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Planning a Customer Loyalty Program? Forget Social Media!

It’s not often that you’ll hear the advice to NOT bother with social media, but a new CMO Council report suggests that when it comes to customer loyalty programs, social media just doesn’t make sense.

While 60% of the 600 marketers polled, planned to make better use of the web and social networking tools, consumers say that’s not how to reach them. In fact, just 4% of consumers say they used social media–dropping to 3% when focusing only on blogs–to learn about customer loyalty programs.

Now, you could argue that the number is at 4% simply because companies are doing a lousy job of promoting their customer loyalty programs via social media, but the CMO Council suggests otherwise:

This finding is not surprising when you consider that consumers engaged in loyalty programs demand high-touch direct engagements, versus mass messages, regardless of channel.

This appears to be backed-up by the revelation that only 20% of business have yet to form any kind of loyalty program. So it appears companies have the right fishing pole, they’re just at the wrong lake.

So, who should you emulate? When surveyed, these are the companies that were top-of-mind when consumers think of the best loyalty program:

The keys to their success? Well, let’s flip it and look at what consumers didn’t like about the average loyalty program:

Too much spam and junk email topped the list of negatives associated with loyalty and rewards program membership (44 percent), followed by too many conditions and restrictions (38 percent), and rewards that lacked real value (37 percent). Other prevalent beefs 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.

The average US household is enrolled in 14 loyalty programs, but only active in 6 of them. The odds are in your favor, if you know where to engage consumers–and give them the benefits they want!