#532: A List That is Rather ‘Rewarding’ for Your Members

Aaron Dauphinee from the Loyalty Academy’s faculty is flying solo in this week’s episode of the “Wiser Loyalty” podcast series while Bill Hanifin is flying homeward after being on assignment this week. This week’s podcast kicks-off a new month of constructs taken from the Loyalty Academy™ curriculum for the Loyalty Rewards Strategies & Redemption Experience course (course #108).

In this episode, Aaron sets the stage for the month at a 50K foot level by listing off a series of key considerations when designing your loyalty rewards strategy. Not all key considerations are revealed here but he provides a sound starting point with seven (7) constructs that shape the impact that your loyalty program has on members.

In the Wiser Loyalty series, Bill and Aaron draw a theme each month based on the courses required to earn the Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP™) designation which is nearing on 1,000 individuals across 53 countries worldwide.

Show Notes:

1) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Aaron Dauphinee⁠⁠⁠⁠

2) ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Bill Hanifin⁠⁠⁠⁠

3)  ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠The Wise Marketer 

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the Founder and CEO of Let’s Talk Loyalty and also Loyalty TV. If you work in loyalty marketing, you can watch our video interviews every Thursday on www.loyalty.tv. And of course you can listen to our podcasts every Tuesday, every Wednesday, and every Thursday to learn the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world. 

Today’s episode is part of The Wiser Loyalty Series, which is hosted by our partners, The Wise Marketer Group. The Wise Marketer Group is a media, education and advisory services company providing resources for loyalty marketers through The Wise Marketer Digital Publication and the Loyalty Academy program that offers the certified loyalty marketing professional or CLMP designation. I hope you enjoy this weekly podcast The Wiser Loyalty Series brought to you by Let’s Talk Loyalty and The Wise Marketer Group. 

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Aaron: Hi there. I’m Aaron Dauphiney, CMO of The Wise Marketer Group, and one of two hosts of The Wiser Loyalty Series for this week’s episode and podcasts. You have me solo since my partner, who is the CEO of Wise Marketer Group, Bill Hanifin is mid-flight on his way home after being on assignment out in the Midwest of the United States.

So for those of you who are listening in for the first time or simply as a reminder for those that tune in each week, I did want to let you know that this series introduces constructs from our Loyalty Academy course curriculum. And of course it gets into things that we find interesting and hope will help listeners to become wiser on loyalty.

Each month, we also tackle constructs from a new set of course curriculum. And throughout the month of May, we’re going to be talking about Loyalty Reward Strategies and Reward Experiences, which is out of course 108 of our curriculum, we are back to a four week schedule here in May. So we had five in April just before. And while we won’t cover all of the content of this particular course, we will scratch the surface on about four topics over the next few weeks. And so without further ado, let’s dive in, actually. Great. 

So I think I’ll start by saying when designing a reward strategy for a loyalty program, there are a number of key considerations that you really want to think about for it to be appealing to your customers. And in order for them to have them join and become a member, pardon me because I’m on my own today, I thought I’d keep things at a relatively high level to start this session off or this core course curriculum off a part of me is a better way to say it. And rather than end on, you know, going on and on debating or comparing and contrasting on things against myself.

I’m just going to do a bit of an experiment this week, change the format up and give you a list of factors that you should think about in developing your reward strategy. Given the time, I won’t go into too much depth with all of them, but just kind of set these ideas up for you. And I won’t list all of them that we think about when we look at our course curriculum as well, too. So just it’s just a starter package, if you will. 

So, key consideration number one, I think, is an obvious, Eddie, you really need to understand your members. And so by knowing the different archetypes of your member base, you can certainly tailor your rewards to resonate with their interests and needs which, and this, of course, stems from information you would know about them already, such as their demographic information, behavioral preference data, and certainly motivations or their, or even their needs themselves specifically. 

Number two, I think you really want to have a clear loyalty value proposition. So be communicating the benefits of joining the loyalty program and giving them reasons as to why they should be a member and should be engaging with the brand on an ongoing basis. Again, a bit of an obvious Eddie moment here, but some brands actually do miss the mark on this, which is that you really do want to rewards that are attainable. And they have to be perceived, have perceived value that makes them desirable to your target audience or in your program members. And not, it’s not enough to just to have a catalog of rewards, but they do need to be relevant. So just keep that in mind. It’s a simple high level clear loyalty value proposition commentary.

