The allure of true omnichannel marketing has been an object of obsession for loyalty marketers. Given the plethora of touch points between brands and an increasingly mobile-first customer, along with volumes of data that can be captured from transactions and behaviors, it’s easy to see why omnichannel strategies continue to climb the list of priorities for loyalty program leaders.

According to House Advantage CMO Brett Kline, too often loyalty marketers’ best intentions become bogged down at an inflection point – an intractable systems integration, a siloed database infrastructure, or a process breakdown that limits their ability to scale out their omnichannel plans, capture real-time insights, and achieve the holistic, 360-degree view of the customer that results in the largest returns on omnichannel loyalty programs.

House Advantage recently released an infographic that addresses the opportunity and challenges associated with building a successful omnichannel loyalty program. Kline shared with Loyalty360 his thoughts about the key factors involved in the process.

“Having a loyalty administration platform that has the required functionality to manage a loyalty program and provide the ability to reward, incent, recognize and engage members in an omnichannel fashion is critical,” Kline explained. “Very few loyalty platforms have the variability and expertise in system integration. Brands shouldn’t be forced to rip and replace existing technology. Instead, loyalty solutions should preserve prior investments and infrastructure.”

Customers want to interact and engage with brands in a manner they prefer, Kline noted, and “customers also place tremendous value on brands that recognize and engage them in the manner they prefer.”

Kline listed the necessary building blocks required to create a successful omnichannel loyalty program:

  • Agnostic solutions and capabilities that extend across all existing technology infrastructure
  • Aggregating data across all touch points in real time
  • Delivery of personalized communications and incentives across all channels
  • Servicing customers across all channels
  • Closed-loop continuous learning discipline
  • Consistent customer experience across all channels

“I believe companies are inherently innovative and inquisitive in learning about their customer’s behavior and thinking about new ways to recognize and engage customers,” Kline added. “The primary challenge in my mind is the leveraging of the vast amount of data companies have, given the endless transactional data generated through a diverse and evolving set of channels customers are engaging and transacting with brands through.”

Kline said there are likely existing platforms in place at many companies that move companies closer to engaging customers in an omnichannel fashion, but are missing a few critical capabilities to complete the technological ecosystem needed to execute.

“Once taking inventory of existing capabilities and understanding any gaps, look for agile solutions that are agnostic and can work seamlessly and in a complementary way with current capabilities,” Kline explained.

This article first appeared on loyalty360.org

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