Top 5 “Creepy and Weird” Loyalty Program Uses of Member Information

by MarketingCharts staff

Other “creepy and weird” loyalty program practices include:

  • “Offer rewards or special benefits to those who provide the program with access to personal information about you” (44%);
  • “Provide your credit card number to a retailer via its website for credit on your statement if you spend a certain amount” (43%);
  • “Allowing programs you ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ to review your status updates and photos to offer rewards or special benefits based on your profile content” (40%); and
  • “Ask you for personal information when enrolling to target promotions to your specific demographic” (40%).

In each case, the likelihood of finding the practice to be “creepy and weird” was higher among respondents aged 50 and older, by a range of 8-15% points.

While consumers clearly find some loyalty marketers’ attempts to go beyond a one-size-fits-all approach to be creepy, privacy concerns don’t appear to be a huge deterrent from loyalty programs. Instead, fees (68%) and irrelevant benefits (66%) are the primary reasons consumers don’t join loyalty programs, with fewer indicating that they’re turned off by the amount of personal information required by a program (29%) or simply by privacy concerns (24%). Notably, while older respondents were more likely to identify some program uses of information as creepy, the proportion of respondents who cited privacy concerns as a barrier to program participation was similar across all age brackets.

The researchers recommend that loyalty program operators:

  • “Ask permission, and be transparent;”
  • “Ask again;” and
  • “Honor the social contract, not just the legal contract.”

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.