Check out how the Top 10 customer engagement trends for 2015 are shaping up in this new series. If you missed #3 last week, you can read it here!
The richest, most vibrant, and most creative loyalty programs often begin as the simplest of ideas. The reality is that in order for a loyalty program to emerge as a leader with regard to its nuanced layers of engagement, relevance, and effectiveness, it is more than likely that it began quite simple in its initial phases of life.
Until very recently, when designing programs for brands large and small, we tried to bake into the scheme nearly anything that we could pack in: multiple tiers, hidden tiers, means of point accrual that stretched from the obvious to edgy social interactions, reward and benefit combinations that stretched organizations’ abilities to deliver.
Increasingly powerful technical tools, social connectors, and the keen desire to catch up and push past competitors drove this POV.
But maybe we got that wrong. Maybe by thinking simply with a logical and effective path towards that eventual goal, we would get there faster and more effectively.
Consider the logic. A simple start allows loyalty marketers to:
- Ensure that, mechanically and technically, the absolute core elements of the program work to perfection (e.g. tracking purchases across core channels, issuing rewards promptly)
- Develop a crisp value proposition that does not hide the reason to believe behind a litany of features that are not core to most customers’ behaviors or interests
- Develop an executable playbook with a smaller and core set of plays that align directly to the key metrics of success—and focus on getting them right through optimization
- Direct efforts towards elements that members never see, but experience (e.g. engaging in a highly relevant way through targeting and customization)
- Expand the program’s features and capabilities with regularity and purpose, providing something new to highlight and market to build ongoing interest, and a sense of continuous improvement
- Avoid the customer frustration (and the internal strife) if aspects of a program have to be pulled back due to ineffectiveness, high cost or poor execution
The answer is not to strive for depth and richness (read “complexity”). The expectation is that by starting with focus and simplicity, marketers are setting themselves up for what ultimately is a far more interesting and effective—and by extension, deep and rich—program.