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White paper: How to re-shape loyalty schemes for a smartphone led market

Mobile marketing agency Sponge has unveiled a white paper, which aims to help retailers evolve their loyalty programmes through the channel of smartphones. Here, we summarise the key findings from the report.

Named ‘From entitlement to empowerment: re-shaping loyalty schemes for a mobile first world’, the report discusses the importance of personal recognition, contextually relevant information and entertainment.

Drawing on previous research, Sponge points out that 17 per cent use a company’s app, 27 per cent are scanning QR codes and 33 per cent comparison shop on a direct competitor’s site.

These trends are something which cannot be ignored, Sponge insists, and suggests that the principles of an empowering loyalty programme are three-fold: entertain me, inform me and recognise me.

Linking back to IGD ShopperVista research which found that 72 per cent of the public would like tailored promotions sent to their phone, Sponge points out that a mobile number is ‘an unambiguous identifier of who we are’, and can be used to accumulate insight, such as purchasing history and regular behaviour.

The paper suggests: “The distinction here is between advertising as intrusion, and advertising as a service.

“If we can get the value exchange right, and harness creativity to charm and inspire people into participating, there is a growing body of evidence that shoppers will be highly receptive.”

The paper also looks at ‘loyalty 2.0’, the characteristics of which are described as: to ensure the brand occupies the highest possible position in the consideration set (share of mind); to provide the most effective triggers to action (share of behaviour); to maximise spend over time (share of wallet); and to encourage positive word-of-mouth (share of conversation).

The key focus of the white paper is a ten-point plan by Sponge, which looks at ways for retailers to capitalise on mobile loyalty opportunities.

Phil Gault, author of the white paper and director of strategy at Sponge, explained the reason for this: “With 96% of the population a member of at least one loyalty scheme, it’s clear UK consumers’ appetite for rewards and offers is high.

“The rise of mobile creates significant opportunities to make loyalty schemes work harder. We are convinced that the most effective programmes in future will be those that embrace a ‘mobile first’ view of the world and leverage the channel’s full potential to enable and empower members.”

The key ten points, which are discussed in detail in the white paper, are:

1. Make sure you have the building blocks in place.

2. Learn from past experiences.

3. Audit your mobile database.

4. Prioritise mobile data capture going forward.

5. Commit to the crosschannel future.

6. Mobilise your CRM model.

7. Start thinking in terms of Scarce Resources.

8. Emphasise personalisation.

9. Model your communications around spontaneity.

10. Design experiences which allow and encourage active participation.

Featured by The Drum