The following article comes to the Strategic Sourceror courtesy of Eire Direct, a direct marketing specialist firm based in Chicago, IL.


Simply put, a loyalty program is a program that rewards customers who make frequent purchases or repeatedly exhibit desired behaviors. The goal of a loyalty program is to encourage customer engagement to create advocates who become loyal shoppers of your brand.

 But don’t confuse a loyalty program with a discount program. While offering discounts is a great way to forge a relationship with the consumer, a successful loyalty program implements an engagement strategy that fully utilizes data to understand customer behavior.

Today’s customer relationship management (CRM) and point-of-sale (POS) technologies are impressively sophisticated. Executing a well-designed loyalty program is dependent on the right technology platform. A simple google search will uncover a variety of out-of-the-box and custom solutions. But don’t rush a decision. Do your homework and consider a consultant to help you find a solution that will work best for your business. Procuring vendor partners that best fit your business needs requires some upfront planning:

  • Identify your business objectives for the loyalty program 
  • Assess the vendor’s ability to access customer transaction and behavioral data from your point of sale or customer billing files
  • Determine the lifetime value of a newly engaged customer to support your upfront investment
Often times, companies will pilot loyalty solutions before they select a long term provider. You will need to meet with suppliers who have off-the-shelf type of solutions that you can bolt on to your current marketing platforms, or you may want to develop a custom solution. The choice is yours!
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Ken Gaul

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