Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 16, 2013 8:25:00 AM


Cookies from The Chocolate, a dessert cafe in Utah.

Running a business is tough. If it’s a brick-and-mortar, consumer-facing business, then it’s doubly tough. You have staff to manage and train, facilities to maintain, codes to abide by, books to keep, bills to pay and oh, somewhere in there you need to have a great product or service.

On top of all those things, you need to actually bring people in the doors to pay for it all.

Knowing this, merchant funded rewards and coupon marketers across the country have focused their attention on merchants. They understand that many businesses are desperate to do whatever is necessary to bring in traffic and keep the doors open for another week. They prey on these restaurants, retailers, health spas and service shops for deals, promising to bring in traffic in exchange for a cut of the revenue.

Some are legit, many aren’t. With so many other duties to handle, most business owners can’t take the time to vet every opportunity. It’s a recipe for disaster in many instances.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jul 26, 2013 10:41:00 AM

As part of our continuing series of posts on the Allstate blog, we've put together a quick tutorial on social media for small businesses. We know how little time these businesses have, and when they've got customers at the register or deadlines to meet, playing around on Facebook just isn't a priority. But social media is important for your business, and absolutely worth your time. The good news? It doesn't require nearly as much time as you think. You can discover, acquire, engage and retain customers with just ten minutes a day. Check out our post here.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Jun 26, 2013 5:08:00 AM

There has never been a more exciting time to be in the customer loyalty business. Every day it feels like some new technology hits the market (especially in the mobile world) or some company is going above and beyond to do something great for their customers.

There are a record 2.65 billion loyalty program memberships in the US, a 26.7% jump from 2010. The average household contains 21.9 loyalty programs, up from 18.4 two years ago. These figures are from the latest Colloquy Loyalty Census, which serves as a snapshot of the industry as a whole and the verticals within.

We previously summarized the Maritz Loyalty Report, which had some great information that mostly pointed toward growing interest in loyalty programs, but waning engagement. Not surprisingly, Colloquy’s findings point in the same direction: there is a consumer hunger for loyalty programs – to be recognized, engaged, rewarded – and a lack of fulfillment by brands in meeting those desires.

Of those 2.65 billion memberships, members are active in less than half of them (44%.) Describing “active” as “members who have engaged at least once in the past 12 months,” Colloquy says this number is growing, but at a slower rate than overall memberships (21% to 26.7%.)


Posted by Brandon Carter on May 31, 2013 1:27:00 AM

A little over two years ago I came clean about my secret history of being a social media complainer. I admitted the shame of being a social community manager tasked with battling the hordes of angry Tweeters and Facebookers, yet on the side I was one of the ruthless attackers.

I promise to stop being “that guy.”

Yikes! Did I really make that promise?

I think I need to make a few more confessions.

Posted by Brandon Carter on May 2, 2013 3:25:00 AM

Access Development and Allstate have worked together for a number of years, particularly with Allstate Motor Club. Which is why we're excited to announce that we're now contributing content to the Allstate Blog. Our goal is to share some of our expertise on loyalty, incentives, customer engagement, mobile coupons, social media and more, particularly for their small business readers.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 16, 2010 7:59:19 AM

Have you ever walked by a kiosk in the mall offering a contest for a trip to Maui? Or maybe seen an offer to enter a giveaway on the bottom of your credit card bill?