purchase and the entire purchase basket for deep dive data insights and pattern analysis.
  4. Connect directly with your brand consumers
    Create a direct communication loop with brand consumers without negative impact on retailers. Often this helps strengthen brand-retailer partnerships, with insights leading to mutually rewarding activations.
  5. Build towards a loyalty solution
    Offering unrivalled scalability in what we call our crawl-walk-run approach, upscaling and learning from localised test activities helps plan and project success based on your business objectives and customer data to design a well-planned program up to successful multi-territory enterprise loyalty executions to deliver a return on investment.

What kind of activity can it be used for?

  • Proof of Purchase Promotion – gift with purchase, coupon claim, purchase necessary prize draw, instant win.
  • Repeat Purchase Promotion – frequency of purchase, buy x products to unlock a gift, earn entry to prize draw, instant win.
  • Rebate or Cash back.
  • Loyalty Program – points-based rewards program, incentives and benefits program.
  • Trade Incentives Program – reward B2B trade purchases, incentivise and reward B2B sales representatives.

ICYMI, how it works:

Customers submit photographs of receipts via a wide range of electronic media – smartphone camera, email, SMS – and have them validated almost instantly. At the same time, the system data captures all pertinent information from their receipt including date/time, the store purchased from, and -if desired- their entire shopping cart to give added insight into purchase patterns. A robust system complete with fraud prevention, serves to provide basic validation or deeper market insights.

Any questions? We are happy to help; contact us today for a full consultation or read more at http://www.brandmovers.co.uk/receipt-validation/

#Winning – yes there is a prizing strategy for successful promotions.

 

 

 
Planned and executed well, a promotion is one of the most powerful tools for brands to connect with their consumers in a meaningful, and mutually rewarding way. Promotion winners should represent the brand at hand, be available to generate longtail content and help accelerate the promotion goals. Having run over 1500+ promotions we’ve developed some best practices that will secure an ideal winner. Click to read more.

 

Brandmovers Newsletter May ’17

Let’s Keep in Touch.

In case you haven’t already subscribed, highlights from our newsletter this month include:

Why Fewer Entries Can Equal Greater Success
The 80/20 rule in digital promotions, or how activating a small number of advocates can generate huge consumer awareness through User Generated Content promotions. Click to read more.

#TBT case study: MasterCard Vietnam Champions League Road to Milan

With this seasons Champions League nearing conclusion, we’re revisiting our campaign for MasterCard to develop a promotion designed to drive purchase frequency. Click to read more.

Upcoming Events
Join us at the IPM Summer Party, hosted in our building the end of next month. IPM members can sign up via this link and non-members can contact us directly to attend.

Don’t miss out next time, click to subscribe now.

Brandmovers take gold at the OMMA Awards for United in History!

Brandmovers win Best Entertainment Website (Games/Movies/Music/Sports/TV) at the OMMA Awards for Online Marketing 2016 for United in History.

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A global engagement campaign in 9 languages, it has reached over 700K fans, as well as players and club legends, from 210 countries with more than 1MM likes, comments and shares and an estimated 240MM+Twitter impressions.

Discover your United in History at http://www.unitedinhistory.com/

United in History – OMMA Awards for Online Marketing 2016 Finalist

We are proud and delighted to announce that our United in History campaign for client Manchester United has been selected as a finalist for the OMMA Awards for Online Marketing 2016.

The responsive web app allows fans to explore their United history – goals scored, top scorer, shared birthdays, players from their country, trophies won during their lifetime and download a unique personalised infographic. A global engagement campaign in 9 languages, it has reached over 700K fans, as well as players and club legends, from 210 countries with more than 1MM likes, comments and shares and an estimated 240MM+Twitter impressions.

Discover your United in History at http://www.unitedinhistory.com/
See the full list of OMMA 2016 finalists at http://www.mediapost.com/ommaawards/finalists/

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How can user generated content add value to your brand?

User generated content (UGC) describes any form of content such as video, blogs, reviews, feedback, pictures and discussions which is created by and available to consumers. In terms of brand strategy, it is a cost effective and natural way to amplify how stakeholders think and feel about a brand. Marketing efforts are often focused on above the line marketing, digital advertising and email communications whilst utilising the consumer voice is something which is often overlooked.

