THE STRENGTH OF LONG-STANDING LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Improving the relationship with the final consumer with a positive impact on sell-out? Getting to know the players on your distribution platform with a substantial improvement of sell-in? The use of a digital loyalty strategy allows for a long-standing dialogue with your counterparts, thus creating a brand-user relationship based on trust. Moreover, digital programs become stronger if they are long-standing, because they acquire a native value which concretely means creating a user database through the company’s own engagement strategies, without using personal data lists from others, and providing, instead, inputs to which users respond voluntarily. The dialogue with the user is based on individual preferences and this helps increases awareness, as well as the chance that a satisfied customer may promote by word of mouth, with a virality effect also through social media and member get member, therefore gradually expanding the user base.
As for Fast Moving Consumer Goods, the use of a digital strategy applied to brand activation initiatives makes it possible to work on all consumer deciles, most importantly involving also occasional users. The database is increased during the promotion through a continuing and customized dialogue with individual users. The relationship is aimed at sell out and it is made possible by the measurement in progress of the action performance levels by mapping their purchase behavior and digital relationship between user and brand. Più Nostromo, Più Vinci is an example of a long-standing digital collection which has been running for three years. After one year unique users increased by 484% compared to the 2013 edition, with a re-engagement of 17% for past collectioners. The continuity of this program has guaranteed the integration of numerous company databases, as well as the qualification of the available user data. Moreover, the digital strategy of the 2014 edition encourages registration, creating a loyal user base, with 53% loyal customers and 47% new users.
In the case of Trade the question is even more complex because often there are distributors involved who work in the region at capillary level, sometimes using also small local suppliers. It is therefore possible that the company might not have control over its supply chain and that it hardly knows the points of sale served. A digital strategy is thus the right approach to promote a direct relationship with retailers, encouraging them to become part of an incentive program, obtaining their personal data and learning about their purchase habits. Accademia Tre Marie is an incentive trade program for the bar channel, also at its third edition. In just two years the company has improved its relationship with the supply chain by activating 83% of its points of sale in respect of the bars served, thus increasing the loyalty program penetration rate. In 2014 there has been an increase of unique users by 18%, with a return to the campaign of 45% of past collectioners. In this case, the long-standing digital loyalty program consolidates a loyal user base of 73%, bringing the new engagement rate up to 27%. The project performance levels led it to winning the Best B2B Loyalty Programme prize at the Loyalty Awards 2014 in London!
The use of a digital strategy is never an end in itself: it should always be in the service of the company to improve relationships with final users, as well as simplifying supply chain issues and encouraging sell-in. Of course, a long standing relationship program is expected to improve its performance levels over time because the brand-user relationship becomes mature and turns into a trust relationship.