Watering Your Merchant-Funded Loyalty Program
Merchant-funded loyalty programs are not fire and forget
All too often we see brands go to great lengths to design a best-in-class merchant-funded loyalty program, focus a lot of energy on the program design and launch strategy and then completely flounder when it comes to ongoing consumer engagement. Why go through extensive processes of competitor analysis, concept design, rounds of creative revisions, platform optimization, hand-selecting merchants to appeal to your demographic, and then some to let the whole thing collect dust post launch? If you’re the brand that wants to move on to the next big idea after the program launches, think again. A merchant-funded loyalty program is much like planting a tree; it needs ongoing care – water it, fertilize it, prune it, talk to it. Just as your tree needs long-term care, your merchant-funded loyalty program needs an ongoing consumer engagement marketing strategy.
Watch Your Merchant-Funded Loyalty Program Grow
If you are considering a merchant-funded loyalty program, you need to plan and budget accordingly. The total cost of a merchant- funded loyalty program isn’t limited to the build and hosting fees. You need to allocate resources, establish an appropriate annual marketing budget and develop a marketing strategy that encompasses engagement with your consumer at every touch point in all of your channels. There are many alternatives in today’s competitive marketplace and consumers can be fickle. One bad experience or incident can damage a long-term relationship. You need to stay in front of your consumers with a consistent brand message, offerings that consumers perceive as valuable, and listen for any opportunity to overcome a bad experience or negative perception. Find your frequency sweet spot and encourage regular spend and engagement.
The launch is just the beginning – a seedling waiting to sprout. With proper planning and long-term care, your program will grow into a revenue generating machine. So embrace that green thumb and watch the fruits of your labor flourish for years to come.
DBG Loyalty is a leading innovator in loyalty and rewards marketing. DBG was founded in 2002 because the industry was looking for a trusted technology leader who could develop and establish consumer loyalty programs. DBG has customer relationships which span from the time of inception.
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