For too long, customer loyalty programs have not included the technology to enable personalization. Customers share their personal details with merchants expecting to receive offers that are relevant to them, but often these offers don’t materialize. This results in frustration. And frustration doesn’t lead to loyalty. Personalization is key because when programs become more relevant to the consumer, they are more likely to return to spend more, which in turn can increase customer engagement with your brand.

Personalization used to be an unexpected novelty. Now people expect products and services to be adapted and relevant to them. Take TV as an example. 10 years ago people had a lot of choice of what to watch, but not how they watched. People can now choose to watch an entire season of their favorite series in one day if they want. They no longer have to wait a week to watch the next episode. And they get personalized recommendations for other series based on what they have watched. People are now growing up in a personalized world; and, this represents the future of marketing.

Why brands struggle to personalize

So if the trend is for more personalization and we know it can increase customer engagement, why do many loyalty programs limit personalized rewards? This only adds to customer frustration. Especially after having shared their personal details. Unfortunately, in spite of being able to collect a lot of data about a portion of customers, many merchants struggle to use this data to offer real value to customers. Even though merchants have a lot of customer details, they often don’t have the operational capacity or technology to interact with each customer in a personal and authentic way.

There are other problems, too. The typical program has only modest participation, so does not appeal to the majority of customers.  Therefore, no data is captured about this large, excluded population. Also, most programs rely only on their own data to determine what the customer may most value.

So how do we go about fixing these problems?

Well, communication is important. At Currency Alliance we believe that a loyalty strategy should involve transparent, permission-based communication between the merchant and the customer on social media and via other channels. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to engage with brands who proactively interact with them. Proactive communication can also help you understand what is valuable to the consumer. This can lead to better personalized targeting.

If you want to increase customer engagement, provide more value!

We also believe that increasing the net value that consumers get from a loyalty program drives engagement. This in turn generates better data to enable  greater personalization. We have created a universal loyalty currency called comcoin, which can be issued by many merchants, meaning that consumers have more choice to earn value, increasing participation in a loyalty program.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend more. It just means we need to provide the customer with more liquidity so the points they do collect can be put to good use. Another advantage is a wider data set allowing you to profile customers based on their behavior outside your store(s).

Imagine doubling or tripling participation, better understanding each customer based on a profile created from data beyond your business, and having the tools to act on available data.

If you want to achieve different results, you have to try something different. Providing consumers with personalized offers can increase customer engagement with your brand. Those that don’t offer real value to customers will be left behind in the coming years.

If you would like to talk further, have any comments, or would like information about our universal loyalty currency, comcoin, please get in touch with us.