February 19, 2016 | by Nimish Gupta on Franchising Today Magazine
Many franchises are launching their own loyalty apps because the industry is moving from a brand-centric to a customer-centric focus. It is absolutely vital for brands to connect and communicate with customers at the right place and the right time to remain top-of-mind.
Value-seeking customers want to be rewarded for their loyalty to a business. However, they don’t want to clutter their wallets with paper punch cards or carry plastic cards. Many brands are embracing mobile loyalty apps as a convenient way for their customers to earn and redeem loyalty points.
But simply creating and launching a branded app is not sufficient. The main goal should be gaining long-term traction and repeat users.
Loyalty apps are an excellent way to pamper customers and make them feel valued. There are, however, plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to loyalty apps. For example, franchises should use loyalty apps to:
- Engage customers by using new and differentiated features, games, challenges or running exciting offers and campaigns to increase revisits on the app and improve brand recall;
- Collect customer data from all possible instances in different dimensions and analyze the data to drive actionable insights; and
- Differentiate benefits from those offered by competitors.
There are also some strategies franchises should avoid when endeavoring to attract or maintain customers:
- Don’t create unattainable rewards or a complicated program structure. A simplified customer-centric user interface is easy for the customers to understand and experience hassle-free transactions.
- Avoid irrelevant notifications and updates that annoy customers, lead to dissatisfaction and the uninstallation of the app. Relevant, well-targeted notifications will make customers happy and improve app usage.
- Customers are very cautious about sharing their personal information, such as credit/debit card information. Any misuse or breach of this sensitive data may lead to serious credibility issues for the business.
Because consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to connect with businesses, it is important for all businesses to consider the effectiveness of their mobile marketing strategy. Mobile marketing has finally come of age with more consumers than ever making purchases using their mobile devices.
The culture of communication has changed drastically. Marketers need to be able to keep up with the ever-changing methods of communication that are being used by consumers so they can remain relevant.
Here are a few tips on mobile marketing that brands should think about before beginning any mobile marketing initiative:
Diversify and Optimize – Social media platforms have their own set of users and it is difficult to reach all targeted segments using a single platform. Brands should try to diversify and experiment by using different platforms to reach the highest amount of consumers.
Geo-Location, Geo-Fencing – Brands should think about proximity-based strategies that allow them to connect with their target audience at the right place and the right time. Geo-location or geo-targeting allows businesses to send tailored messages to users based on their location. Geo-fencing allows businesses to establish a “boundary” around their premises so that when customers are close by, they will receive a message or notification.
Responsive Interfaces – Use responsive interfaces for websites that work well on all types of devices like tablets and smartphones. Because consumers use a variety of different devices to view content, it is important for businesses to make their content viewable and interactive via a responsive interface that works well across the board.