Customer Experience News & Trends

5 creepy loyalty marketing tactics customers hate

Technology has provided great new avenues for customizing loyalty programs on a per-customer basis. The only problem: That customization requires the collection of personal info. And it appears we’ve reached a tipping point when it comes to data collection.

Some loyalty-program-related data collection habits have started to cross the line with customers. In fact, nearly a third (29%) of adult decision-makers said that the average loyalty program asked for too much personal info.

This data comes from a survey conducted as part of The 2013 Maritz Loyalty Report.

Starting to get weird

Here are the creepiest ways loyalty programs are asking for and using personal info, according to customers:

  1. Allowing programs to review your friends’ social status updates and photos to determine if you’re eligible for rewards based on shared interests (52% of customers said this was creepy)
  2. Offering benefits to those who provide the loyalty program with access to personal info, like income (44%)
  3. Providing credit card info to a website so it can credit your account after you spend a certain amount (43%)
  4. Allowing programs you “like” or “follow” to review your status updates to customize benefits for you (40%), and
  5. Asking for demographic info when enrolling in a loyalty program for the purpose of benefit customization (40%).

‘Coolest’ uses

Customers’ comments on loyalty programs weren’t all negative, however.

The vast majority (70%) said loyalty programs were a key part of their relationship with companies. Another 57% acknowledged that loyalty programs actually affected where and how they made their purchases, because they modified their shopping habits to maximize rewards.

Customers also revealed what they felt were the coolest/most exciting ways loyalty programs use their personal info:

  1. Providing personalized discounts on your favorite items based on your purchasing habits (69% said this was cool or exciting)
  2. Creating personalized offers based on preferences that can be managed and updated (62%)
  3. Providing special benefits to those who “like” or “follow” a program on Facebook or Twitter (53%)
  4. Using your smartphone to determine your location and offer you deals for businesses you’re near (51%), and
  5. Allowing you to set a preference on your smartphone so your order is paid for upon entering a business (e.g., paying for your morning coffee).

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