Is it Loyalty or CRM?
Most retail organizations that have a loyalty program within their CRM opt to have parallel structures. A typical hierarchy might start with the vice president of marketing, who manages a director of loyalty and CRM. From there, the structure typically splits into separate loyalty and CRM branches, each with their own strategy and analysis sections. The CRM branch responsibilities might include the following:
- acquisition/traffic-driving promotions;
- communication selection;
- communications segmentation;
- identifying lifecycle and nonloyalty triggers;
- lifecycle and trigger communications management; and
- marketing budget management.
The loyalty branch responsibilities might include the following:
- loyalty promotions;
- loyalty segmentation;
- partner/vendor support;
- program benefits;
- targeted messages;
- identifying loyalty triggers; and
- loyalty budget management.
Responsibilities shared between the two might include customer insights, promotion optimization and segmentation.
A Solid Foundation
Understanding these essentials — and seeing how loyalty fits into CRM — is a good start … but don't stop there. The next step is to apply this lens to your own systems and make sure they're well organized to keep the delineations clear, while allowing each discipline to leverage from the other. From there, you'll be on solid footing to continue progressively pushing your initiatives forward, to the benefit of your company and your customers.
Sandra Gudat is president and CEO of Customer Communications Group, a full-service loyalty and marketing agency.