by Leo Jakobson | July 11, 2016
A leading consumer loyalty provider has released a guide to creating or improving customer engagement with a company or brand.

"The Insider's Guide to Customer Loyalty," by St. Louis--based Maritz Motivation Solutions, offers a solid starting point for brand managers and marketers looking for advice on how to design, measure, and manage these programs. 

The guide explores six questions planners should be able to answer before launching a consumer loyalty program, beginning with "Is a loyalty program right for you?" which looks at some of the challenges that this type of problem can -- and cannot -- effectively address. (For example, a loyalty program can improve customer retention and best customer satisfaction, but it will not help with customer service problems or non-competitive pricing.)

It then goes into choosing which customers to target, the type of loyalty you are looking for, and some fundamentals of program design and success measurement. One good piece of advice is to remember that these programs do not show an immediate ROI, but take at least two to three years to start adding to the bottom line. 

"In today's economy, customers are continuously evaluating which brands are worthy of their scarce dollars and attention. That's why a smart loyalty strategy is crucial for any brand looking to engage, retain, and nurture their customers," said Barry Kirk, vice president of customer loyalty strategy at Maritz Motivation Solutions. "But loyalty can be hard to define, difficult to earn and easy to lose."

The full report is available here.