Loyalty Programs Seen Having Desired Influence on Consumer Behavior

Maritz-Consumer-Attitudes-Loyalty-Programs-May2013The average consumer is a member in more than 7 loyalty programs, and many have room for more, details Maritz Loyalty Marketing [download page] in a new report. While respondents reported being active in slightly less than two-thirds of their programs, their responses tended to show that the programs do have an influence on their behavior. That is, roughly 6 in 10 agreed that they modify when and where they buy in order to maximize their benefits, and close to half agreed that they modify what brands they buy to maximize their benefits.

The researchers note that consumers view loyalty programs as a way to connect with a brand, with 70% of members agreeing that the programs are a part of their relationship with the company. What’s more, 80% agree that the programs are definitely worth the effort of participating.

Loyalty marketers are presented with challenges, though. 53% of program members said they had stopped participating in at least one program, last year. Only 7% of those formally requested to leave the program.

In order to try to prevent attrition rates, loyalty marketers may want to focus on relevant communications, which show a strong link with program satisfaction. That is, among those who strongly disagree that the communications they receive from a program are relevant to them, just 20% report satisfaction with the program. By contrast, among those who strongly agree that the communications they receive are relevant, fully 93% are satisfied. Overall, while 94% of members express an interest in receiving communications from their programs, just 53% say the communications they receive are relevant.

Beyond communications, demonstrating values similar to that of a member is also important. (Value segments can range from self-enhancement to conservation, and refer to “the set of principles and ideals that individuals use to govern their behavior, to inform their decisions, and which shape their attitudes as they go about their everyday lives.”) Just 16% of respondents strongly disagreeing that their program’s values are the same as theirs reported program satisfaction, while 95% of those agreeing that they shared their program’s values were satisfied. The researchers recommend that marketers move away from a “one-size-fits-all approach to program design” in order to drive better engagement.

About the Data: The Maritz Loyalty Report surveyed over 6,000 consumers and captured program-level feedback on over 30 national programs across 6 industry sectors: retail loyalty; grocery loyalty; credit card loyalty; co-brand loyalty; travel; and hospitality.