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Loyalty & Rewards - The sexy side of CRM


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As CRM has become a fundamental cog in the sports (and leisure) marketing machine, attention has been able to turn to other ways of engaging customers to make sure they’re interacting with our CRM activities. So now we’ve stopped asking ‘is there really a value in doing this?’ we can start getting creative about how we can do it better!

We can invest an enormity of time in creating beautiful e-marketing campaigns, improving the venue experience and so on, but if there’s not a decent enough incentive for the customer to participate (i.e. give their data and take note of your communications) then your efforts are unlikely to be maximised.

Loyalty and rewards programmes have been about for a while now in sports, and are very much part of everyday life outside of sports. Our wallets are overflowing with loyalty cards for this and for that, and why? Because we see some benefit of using them.

If the customer (fan) sees the benefits then they will engage. It’s as simple as that. And in sports we have so much more to offer, that the customer really wants, than Tesco or Starbucks could ever dream of! ‘Money can’t buy’ rewards such as meeting players, going behind the scenes before a game, on the pitch at half time or a unique golden scarf, are all too often overlooked in their ‘value’ to fans.

These things are the perfect incentive for engagement. We should use this as the catalyst for encouraging desirable behaviours and reward those behaviours.

A loyalty and rewards programme is the extension to CRM that your fans want, and that will ensure you generate measurable results.

I’ll leave you with three short considerations if you’re thinking about taking this on.

1.    What is desirable customer behaviour?

If you’re going to measure this properly and evaluate success, you must first outline what you want to achieve. Do you want people to arrive early, spend more inside the venue, buy more merchandise, visit your sponsors’ venue, visit another part of your site?

Structure your scheme so that it rewards the criteria you want. Being sure about your goals and objectives will allow you to measure success.

2.    Are all customers the same?

Everyone is different, which means two things. Firstly, think about having a range of rewards available, some more achievable than others, to suit various customer profiles.

Secondly, it’s advisable to add some tiers into your programme so that your more loyal customers (season ticket holders perhaps) receive the recognition they deserve. It’ll lead to happier groups of loyal customers.  

3.    Measure and evaluate

If it’s not worth measuring, it’s not worth doing.

All clubs, leagues, leisure venues are unique in some way. What works for one won’t necessarily work for others. The key to success is to constantly measure what you’re doing, evaluate and adjust it. Measure, evaluate and adjust.

More information about Green 4's Loyalty & Rewards solution

Tom.

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