This guides nicely into having a spectrum of rewards. Certainly offering a diverse range of rewards that caters to a different set of preferences is a good starting point. If you have a customer base, that’s quite broad. This could also include things such as discounts, freebies, exclusive accesses status based benefits, personalized offers, aspirational words like travel that we always think about and and now into experiential words. So, to hone that out for you think of a cooking class with a Michelin star restaurant or chef if you’re a foodie.

And so, so having that broad range, if you have a broad group within your customer base is a starting point or if you truly do know your members, as I said earlier then you can start to curate your rewards offering to be more of a soak and specific.

So, good example, we just spoke with a bookseller retail the other day and they give away free books in their programs. It makes sense, right? It’s an applicable reward for someone who is an avid reader. I think on that this idea of curated rewards and it’s kind of the personalization on the reward side of things, if you will, is starting to take off more and more.

And so it’s I’d say, I guess one of the most underutilized efforts around the use of the member data that you have and that you’re capturing, and certainly the technology that you use in your redemption experience is to take that information and curate it for your member to get a bespoke set of reward options for them and really personalize their entire rewards experience. I think there’s lots of opportunity for us to do a better job of this on an ongoing basis of the industry as a whole. 

But what we do see a lot of good effort around is things like extending into goal setting programs so that you’re very aware of the specifics of what the individual would want out of the program through to the rewarded recommendation engines that, you know, you’d be able to provide to them based upon that reward recommendation engines oftentimes are built off of customer preference data, purchase history and behavior. Or you can also do it if you don’t have specifics for an individual, you can do lookalike redemption behaviors, more and more as a path forward as well to. At the end of the day, I always like to say if you want to know what Aaron wants, just ask him, that’s another mechanism.

So, and that leads us into another consideration, pardon me, which is feedback mechanisms. So learning directly from your members, as I said, you know, ask Aaron what he wants and what he’s going to be searching for in the enterprise value of their program, and he will tell you type thing. You know, learning directly from your members in terms of what they want as a reward and the redemption experience as a whole is a very strong positive.

Often rewards are the afterthought and not the forethought of how members will engage with your brand. So starting to flip that on its head a little bit. And by understanding your members, you know, satisfaction levels and preferences regarding the awards and redemption process, you can really start to refine and improve for better interactions. And I’m saying interactions specifically over transactions.

That keeps it to a point that is also another obvious moment, which is the ease of redemption or creating some frictionless redemption elements. And when I think of this, I think of the kiss principle, keep it simple, stupid. It comes to mind because I think that we over and over tend to overthink the redemption experience somewhat.

And so I can’t emphasize enough the value in making it simple, making it understandable, very straightforward for members to redeem their rewards, you know, really avoid complicated processes or restrictions that could deter participation as much as you can. And you know, this might be a bit of a view that is not as popular for everyone in this industry, but you know, in a utopian world, lots of programs would really, they would kind of ensure that every point is actually deemed by members to get reciprocal benefit in whole. And so I realized that’s a bit of a rose colored glass statement that I just made, but I offered up as a bit of a North Star that lends you to think about how you can make your rewards and the rewards process for your customers as easy as possible to gain their loyalty. So just as a kind of higher mark. 

I know there’s a few others here as well, but in the interest of time, I think I’ll just talk about transparency and trust. Maybe it’s kind of the last one. When I think about transparency and trust, I think about how the program works in terms of the earning and the redemption rules, you know, making exploration policies very clear. Making sure that you have few limitations or occlusions, but I know sometimes they have to be in the place but being honest about them if they’re if they are there. So, because at the end of the day, you build trust with members by delivering on your promises and ensuring that they feel that there’s equitable value exchange. You know, even better if they perceive that the brand itself is providing more value to them relative to how they interact with the brand. So there’s not just that equal, but there’s additive. That’s even better. So, that’s kind of my last kind of thought in terms of this list. 

There are other key considerations and rewards strategy that we cover in the course curriculum. And when Bill’s back next week we’ll get together and we’ll start to dive into some of these in a bit more detail. And in fact, go further on, on other constructs that are in the reward strategy curriculum. 

So thank you very much for joining me solo today. I really appreciate it. And we look forward to hearing sorry, we look forward to offering you some new perspectives next week until then have a great week and stay loyal.

Paula: This show is sponsored by Wise Marketer Group, publisher of the Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news, insights, and research. Wise Marketer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals.

For global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty, check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education for individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org.

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