Loyalty programs are often a common tactic used by B2C companies to encourage repeat purchases. For instance, say you are a coffee shop that offers a free coffee or pastry to your customers on their 10th visit or perhaps you offer a point system that comes with a reward after they reach a certain amount. Businesses like coffee shops or ice cream parlors find success with this tactic as it encourages repeat purchases and keeps their customers happy (who doesn’t love a free treat?).

However, for specialty retailers, brands, and resorts whose success hinges on the overall customer experience, a loyalty marketing initiative makes the most sense (or even a combination of the two). Treating your customers like individuals and using what you know about them to talk to each one in a personal, meaningful way is key to them returning and spending more at your store or resort. In fact, according to one study, 43% of US consumers pay more for products of brands they are loyal to.

What is loyalty marketing?

Loyalty marketing is a coordinated effort to build customer loyalty and drive repeat purchases based on personalized, one-to-one communications through the lens of better customer service and nurturing your customer relationships. In a traditional loyalty program, businesses don’t actually have a detailed understanding of who those customers are. Whether it’s knowing personal identifiable information like where they live or their birthday, what they like/dislike, or their past purchases, using those details when communicating with your customers is critical in building lifelong loyalty.

While you can still offer rewards, coupons, incentives, etc. with loyalty marketing, you don’t have to. If you are talking to your customers on a one-to-one level, being “there” at the right time with compelling, helpful information is just as powerful in building customer loyalty. And if you do want to offer some sort of reward or incentive, the advantage of loyalty marketing is that you can pinpoint exactly which customer(s) you want to receive the offer and when.

75% of American consumers say they’re more likely to be loyal to brands that understand them on a personal level (Acquia)

How to make loyalty marketing effective

The foundation of a successful loyalty marketing initiative is your customer data. When you know the behavioral patterns and demographics of your audience, you can better serve them with the information they want and need. With a platform like Ascent360, you can aggregate that data, cleanse and enrich it for an accurate customer view, and turn those insights into categorized segments.

Getting Started with Data Driven Marketing: A Beginner’s Checklist

Ultimately, segmentation is going to strike a chord with your customers just as much as a traditional loyalty program might (if not more). It allows you to get more personal with your customers and build lasting relationships — perhaps you invite them to a local event or sale if they live in the area, or maybe you know they’ll likely need an add-on accessory for a specific purchase they recently made.

In order to effectively segment your customers, you need to actively collect customer data, whether that’s by POS system, eCommerce platform, or in-store. With that data and the right marketing tool, you create a completely streamlined, actionable view of how to reach the right person at the right time with the right message.

Ready to see your customer data in action? Start with a custom demo of the Ascent360 data driven marketing automation platform and discover whether a loyalty program or loyalty marketing strategy (or both!) is right for you. 

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