After a very long and persistent wet winter spring is nearly upon us! And with it the annual “Spring Cleaning” adventure is front and centre in the minds of many. While we’d love to wax lyrical about putting coats away until next year and hitting the beach again, the Spring Cleaning metaphor is as apt for your business and loyalty program as it is for your front hall closet. Even more so as the COVID roller-coaster appears to have abated in many regions.
Let’s be honest, COVID was a wild, unpredictable ride that no business owner is keen to repeat. In many cases the dust hasn’t completely settled but the impacts – and the associated changes – have reverberated across many operational aspects of your business.
Now is the perfect time to take stock and do a little spring cleaning of your loyalty program too.
Here are some critical questions and associated tactics we’re encouraging all business and loyalty leaders to consider. Particularly as we’re into Year 3 of COVID.
How Clean Are Your Lists?
One thing we know is that consumer buying habits in many categories changed during COVID. Some have returned to normal – bulk buying toilet roll seems to have fallen away. Some have changed forever.
When was the last time you looked real hard at your mailing lists and tried to ascertain how clean they are and whether you’re actually thinking strategically about the various segments in your lists? How many in-actives do you have? How many of those in-actives are folks who’ve changed habits or left the category entirely? What are you doing about new joiners? Do you understand why they’ve come into your brand or category and are you taking that into consideration with your messages and promotions?
Metrics matter. And stale lists hurt every part of your scorecard. Now is the perfect time to take a hard look at your lists and reconsider new, fresh ways to spruce them up.
Have You Reactivated Your Base?
Sounds obvious but this is not the time to take your customers engagement or loyalty with you for granted. An audit of your messaging, and its cadence, is always a smart move but never more so than when the economy, and society at large, has gone through so much change. For many customers, we’re not back to a full “business as usual” footing so that consideration needs to loom large in what, how and when you communicate.
Consider: (i) Role of welcome back messaging; (ii) Role of informing vs. selling – how you build rapport with your base; (iii) How you can help your base beyond just your brand and your category – consider the larger context.
Is It Time to Explore New Partners?
Spring cleaning often comes with an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality. And sure, sometimes there’s merit in reconsidering partnerships or relationships that have grown stale and lack-lustre. In truth any partnership should create maximum advantage for your consumers and reinforce the reasons they remain loyal to you and your brand.
Any partnership that isn’t helping you directly achieve your business outcomes is one that warrants some real reflection. Part of the evolution of the last few years is a heightened consumer expectation of personalisation and a growing demand for more targeted and exclusive rewards. If your current crop of partners – or the way your partnerships operate – prevent you from delivering that, perhaps dusting up that part of your operations is just what the business and your consumers need right now.
Have You Updated Your Data Strategy & Policies?
One thing that likely needs some spring cleaning and dusting up is your approach to data collection and addressing the impending changes in data privacy legislation and the “cookieless” future. New privacy laws are on the near horizon and the death of the cookie is no longer out of sight out of mind.
If you’re considering all the timely questions in this post, then your data collection and data strategy for the future must also come into very sharp focus. Elements like Zero-Party Data are no longer edge case discussions but are at the core of loyalty programs that have evolved with the times. Reducing your reliance on 3rd Party and other cookie-derived data is a critical action all loyalty marketers should be enacting asap. If this recent article from BCG is any indication, 39% of marketers are already experiencing significant declines in performance and 56% anticipate this decline to continue for the foreseeable future.
While we may adore the new beginnings that Spring evokes, the idea of Spring Cleaning can often feel a little daunting. This year in particular, the “Spring Cleaning” metaphor for your loyalty program and your business building efforts couldn’t be more apt.
Much has changed over the past 2 years and the smartest, most successful loyalty leaders don’t see that as a negative. They see that as an opportunity to dust off and spruce up their efforts. By asking yourselves the questions above, and really digging into the details, we guarantee your customer relationships, and your loyalty program, will truly blossom.