In financial services, the customer loyalty battle has evolved to where rewards programs must offer more than points—for after all, traditional one-size-fits-all points programs succumb to attrition and inactivity after a few moments of intrigue.
The customer journey isn’t defined by a high-five and a gift card but by continuous, contextual engagement. Omnichannel rewards programs achieve greater success by providing real-time value on the customer's terms. Consumers enjoy a streamlined cardholder experience, while the institutions that leverage such programs experience myriad positive impacts.
Because they promote direct engagement across multiple mediums, holistic rewards programs provide massive omnichannel marketing opportunities for financial institutions.
Opportunities abound when you take your marketing to the next level with omnichannel marketing efforts. More engagement doesn’t necessarily equal work for your team: Capitalize on your brand advocates and make the most of the existing marketing efforts.
Whether through web, mobile, phone or face-to-face conversations, a true omnichannel experience integrates a sales approach wherever your customers are. The development of a truly seamless experience for the customer across the different mediums drives a true omnichannel platform. Your institution likely has multiple existing touchpoints; the key here is to maximize your efforts and streamline your message.
Every individual engagement through the lifetime of your customer relationship presents an opportunity to create goodwill and showcase a cohesive experience, no matter how your customers interact with your institution.
Watch consumers create your content
What’s more, omnichannel marketing enables customers themselves to generate content for you! Whether they share images and personal stories on social media, write reviews or relate experiences with your institution across several channels, the digital landscape provides each consumer with a new voice.
When you capitalize on user-generated content, it creates powerful brand advocates who help promote your brand—and provide honest user feedback that sends a positive message to other potential customers.
In your sights: On- and off-site marketing
It’s crucial for your success to keep customers engaged with your institution, even when they don’t physically interact in a branch. Loyalty and rewards programs that blend on- and off-site marketing involvement generate high customer engagement levels; that means more interactions and transactions with your institution.
Time to collaborate
Now you are ready to increase your marketing efforts—but what if your small marketing team already struggles with the current workload? Finding a strategic partner aligned with your goals can exponentially increase your output and sidestep the steep operating costs of hiring full-time employees
The word on third-party customer benefits
Successful loyalty programs need not rely solely on rewards or discounts on your products and services. Offering universally accessible benefits via third parties, such as fuel rewards or gift cards for major retailers, provides another way to gain additional exposure.
This strategy can work best when you target new customers unfamiliar with your institution. Choose offers that have immediate, recognizable value and open the door to learn more about you.
Increased exposure meets leveraged expertise
Collaborating with a third-party rewards platform has an additional advantage of increasing your brand's exposure to new audiences. Whether through access to new marketing tools or the leveraged expertise of an experienced team, your new partnership can create new revenue streams and enhance those of current customers.
A good partner offers strategic alignment and helps with the workload. By working with an experienced account manager, you can apply new ideas to age-old challenges. For example, offering rewards for referral traffic represents one smart way institutions can increase exposure, along with bonus points for eStatement opt-ins to reduce expenses.
Pay attention to customer retention
According to Invesp, companies that implement an omnichannel customer engagement platform have an 89 percent customer retention rate. Compare that to just 33 percent for businesses that fail to provide a seamless customer experience across different mediums.
From an individual consumer point of view, you’re more likely to continue frequenting an institution that recognizes your involvement and commitment, especially if it provides rewards for your loyalty.
When you maximize marketing efforts with campaign and channel optimization, it can drive lower-cost engagement with better results. It’s a win-win scenario.
From treasure-trove data to measurable campaigns
Institutions sit on a treasure trove of actionable data, and the right partner can provide real-time updates on revenue-enhancing campaigns across several channels. This analysis helps institutions narrow their approach and focus on marketing campaigns and channels that drive the greatest results.
Fine-tuning your marketing campaigns to create the optimal loyalty rewards program for your institution and cardholders mixes art and science to catalyze exponentially increasing ROI.
Delivering data-backed incentives
This real-time engagement of transaction and engagement data does more than increase revenue. Monitoring spend trends can solidify a network of area businesses your cardholders love. In turn, you can provide rewards to those preferred businesses. Delivering them meaningful rewards increases your rewards program’s appeal while generating potential commercial accounts!
Core channel efficiency, engaged customers
Before you implement a loyalty program, consider the core channels of your business and assess whether you need to invest in them or upgrade to new ones. Focus on offering the best experience you can, then use rewards to drive cost-saving changes. For example, picture a cohort that solely visits your busiest branch to deposit checks and thus increases wait times for more profitable segments. Rewards for mobile deposits can promote efficiency and create engaged customers.
Bringing it all together: the point of rewards
Omnichannel marketing will boost your marketing ROI and drive revenue like you’ve never seen—but building out the program may prove daunting. Bringing in a third-party partner can strengthen your institution’s marketing capabilities in every capacity. This doesn’t relinquish control – it supplements it. You still call the shots, but every action reflects extra awareness, precision and power.
With the dynamic state of customers’ lives, omnichannel marketing helps you meet them at every turn, on their terms, with products, resources and expertise to build loyal customers for life. Now imagine your bank earning bonus points for that.
Tylee Suarez is the senior director of marketing at Buzz Points.