Enabling next-gen customer loyalty strategies through technology

There is an increasing reliance on AI programs to analyze and understand individual customer preferences, enabling the creation of tailored rewards that resonate, writes Nitya Krishnamoorthy, Vice President, GALE India.

By  Storyboard18May 24, 2024 10:35 AM
Enabling next-gen customer loyalty strategies through technology
Harnessing predictive analytics to understand customers' perceived value is becoming essential for successful loyalty programs, indicating a data-driven, personalized approach as the future of AI in loyalty programs, says Nitya Krishnamoorthy, Vice President, GALE India.

In today’s social and digital age, brand loyalty has become more crucial than ever, serving as the backbone of business growth. Beyond the need to acquire new customers, brands face the dual challenge of earning customer attention and retention. As forging a genuine connection with these audiences becomes increasingly important, loyalty initiatives have come to the forefront. According to U.S.-based Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2024, twice as many organizations plan to increase their spend on customer retention over the next 12 months. While many brands have used loyalty programs at some point, the old generic and one-size-fits-all approaches no longer pay off. Today's consumers demand digital-forward and hyper-personalized experiences that resonate with their individual preferences and tastes.

Harnessing the power of emerging technologies is necessary to create successful and seamless omnichannel experiences. This allows marketers to be more tactical in their approach to sharing offers and discounts, tailoring rewards to each customer based on their behaviors and engagement with the brand. The industry is set to see substantial investments in MarTech solutions, enhancing loyalty programs with data, real-time analytics, and AI.

A seamless experience, aided by technology

While a loyalty program might start small and manageable, as brands acquire more members, expand their locations, products, or offerings, or activate more campaigns, it can become a complex web that’s difficult to navigate effectively. This often leads to disjointed or clunky experiences for customers, who have high expectations for their engagements with brands. Working with strategic partners to unify experiences through sophisticated technology creates a more streamlined experience for consumers. GALE has done some groundbreaking work in unifying customer experiences for Hard Rock. With various offerings and locations across the globe, including hotels, cafes, casinos, and more, Hard Rock needed a single loyalty program across all touchpoints to create a stronger connection with its customers. GALE created Unity by Hard Rock, a global loyalty program complete with the Unity app, to connect customers across these offerings. The outcome is a much more seamless customer experience and personalized program, which goes a long way in creating higher brand retention.

Data is key to strategic loyalty

Data drives brands to understand customers at a deeper level. Today, most brands grapple with data silos that fragment customer insights and hinder effective loyalty strategies. To address this, brands are investing in technology that breaks down these silos, allowing them to unify data from various sources—such as offline stores, websites, and mobile applications—into a single funnel. This integration provides a 360-degree view of the customer. By syncing these data sets, brands can create seamless omnichannel experiences to strengthen customer loyalty, foster strong bonds, and drive revenue growth. Moreover, AI systems are playing a crucial role in refining these data to glean more insights.

Role of AI and predictive analytics

Brands are recognizing the power of AI and allocating significant portions of their budgets towards AI-powered solutions. There is an increasing reliance on AI programs to analyze and understand individual customer preferences, enabling the creation of tailored rewards that resonate. At GALE, we’ve seen AI and predictive analysis add value to our clients in personalizing their experience.

For example, we work with several brands in the QSR sector on their loyalty programs. We’ve found AI can help us identify customized options for special days on the app. By analyzing buying patterns, AI systems can predict the buyer’s choices, encouraging repeat visits by providing deals that customers are more likely to appreciate. This integration of convenience, personalization, and rewards fosters customer loyalty and increases return visits. Predictive analytics, aided by AI systems, are maximizing customer data to predict the most effective loyalty offerings through sophisticated algorithms. Harnessing predictive analytics to understand customers' perceived value is becoming essential for successful loyalty programs, indicating a data-driven, personalized approach as the future of AI in loyalty programs.

The article is written by Nitya Krishnamoorthy, Vice President, GALE India. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on May 24, 2024 10:31 AM

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