So, another key aspect, is to understand what goals we are setting for ourselves when we kick off a loyalty program for our customers, what timelines we want to take action with our customers with the actions we put in place, as well as the timelines we have set for analyzing the data, how or when to put any correctives to the actions we have taken, if the monitoring does not account for the strategy implemented.
If we go to read the responses obtained from the valuable interview work of the University of Parma in 2019, there are some data that, in our opinion, will make us puzzled at least.
Here is the graph with the data:
The first and biggest source of perplexity is that 4 percent who say they “don’t know” what it means to set up a loyalty program, but just to have it available … and it makes us wonder about this not even knowing if, and when, goals are reviewed (assuming some are set).
We then move on to the largest slice, which is the 42.6 percent who say they measure the progress of these (alleged) goals, even once a year.
We wonder how we can make a state measurement, toward the goals, only once a year considering that, when we go to make it, the year itself has already passed, and there is nothing more we can do to correct the course, so it is like reading a history book.
Clearly, after the remarks just made, we are not even going to comment on that 2.6 percent who even go so far as to look at what is going on in their own homes, with respect to loyalty programs, beyond a year.
Here we are faced with the 50 percent of companies (49.2 percent to be precise), who have a significant customer base, such as to justify the activation of a loyalty program, who have it active, and who treat it as if it were a plus, keep it as if it were a very low volume background music and measure the results, which are purely statistical, because it does nothing really interactive with its users.
These then let things go their own way, only perform final statistics (when it is done), not questioning whether or not the loyalty program, tied to their loyalty cards, meets the needs, drives home the goals set, creates value, has a return on investment, instead correcting the course if things do not go as planned.
Then there is fortunately a segment of companies, either every semester (18.6 percent), or every quarter (in this case 32 percent), that play a really active role on their loyalty programs and ask questions aimed at working on them … as protagonists!
Clearly, according to our way of looking at things, that 32 percent who review trends quarterly is the best situation per se out of the whole analyzed landscape, but here again a point needs to be made.
Should we go and put on track an online advertising campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google AdWords, etc. and, think of going to review the results, strategies, etc., set targets with a latency timeframe of 3 months, it would mean that we are intending to potentially throw away a lot of money because, in this case, the trends have to be monitored, EVERY DAY, to possibly put corrections, do A/B test integrations, etc.
Why should it be any different with our loyalty cards and the loyalty programs associated with them? Perhaps because (evidently), of actual programs they are not, interactions do not make any, and therefore it is also okay if we just check annual statistics or more.
At this point we say one thing!
If we are faced with this data, it really means that there is really everything to be built in this field; in other words, evidently, retailers think it is essential to have a strategy for personalizing offers available, but then they do nothing to get closer to their customers, and this is proven by the facts.
Have you by any chance ever received personalized discounts JUST FOR YOU?
Just for you, it doesn’t mean just send an email with the simple “Good morning Mario” or “Good morning Filippo” or “Good morning Francesco”, where only the name is automatically changed but the content remains the same, but where a discount is made just for you!
Wanting to give a well-known example, to date in 2020, the well-known TV Sky, clusters customers by age groups and, offers the loyalty program “Sky just for you” reserved for customers who have at least 3 years of seniority of subscription, 6 years, 9 years, etc., tying to each bracket of services or concessions more, than younger customers of company and subscription.
This is an early example, however, of only beginning! What does it mean? Immediately explained.
If we go and create giant containers where we are going to place all the customers who meet the criteria of 0-3 years of subscription, 3-6 or 6-9 etc., considering that Sky has 5.19 million customers, it means that if we were faced with even ten containers, we would place on average, in each container, the beauty of 519.000 customers who would then all be “driven and incentivized” by the same loyalty system, with all the differences that there can be in an audience of 519,000 customers multiplied by the ten containers created.
These, in our view, continue to be windfall opportunities even though there is a timid but laudable attempt to differentiate.
It is now August 2020 and so, as of today, our answer is that we do NOT see in the commercial landscape any personalized discounts, no discounts really centered on the individual (except for the birthday discounts that chains like “Old Wild West” do), no personalized communication except for the name (see the example given earlier with the personalized email), and no concrete experience with personalization.
This is the real starting point of our work, of all that we have created in terms of platform and mobile APP, as we go to offer a new personalized loyalty experience through a real user or customer experience, where everyone counts one (remember our saying “One is One”) and where the behavioral pattern, of each individual, is measured on the SINGLE person and not on clusters based on huge groups of them.
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