Loyalty gets support of finance directors and managers

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The latest report from GI Insight reveals that finance directors in British firms are strong supporters of loyalty schemes. Four in every five finance directors in British firms believe that companies with a loyalty scheme will come out of the current economic downturn with ‘significant competitive advantage’. These findings indicate that the traditional perception of finance directors as opponents of loyalty investment to be totally mistaken, especially in the current straightened economic circumstances.

Medium sized companies, with 51-249 employees, are most sceptical about the value of loyalty schemes in a recession. In contrast, large firms with over 1,000 employees see loyalty schemes as critical to their success of the next year or so, with almost nine in every ten finance directors subscribing to this view.

Sector variations are also significant. The value of loyalty schemes and initiatives is highly prized by Hospitality & Catering, Travel & Transport, Banking & Finance, and Retail. Those less keen on their loyalty initiatives are Business Services, Healthcare and Education, possibly because these sectors regard themselves as relatively recession proof.

Andy Wood, Managing Director, GI Insight, comments: “The high opinion of loyalty activity from an audience who have traditionally been most sceptical about the commercial value of loyalty schemes reveals how embedded and essential such initiatives have become in the British business psyche.

“In former years, support for continued loyalty scheme investment, even expansion, would have come from the lone voice of the marketing director. However, these findings seem to indicate strongly that times have changed. An axis of support for the importance of loyalty activity has appeared between finance and marketing – a firm sign that loyalty initiatives have moved from discretionary to ‘must have’ status.

“For UK firms who do not have a formal loyalty programme, whether in B2C or B2B, this report serves as an alert for finance and marketing strategists looking for ways of beating the recession”.

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