The news and trends affecting consumer engagement that caught our eye this week.
In this week's customer engagement recap (now featuring clickable headers):
- How Many Apps Do Smartphone Owners Use?
- Twitter Considering 10,000-Character Limit for Tweets
- A Radical Idea to Build Radical Customer Loyalty
- What Changes to Loyalty Programs in 2016 Will Mean for Travelers
- How Member Benefits Spur Involvement and Passion (and Retention Too)
How Many Apps Do Smartphone Owners Use? (eMarketer)
Forgive us for leading off with an article from last year, but the data in this one is so chunky it's worth highlighting (and we do love our stats). Namely, over a quarter of apps don't even survive a single day on a user's phone. 63% of the population uses 1-5 apps daily, and 49% use 6-10 on a weekly basis.
Twitter Considering 10,000-Character Limit for Tweets (Recode)
As a branding geek, I'm interested to see the response when a massive brand decides to shift the single most unique aspect of its offering. Twitter's abbreviated, 140-character messages are, for many, a welcome reprieve to the longer diatribes of Facebook and (ahem) blogs. The bigger question is if Twitter will become a Facebook clone in their pursuit of Facebook-like revenue and user engagement.
A Radical Idea to Build Radical Customer Loyalty (The Access Loyalty Blog)
Look, $2 billion is put toward loyalty each year, compared to $180 billion in advertising. It's up to us to not only even out that spending, but to spread the news of what we know: engaged customers spend more, spend more frequently, share brands with their networks, are more forgiving of bad experiences, cost the company less, and on and on.
Cutting all of the biz dev budget is radical, but the idea that loyalty and retention have a larger seat at the table shouldn't be.
This line pretty well sums up the state of many travel loyalty programs: "...if you're a value-conscious traveler, you may even reconsider whether loyalty is still lucrative."
The game is turning against most consumers. On one hand, these programs will still be valuable to the truly elite customers. On the other hand, earning and redemption hurdles are likely to dissuade many from actually putting forth the effort to actually reach that elite level.
As we've said before, loyalty programs need to be able to speak to members of all levels. From a showing of initial value when someone first joins to the red carpet for the elite members, it's supposed to entice people into a deeper relationship with the brand. Catering to the 1% is probably not the best approach.
At the core of the largest, most successful membership organizations in the world is an active, engaged user base that deeply cares about the higher purposes of that group. Those types of cores aren't formed overnight - those organizations proved their value over many years in most cases. And the key to proving value is member benefits, which impact the member on a local, relevant level.