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Posted by Gary Toyn on Nov 7, 2019 9:03:10 AM

Amazon.com dominates the e-commerce space, and is otherwise wreaking havoc on free white-labeled discount programs. Only discount programs with in-store coupons can deliver real value to your members/customers.   About a 4 minute read

 

Image: BEN VOLDMAN

Posted by Gary Toyn on Oct 1, 2019 10:58:00 AM

Researcher Gary W. Toyn has long investigated the challenges faced by organizations across the membership spectrum. In this study, Gary turns his attention to the central question of member expectations - and how recent data suggests a growing perception gap among the membership organizations that serve them.

At Access, we frequently consult with clients and prospective clients who are seeking to boost member engagement and retention. In the course of those interactions we see a surprising gap between organizational leaders and their members. Frequently, the misalignment that exists is due to a lack of understanding of what today’s members really want from their affiliation.

In many cases, leaders of organizations have never asked members what they need or want, nor have they asked what types of services and benefits members expect. Some leaders rely on guesswork or assumptions in identifying their member’s needs, and others simply ignore member feedback altogether.  We see this happen far too often.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Aug 21, 2019 9:27:00 AM

For decades, the conventional wisdom has touted this stat: 80% of consumer spending occurs within 20 miles of home.

We've cited that stat before, as have countless other respected sources like ForbesEbay, and MediaPost. All of which have quoted this statistic without attribution.

The problem is, the stat is a myth. It doesn't exist, as this writer documented.  

Typically, they point to an official source identified simply as “US Census data,” but no link to a study or web page is given.

It really sounds good and seems to make sense.

But then again, what about the "retail-apocalypse?" What about the growth of online spending?

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jul 25, 2019 10:33:47 AM

We’ve written previously about the underlying science behind why discounts are such a powerful member/customer engagement tool. Aside from the rush of endorphins that comes from getting a good deal, evolutionary science tells us that our brains are hard-wired to conserve our resources and avoid inefficiencies. That’s why saving money is a universal desire.

So it’s no coincidence that virtually every retailer, airline, supermarket and restaurant offers a discount or rewards program. Most membership organizations understand the potential impact of offering a discount program as part of their membership perks because of how such programs drive member retention (among other favorable behaviors.)

With the increasing popularity of using discounts as rewards and incentives, it’s not surprising that more and more discount programs have sprung up, trying to sell their white-labeled discount network (also called a private-labeled discount network) to member associations, trade organizations and other membership-based groups.

But not all discount networks work the same. And not all can drive member retention and boost acquisition rates.

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If your organization is considering a white-labeled discount program to help you connect, attract and engage your members, good for you. It’s a wise decision that has helped many organizations grow.

Once you’ve decided to offer a discount program, what criteria should you use to find the best one suited for your organization? As the competition for your attention intensifies, so too will the intensity of the competing voices who are trying to win your business.

As a result, be prepared to encounter some rather creative methods with how discount networks compare themselves to their competitors. Here are some of the tricks some companies use to trick you, and how they spin their message to get you to sign on the dotted line.

Posted by Gary Toyn on Jun 6, 2019 9:28:07 AM

When membership organizations make bad decisions, we can learn a lot from their mistakes. Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at ten easy ways to smother member loyalty and engagement.  About a 7 minute read.

My role as a marketing consultant has allowed me to work with all types and sizes of membership organizations. From large organizations with a million or so members, to small non-profit and trade groups with just a few thousand members. Most organizations seem to get it. They’ve figured out how to adapt to meet the unique needs of their members, and they can seamlessly integrate our discount platform into their existing suite of member benefits and privileges.

A few others -- dare I say -- are unprepared for success.

They have so many fundamental problems with how they run their organization that adding a powerful engagement tool like ours will actually make matters worse.

After more than a decade in working with various groups, I’ve noticed some important patterns among the few groups that struggle the most. The ones that have a knack for suffocating member engagement.

I think there’s great value in learning from the mistakes of others, so here’s my list of the ten easiest ways an organization can smother their member loyalty and engagement: 

Posted by Gary Toyn on May 9, 2019 8:06:23 AM

When it comes to running a member benefits or loyalty program, your mama had it all figured out.

In honor of mothers everywhere (including mine who's been a mom for 71 of her 90 years), I’d like to share some life lessons learned from the mother hen herself – and how they can be used as best practices in running a successful membership discount club or loyalty program.