The (re)Birth of the Relationship: Leveraging Loyalty to Engage and Connect
There is a lot of discussion on the “death of the cookie” and what it means for marketers – the questions swirl:
- How will we connect with our customers if we can’t track them across touchpoints and platforms?
- How will we talk to them in meaningful and relevant ways?
- How will we increase sales without cookie tracking and retargeting?
There is an inherent disconnect in talking about personalization, relevance, and emotional connection all the while “hiding” in the anonymity of “behind the scenes” tracking and retargeting enabled by cookies.
In absence of the ability to track customer activities through cookies and amass third-party data to inform customer interactions, the time has come for the (re)birth of the relationship – the relationship with your customers.
Loyalty Programs have long been a cornerstone of establishing and cultivating meaningful customer relationships and cementing a strong and lasting connection between the customer and the brand – driving retention and brand advocacy.
Loyalty Programs serve as a powerful tool for the collection of robust zero- and first-party data which allow brands to know their customers and to create direct and personally relevant customer connections and interactions across touchpoints.
From the outset of using Loyalty to establish a connection with customers, there is an inherent value exchange – customers are sharing their data, a valuable and personal asset, with the understanding that they are receiving benefits from joining the program and connecting with the brand.
Agreement to provide their data is grounded in a belief that their interactions with the brand will be made seamless and more robust by sharing their information. They also are demonstrating a level of trust that the brand will protect that data and use it in positive, personally meaningful, and rewarding ways.
Past this initial value exchange, we can use data collected through Loyalty Programs to enable our understanding of their motivations, likes/dislikes, preferences, feedback, etc. – and then leverage that understanding to create a meaningful connection and build a strong relationship.
Fueled by the data they share, we become experts on our customers and use that knowledge to demonstrate that we hear them and that they matter:
- Recognizing them (and their needs) across touchpoints, especially customer-initiated interactions and their “opted-in” messaging and interactions.
- Augmenting the customer journey with personalized content
- Offering exclusive member experiences and access specifically relevant to their interests
- Creating a sense of community
- Tailoring communications to their preferences
Framework foundational to the ability to collect and leverage customer data:
- A true 360 view of members – a single source of data, anchored by a unique identifier, that can be leveraged across the enterprise and other systems
- Enterprise-level customer-centric focus
- Willingness and ability to honor customer preferences
- Privacy compliance practices
- Engagement strategies for all points on the customer journey
- Robust communication strategies and execution
- Customer segmentation methods
- Predictive analytics and recommendation engines to predict needs states and related messaging or offers
Don’t mourn the death of the cookie, instead embrace the opportunity to leverage your Loyalty program and the rich data it provides to connect directly with customers, using your expert understanding of them to create a lasting and personal relationship.
Elisabeth Keller leads the Brierley Client Service/Client Success practice. She brings over 20 years of experience in working with clients to achieve their business goals through Loyalty and sophisticated Customer Engagement programs. Through a combination of her keen business sense, coupled with a strong operational background and understanding of current technologies, Elisabeth knows not only how to identify what should be done, but also how to bring initiatives to market. Elisabeth holds a BA in Literature from New College and a Graduate Certificate in Marketing from Southern Methodist University.
Brierley can help you make the most of your Loyalty Program and your data. Our proprietary platform LoyaltyOnDemand® provides the foundation for robust data collection, Loyalty, and Customer Engagement Programs, allowing marketers the ability to offer an almost unlimited number of ways to engage with personal relevance. Brierley’s FAST Track Consulting allows clients to bundle any of our 22 modules to build a complete strategic solution that delivers rapid insights, makes substantial impacts, and increases revenue. Finally, the Brierley Loyalty Quotient (BLQ) is the proprietary methodology we built to help brands measure and analyze a full picture of true customer loyalty, both rational and emotional.