Monday, 20 August, 2007

Lend your card

Would it make sense to ask loyalty programme members to lend their cards to friends and relatives during festive seasons? If there are exclusive offers to cardholders, and the primary purpose of these offers are to hike sales among heavy users, not necessarily to curry favour among them (‘Here’s your bulk discount’ vs. ‘Something special for someone special’), loyalty cards can become, in effect, reusable discount coupons. Members won’t, of course, mind some extra points on their friends’ purchases.

In short, card lending can do, more or less, what a referral programme does.

There are three immediately discernable drawbacks though:

(a) We may not get the card borrowers’ data, as we’d do in a referral programme;

(b) The card borrowers may be lost as prospects to the loyalty programme (Why should I become a member when I can enjoy membership benefits by flashing my friend’s card? Well, because you won’t get points. But I don’t buy often enough to collect very many of them. In that case, both sides are perhaps better off with you not having a card.); and

(c) The members’ data can get somewhat contaminated (Data says grandmother is buying itty-bitty bikinis; in reality, her next-door neighbour bought them, while swiping her card. This may not be so horrible though, as long as grandma doesn’t mind passing on the bikini catalogues, sent as a result of this purchase, to her neighbour.)

1 comment:

Nakul Mehra said...

One effective Short Term goal of Loyalty Marketing programmes is - Data gathering & Market Analytics. The value of marketing data, basically - WHO is purchasing WHAT and WHEN and FOR WHOM and WHY is he purchasing this? can generate millions of different types of reports defining the Purchase Behaviour of different types of clients with many different parameters.