Loyalty program data are rich with invaluable insights that increase customer experience and enrich your understanding of the market you’re serving.
Data privacy is a major concern, especially in a post-Cambridge Analytica world. The data mining company’s misuse of millions of online data has raised concerns over the safety of information shared on the web. The privacy breaches have sparked enough fear in people that posts are said to be getting “less personal”. The scandal—plus the subsequent decline of the online community’s confidence—has led to several recalibrations on how market data is handled and distributed by companies.
We cannot deny, however, that data remains as a powerful asset for companies. It’s a driver for decisions, a moving agent of sorts, that allows brands and organisations to appear more credible and relevant. When used right, it provides rich insights for marketers and drives innovative solutions to all sorts of things, innovation that is aligned with customer preferences and values.
Take loyalty programs, for instance. Loyalty programs, whatever form they come in, amass several information about a consumer. Here are three ways of using your loyalty program data in order to maximise its utility for your brand!
In essence, consumer data collected from loyalty programs helps a brand:
Build a buyer persona
HubSpot defines a buyer persona as “semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data.” What a buyer persona does is it helps you narrow your focus and align your product or service goals with that of the existing need of your “ideal” market. Aside from its predictive ability, creating buyer personas are cost-effective in that they give you an idea about who to endorse to and where to spend most of your marketing budget by emphasising your most lucrative segment. Consequently, they eliminate the segments which yield the most amount of resistance to you.
The definition itself already gives us a starting point about how important data is to the creation of buyer personas. Coupled with reliable and timely market and industry data, loyalty program data captures data in real time, giving you an edge over competition.
Here are a few questions you may want to answer when building your buyer persona:
- Who are your existing customers (focus on demographics)?
- Who do you want to attract?
- What are their pain points and frustrations?
- What are their goals?
- How do you think your product or service can help them?
Personalise rewards or offers
Personalisation is key to successful loyalty programs. The personalisation of rewards is a direct answer to the homogeneity of the market. To entice the modern market, you need more than the promise of something they share with a billion other people in the world. You must look past the homogenising characteristics of your consumers and treat them as the individuals that they are—nuanced and driven by personal preferences. You can do this through personalising your rewards and offers. And how do you know what to offer each customer? Why, let your data answer it for you!
When customers sign-up or opt-in to your loyalty program, they give you access to a trove of information about themselves. You can tailor-fit the rewards based on their demographic profile and interests, the events happening within their locality, or even their purchase history. The trick is investing time and effort to do that extra mile in order to show your customers that you have their best interests in mind.
Aside from the ready demographic profile, you can even use user-generated responses to draw out your personalised rewards. Send out survey forms to members, analyse and categorise their feedbacks, and segment them accordingly. Additionally, automation is on your side; by simply addressing them by name when sending out emails and notifications. This already impresses a more personal, intimate connection—something your customers crave.
Anticipate consumer behaviour
Putting it plainly, loyalty programs are created to encourage repeat purchases from existing customers. But even your repeat customers’ attitude towards products can change over the years. Instead of resisting the inevitable changes, the influx of newer pockets of data can help you move with your customers and predict their behaviours.
One of the more latent benefits of loyalty cards is its ability to track purchases, therefore linking one transaction to another. Each purchase gives brands and organisations a snapshot of their consumers’ behaviours, specifically when and where they shop. This data helps them anticipate future consumer behaviour and even indirectly observe where they are on their customer journey.
The data you glean from loyalty programs also gives you an idea where your customers are on their path to becoming a loyal patron. Clearly, that’s what you’re there for—use data that came directly for them to tailor your rewards and inspire their loyalty.
Data is a crucial subject, so proceed with caution.
Make sure you understand the limits of your data use and nurture your loyal customers by using their data only for the sole purpose of maximising their experience with your brand!