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As SVP of Marketing, Analytics and Insight, at Points, Derek Tufford helps global loyalty programs introduce increased levels of personalization into their loyalty offerings.

Mediaplanet: How has the demand for a personalized loyalty program changed the way industry leaders evaluate business success?

Derek Tufford: Personalization requires a reimagining of how programs deliver greater utility, meaningful rewards, and relevant communication. The required investment in data science, decision intelligence, and technology informs innovation, key business decisions, and profitability expectations. Success includes meaningful weightings in customer engagement, relevancy, innovation, utility, offer conversion, and ROI.

What key drivers are needed in a program to successfully deliver the personalization that consumers are seeking?

Personalization requires a customer-centric focus behind business decisions. Investment in data science and decision intelligence is crucial, as is a culture of experimentation to continuously optimize a program’s offerings. The key is a willingness to invest in delivering meaningful value to the customer, such as expanding earning and redemption opportunities.

What kind of challenges are overcome by developing an insight-driven loyalty program?

Insight-driven programs enable smart, balanced business decisions that deliver profitable financial growth while meeting the needs of their best customers. They propel innovation, speed up decision making, and reduce risk thanks to testing and modelling. Perhaps most significantly, they identify the highest-impact areas of improvement to inform smart investment. 

How do you see the future of the loyalty industry changing in the next five years?

The current revolution in analytics, behavioural science, and technology is powering a deeper customer connection — and giving consumers a greater voice. The empowered consumer demands enhanced program utility, greater everyday earn-and-burn opportunities, and more meaningful rewards. Programs that align to these evolving customer needs will unlock the greatest growth.

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