02
Aug
08

Loyalty data translates in better marketing

According to a Nielsen report on consumer insights, stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships can be achieved by a sound analysis of shopping behaviour, leading to targeted marketing programmes.

At Cequity, our belief is that loyalty marketers don’t really use their loyalty marketing data effectively for creating tangible business impact. Our belief is that loyalty data has to be effectively used in real-time(week after week in grocery retail or month after month in lifestyle, CD/IT retail) in target marketing campaigns to build ” value perception” & ” personalized service/rewards privileges” amongst loyal customers.

Take a look at what the Nielsen Report has to say:

Foundations of loyalty
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, companies that use their loyalty programmes to establish a deeper relationship with their customers are better positioned to prosper. Two foundational factors are especially important within any loyalty scheme:

  1. Maintaining good customer data with insights, which can be easily distributed throughout the organisation for decision-making;
  2. Developing a business culture that constantly looks for ways to improve programmes that benefit customers by applying shopper insights.

Creating a process for gathering insights, testing programmes and learning about customer response is important. While a few interesting facts about a cardholder’s household composition might come from the initial card application, such information and even deeper insights may also be derived by capturing sales history and assessing information about customers from transactional-level purchase data.

Sales data not only tells an analyst about additional family members in a cardholder’s household, but it also identifies opportunities to target the household more uniquely through a better understanding of preferences for specific categories, products and brands to satisfy the special needs of a child or any other household member.

Analytical models
Increasingly-sophisticated models also enable analysts to understand why customers shop, how they shop, what they buy and how sensitive they are to various price structures. If properly collected and assessed, sales data can point out everything from pets in the home to family health and nutrition needs. Analysis of the data becomes one way to answer those burning business questions:
· What do customers want?
· How can I keep them shopping in my stores?
· What opportunities exist to increase sales?

The data, analysis, and decision-making are only as good as the commitment by business leaders to continuously apply the insights to developing programmes that positively impact customer behaviour. This kind of transformational change and the impact it has on the enterprise takes time. If leadership embraces the use and application of customer data, the business will follow. Even then, the business must adapt in other ways.

Structural changes needed
Organisational and structural changes are required to re-align goals and incentives or develop planning processes that place a focus on the customer. The end result, however, works. Nielsen Loyalty has witnessed established retailer programmes achieve:

  • Sales effect increases of 1% to 5% in same store sales;
  • Loyal customer basket sales increases of 5% and 9%;
  • New customer retention rate increases from 20% to 40%;
  • Supplier funding for insight and communications rises from 0.05% to 0.1% of sales;
  • Promotional budget savings from 20% to 40%;
  • At least 75% of sales tracked at customer-item level.

Every aspect of a retail business and the interaction with supplier partners must embrace the needed changes for these levels of success to occur. It does not happen quickly, but the sooner the shift in focus occurs, the sooner all parties can begin trialling new solutions.

A good example
One North American retailer, well known for rewarding it best “Platinum Fans” customers, wanted to use its Loyalty card programme to further build customer affinity and grow sales. By all accounts, this grocery chain has earned some measure of success-achieving over 85% of sales on card by reinforcing a message of customer value, targeted offers, and special services. These loyal customers received periodic special in-store gift cards and coupons presented to them directly by the store manager for maintaining high loyalty thresholds.

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At Cequity, we believe customer intelligence will be the biggest competitive advantage enterprises will have in the next decade or two. Successful enterprises of tomorrow will be the ones who can organize and leverage this information at speed to optimize their marketing performance, increase accountability, improve profit and deliver growth. Cequity insights will bring to you trends and insights in this area and it’s our way of sharing best practices so as to help you accelerate this culture and thinking in your organization.
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