Lia Grimberg, Divisional VP, The Bay, was invited as the guest speaker in our Digital Media Marketing Seminar Series course and gave us an excellent lecture about loyalty programs and her work experience. Before this, I always consider loyalty programs from a customer’s perspective. I join a lot of loyalty programs and they do give me many benefits in my life. But I never had a chance to think about loyalty programs from a marketer’s perspective, or I should say, I had no idea to think about them. Lia’s lecture inspired me a lot, to analyze loyalty programs, understand and use data correctly, and add value to the company as well as customers.
There are four Rs of loyalty programs. Recognition, reward, relevance, and relationship. Among them, relevance is the most important. “Relevance” means that loyalty data can be used to ensure the personalization of products, offers, and communication. To make sure loyalty programs can be launched and run, collecting data is essential. When it comes to data, marketers should face the question: of how to collect data appropriately, how a company leverages various sources of data to win customer loyalty and maintain trust. Lia introduced many standards in the lecture, such as legal standards, ethical standards, policy standards, and good judgment standards. Collecting data relates to customers’ privacy and marketers should make customers know what the data will be used for. Customers should be informed in a friendly manner, and the data are indeed used for customers’ benefit. Customers know their data can bring them benefits; therefore trust will be built.
There is one quote that inspired me. It’s the definition of loyalty from LoyaltyOne: Loyalty is an invitation to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship. Good loyalty programs can benefit customers as well as the company. It let me know that it is a positive development. The company and the customer trust and depend on each other, and ultimately both get what they need from it. In this process, it is particularly important to use and analyze the data correctly. Besides Lia, I often hear other professors or marketers say “I like data”. From their descriptions, I can indeed feel that they really love data because it conveys useful information and reflects the real situation.
I also got inspiration from the Q&A part. When asked “what’s your favorite loyalty program”, Lia gave an example. A loyalty program does not have to be based on the purchase. It can be involved with customers’ daily life. Health behaviors can become rewards, which provides many new ideas for marketers –many details and chances can be used in loyalty programs.
Lia told us about her past career experiences and how she made these changes. I was impressed with her positive actions. She faced every transition in her career with a positive attitude and was able to take full advantage of these opportunities. She runs her LinkedIn content with care and is actively keeping in touch with others. I think she perfectly runs her own “brand” to be looked at by her network. Therefore, people remember her and provide her with suitable opportunities. She shows her abilities and advantages to people through communications, through her LinkedIn profile with her excellent education background and work experience. Every day, there are many people looking for jobs, job seekers complaining “why can’t I find a good job” and employers complaining “why can’t I find the good employee”. As a job seeker, I was inspired by what Lia is doing. I should think carefully about how I can stand out from the crowd, how I can show that I am unique and let employers know quickly that I am the right person for the job and can do the job. I should take more opportunities to present myself, whether it’s through LinkedIn to showcase my experience or to increase my networking opportunities, the first step is to “sell myself.”
It was a lecture that benefited me a lot. I learned both more and more professionally about loyalty programs and, through Lia, about what a marketer does, and the opportunities and challenges faced in a career. I am very grateful to Wendy for providing us with this opportunity and to Lia for being our guest speaker.