Loyalty Trend of the Month


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If you keep tabs on COLLOQUY’s Breaking News in loyalty, I’m sure you’ve taken note of the same thing that has struck me: loyalty marketing finally is getting the respect of the C-suite and Wall Street.

As 4th Quarter Earnings calls happened this month, I am struck by the number of CEOs that are using this platform to announce new loyalty program enhancements to gather data & deploy that data to increase the relevance of their merchandising mix, pricing structures and customer communications. Within just the last month, executives at Target, Macy’s, Borders and Harrah’s made such announcements. Clearly, the appeal of an Enterprise Loyalty strategy has found a friendlier audience on Wall Street as retailers try to rebuild sales following the recession. And apparently, that message has finally found its way into the C-suite.

It wasn’t very long ago that you only heard about loyalty strategies from the marketing department. In fact, I’ve known many a marketer with a brilliant vision for building customer loyalty that couldn’t even get the time of day with their CFO, Chief Merchandising Officer or CEO.

What a difference a recession makes. As investors have sought to understand strategies that help retailers retain their most profitable customers during the downturn, many of the Enterprise Loyalty efforts that have been in place for several years are suddenly in vogue. I celebrate this new-found attention from the investment community. A solid discussion of customer retention metrics and customer profitability metrics should be a welcome addition to analyst scrutiny of metrics like same-store sales. Let’s hope this is a trend that will continue.

Kelly Hlavinka
A partner of COLLOQUY, owned by LoyaltyOne, Kelly Hlavinka directs all publishing, education and research projects at COLLOQUY, where she draws on her broad experience as a loyalty strategy practitioner in developing articles, white papers and educational initiatives.


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