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The Value + Importance Of Loyalty Programs

The Value + Importance Of Loyalty Programs

The Value + Importance Of Loyalty Programs

Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.

In this episode of TriPod, Ross welcomes Paula Thomas. Paula is a loyalty marketing expert with over twenty years of experience delivering tangible results for some of the world’s top brands. Paula’s clients have included Three Ireland Limited (formerly Telefonica O2 Ireland), Electric Ireland, AIB, Avios and The Entertainer Group.

You may be asking yourself if your business needs a loyalty program and the simple answer is YES! So grab a pen and paper because Paula drops some knowledge bombs today!

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What is Loyalty Marketing?

If you look up “loyalty” in the dictionary, it’s defined as a strong feeling of support or allegiance. Everybody listening to this podcast is in business and regardless of who your stakeholders are — employees, investors, customers — you want them to be loyal to you and your business. So, loyalty marketing, by extension, is a mindset. It’s the feeling of support and allegiance that comes through in running a business. There is a classic definition of loyalty marketing, which is all of the mechanics that are classified as loyalty marketing initiatives. But Paula prefers to look at loyalty marketing through a high-level lens of mindset.

Why Should A Small Business Invest In A Loyalty Strategy?

Every company should invest in a loyalty strategy and their loyalty program should play a role that is specific to the type of industry. For example, utilities. Different phone companies can feel pretty much the same, but the branding (the packaging) is different. Ultimately, you’re buying something that feels like a commodity. This is a great example of where a loyalty program gives a unique selling point to one company that it might not to another. But if you work in B2B, for example, your loyalty strategy might be something as simple as taking your top customers out for lunch each week. Taking the time to sit down and really get to know each other — that’s the loyalty strategy. 

The most important mindset for any sized business to adopt is retention. It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer, as it does to retain an existing one. All business owners get into the position of wondering where their next new customer is going to come from. But what if you kept all the customers you had last year? You might not need as many new customers.

When Paula first started in loyalty marketing, she worked at a telecommunications company. They had a very high annual churn rate of 33%, which meant that in three years, they’d be out of business if they didn’t focus on customer retention. It’s best to take a long-term approach of understanding how valuable your customers are to you when you take care of them properly. 

Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, big business, or anything in between. Your lifeblood is your customers.

How Can Business Owners Improve Customer Loyalty?

There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to improving customer loyalty. One thing you might try is creating a community around your product. IKEA is the master of this. How did IKEA get so many devoted customers? Simply put, consumers need design ideas and a massive amount of inspiration. So, IKEA creates content to help them. But in actuality, IKEA’s customers probably provide each other with more inspiration than the company does, so IKEA created a way for customers to share pictures through Facebook groups and other social share sites. The goal is to get people talking to each other. That’s something that’s definitely undervalued, and COVID has definitely reminded us that we all value our communities. Humans like to connect to people who are similar to them.

The second thing a business can do is improve communications. Whether using a form of audio or video marketing, Paula is a firm believer in the power of the human voice to earn trust. 

If you want to build loyalty, show up, be real, and demonstrate that you care in many ways so they can read it, enjoy it, and visualize it.

Connect with Paula Thomas

Want to be a better marketer?

Here are four ways we can help you…

  1. Join our Marketing CLARITY Facebook Group : it’s a group for creative business owners where I share tips, strategies, and how-to’s related to marketing, content creation, sales, and social media.
  2. Check out the Tricycle Creative YouTube channel: walkthroughs, how-to’s, and more!
  3. Subscribe to TriPod (the Tricycle Creative podcast): it’s chock full of digital marketing news, tips, and strategies.
  4. Join our email newsletter : no spam, just helpful digital marketing updates!

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