Dana Hayman is one of the sharpest marketing minds in the business. He and I wrote this article for the Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications in the 2009 issue.
Any employee, from the CEO to the mail clerk in any firm, would probably agree that developing and maintaining “loyal” customers is, or should be, a top priority for the company. As a result, it seems most marketers are convinced they need a loyalty program of some sort. But have marketers considered what loyalty really means to their organization? Do they know what the traps and hurdles are in building loyalty for their firm? Have they clearly determined the specific customers loyalty programs should target? If not, they may be destined to hit some formidable snags in the process of developing or enhancing a loyalty program that their chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief financial officer (CFO) will endorse. This article will address: a perspective on points-based loyalty programs, challenges in defining loyalty and designing a loyalty program, ideas for defining loyalty and building the right loyalty program for a firm, and keys to success, assuming a loyalty program is the right approach.
When my mom worked at Hallmark Cards she had a boss that used to have good advice for artists who had run out of ideas. He would say, “whenever you are completely drained and have absolutely no ideas for anything. Sit down and do it anyway.”