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Copyright Note: Image by Benjamin Barber on www.participationmarketingconference.com

UGC in conjunction with the growth of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram is allowing businesses to assign brand amplification duties to customers in the form of reviews, feedback and storytelling. Here are three ways UGC can add value and insight to a brand:

1. Reviews

No business is completely safeguarded from public reviews on social media or official review websites. This is a massive responsibility when customer reviews are directly linked to trust, traffic, sales and insight as well as being a huge indicator of whether potential customers will actually use a product or service. According to e-tailing Group, 89% of consumers reported that reviews have an influence on their purchasing decision. This shows the massive impact of social media commentary as well as user generated reviews on platforms such as Trustpilot, Feefo and Reevo which provide an official platform where businesses can see individual reviews.

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Copyright Note: Image by reviewtrackers.com

The first key method to encourage reviews is to prompt and incentivise honest feedback on digital platforms, email communication and in-store. Secondly, it’s worthwhile showcasing reviews on all communication channels as this shows relatable and first-hand awareness of brand experiences. From a consumer perspective, it’s also refreshing to hear from consumer peers rather than only being presented with branded messages. Lastly, it’s essential to track and address reviews on a daily basis by logging into the review websites and searching for brand mentions on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms.

Responding to all reviews on websites such as Trustpilot prevents crisis management issues, is a proactive way to show a business is appreciative of positive reviews and provides textual evidence that a brand has learned from a negative experience and has tangibly put processes in place to compensate the customer and alter future consumer experiences. A negative review left unanswered could create total distrust from prospects and not only affect SEO but future online presence as a whole. Acknowledging reviews is essential, particularly as research from Invesp shows that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

2. Feedback

Brand mentions can build a feedback loop into business performance which can help define overall positioning. A strong commitment is therefore needed to gather, sort and share UGC feedback internally in order to push a business in the right direction. User generated feedback can help a business understand what services their target audience are looking for and what glitches occur during that customer journey. Not only can this be obtained directly by individual business mentions but this is also insightful when looking at UGC insight on competitors or those in a similar industry.
ugc_Picture3Copyright Note: Image by Oktopost.com

Social listening by tools such as Radian 6 and Trakur can prove particularly useful for gathering candid feedback and sorting this by sentiment, content type, location, time and platforms. UGC is also useful for identifying opportunities in the wider landscape and recognising the share of voice compared with competitors. For example, restaurants can use social media monitoring to learn about UGC which articulates lunchtime habits during the weekend, what dishes people love by competitors, an undiscovered or emerging food trend and pinpoint key times that people discuss their hunger. Searching for industry trends can also help identify gaps in the market such as the need for a new iPhone app and flexible opening hours which can provide a unique selling point for future strategies.

3. Storytelling

Incentivising fans and followers to create interactive storytelling with content through the usage of sweepstakes is mutually beneficial to both parties. Rewarding customers with prizes, vouchers or something brand related in exchange for sharing photos, textual updates or video creates the end result of bringing the brand product or notion to life. Recently Universal Studios partnered with Brandmovers to create a UGC storytelling process which supported the launch of the latest Minions movie. Amazon temporarily shipped all of its USA deliveries in yellow Minions boxes. Each box carried a sticker directing them to take a photo with their Minions box and post it to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MinionsBoxes.

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Note: Images of some of the entries from this Brandmovers campaign.

Images were then integrated into a picturesque Minions-themed “photomosaic.”  At the end of the entry period, random winners went on to receive Amazon gift cards. Not only were thousands of Minions/Amazon co-branded images posted on social media but this content was viewed by their own broader network. This storytelling effect integrated the film, packaging and offline elements into a combined experience that everyone publishing the hashtag shared. This positive amplification created an organic content hub and showed an interactive user experience from receiving the Amazon box, to taking a photo to publish on social media, becoming part of a mosaic and also being a potential winner.

Overall, by encouraging UGC though the use of review prompts, sweepstakes and Q&A’s, it’s possible to put content production into the hands of consumers. Adopting the use of social media monitoring and review sites can pull feedback and reviews by current customers, prospects, industry spokespeople and customers of competitors. Not only can this build invaluable insight to add value to a brand but it can provide a major competitive advantage in the long term.

Latest Trends in Digital Promotions

Trend 1: Content is King
Content marketing continues to make waves against traditional digital media and channel-focussed strategies. Digital promotions such as Feeling Gerber Good and The sound of SYSROCK are helping fill that role by incentivising brand advocates to share and create compelling content which helps generate both social amplification and media coverage.

Trend 2: Product Sampling
Cutting through the digital clutter and connecting a brand with their consumer in a tangible way is driving innovation in connecting online and offline. Whether driving footfall like the Million Meal Giveaway or putting product in the hands of consumers like Oreo Mini, these promotions are great ways of creating a physical connection with product whilst building eCRM and social at the same time.