Loyalty program manager Frequency Marketing Inc., Cincinnati, this week announced Loyalty RealTime LLC, a new division that will concentrate on developing real-time marketing programs. The programs will be based on new technologies and devices at point of sale, on the Web and via satellite.
“There is an increasingly expressed need for instantaneous communication and recognition of the customer,” said Thomas L. Hunter, newly named chairman of the division who also remains president of Frequency Marketing. “This corporation was formed in order for us to focus on the development of this part of our business.”
The division will grow through both technological alliances and business acquisition, as well as organically by adding staff on both the executive and management level in the short term. Its first acquisition, which is currently in the works, will likely occur in the first quarter. “Within 90 days, I expect that we will be announcing an acquisition and one or more technology alliances,” said Hunter, who joined Frequency Marketing four months ago.
The technological underpinnings will act as a foundation for newer, faster customer retention and upselling and cross-selling programs, according to Hunter, and the need for those programs to work seamlessly with e-commerce programs at the same time will be critical.
“Real-time application of the power of frequency and loyalty marketing is just beginning to explode,” said Hunter. “We believe that there is going to be a very significant need for effective loyalty solutions which recognize the role of e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar combined seamlessly.”
The idea for a separate division grew out of the need to weigh the effect of e-commerce on loyalty programs. “It’s partly the product of e-commerce and clicks-and-mortar,” said Hunter. “When we considered that part of our field of play, we felt it would be to our best advantage to separate our resources – developmental and otherwise – on that part of our business.”
The new division will apply the new technology and the accompanying intelligence to a range of Frequency Marketing clients, according to Hunter. Frequency Marketing will handle the newly developed real-time marketing programs it develops from strategy to execution.
Hunter suggested the following example: “You walk into a department store and you buy a sweater,” he said. The clerk says, ‘Ms. So-and-So, nice to see you again, it’s been two weeks since you were here last. We have shoes to match that sweater ….” Loyalty RealTime applies a technological device at the point of sale to give the sales clerk access to your transaction history and other pertinent data in real time. Loyalty RealTime’s challenge is not only to get all of the information to the sales clerk, but to determine the exact strategy and structure of each recognition and rewards program. Few retail establishments exist, said Hunter, where loyalty programs would not work.