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Current Loyalty Trends within Customer Engagement

We looked at our latest Customer Engagement Report through a Promotion & Loyalty Solutions lens and wanted to share some insights and takeaways with you.


Our research shows just a quarter of marketers are focused on real-time personalization, even though forty-one percent of consumers would purchase sooner, and forty-nine percent would purchase more often, with personalization. This creates an important tie between both loyalty and personalization, and personalization and return-on-marketing investment. Loyalty is a critical area for building improvements in personalization. In fact, our 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report confirms that loyalty program members want personalization as evidenced by:

  • 85% say loyalty programs should allow me to select my own benefits and rewards
  • 74% say programs should personalize the way they earn based on purchases
  • 73% say programs should personalize the way they earn based on preferences
  • 72% say programs should offer personalized rewards

Identity Solutions

Brands are spending forty-nine percent of their budgets on identity solutions and, while some people think of loyalty as a back-end solution, it is actually an identity solution. A well-defined loyalty strategy/program drives identity, as well as customer-facing engagement and experience, and also fuels media, engagement, and CRM investments. In addition, media activation strategies (promotions) paired with incentivized data collection (engagement hubs) effectively drive identity acquisition while also collecting data that complements other sources of data reported, or collected, about a consumer.

Omni Channel Strategies image

Eighty-eight percent of marketers have moved from traditional campaign activities to more omni-channel strategies. Traditional campaigns are ineffective as they are scheduled by the brand and pushed to the consumer in a single channel. Today’s consumer wants to be engaged across channels and have interaction. For example, integrating different engagement mechanics into a loyalty program can enhance the customer experience and provide new benefits to the consumer outside of traditional rewards.

Customer Journeys

Customer Journeys

Eighty-four percent of marketers have high visibility into customer journeys in digital channels (site, social, etc.). A holistic loyalty strategy creates more moments in the journey which, in turn, creates opportunity to capture more data and interact in real time with the appropriate content, messages, or offers to the member. Strong loyalty programs take place across the journey (and across channels) and create more incentive to activate and accelerate the journey.

Voice of the Customer

Eighty percent of brands indicate high levels of customer input in product strategy and improvement.  loyalty programs are a significant driver of consumer participation. Our 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report found that consumers are more likely to participate in brand conversations if it helps them earn rewards faster: Seventy-one percent of respondents will do surveys, forty-three percent will write reviews for your brand or products, and thirty-seven percent will watch videos. Your loyalty program is the meeting place for your best customers. –  Customer panels are an input to product strategy and improvement; they are a terrific way to engage best customers and receive highly relevant impact for development.

Want to learn more? Check out Merkle’s 2020 Q1 Customer Engagement Report here.