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Loyalty business Nectar provides an interesting case study for the state of marketing and retail in 2016.
The company was transformed in 2015 when it replatformed all of its consumer-facing channels to make them mobile first and digital, with its app now the subject of a major TV ad campaign.
I spoke to Nectar's MD, Will Shuckburgh, to get his thoughts on loyalty and marketing in a newly customer-centric world.
Brands have always looked for ways to get more loyal customers.
But since social media has taken off, they are also encouraging these loyal customers to become brand advocates.
So, how are brands cultivating customer loyalty and building advocacy?
Pret-a-Manger created a lot of buzz on social media in 2015 with its mysterious and seemingly-unofficial free coffee giveaways.
If you were a regular at a particular store, or if a barista simply liked your face, you may have received a free coffee.
Many people on Twitter took this pretty seriously, seeing the gesture as affirmation of their good looks or friendly manner (see tweets below).
Well, now Pret is making this official and has added a twist that could turn out to be the most genius piece of marketing strategy of the year.
Believe it or not, a 16-year-old and his or her 56-year-old father are part of the same generation.
This generation isn’t defined by age. Rather, its members share the same attitude towards how to apply digital technology to their most mundane, everyday tasks – from finding a parking spot or the latest news headlines, to their food orders and package deliveries.
What really stands out is their shared view on shopping and commerce. They prioritize convenience and value an experience that extends far beyond the traditional path to purchase.
In June 2015 the ONS reported that average store prices in the UK fell by almost 3% YoY.
This was the 12th successive month of deflation in the retail sector.
Alongside deflation, quarterly measures of retail activity have been growing for four years.
The votes are in, the numbers are tallied and it's official, we in Britain have turned on our tea drinking tradition and become a nation of coffee drinkers.
Today we consume around 1.7bn cups of coffee a year, with the majority of us drinking two cups a day and spending about £25 a week on coffee alone.
Are there alternative ways of generating customer loyalty other than cards or points to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more?
In many markets, competition is fierce and customer loyalty seems harder and harder to develop.
One of the reasons: consumers are increasingly a sceptical lot.
It is my job to explain in the simplest terms certain digital marketing phrases that may seem confusing, misappropriated or darn well unwieldy.
Today we’ll be taking a look at the terms customer experience (CX) and customer experience management (CEM), phrases that in our increasingly consumer-focused and connection-based economy have risen to the top of every business’s agenda.
Payment is kicking off again.
London buses are now cashless. CaixaBank and Barclaycard have both launched contactless payment wristbands.
This begs the question – can mobile muscle in further on in-store payment and loyalty, or is the opportunity disappearing?
Measuring engagement in venues is tough, especially when they're not ticketed. Think your local pub for example.
This week I caught up with Sam Fresco, co-founder and director of SwipeStation, which allows for advertising and vouchering from a terminal in-venue.
Fresco launched the start-up at 23, following previous roles at Top 100 digital agency Clock. I asked him about the product and his journey.
Game mechanics are the building blocks of a successful gamification strategy.
These elements make the experience engaging and fun for the consumer. Points, badges and leaderboards are the go-to mechanics marketers often use to make their programs more engaging, but the mechanics marketers can tap go beyond PBLs (as they’re called among game designers).
Candy Crush, the social game that is more popular than every other game on Facebook, uses a long list of mechanics to create motivating and addictive experience for the user.
And there are a number of lessons marketers can learn from the torrid success of Candy Crush.