Meaningful Personalization is as Simple as Being a Good Friend
Treat Your Members Like Friends
Do your members want you to treat them like friends? If you’re the type of friend that has meaningful, caring relationships, then the answer is, “yes.”
Members want and expect much more from loyalty programs—they want you—the program owner—to engineer an experience that develops a deeper, emotional relationship with them, because they believe it’ll make their shopping experience easier and more rewarding; saving them money on the things they truly care about.
A “Future of Loyalty” study from MasterCard, published in Loyalty360, cited these four shifts in the loyalty experience—ll of which points to a greater level of thoughtful, meaningful personalization.
- Conventional to Contextual Loyalty
- Digital to Digital-First
- Siloed to Seamless
- Personalized to Predictive.
A Forrester blog on the “Future of Retail Loyalty” stated brands will use their programs to:
- Connect emotionally
- Be contextually relevant
- Personalize communications and experience around the member journey
Meaningful personalization is the future of loyalty. And, we know it works. A Montetate study found that 93% of brands with advanced personalization strategies increased their revenue last year. The study also found a direct correlation between exceeding ROI goals and a brand’s willingness to invest in that personalization.
So, let’s get ready to work on your relationship with a million or so of your members—who we’ll call “friends.” The path to meaningful personalization is paved with the same common-sense steps as being a good friend.
Step 1: A Good Friend Puts Others First
During your next promotion planning period, stop and think about your friends’ preferences, needs, and wants. Start small. Test and learn into this approach.
For example, try something different to see if you can get better results.
Product-focused (the old you)
Member-focused (the new you)
You and/or your company would like to promote category X to your members.
Find a small group of members that you’re pretty sure don’t need category X. Talk to them about something you think they find more meaningful. That’s being a considerate friend.
Your program auto-issues rewards and reminds members to use them before they expire.
You notice some of your friends didn’t use their reward. Of course, you’re going to reach out, see if everything is okay and ask why they didn’t use it. And, since they’re “friends,” you’re going to give them more time to use their well-earned reward. You’re a true friend.
Test small things and see if the response rates and long-term value are worth the additional effort required to operationalize these approaches.
Step 2: A Good Friend Remembers the Details
When you reference and act on details you’ve learned about your friends; you’re demonstrating your interest in forming a deeper relationship.
As loyalty marketers, your members grant you the privilege of knowing a lot about their behaviors and interactions with your brand. Work hard to find the details that matter about each of your friends, and use it when you talk to them. Demonstrate your deeper relationship by surprising them with experiences and opportunities based on what you’ve learned.
For example, try utilizing these kinds of details to see if you can get better results.
Details you notice
Now delight your “friends”
A small group of friends have been viewing your sweaters online and through the app.
You reach out to invite them to order a bunch of sweaters to try on, and all returns will be free.
A small group of “friends” prefer to buy exclusively online from you.
You make sure they can take advantage of the upcoming “in-store only” promotion even if they purchase online.
Capture and leverage the details that matter to create opportunities to surprise and delight your friends. Use the context of those details to be helpful, informative and relevant. They need to know you’re looking out for them.
Step 3: A Good Friend Enriches the Lives of Other
Now it’s time to be a good friend by making your members' lives a bit easier. Use your data, technology, and voice to improve how your friends see, engage and shop your brand.
You can start small by using some sound analysis to predict, anticipate, and introduce the products, features, and access that will show your friends you value your relationship.
Here are a few ways to try to improve your members’ lives:
- Anticipate the products your friends will love; curate a look book for them
- Prioritize personalized exclusivity, early access, and feature innovations
- Listen and take action to solve your friends’ pain points
- Make frequenting your brand valuable and valuable
- Get involved in a cause or purpose your friends' support
Embrace the notion that your loyalty program “has a higher calling than a promotional fire hose” (thank you, Emily Collins). By enriching the lives of your new friends, you demonstrate a commitment to a deeper relationship that your members will repay in kind.
Too Long; Didn’t Read
- Members want more out of today’s Loyalty Programs; they want relevancy and personalization
- The path to meaningful personalization is as simple as ‘being a good friend’
- Test your way into higher levels of personalization in three easy steps
- Step 1: Put your members’ product, channel, and preferences ahead of your company’s promotional calendar
- Step 2: Remember details about your members and use it to personalize future offers and experiences
- Step 3: Use your program for a higher purpose—find ways to enrich their lives through exclusives, perks, or even a meaningful cause
When in doubt consult with your local loyalty strategist (ideally one who knows how to be a good friend), or reach out to us. Brierley offers a range of strategy and consumer insight modules that can help you in evaluating and enhancing your member acquisition and on-boarding efforts. Our Strategy and CI Teams can help with projects such as CX Journey Mapping, Competitor Evaluations, Communication Audits, Loyalty Ideation Workshops, and more to ensure you maximize every opportunity to drive enrollments. To learn more, click here.