Customer-obsessed marketing

Make Mobile A Loyalty Priority

Emily Collins
Senior Analyst
March 21, 2013

I belong to more loyalty programs than the average consumer. As a result, on any given day, my wallet is overflowing with loyalty cards and loyalty program related paraphernalia. At the register, I’m often rummaging through my purse to locate reward certificates, half-filled punch cards, coupons, and the like.More often than I would like to admit, rewards go unredeemed simply because I didn’t have access to them when I needed or wanted to make a purchase.

I am also — like 42% of US online adults — a perpetually connected consumer. Whether I’m “just looking,” comparing specific products and prices, searching for coupons in my email, or making a purchase, I rely on my smartphone as a trusty sidekick. In that vein, my mobile phone has recently helped me reduce some of the physical bulk that comes with loyalty program membership. I have an app that digitally manages all of my membership cards in one place, a loyalty program folder to corral branded apps that offer loyalty program functionality, and more than one retailer lets me scan rewards barcodes at the POS.

In the loyalty space at large, however, most marketers have been slow to adopt mobile tactics to meet the needs of perpetually connected customers like me. Less than a third of loyalty marketers we surveyed are piloting or using tactics like mobile websites, native applications, and mobile messaging. A few weeks ago, I blogged about the benefits of mobilizing your loyalty program; but, this isn’t just about developing a fancy app decked out with bells and whistles, or siphoning marketing messages into the mobile channel. Mobile tactics don’t equate to a mobile strategy and organizations need a strong foundation supported by customer understanding and clear objectives that tie into the larger multichannel loyalty strategy.

I will be speaking more on mastering mobile loyalty at Forrester's Marketing Leadership Forum in LA, April 18-19. Or, join my colleagues in London at the Marketing Leadership Forum EMEA on May 21 & 22 to learn more about creating brand advantage with perpetually connected customers.

If you have any burning mobile loyalty questions, let me know in the comments!

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