+31-647412290 rik@loyaltychiefs.com

where are you

 Loyalty marketing can be a dive into the unknown. Everyone has their own path and challenges. We will make sure your loyalty project will travel like an otter in the water.



Where are you - Loyalty Program Cycle - D.I.V.E.R. model


Loyalty marketing still marks a deep dive for many marketers. Depending on your destination, experience and phase you will encounter various challenges. For the sake of explainability, I have developed the loyalty program cycle D.I.V.E.R. model. Where are you diving at this moment? Probably you will recognise yourself soon enough in the outline and quotes below. And if so, know that I could well be of value to you.

loyalty program cycle


are you at loyalty program cycle ‘discovery’ perhaps?

The beginning. A loyalty challenge or opportunity arises. Discovering what loyalty entails and what resonates within the organisation and market is sensible. From this possible solutions can be explored. What is the magnitude of our challenge? And could loyalty marketing be the right remedy?

I want to get serious on loyalty, but I am clearly ahead of the troops. How do I build executive commitment and awareness among colleages?

Our competitor has launched a loyalty program. We are afraid to fall behind. What is sensible? Do the same? Do something different? Or do nothing?

We used to have a programme, but it didn’t work. To try again would be foolish. Or is it different now?

We have a serious loyalty challenge. Could loyalty marketing make a difference? Or be just for show?

I want to learn loyalty marketing. That’s it.

loyalty program cycle


are you at loyalty program cycle ‘ideation’ perhaps?

There is going to be a program, but what exactly? First, it is worth considering which loyalty program type would suit best. Then, decisive tactical choices are to be made on various program components. Creativity will also flow richly. The initial idea evolves into a practical loyalty program concept.

The board has decided that a loyalty program will come. A points scheme is considered. However, I have my doubts and don’t want to go wrong right away. What other program options are there? And which would fit our business and ambitions most?

The program type is determined. Up to me to draw it out further. I clearly know the things it  definitely must contain and also what does not. But I am unsure about all the rest. Big chance that important things are overlooked to. Common sense and Google will not get me there. Time is running short. I don’t want to blunder, help!

We already do great things for our customers. The program should not be just another instrument. I want it to function as an umbrella for existing and new initiatives. A spot where it all comes together.

A low threshold will ensure high participation numbers. But doesn’t this make the program lose its exclusive appeal? How to ensure that the right customers will feel attracted by the program?

If loyalty could be bought, it would be called discount. I want the program to transcend the cold transactional relationship. Which approach will touch customers both rationally and emotionally?

I understand how a points program works on the front end, but on the back end more is involved. Points have a fixed calculating value, but a variable perception value. Then there is the expiry period. Do we reward on turnover amount or transaction count? I’m considering rewarding other kinds of desirable behaviour with points, but how does this work? It is starting to make me dizzy.

loyalty program cycle


are you at loyalty program cycle ‘validation’ perhaps?

The why, what and how are set. The last stop before program implementation and investments start. Board validation on business case and the organisational set-up. Departmental validation on their involvement. And checking decisive design choices among the program target group.

Points represent money. Based on the number of savings points issued, a financial reservation should be made on the balance sheet. I am planning all kinds of things. But in how many points will this result anually? I have no idea. Can anyone provide me the ultimate program spreadsheet that combines both earning and burning of points?

I  have made a reasonable estimate on the required program investment. But board approval will definitely require a sound business impact estimation to. What possible direct and indirect gains can be expected? And how to quantify these in my forecast? Ideally using multiple scenarios.

My job is to make sure the program gets there, but I can’t do it alone. I will need cooperation of colleagues and departments. I want to inform them honestly about what is expected. Yet, do this in a way that fuels energy and togetherness. How do I get them exited for making it succeed?

The main idea was enthusiastically received by customers. In drawing out the program, we sought an attractive balance for both them and us. Could it be wise to crosscheck certain tactical decisions among some clients? It is probably better to adjust now, than to launch mistakenly later on, right?

loyalty program cycle


are you at loyalty program cycle ‘execution’ perhaps?

Even with a thought-out plan, implementing is often challenging. Flexibly anticipating the unruly practice with changing circumstances, additional requests, technical setbacks and budget restraints. While remaining on track. Dedication and skills are needed. Successfully launched programs need ongoing nurturing in order to remain relevant. Annual factbased evaluation and planning are key. 

The program format has resulted hard and soft platform requirements. Could a independent expert support me in finding, assessing and selecting the best suitable solution and vendor?

During implementation, I am constantly offered all kinds of configuration, design and theme choices from platform vendors, communication agencies and internal departments. I usually know my answer, but in case of doubt, an experienced sparring partner keeps me sharp and confident.

My loyalty program is running sound, but I feel we are not tapping into its full potential. The platform offers plenty of features but we do not succeed putting these into practice. Also, I often have trouble conceiving original campaigns and incentives. Where can I turn to for innovative tactical applications and fresh creative ideas?

I have outsourced the largest part of my loyalty program, but at the annual evaluation, the butcher judges his own meat. In this, I am looking for objective perspectives and sharpness.

loyalty program cycle

revive or retreat

are you at program cycle ‘revival’ or ‘retreat’ perhaps?

In the dynamic arena of loyalty programs, a competitive lead vaporises as easy as lagging behind arises. In those cases, reviving intervention is most often required to regain the path of program success. In case of insufficient future possibilities, program retreat becomes inevitable. A solid loyalty program exit plan prevents customer relationships from ending simultaneously with the program.

Back then, our program was a true market usp. Today, most competitors offer the same things, a few presumably better than we do. Change is needed, but what are the ambitions? Do we just want to overcome our backlog? Or do we want to put the competition lagging again? And if so, how do I come up with these game-changing tactics?

New member rates are dropping constantly. The opposite is happening in terms of non-active members. The only thing that still seems to have impact is scattering around precious program rewards. I want to build loyalty, not buy loyalty. How do we get loyalty back into the program?

The program is evidently lagging . I have my thoughts on the matter, but ultimately it’s about customer perception. How do they experience the program? What do they desire and resent? Maybe, the rewards are too small or is the required effort too large? Are benefits irrelevant or just improperly communicated? Before going ahead, I really need these questions answered first.

We haven’t changed anything substantial, yet customers are increasingly turning away from the program. Or is our conservatism fuelling the problems our loyalty program is facing today?

We are at the crossroad of programs. Do we revive or retreat? Both options have their proponents, arguments and implications. I don’t want to disregard the love that was invested, but I also want to evaluate and objectively weight matters . The support of an independent loyalty expert might well enhance our decision making.

The program will end. But how do we gracefully retreat it from the market? The possibility of reputational and relational damage needs to be minimised. I can imagine communication is essential. But how honest is the message? And how far in advance shall we announce the retreat? How long can points be redeemed after the program has ended? And shall we go out with a bang? These are quite important decisions to be made.

Having a loyalty challenge on your plate? Or just want to share your thoughts?

Happy to hear from you.









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