Loyalty – Battleground or playground

Yesterday, I received a newsletter from the Colloquy entitled “Loyalty marketing is the central battleground for companies today” and this made me reflect on a presentation last week by Anna Pollock where she talked about the language of business and how it has a military tone – battle, identify target, go in for the kill….etc 

So are the loyalty companies and loyalty teams within organisations really paying attention? 

They want to go into BATTLE with each other to gain our loyalty – with that approach are they going to beat us into submission OR are they going to try and “understand our needs”, “engage with us”, “tailor their service to our needs” and look to “build a long term relationship” – all phrases which support the notion of a “personal relationship” – do you go into battle with the individuals you have a personal relationship with – you may differ in your opinions or disagree but do you really BATTLE?   I don’t and I don’t want the company who is providing me with a product or service to battle over me.  I want them to understand my needs, be available to engage with me, when I choose to engage with them and I want a service which is as close to my needs as it can be for the price I am willing to pay and if I have an ongoing need for that product or service and my experience with a company is a good one then I will choose them again and again based on my experience with the organisation, developing a relationship based on past experience and future expectations.

From what I see, I am fairly typical in my approach to purchasing products and services and when you look at where we are engaging online, many of us are using the web to connect socially as well as from a business point of view and a place to learn about people, company’s products and services.  There are some people who vent on some sites, but generally the ones where you connect with friends, relations, business colleagues and acquaintances – the communication is friendly, engaging and fun – no guns knifes or ammo!

Maybe the loyalty companies and loyalty managers should spend some time looking at the bigger change which is taking place with us humans and learn from our behaviour and the way we communicate, not just the numbers in the market research – we are doing a lot more talking, interacting and learning before we hand over our money – but I dont see us going into BATTLE – do you?

Have a look at Gerald Zaltmans books about “How Customers think” and “Marketing Metaphoria” interesting insights in to the complexity of engaging with consumers.