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Incentive Professionals Weigh in on the State of the Industry

Photo from IncentiveMag.com article,
13th Annual Incentive Industry Roundtable
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Striving for the Best Customer Engagement

We talk a lot about employee engagement, but today let’s focus our attention on customer engagement (and as you may know, customer engagement and employee engagement correlate with each other).  The best companies know that acquiring new customers and customer retention are key to real sustainable growth, no matter what industry your company is in.  Jobs follow customers. Without your customers there would be no company. Over the last 5 years, gaining and retaining customer has been difficult and the customer base has changed dramatically.  Customers are more cautious about spending and demanding more in return. Over the next 30 years, roughly
$140 trillion in new customer spending will be up for grabs! The best companies set out to win their customers over for life. They also understand that customer engagement is not something that happens overnight. Each encounter with a customer has a chance to strengthen and even undermine a customer/company relationship. Strong customer engagement creates customers that spend more, visit more, and promote your company, all while resisting competitors and forgiving mistakes. The economic landscape has improved over the last year and companies can make significant progress in growing their customer base. Last year the greatest percentage of customers were fully engaged based on global data analysis – more than at any other point in the last 5 years.  Companies should focus on optimizing every customer interaction, create emotional connections with their customer, and constantly measure customer engagement (a good method is surveying customers either online or in-store). With meaningful data, companies can easily spot positive trends to build on and eliminate negative issues before they become problematic. Want more insight into your customers?  Download the State of the American Consumer:
Insight for Business Leaders from Gallup, Inc.
here!

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10 Ways Technology Enables Customer Loyalty

Achieving customer loyalty is no doubt one of the biggest challenges our clients face…it’s a moving target. Not only are consumer needs evolving by the day, but retail marketing is impacted by new consumer technologies, for online and brick-and-mortar buying. We have a general picture of how technology is effecting our brand content flow, buying experience, and rewards and loyalty – we are consumers ourselves and we participate in one or all of these brand experiences every day. But how are these technologies effecting our clients? They are retailers and merchants who partner with us to promote their gift cards in programs such as customer loyalty, engagement, and rewards. They are on the front lines of technology evolution, retail marketing, and customer loyalty and engagement and their challenges are multiplied by selling in the B2B marketplace. Check out the
Ten Ways Technology Can Enable Customer Loyalty Infographic posted on the Huffington Post online. Click image to enlarge >>

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E-Gift Cards, a Popular Tool in Loyalty Programs

E-gift cards have become a popular choice in the B2B world as both an incentive and motivational tool. These virtual gems bring together the power of flexibility and convenience. Chief Marketer’s
Promo Magazine had a Q&A session with Randy Fox, managing  director at FuzeBuy, to discuss how e-gift cards should be used in loyalty programs and how they are changing the loyalty—and customer service—landscape. Fox explains, in
E-gift Cards Gain Traction in Loyalty Programs: Q&A, that marketers are using e-gift cards as a way to further change a customer’s behavior and then reward them for that very change, keeping the customer enthusiasm and momentum levels ongoing. Using e-gift cards as this type of reward allows distribution to flow easily, automatically and to also be measurable. There are perks to using e-gift cards, no doubt about that, but the kind of e-gift cards used are also important to consider. With brands like
CVS/pharmacy,
The Cheesecake Factory, or
Boston Market, loyalty programs have the opportunity to offer rewards that can accommodate a large demographic. Read the full article
here to see other benefits and advice on adding e-Gift Cards to your Loyalty Program.

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Social Loyalty – An Evolution of Loyalty Programs

It’s a social world out there!  And loyalty programs are firmly embracing the concept of social loyalty, an extension of loyalty programs that supports customers’ actions on social channels. As a marketing and incentive engagement company, are you including a social loyalty component in your loyalty program offerings?

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