Marketers need to find new ways to augment their loyalty program visibility

As loyalty programs proliferate, marketers must find new ways to augment their program visibility as well as grow member engagement. While brands fight for awareness by increasing loyalty prominence on digital assets, opportunities to support loyalty programs remain – including incentivising data capture for program improvement and leveraging mobile features to relieve points of friction. Best-in-class brands possess a holistic loyalty strategy that encompasses experience-based incentives and streamlined, consistent messaging across digital channels. 

The third annual Gartner L2 Intelligence Report: Loyalty 2019 spans 187 brands across six sectors (activewear, beauty, big box, department stores, restaurants and specialty retail) and assesses their promotional tactics, as it relates to program launches and revamps, loyalty program models, multichannel deployment and mobile integration. 

The study states that marketers continue looking to loyalty programs for growth and sustained consumer relationships, tailoring loyalty investments that enable holistic views of customers. Fifty-one per cent of marketers within retail intend to increase loyalty spending this year to improve program awareness and engagement through multi-channel ad campaigns, and increase benefits that deliver real value upon participation. 

Read more: Navigating the app roadmap

Despite increased spending from brands, consumer engagement has reached its saturation point: over half of loyalty program memberships are inactive, and nearly a third of members abandon programs without capitalising on collected rewards. Brands are taking steps to bolster engagement through incentives, with 72 per cent of indexed brands offering complimentary services and exclusive experiences. However, opportunities still exist for brands to create a virtuous cycle of program improvement, such as rewarding members for completing surveys or making peer referrals. Ultimately, best-in-class brands combine incentives with experiences and streamline messaging across digital channels to successfully re-engage customers and retain their businesses. 

The study also provides a loyalty program road map as well as powering personalised loyalty and streamlining loyalty app usage. 

There is a section devoted to Raising Program Awareness, where the study explores the ‘Strides in Both Visibility and Transparency’, ‘Enhancing Discoverability Through Search’, ‘Creating Content Amenable to Search’, and ‘Display as Top-Of-Funnel Support’.


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