Loyalty programs are everywhere. In virtually every vertical market and in every region of the globe, loyalty marketers have adopted the tactics of recognition and reward to identify, maintain and increase the yield from their best customers.
As a result, the loyalty marketing industry has begun to encounter the telltale characteristics of a mature market. After decades of double-digit growth, the loyalty market has shown signs of fatigue from both consumers and practitioners.
Some of this fatigue is self-inflicted: Loyalty programs based on flawed designs with weak value propositions, and those operated as marketing afterthoughts, have gone by the wayside. Some pundits have blamed these failures on the concept of loyalty marketing itself. Is loyalty marketing overrated and ineffective? Is it merely an expensive boondoggle?