January 26, 2010, U.S. – As more businesses turn to loyalty and rewards programs to spark growth, a new report indicates that marketers are under-valuing these programs even as customers give the perks and discounts high marks.
However, both customers and marketers agree on one important area: deeper engagement and personalized contact drives loyalty, not mass blast communications and gimmicks.
The Leaders in Loyalty: Feeling the Love from the Loyalty Club is the latest research report from the Chief Marketing Officer Council, and taps into the insights of more than 600 marketers while gaining first-hand perspective from the recipients of these programs in an audit of over 700 consumers. The study shows that loyal consumers expect marketers to understand them better and deliver more relevant and valued offers.
According to the study, 79 per cent of consumers surveyed say they are very, or pretty, satisfied with their loyalty and rewards program experiences. However, 70 per cent want to see more discounts and savings. In a definitive call for personalization, 58 per cent indicated that they want more compelling personal benefits and services, as well as more relevant offers or individualized deals.
While social media also tops the list of investments for marketers, consumers report that point-of-sale information, service representative interactions, company web sites and word-of-mouth are the primary sources for learning about loyalty clubs. Nearly 65 per cent acquired information about the programs in retail environments compared to only four per cent in social media networks, three per cent in blogs and 11 per cent in online advertising.
According to consumers, too much spam and junk e-mail topped the list of negatives associated with loyalty and rewards program membership (44 per cent), followed by too many conditions and restrictions (38 per cent) and rewards that lacked real value (37 per cent). Other prevalent problems included members having a hard time redeeming points or rewards, program membership lacking value, as well as communications and service not being personalized or targeted specifically for members.
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