From the experts: criteria for choosing the right loyalty partner

Hear from our experts on the specific criteria and Epsilon's ratings in the 2021 Forrester Wave™ on Loyalty Solutions—and why they matter to your loyalty marketing outcomes.

Loyalty marketing has evolved a lot over the last few years. Many brands have bought into the importance of transforming cut-and-dry offers and programmatic rewards into personalized, engaging experiences that connect with customers on a human level. This shift was driven in part out of necessity—the COVID-19 pandemic exposed an even greater need for brands to build genuine loyalty with customers. But marketers can’t go at it alone.   

The Forrester Wave™: Loyalty Solutions, Q2 2021 helps marketers evaluate vendors on relevant criteria to ensure they can find the right partner to fit their needs. Epsilon is excited to be the top ranked company in the Current Offering category with top score possible in 17 of the evaluation’s 28 criteria, including:

  • Personalization and Emotional Loyalty
  • Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Client Retention 

What do these all mean? And how can Epsilon help marketers struggling in these areas? Our loyalty experts dig into the scores below. 

Personalization and Emotion Measurement

This score focuses on whether or not a Loyalty solution has the capability to measure emotional loyalty, and can be incorporated into optimization efforts. While measuring the emotional aspect of a loyalty program is tricky, it's key to understanding customers across their journey with your brand. What tools or partnerships are available to help marketers capture emotion feedback? What are the use cases for those tools and partnerships?

Epsilon has developed a solution that looks past clicks, email opens and conversions to get to the bottom of what customers are truly thinking and feeling. 


"As a loyalty strategist, the one thing I always tell my clients is that loyalty is all about emotional connections. People want to feel connected to your brand…like you’re speaking to them on a one-to-one level. That’s not always easy, but it’s incredibly important. Emotional insights can be leveraged for even deeper personalization–designing experiences to increase share of heart, share of time and share of wallet. And we’ve worked hard to make Epsilon PeopleCloud do just that." -Tamara Oliverio, Senior Director of Strategy at Epsilon.

Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning 

This score focuses on the types of predictive modeling and data mining algorithms a particular solution supports: How are its capabilities for model development, management, testing, and tuning incorporated into the UX? Does the solution support importing models via predictive model markup language (PMML) or other specification languages? 

A solution with a top score offers recommendations to marketers based on the results of its predictive analysis, and supports real-time data segmentation. Epsilon has built a solution backed by intelligent AI and analytics that can help marketers inform their decision making processes. 


"I’m proud that Epsilon has been recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Forrester WaveTM on Loyalty Solutions with the highest score possible in the Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning criterion. With nearly 20 years of experience on Epsilon’s technology team, I can tell you one thing: machine learning is no longer science fiction. It’s here. Along with AI, predictive models and advanced, real-time data segmentation. My roadmap focuses on driving the next generation of analytics and machine learning throughout the customer journey, so loyalty marketers who will succeed, are those who are embracing this technology to achieve better personalization and stronger customer connections." -Julie Smith, Vice President of Engineering at Epsilon

Client Retention 

This score assesses our loyalty solution through the lens of client retention as determined by retention rates and client interviews. Without our clients, Epsilon would not exist, and we are honored to have received the top score in this category. 


"I’m delighted that Epsilon was recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Forrester WaveTM on Loyalty Solutions, especially with the highest possible score in the Client Retention criterion. At Epsilon, our vision is to empower our clients to create lasting connections with their customers with strategy and technology.  According to Forrester, “One customer reference described Epsilon as “an extension of my team that’s helping me execute.” We believe this recognition is tied to our approach of continuous innovation and helping our clients future-proof their approach to loyalty." -Lisa Henderson, Head of Client Services at Epsilon

Current Offering

It all comes together in the current offering. The current offering score assesses a partner across all 28 categories, giving marketers a comprehensive look into a partner's total offerings. Epsilon is proud to have received the top score possible in 17 of the 28 criteria. 


"Epsilon’s recognition as a Leader in the 2021 Forrester WaveTM on Loyalty Solutions comes at a pivotal time. Now, more than ever, loyalty marketers need a holistic, data-driven approach to create lasting customer relationships. According to the Forrester report, “[Epsilon’s] key strengths are in member data management, loyalty marketing, measurement, and services, supported by an aligned solution vision and execution roadmap.” Our clients know we are partner to grow with them. They can trust Epsilon PeopleCloud to future-proof their loyalty programs by creating powerful, lasting connections." -Prahbu Kannan, Senior Vice President of Loyalty at Epsilon

If you'd like to learn more about the scoring process and other categories, download the full Forrester Wave™: Loyalty Solutions, Q2 2020