Report: Promotional offers confusing brand message to consumers

Study finds consumers making purchase decisions based on emotional triggers to cut through the promotional clutter faster

Customers are increasingly empowered in their purchasing, and yet they continue to get lost in the promotional fray from brand messaging, according to the latest AIMIA Global Emotional Loyalty Study.

Loyalty solutions business, AIMIA, found transactional loyalty is not enough and the challenge is for brands to build one-to-one emotional connections with customers to increase visits and transactions and drive growth.

The survey looked at what attributes, benefits and values make consumers emotionally loyal to a brand and their program, with a particular focus on countries including the US, UK and Australia. It considered whether marketing leaders align their budgets and efforts with the emotional drivers of consumer loyalty, and how well brands are personalising to their customers.

The report examined retail, credit card, CPG, airline, hotel and telco programs for four criteria: Rewards, ease of use, customer data use and member treatment and the opportunities in each category. It compared the attributes which make customers loyal vary by region and vertical, and that emotional loyalty is built through more than just rewards.

However, it found most programs are indistinguishable globally, and are largely spend-and-get models with few exceptions.

When it comes to the ideal loyalty program for Australia, the survey found the greatest drivers for an ideal loyalty program are rewards on offer and ease of using the program. In particular, programs with flat value exchanges, such as spend $100 dollars, earn 1,000 points and receive a $5 voucher, may appeal most to consumers, and a simple tier structure based on spend can do the same. In addition, full transparency behind data collection, ideally to personalise their journey, can assist with the value exchange between the customer and brand. 

The report also found CMOs are allocating much of their budget to acquisition, when they could be more profitable focusing on retention efforts and personalisation. AIMIA said ample opportunity exists for personalisation across all verticals in each region, although marketers aren’t leveraging the data they’re collecting.

AIMIA said the challenge is for brands to create unique programs distinct from their competition, and to make the leap into individualised loyalty.

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