(Note from Karen) Oddpodz loyalty expert Jill Griffin was featured in Deliver Magazine. The US Postal Office publishes this great publication which is worth checking out. You can subscribe on line to receive a mailed copy or read it online. It’s free and full of direct mailing and marketing insight. Jill’s latest book Taming the Search and Switch Customer addresses how Google and online search are changing the game of customer loyalty.

The article was written by Pamela Oldham

Loyalty marketing has significantly evolved in the last two decades — and there are pitfalls to not keeping up. Marketing guru Jill Griffin, author of the best-selling Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It, explains how changing your approach to loyalty can help you win more business from the customers you already have.

1. Evolve with Your Customers
Customer needs are changing, constantly evolving, be it business-to-business or business-to-consumer. “Customers can help you stay on top of the ‘value curve’ and help you find ways to deliver exceptional value,” Griffin says. “But you can’t depend on them to spell it out in a focus group. You have to dig for that info.” Find the behaviors of your best customers, understand why customers are walking away from you when they do and put together the pieces of the value puzzle.

2. Keep Up with Loyalty Marketing Trends
Right now, it’s less about redeeming for merchandise and more about access and enhancing experiences — for example, a credit card company giving customers the ability to get great tickets for a major rock concert before they go on sale to the general public. “Bigger retailers are recognizing that customization of experiences is a big deal,” Griffin says. “And the payoff is that customer spending increases significantly over the months following an event.”

3. Identify and Monitor Your Best Customers
Don’t just amass customer data, truly wade through it and make it strategic.Look at spending. But don’t stop there. Also look at future lifetime value and share of wallet. Marry geographic and income data with that to see if that person has a larger wallet and a larger potential to spend long term. “You want to invest in that potential,” Griffin says. “It’s not just who’s spending the most money with you right now.”

For more loyalty tips from Jill, visit her Web site Loyalty Solutions.