How to Leverage Data to Create Compelling Customer Experiences

December 15, 2017 Catherine Malone

Consumers expect brands to know who they are, and create compelling experiences for them. In fact, 63% of consumers said they’d think more positively of a brand if its content was more valuable, interesting or relevant and 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decisions. Furthermore, according to a Forrester Research, Inc. study, 77% of the consumers surveyed stated that they have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

Investing in Loyalty for Data Collection

Brands need to know who their customers are and what they’re interested in. Loyalty programs that capture data across all channels help to form a 360 view of customers. Loyalty programs sit on the front lines of customer data collection and for many brands particularly CPG companies that do not have a direct relationship with customers, loyalty programs may be to the only source of data collection.

By leveraging customer data captured in a multichannel loyalty solution, brands can make personalized recommendations, offer relevant promotions, and upsell and cross sell relevant products or services to consumers.

Loyalty Program Tactics and Customer Insights

A benefit to engagement-based loyalty programs is that they provide brands with the opportunity to capture rich sets of transactional and non-transactional data.

By incorporating activities across all channels and touchpoints, brands can collect a great deal of insight into who their customers are.

  • Registration

When a customer registers for a loyalty program, the brand can collect foundational customer data such as email address, birthday and location in exchange for points. This information means that the brand can send the customer email communications, target them with location specific offers, and surprise and delight with birthday promotions.

  • Content engagement

By incentivizing loyalty members to engage with branded content in exchange for points, brands can gauge which topics resonate best with their customers and target them with promotions related to the product or service they just read about in a blog post or watched in a YouTube video.

  • Points for purchase

Brands can incentivize loyalty members to earn points for each transaction. The information captured tells a brand about the products customers purchase across different product categories, at which locations and whether online or in-store. For example, Colorescience Lasting Rewards program provides members with product recommendations based on transaction history combined with profile information.  

  • Surveys

Another point earning activity that captures useful customer data is surveys. By asking members to complete surveys based on their personal style, preferences or habits, brands can learn everything about their customers from their skin tone to their favorite color to how often they visit a brand in-store. This information can be used to target the customer with specific products and promotions.

  • Event Engagement

Brands can invite loyalty members to member-only events, capture their attendance and invite them to similar future events. The brand can also start to identify whether there is a correlation between members who attend an event and order specific products.

  • Social Media Engagement

Brands can incentivize loyalty members to connect their social media accounts to their loyalty program, and share brand content in exchange for points. This allows brands to not only track members’ social media presence, but identify social media influencers and reward those that engage most heavily.

  • Refer-a-Friend

When brands incentivize members for referring their friends and family to the brand, this helps expand the membership base and capture the referral’s age, location, and contact information.

  • Redemption

Based on how frequently a customer has completed activities as part of the loyalty program, the brand can offer the customer a catalog of rewards from which to redeem. Redemptions can give a better idea of a consumer outside of their purchase history. Rewards such as a sweepstakes or an experiential reward can reveal a consumer’s priorities and interests. For example, Verizon tracks which rewards customers find most appealing, from free coffee to tickets concerts and sporting events to once-in-a-lifetime meet and greets with famous artists and athletes. This gives Verizon deep insight into its customers’ hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes. As Verizon learns what interests their customers, they give them more of what they want.

Segmenting Customers to Improve Relevancy

Based on the data gleaned from these loyalty program activities, brands can begin to start segmenting their customers. Segmentation allows brands to group customers based on where they fall in the product life cycle and how they engage with the brand. Brands can group customers based on all known data to deliver personalized activities, rewards and brand experiences.

Using Data to Drive Personalized Brand Experiences

Through data capture and segmentation, brands can start to provide compelling brand experiences for their customers through meaningful communications, relevant promotions and personalized rewards.  

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