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Personal and relevant - Walgreens rewards best customers to generate loyalty and drive sales
Mass and personalised – contradictory or complementary?
In most businesses, a smaller percentage of customers typically account for a much higher percentage of sales. This presents a valuable opportunity to reward the loyalty of a group so critical to your success. Incorporating personalisation into the marketing mix capitalises on the chance to communicate with your best customers based on what they buy, or are most likely to buy.
Highly targeted marketing requires a mind shift from reliance on mass promotion, but the reward is a customised shopping experience which leads to a stronger bond between retailer, brand and customer. Engaging customers with relevant content or offers is a longer term, loyalty building technique which complements the very broad approach of mass campaigns – used together they deliver marketing balance.
The Walgreens Balance Rewards Thank You programme is an excellent example of rewarding the best customers and, in turn, driving significant sales growth and loyalty over time.
Being you has its rewards
As the largest loyalty programme in the US, Walgreens Balance Rewards is an excellent source of robust customer insights. Having worked with the retailer since 2012, emnos was selected to use this loyalty card data to assess which customers are most valuable to the business and therefore should be rewarded and retained. The analytical foundation laid down by emnos led to the development of the Balance Rewards Thank Youprogramme – using straplines such as Being you has its rewards.
The Balance Rewards card captures over 70% of all sales, providing rich customer data and delivering excellent visibility into how often customers shop, how much they spend and which products they buy. This supports maximum relevance throughout the promotion, from individually tailored offers to choice of delivery channel.
Customers are rewarded at a very granular level based on past shopping behaviour down to details on actual products and SKUs. All content is highly personalised and acknowledges individual information such as length of time in the loyalty card programme; points earned; nearest Walgreens store; and further opportunities to use Balance Rewards.
Availability of such powerful data has the added benefit of fostering collaboration with key suppliers who can access the insights via the emnos technological platform.
Building loyalty – generating sales
A longitudinal study into the Balance Rewards Thank You programme found that targeted customers generate more incremental sales and become more valuable over time (versus a control group). They demonstrate more chance of increasing or maintaining value and less chance of decreasing value or lapsing – therefore really building a relationship as customers look forward to receiving their personalised offers. Beyond the short-term lift on products featured in Thank You promotions, the programme has a long-term halo effect across Walgreens core businesses and respective suppliers.
Walgreens continues to grow its personalised marketing programmes aimed at its most valuable customers by deploying various types of campaign including: Thank You, seasonal and those driven by suppliers with a focus on specific products. There is also an on-going ‘test and learn’ process investigating formats, creativity, channels, offer mix and mechanics and allocation methodologies.
emnos teamed up with Walgreens at Retail’s Big Show in New York to present a case study on the retailer’s Thank You Approach to Personalized Marketing. Mindy Heintskill, VP, Loyalty and Personalized Marketing and Lisa Zhao, Director, Supplier Direct Marketing from Walgreens were joined by Ron Orgiefsky, Managing Director, emnos USA for the event on 17th January 2017.
Retention is key
As all retailers know, it takes multiple new customers to make up for the loss of one ‘best customer’ - so retention is fundamental to any programme built by emnos. Personalisation can generate loyalty, increase sales and build long term relationships with this extremely high value group.
emnos specialises in using shopper data to drive highly relevant content and one-to-one offers which reward customers; create brand/product engagement and lift for suppliers; drive incremental sales; and increase customer retention for retailers. Although always adhering to some basic principles, every engagement is tailored to individual requirements – after all, at emnos, every client is a ‘best’ client!