3 tips for going global with your loyalty program

In today’s loyalty landscape, brands continue to enhance their global marketing initiatives. Understanding the needs of each individual market is essential for success as there’s significant growth opportunity within the loyalty market.

In fact, the global loyalty management market was valued at USD 2617 million in 2018, and is expected to reach a value of USD 9280 million by 2024, at a CAGR of 23.3% over the forecast period (2019-2024).

So how can you as a marketer achieve your global loyalty marketing goals? Let’s further explore.

Tip #1: Develop an adoptable strategic framework

Oftentimes when we think of our loyalty marketing needs, technology is the first thing that comes to mind. And, it’s an essential component. But it’s important to take a step back and focus on your brand’s global customer engagement strategy.

Your customer engagement strategy is a living document, meaning it needs to be flexible so it can adapt to different markets and accommodate for the changes that are to come.

I like to think of the strategy development as a four-step process:

  1. Define (and know) your customers
  2. Create an engagement plan
  3. Customize your engagement approach
  4. Adapt to the local cultural nuances (language, etc.).

As you’re developing your strategy, always make engagement a top priority. For example, how can you best personalize your program offerings and communicate 1:You. And, what reward offers can you fulfill on that will create emotional connections to your brand and sustain lifetime loyalty.

Tip #2: Set-up your internal organization for success

Success starts within your organization. It’s important to align your people and processes as you’re creating your global loyalty marketing strategy.

If you’re a brand that has a successful U.S.-based loyalty program, think about the learnings you can share with the international team as to the program initiatives they can replicate, and the ones they need to customize for their specific market needs.

Consider forming a steering committee to help determine the best approach to take in setting up your global program. Include associates (both domestic and international) from all areas of your organization – IT, finance, leadership, marketing and operations – and put your task list together. And together, do your research, implement testing, mirror what other international brands have done well and always think with an innovative mindset. Put a plan in place for eliminating the barriers that might arise.

Tip #3: Integrate a global platform with local programs

Having one global platform that’s customized for each market (adaptable to specific currency types, languages, etc.) is much more cost effective as opposed to creating unique, individual platforms for each market. It reduces the administration costs.

And consumer data and privacy requirements add additional complexities to global deployments. Having a clear and robust technology platform strategy and governance is important.

Global platforms must be flexible enough to support different consumer engagement strategies. For example, because mobile is the preferred channel in many developing countries, engaging with consumers with text messages and mobile coupon offers is more important than other methods of engagement.

Brand in action

FedEx does an excellent job with their international marketing, programs and overall focus on loyalty. FedEx’s corporate culture of focusing on their people, process and technology is felt and implemented across the entire organization, both domestically and internationally.

With this alignment, FedEx has built the capabilities to expand their programs into the international markets. And, FedEx mirrors its successful U.S.-based strategy while expanding into international markets and shares learnings across regions.

So as you’re evaluating your global loyalty marketing initiatives, think of it as a crawl, walk, run approach and don’t try to accomplish the world in one day.

And remember, when deciding on a platform, make sure it’s agile, or adaptable to your needs. It’s best to integrate a platform that can serve both your domestic and international needs.