Perking Up Your Loyalty Program Benefits Is As Easy As A-B-C

Consumers and marketers don't always see eye to eye when it comes to customer loyalty programs. Consumers tell us they enroll in programs for the points, discounts, and savings, while companies tell us boosting customer engagement is a top goal for their loyalty programs. Sixty-seven percent of consumers consider themselves active in programs they join, yet the marketers who run loyalty programs report that only 16% of customers are active program participants. Regardless of which camp you fall into, one thing is clear: a program is only as strong as the members who participate in it. And, the value exchange a program creates is central to attracting members today and getting them to come back tomorrow, next month, and next year.

But, choosing program benefits can create some anxiety. Marketers need a mix of rewards that satisfies consumers' desire for savings while encouraging deeper engagement, and acknowledging/recognizing customer value. Forrester clients often ask me questions like "What can we offer besides points?," and "How do we make customers feel valued?." The short answer is that there are a lot of options that have varying objectives for the customer:

Table of benefits and customer impact

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What Does Acxiom's $310M LiveRamp Bid Mean For Marketers?

On May 14, Acxiom announced its intention to acquire LiveRamp, a "data onboarding service," to the tune of $310 million in cash. Several Forrester analysts (Fatemeh Khatibloo, Susan BidelSri Sridharan, and I) cover these two firms, and what follows is our collective thinking on the impending acquisition after having been briefed by Acxiom's leadership on the matter.

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What Does Acxiom's $310M LiveRamp Bid Mean For Marketers?

On May 14, Acxiom announced its intention to acquire LiveRamp, a "data onboarding service," to the tune of $310 million in cash. Several Forrester analysts (Tina Moffett, Susan Bidel, Sri Sridharan, and I) cover these two firms, and what follows is our collective thinking on the impending acquisition after having been briefed by Acxiom's leadership on the matter.

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The Forrester Wave™: Web Analytics, Q2 2014 Shows That Web Analytics Is More Important Than Ever

At Forrester we have talked about the fact that digital intelligence has replaced web analytics.  Digital intelligence tackles emerging channels, sophisticated consumers, technical challenges, and the enterprise democratization of digital analytics.  Achieving this requires a technology toolkit which far outstrips the data, analytics and action remit of even the top web analytics tools.  Does that mean we throw away web analytics?  Absolutely not!  Forrester’s most recent research shows that web analytics remains relevant even as digital intelligence strategies mature because top vendors are:

  • Extending the capabilities of their web analytics tools to collect and ingest multiple on and offline data sources and democratizing insights and discovery by improving usability and support of sophisticated data and analytics techniques.  
  • Supporting other processes, systems and tools within the digital intelligence toolkit which provides actionably (e.g testing, behavioral  targeting, etc.) by making web analytics data and insights available to these systems – in real time.

Don’t throw away web analytics; use it as a starting point and cornerstone for your firm’s digital intelligence journey.

Check the recent Forrester Wave™: Web Analytics, Q2 2014 wave report to get further insight as to how enterprise web analytics vendors have advanced their products to support digital intelligence.

New Customer Insights Analyst Covering Marketing Technology

If you haven’t kept up with the activity in the marketing technology space – acquisitions, product enhancements, "cloud" wars, et al., then I don’t blame you. The marketing technology landscape is complex, crowded, and confusing. To compete in the age of the customer, enterprises are quickly deploying technology to manage big data, execute contextual marketing, and orchestrate real-time customer interactions.

Whether you are a marketing technology vendor, buyer, or end user, this is an exciting time, and I am thrilled to join Forrester as a principal analyst on the Customer Insights team. I am based in London, and I will cover marketing technology along with my colleague Cory Munchbach. Together we will help Customer Insights (CI) Professionals as they navigate the digital marketing landscape and make marketing technology investment decisions. With a background that includes more than 25 years’ experience in marketing, customer analytics, product management, and product marketing, with both large and small vendors in the marketing technology sector, I am excited about my new role at Forrester and on the CI team.

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The Recent Attribution Technology Acquisitions Don't Surprise Us In The Least

On the morning of May 6, 2014, Google announced its intent to acquire Adometry, a leader in the attribution technology space. Later on the same day, AOL announced its intent to acquire Convertro, another top-performing attribution technology vendor. The Adometry acquisition is not surprising, as Google needed to make major investments in its existing attribution offering with some enhanced analytics and insights services, which Adometry can provide. AOL’s acquisition of Convertro was a move to further build out its ad technology stack, hoping to obtain strong attribution algorithm and stellar engineering staff through this acquisition.

Both companies stand to benefit from the acquisition of these small but extremely knowledgeable experts in marketing and media measurement. Two of the biggest benefits for each include:

  • A strong services staff with deep knowledge of all media and marketing data and, more importantly, the expertise in driving actionable insights in a complicated media-buying world.
  • An innovative ability to stitch data sources together — online, offline, and mobile — across the buyer’s journey.
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Harness The Power Of Customer Context To Deliver Utility

Last month, we had one of our best Forrester Forums For Marketing Leaders that I've been to, and I've been to all of them. With an on-site audience of nearly 1,000 marketing professionals, I really enjoyed hearing from many of you -- our valued clients -- about your thoughts on the need for new approaches to marketing. Next week, I hope our European clients will find our latest thinking on customer context and utility marketing as valuable as your peers in North America did. Forrester's Forum For Marketing Leaders in Europe is finally here, and I look forward to seeing you in London this Tuesday, May 13. Make sure you check out our latest research reports that go in-depth on the event theme, "Beyond The Campaign":

You'll see much more research on these topics out of our Marketing Leadership and Customer Insights practices this year, so be sure to set your research alerts now.