Best practices in B2B loyalty

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In another article we outlined the B2B loyalty design principles – the must-haves in your programme design. It’s now time to look at best practices.

The ones that have stood the test of time.

Consider including these in your programme design, and you’ll set your loyalty strategy up for success.

Best practice 1: Fine-tune objectives

Once you’ve outlined your strategic business objectives, it’s possible to hone your behavioural objectives – the specific variables of customer behaviour you’re trying to change – with precise control.

By fine-tuning your loyalty objectives, you can anticipate the impact of achieving those goals – and more accurately provide to senior management a programme financial model that you can stand behind.

Best practice 2: Strategic models

Your loyalty strategy should follow one of several time-tested structural models that help lay the foundation for achieving your objectives.

The three most common loyalty structural models are:

PROPRIETARY

  • You own the programme
  • You own the currency
  • You own the cost

PLAYER

  • You reward currency from another programme
  • ‘Owner’ brand has control

COALITION

  • Third-party operator
  • Partners issue shared currency
  • Partners share cost

Best practice 3: Value proposition models

Your loyalty value proposition will typically follow one or more of these proven structural models:

PROMOTIONAL CURRENCY

• Creates perceived value

• Funding flexibility

SOFT CURRENCY

 • Points +$ for rewards

• Helps with low earn velocity

CONTENT MARKETING

• Best for long sales cycles

• Creates emotional appeal

SOFT BENEFITS

• Essential for top-tier clients

• Builds emotional loyalty

Best practice 4: Customer segmentation

Customer segmentation allows you to use your marketing resources most efficiently by allocating them based on your customers’ current and potential value.

First, determine what variables to analyse (account value, transactions, churn rate, etc.); second, segment your customers into manageable groups; and third, design tactics to encourage desired behaviour shifts.

Measure results and refine as needed.

Remember also that each of these best practice recommendations in themselves lead to a host of tactical decisions that will inform your final loyalty strategy design. Tactical execution will also require buy-in and support from a number of internal decision-makers.

Be flexible and do as much as your budget and resources allow.

Best practice 5: Dual rewards

For B2B loyalty programmes, dual rewards – rewards that provide both bottom-line benefit to your customers’ businesses as well as personal appeal to decision-makers – are essential to success.

DUAL REWARDS: HARD BENEFITS

  • In-kind rewards

  • Take a customer to lunch

  • Training seminars

  • Sales incentives

DUAL REWARDS: SOFT BENEFITS

  • Business concierge

  • Conference invitations

  • Business events

  • Members-only access

Best practice 6: Flexible funding

Instead of a flat programme funding rate, provide a low base funding rate and then use your marketing dollars to test reward bonuses targeted to specific segments and designed to close the gap between current behaviour and desired behaviour.

Target specific variables of behaviour, such as frequency, order size, sales goals, or cross-purchase.

Best practice 7: Sustained dialogue

Leveraging customer data to fuel relevant dialogue is critical to success. Leverage customer insight to increase offer relevance, deliver message consistency through all platforms and devices, let your customers choose their preferred communication timing, and develop an approved plan to measure communications impact.

Best practice 8: Member engagement

Loyalty programme analysis demonstrates that customers, partners, and sales reps who engage with your loyalty programme will demonstrate increasing lifetime value the more often they complete the programme journey.

Use communications, trigger offers, gamification, and other engagement tactics to encourage participation at each stage of the loyalty cycle.

If you’re thinking of how to start growing your loyalty in the B2B sector, schedule your FREE and no-obligation consultation with our New Business Director, Glenn Shaw.

Glenn has worked in Loyalty Marketing across New Zealand, Asia, and Australia for the last 10 years, and is passionate about creating and delivering programmes which maximise engagement and impact for clients.