As CRM and loyalty programs become increasingly digitized, experts expect big changes. Marketers will focus less on traditional coupons, loyalty cards and e-mail, and put greater emphasis on social and mobile initiatives.
“People are finding new ways to communicate,” says Vivianna Padilla, senior manager of product marketing at Salesforce.com. “By using sites like Facebook and Twitter, consumers and companies can interact in real time.”
Unlike e-mail, to which she believes consumers are “immune” because of its ubiquity, social media opens a dialogue with the consumer, she adds.
Dave Frankland, principal analyst at Forrester Research, predicts an uptick in mobile loyalty programs.
“2010 is really starting to feel like the year of mobile,” he says, adding that best practices still need to be developed.
Frankland adds that it is important to retain a centralized customer view despite the proliferation of channels: “We started out with mailing addresses and e-mail addresses, but as we’re able to get other types of information like Twitter handles and cell phone numbers, we need to be able to hold on to that singular view of the customer.”