If you are in the market for a loyalty partner but don’t know how to go about your search, we are here for you.
Loyalty programs are a hot topic now as businesses are looking to strengthen their ties with their customers and a good loyalty partner can help to achieve this and more. Here, we give you a walkthrough to select the right loyalty partner that is best suited to your brand personality and guidelines.
Table of Contents
What is a Loyalty Partner?
A loyalty program is a complex process and a massive undertaking for which most companies often lack the resources, experience and expertise. This is where a loyalty partner comes in. A loyalty partner will design and execute your loyalty strategy, supply the necessary resources and technological requirements. The loyalty partner will also undertake the responsibility of data accumulation through the loyalty program, designing redemption procedures that are in tandem with the company’s CRM processes.
Loyalty partner is an umbrella term. Depending on your marketing budget, business objectives, range of business, type of audience and the size of your campaign, you could partner with either a loyalty agency or a loyalty platform partner.
Why Choosing the Right Loyalty Partner Is the Most Crucial Step?
Your choice will have a massive impact on some of the most important aspects of your business. Listed below are the most important facets, it will influence.
- Impact on Campaign Success – The direct impact of your choice of partner will reflect on the success of your campaign. An experienced loyalty platform partner like Annex Cloud, will design the program bearing in mind your brand guidelines, business goals and the psyche of your target group. Lack of research, experience and expertise will negatively impact the performance of your loyalty strategy and can have damaging effects on revenue as well as the brand image.
- Impact on Customer Experience – The main objective of a loyalty program is to significantly improve customer experience. Customer experience is the foundation of a strong brand and customer relationship. A loyalty program that is designed specifically for a particular target group will have a high engagement rate. Whereas a program that fails to appeal to the audience will have a negative impact.
- Impact on Customer Retention Rate – A experienced loyalty partner knows how to retain customers with an engaging loyalty program. Consistent engagement and lucrative value exchange between brand and customers can successfully retain customers for an extended period of time. An expert partner will design the program for long-term engagement and improve customer lifetime value significantly.
- Impact on Customer Referral Rate – Satisfied and happy customers tend to positively influence their network of friends and family. A lucrative and engaging loyalty program combined with a referral program can bring in more customers and hike up the acquisition rate. Which is a win-win for the brand and its customers.
- Impact on Brand Value– Customer experience, perceived brand image, customer satisfaction, influence the monetary value of the overall brand, also known as brand value. A simple yet efficient loyalty program will improve customer satisfaction, retention rate, brand image, and revenue, while a poorly designed and executed program will deteriorate the brand value considerably.
Things To Look for In a Loyalty Platform Partner?
- Strategic Partnership – Look for a partnership that is mutually benefitting. A solution provider will have limited responsibilities whereas a strategic partnership will have shared responsibilities where the loyalty partner in question will undertake the full charge of the loyalty program and personally ensure better returns.
- Turnkey Solution Provider – Likewise, you also need a loyalty partner that provides a holistic approach. A loyalty program influences various aspects of the business, from marketing to management. Therefore, a loyalty partner that undertakes the complete responsibility of a loyalty program comes highly recommended. This will not only take the load off you but also ensure smooth execution, improved efficiency and better results.
- Data Mining Capabilities – Loyalty programs are the most efficient means of extracting zero and first-party data. Look for a loyalty partner with technological capabilities to mine data efficiently through your loyalty programs. Your loyalty partner must also be capable to integrate CRM data with data derived through loyalty programs. This will give you access to comprehensive and rich customer data, that can significantly improve your marketing and business strategies.
- Range of Solutions – Loyalty programs have come a long way. Today, loyalty strategies need to have dynamic features to better gauge the pulse of the audience and provide quantifiable deliverables. Loyalty partners that offer features like personalization, individualized experiences, gamification etc are more suitable for modern-day businesses. Technology is constantly evolving and you need a partner that keeps up with the changing times and uses technology to amplify your loyalty program routinely.
- Experience – Last but not least, look for experience. The finesse and expertise that come with experience are unparalleled. Look for partners that have rich experience. The success of a loyalty program depends on consideration of several nuances which an experienced partner will never overlook or underestimate. Agencies or platforms that have executed several programs over the years understand the nitty-gritty and the seriousness of the undertaking and provide solutions that will ensure better ROI.
Why Annex Cloud’s Capabilities are Recognized by Forrester?
Annex Cloud earned the highest possible scores in 15 criteria in The Forrester Wave, as per Q2 2021 Report. From loyalty management to user experience, execution, innovation, performance, integration and partnership, Annex Cloud scored exceptionally well, beating some of the top players in the country.
Forrester based its analyses on two factors: market presence and functionality. In the report, Forrester’s Now Tech: Promotions and Offer Management Providers, Q3 2021 report, Annex Cloud was included in both the loyalty standalone and loyalty embedded functionality segments. The company’s globally-embraced Loyalty Experience Platform™ enables companies to leverage first-party data at scale to engage with customers on a one-to-one basis and move beyond discounts to an individualized, more powerful value-based experience.
Annex Cloud has more than 10 years of experience and integrates with 100+ technologies to deliver rewarding customer experiences. Get our guide that takes a deeper dive into all the considerations in choosing the right loyalty vendor.