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5 years ago

The New Look Of Loyalty

The New Look Of Loyalty

The New Look Of

The message listed the recipients’ www.mycokerewards.com point balance and a list of its latest prizes (it offers everything from Return to Witch Mountain downloadable wallpapers to Coke-branded vintage bottle openers, backpacks and beach towels). It also displayed the results of its survey, which asked consumers which Diet Coke brand they loved the most. This modest bit of marketing communications is the perfect illustration of just how sophisticated customer loyalty programs have become – and clearly demonstrates the types of programs that ad specialty distributors can suggest to their own customers. By leveraging technology – plus offers of deals and branded merchandise – Coke dangled a relatively unobtrusive offer that the consumer could choose to engage 98 AUGUST 2009 www.counselormag.com HOT STRATEGY The New Look Of Loyalty Retaining valued customers using loyalty programs is more important than ever for end-users. Here’s how some clients are using incentive programs in new and unique ways. By Kenneth Hein c c coca-Cola customers recently received an e-mail. It simply said: “Enjoy a 12-pack, get a bonus.” Consumers who entered a code imprinted on the inside of a 12-pack of Coke Zero would now get three bonus points “to brighten your day,” it read. “The best part is you can earn one bonus per day all month long.” in or delete. It sweetened the pot by spotlighting new offers and even conducted a little market research along the way. Indeed, loyalty efforts have come a long way from the deli punch card. (You know, buy 10 hoagies and get the 11th one free). While those types of programs will likely always have a place, there is much more that marketers and their promotional products distributors can do to motivate and retain valued customers. Get Intimate With The Consumer To capitalize on the trend of increased use of loyalty and incentive programs, distributors need to be aware of the changing strategies of their clients. “Communications used to be very static,” says Luc Bondar, vice president of global loyalty marketing for Carlson Marketing (asi/157786 ( 6). “You received a welcome pack, quarterly statements and an annual awards catalog.” Today, Bondar says, www.mycokerewards. com and smart retail programs at chains like Petco, “really try and take the data to create the most meaningful, relevant conversation. Loyalty programs went from a mass, direct marketing approach to one that is focused on engagement. By putting more relevant content in front of them and making sure it is more meaningful, it becomes a more intimate communications model.” For clients, creating this intimacy with the customer is invaluable these days. “The current economic environment augments the importance of a company’s loyalty program,” says Kelly Hlavinka, who is a part

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