With its legions of life-long fans, Marvel might be the last franchise you’d expect to launch a loyalty program. But the comic book giant has unveiled a new superhero in Marvel Insider – the brand’s first ever loyalty proposition. Marvel Insider heralds a new age of loyalty program, with a focus on customer engagement rather than points for purchase. So what can we learn from Marvel’s supercharged proposition?
1. It’s all about [Hulk] smashing the competition
Marvel Insider is the front-runner of loyalty programs across multimedia, entertainment, and gaming industries. Fans can earn points when watching Marvel trailers on YouTube, checking into cinemas to watch Marvel films, listening to Marvel podcasts, posting about Marvel on social media, or reading Marvel news on Marvel.com.
As fans collect points they’re rewarded with things like free digital Marvel comics, collectibles, T-shirts, and more. The program also offers four tiers of customer engagement, with True Believer being the ultimate tier.
On the surface this doesn’t sound too far removed from standard loyalty program frameworks. But Marvel’s emphasis is on organic engagement, whereby fans are rewarded for what they’re already doing.
Lesson: Even if you’re at the top of your game you need to keep your strength up. Search for opportunities to further engage your customers before your competitors do.
2. [Avengers] Assemble the next level of multichannel
Multichannel programs are a natural fit for the comic industry, which has seen comics become toys; become TV shows; become books; become video games; become films; become apps; become social media. These channels will continue to snowball and become examples of loyalty best practice beyond the traditional industries of retail, travel and hospitality.
With the relentless growth of marketing channels, consumer touchpoints are becoming fragmented and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to sustain and track engagement. This is where consumer data comes in.
Lesson: Add real-time consumer data to your loyalty program to learn about your customers and their interactions with your business to assemble personalised offers and experiences at different touchpoints.
3. Don’t let your customers be ‘X’ Men; Get Personal!
Rewarding customer engagement enables brands to encourage consistent activity across multiple touchpoints and allows for unique experiences. In unlocking an entire vault of consumer data seamlessly, Marvel Insider is able to offer personalised experiences from unique downloads to special events.
Personalisation used to be a “nice to have” tack-on to any loyalty program but now it’s crucial to success, as Marvel demonstrate. In fact a Visa 2016 Bond Loyalty Report found that “brands whose representatives make members feel special and recognised have 2.7 times higher program satisfaction.”
Lesson: Collect customer data and then send personalised messages to customers across multiple channels.
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