Despite the heat wave across the United States, summer is quickly coming to a close. In just a few weeks, kids around the globe will be back in the classroom for a new year of learning. Loyalty marketers, you might consider joining them!

Since early 2020, concerns for health and safety, supply chain issues, and social unrest have shocked consumers into new buying behaviors that have changed the way B2C marketers do their jobs. Through this change, marketing teams looked to loyalty strategies and programs as a familiar way to retain customers, enrich customer relationships, and build customer advocacy.

Forrester’s recent survey of B2C marketing CMOs showed that 35% of brands with loyalty initiatives have recently revamped or modified their strategy, and another 29% are planning to revamp within the next year. Bottom line: If you’re not innovating your business’s approach to loyalty, you’re falling behind.

Today, we’re excited to share new research that outlines the changing loyalty landscape and gives loyalty marketers four levers that they should focus on to generate loyalty. A modern loyalty strategy must be:

  • Digital-first. No paper punch card will support an enterprisewide loyalty initiative. Customers continue to expect seamless digital experiences across every touchpoint with a brand — and their expectations of loyalty programs are no different.
  • Emotionally engaging. Emotions drive buying behaviors, which means brands must build lasting emotional connections with their customers. A rote exchange of points, discounts, or rewards between a brand and its customers will likely fall flat.
  • Embedded with a strong customer experience (CX) across the customer lifecycle. Loyalty initiatives and processes must be focused on making the experience easy and valuable, and loyalty efforts are now used across the customer lifecycle to support everything from customer acquisition to customer retention.
  • Data-driven. A loyalty program offers marketers ample opportunities to better understand their customers, especially as the forces of data deprecation curtail data access. First- and zero-party data collected through loyalty programs give marketers a shoulder to stand on in a volatile data landscape.

Ready to get started? Sharpen your pencils and check out our full report, then schedule a guidance session to learn more. We’ll see you in the classroom!