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The 2018 Access Development Year in Review

By Ashley Autry | Updated on Dec 18, 2018 3:33:15 PM

The holiday spirit is in the air at Access this time of year. When you walk through the office halls on any given day in December, you're bound to see decorated cubicles, a Christmas tree in the front lobby, and employees participating in spirit days full of baked treats, festive socks, ugly Christmas sweaters and more.

In fact, we just celebrated a great year with our annual company holiday luncheon - where we reveled merrily about the work put in over this past year to support you. Our clients. Our merchant partners.

In short, our friends. 


The Access Discount Network: Better Than Ever

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2018 was more magical than ever with the return of one of our most popular merchant partners, Disneyland® Resort. Members get to experience a newly-engineered interface, a seamless at-the-gate redemption experience, and one of the most exclusive discounts that Disneyland has to offer.

And on a related note, we recently finished a complex IT integration with Walt Disney World's® new ticketing platform. This means we are now one of the few providers who can give consumers direct access to buy discounted tickets online.

During the past year, our Partnership Marketing team has also focused on enhancing the travel discount network by recruiting new offers in top destinations, and efficiently combining all travel related discounts into one place. So when members are planning a trip and searching for travel discounts using the Access platform, not only will they find great deals on hotel stays and car rentals but also on all kinds of local activities, dining, shopping and more - specific to their vacation destination.

In other words, Access members everywhere are enjoying bigger, better savings than ever before thanks to the knowledge and expertise of the hardworking folks on our Partnership Marketing team.

 

The Access API - Making Savings (and All of Our Lives) Easier

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It's been a good year for the Access API, or Application Programming Interface, a tool designed to help different software components communicate with each other.

Being a loyalty program and member benefits provider, it's no surprise that Access works with hundreds of clients, millions of members and over 300,000 merchant partners at any given time. Which means, there's a lot of data being exchanged around each of these interactions.

This technology update has had many benefits and continues to make things easier for those with the need for maximum programming flexibility. Keep in mind, however, Access APIs aren't for everyone - especially those who prefer (and benefit from) an out-of-the-box turnkey solution.

Whichever you may prefer, we're delighted to report we've got more technological options available than ever before for those seeking to offer maximum value to the audience they care about most. To learn more about Access APIs, contact your CSM for details.

 

New: A Member Engagement Study, Marketing Resources & Loyalty Data

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With each year at Access comes new and informative resources, created specifically to benefit the organizations, members and merchants we serve. In 2018, we released a new study that investigates and discusses challenges faced by organizations across the membership spectrum, and what can be done to promote positive change and engagement among members.

Another project we launched this past year was an updated version of our self-serve, online Client Marketing Kit. This tool was designed to help our clients make their members aware of the discount program and encourage engagement by providing pre-approved promotional materials like DIY email downloads, banners, social media posts, featurettes, monthly ads, etc.

But wait, there's more...

In addition to continually adding fresh nuggets of knowledge to all of our existing stats pages and creating a page specifically for the new 2018 customer engagement and loyalty stats to live on, we also introduced our Travel and Tourism Statistics: The Ultimate Collection. This new stats page focuses on bits of information that can help us better understand today's traveler.

 

The Wonderful World of Access Fundraising

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Access Fundraising is a division of Access Development that has long offered traditional discount fundraising products and loyalty solutions for non-profit organizations, charities, sports teams, youth groups and more. This year marked the rise of our new online fundraising platform: WeFundThem.

Online fundraisers like WeFundThem have grown increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, including convenience, reach and security. With the WeFundThem platform, not only have we sought to incorporate all of the best features of online fundraisers, but we've added one more very important benefit along the way: a thank-you gift of savings that makes it easy for donors to offset the cost of their generosity. The result is an automated system for helping groups raise (and keep!) more money, while giving back to the supporters who give so much to them.

Historic "War for Talent" Inspires Growth of Access Perks

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Back in 1969, young American men nationwide were drafted from the ranks of the workforce to serve their country in the Vietnam War. Not since then has the USA experienced such a shortage of labor as we have in 2018.

For this reason (among others), our Access Perks employee discount program has seen another year of significant growth. Employers everywhere are battling the challenge of keeping employees happy in a period of rising benefits costs. And if there's one thing we know, it's that unhappy employees do as much or more to negatively impact customer loyalty as nearly any other factor.

By helping workers stretch their paychecks by hundreds, even thousands of dollars per year, more workplaces than ever in 2018 availed themselves of the value that America's best employee discount program has to offer. 

 

Company Awards for Team Access

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At the expense of sounding like a broken record, we at Access believe keeping our employees happy has a positive ripple effect on our clients and members as well. And as honored as we are to have been the recipients of several workplace awards in 2018, the fact is it's our employees as a whole that really deserve the recognition.

So a BIG thank you and congratulations to the Access team for be recognized for:

Looking Forward to 2019

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2018 was pretty awesome, but we have a feeling 2019's going to be even awesome-er.

In the New Year, Access will keep working to expand and add value to our discount network. More specifically, we'll be focusing on adding new entertainment and recreation offers for members to enjoy when traveling.

Each year we reexamine the user/member experience, always striving to make it easier to access deals as we continue to look for more ways to engage members with new technologies - allowing you to engage and reengage the audiences you care about.

And year after year, we can't help but feel warm and fuzzy about the many important and valued relationships we have with employees, clients, merchants, members and industry peers that contribute to our success. A BIG THANKS to you all for being a part of the Access family.

Best Wishes this Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Topics: Employee Discount Programs, customer loyalty, Member Benefits, Access Development, member engagement, Access Fundraising, best places to work, Discount Programs, Merchant Discount Network

Written by: Ashley Autry

Ashley Autry is a Marketing Professional at Access Development. She's an expert proofer, gatherer of loyalty stats, research guru, writing queen, and overseer of various marketing projects.

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