Tuesday Buzz: An Evolution in Loyalty Programs

How one industry that has long relied on loyalty programs is adapting to the mobile era. Also: a data point that cuts through an association sacred cow.

As we get deeper into the digital era, how much will your association’s loyalty programs have to evolve?

Good question—and an answer might be forthcoming from the digital payments space, where loyalty programs are evolving rapidly, thanks to the maturing of the smartphone.

In a story at American Banker, reporter Bryan Yurcan breaks down how rewards programs increasingly need to be tracked on mobile devices. Many consumers are no longer paying with their cards, he notes; instead, they’re paying with their devices, changing the dynamic of the relationship.

Digital payments also generate huge amounts of data. “The traditional financial services firms actually have a clear opportunity to deliver highly engaging, digitally driven loyalty initiatives due to the wealth of data they collect,” Lars Holmquist, a senior vice president for Collinson Group, told the publication. “They need to go further in terms of using this data to improve targeting and segmentation to appeal to distinct audience groups.”

The next time you interact with your credit card’s loyalty program, take a close look at that interaction. You might find a path forward for your association.

Busting Through a Sacred Cow

The conventional wisdom is that associations—meaning their members and staff—tend to be slower to adopt new technologies than the larger population is. If that’s the case, what are we to we make of this slide, presented during an ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition session earlier this month? (The session included ASAE CIO Reggie Henry, Delcor President David Coriale, and Rockbridge Associates Founder Charles Colby.)

Delcor’s Bill Rowan, in a write-up of the session, explains that while there’s plenty of evidence that association members and staff are tech-savvy,  a willingness to adopt new tech tools is directly related to their value.

“Are associations deploying technology systems and products their staff and members find valuable? There’s no sweeping answer to that question,” Rowan writes. “You have to assess your own IT maturity to determine whether you’re innovating or lagging behind.”

Other Links of Note

Looking for a mental exercise? Try making your own Twitter bot. At Medium, the public radio show “Science Friday” offers up a guide aimed at helping beginners pull it off.

Twitter as a revenue driver. TechCrunch reports that the social network is expanding its video-advertising program to individual creators, allowing them to make some money on the videos they tweet.

More than pretty visuals. Author and blogger Adrian Segar says it’s wrong to characterize event design as simply a matter of visual design—and in his latest blog post, he highlights what’s missing from that characterization.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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