How banks can power their loyalty programs

Published September 30, 2015   |   

I read an article on The Huffington Post the other day, about how Canadians are unhappy with their banks’ loyalty programs. It got me thinking about what Crayon is offering to the world, and just how much the world needs it.
There are a lot of loyalty programs out there that don’t do justice to the term loyalty. On average, consumers belong to eight loyalty programs. Do the companies that offer loyalty programs really understand loyalty? Or are they just implementing programs to keep up with their peers?
Did you know that 56% of affluent middle-class Americans are currently members of bank loyalty initiatives? However, only 23% of consumers say that offers or deals they receive from businesses are relevant to them. The remaining 77% think the offers they receive via email or mail completely miss the mark in terms of relevancy. More and more consumers are becoming exhausted with the constant stream of offers or deals they’re barraged with daily. A phenomenon that is known as ‘offer fatigue‘ – a customer’s resistance to reading through yet another deal, coming at them via every communication channel imaginable.
The other day I opened my email to find an offer from my bank (a well known large institution, mind you), for discounted Luke Bryan concert tickets. I had never heard of this performer before. After some research I learned he was a pretty well-known Country music star. I am not a Country music fan and never have been. So, this offer was as irrelevant as a discount on clothes in Starbucks.
Loyalty should be treated as one of the several tools, alongside customer experience, brand and customer service that helps foster customer loyalty, wherever customers interact. Marketers have a huge opportunity to help their firms gain insights on who their customers are, what motivates them and how they currently interact with their products and services. An opportunity that just 26% of marketers currently cite as a top business objective for their loyalty programs.
To fully leverage their assets, banks need to start with customer data. By tapping into historical customer data and employing predictive analytics, relevant and timely offers are easier to create than ever. You can finally understand what your customer wants and deliver it when they are ready to act. The future of effective customer engagement relies on leveraging data to create personalized customer experiences at every turn.
A Gartner survey shows that more than 75 percent of companies are investing or plan to invest in big data in the next two years. The biggest segments to benefit from this are both the financial and hospitality industries. Understanding consumer behavior and being able to adapt to their needs is paramount. The loyalty industry is about to take a huge leap forward in the next 5 years, maybe even sooner. And hopefully, with the advent of companies such as Crayon Data, my bank will stop trying to make me a Country music fan and learn what my true affinities and likes are.