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10 Predictions for Loyalty in 2022, from Today’s Loyalty Innovators

Updated: Mar 10

Customers are important. Digital is moving fast. And the ways customers connect with brands has been forever altered.

To keep pace, today’s marketers could use a little help keeping up with the changing times. To help, we spoke with members of Loyalty Innovators, a community for digital leaders, marketing executives and loyalty innovators to connect, share best practices and learn from each other.

Top marketers from global brands like McDonald’s, Shell, Marriott, Del Taco, Hanesbrands and Michaels shared their takes on what the next year will bring, and how brands should be rethinking their 2022 marketing strategies in response:


Personalized Marketing - More Than Just a Name - Bryce Boothby, Sr. Manager, US Loyalty at McDonald's

“Personalization is more than just knowing a customer’s name; it’s about leveraging customer data to build relationships with consumers that deliver relevant and compelling experiences. Consumer’s busy lives mean that they have less time to search for products and information – by providing the most relevant content at the right time allows companies to keep their products top of mind.”

Delivering on Customer’s Rising Expectations - ​​Anjali Iyer, Head of Lifecycle Marketing at The Washington Post

"COVID-19 accelerated adoption of digital technology and enhancements in technology across several industries. It has resulted in notable changes in consumer preferences and elevated their expectations on receiving relevant and customized experiences. Simply put, they expect that brands know what they want based on their preferences and data collection. These consumers will naturally gravitate towards brands that recognize their need and deliver experiences seamlessly."

Loyalty’s Rise as a Critical Strategic Imperative - Paulo Claussen, Sr. Director Loyalty at Michaels

"Loyalty will continue to be a critical strategic imperative to support business growth as it enables first-party data activation, provides value to customers throughout their lifecycle, helps with channel integration, and it is the force behind personalization to ultimately create brand love and advocacy."

Meaningful Personalization at Scale - Leo Griffin, Vice President, Technology & Global Head of Consumer at Hanesbrands

"Brands can create value by building experiences and emotional connection with consumers, thereby creating relationships that transcend the sale of goods and services. As consumers, I believe we build the deepest relationships with brands that personalize their outreach and experiences. Meaningful personalization at scale is perhaps the biggest challenge and opportunity for brands today."

Creating a Loyalty Program of One - Joe Gouveia, Director Loyalty Rewards Programs at Variant

"The journey to “loyalty program of one” has already begun and will continue to get more and more personalized as we head into the future. With the speed of technology and all of its benefits, there is little reason not to be able to deliver a personalized, holistic, and Omnichannel CX (including loyalty program benefits) to a “segment” of each individual customer in the not too distant future."

Fueling Rewards Engines While Balancing Privacy and Trust- Pavel Los, Consumer Engagement & Loyalty Strategist at Oracle CrowdTwist

"Brands will continue to learn and adopt personalization in many aspects of the customer experience and Loyalty schemes will equally continue to gain grounds as a source of primary data. The tech advancement will enable more and more marketers to use reward engines to serve the right offers to the right loyalty member at the right opportunity. Similarly AI and Machine learning will enable more brands to personalize in a smarter way using data beyond transactional data. However, finding the right balance of personalization, data privacy and customer trust remains a critical point."

Focus on a Two-Way Dialogue with Your Best Customers - David A Slavick, Co-Founder and Partner at Ascendant Loyalty Marketing

"Two-way dialogue with best customers is the surest way to achieve personalization. This study proves out that consumers across all demographics are willing to share, want and need the companies they rely on every day to do better. The challenge that must be met is to leverage the insight gained to surprise and delight them every day to earn their business.”

Please Touch! Experiential retailing will become the norm - Nick Antoniades Industry Principal, Retail at Treasure Data

"Consumers will shift their purchases based on the experiences they can get, not the product they are purchasing. The latter will be commoditized."

Personalization is a Have-to-Have - Erin Levzow, Vice President of Marketing & Digital Technology, Del Taco Restaurants Inc.

“Personalization used to be a nice to have but now it is a have to have. It is an expectation of the customer that they receive relevant offers to them. We are tasked with knowing what they have told us and what they haven’t told us but done in order to personalize their experiences.”

Brands must leverage their investments in 1st-party data - Christian Selchau-Hansen, Founder of Loyalty Innovators, Co-Founder and CEO of Formation.ai

“2022 is the year that brands must leverage their investments in 1st-party data and present truly personal offers to their loyal customers at scale. Those that transition to personalized offers and experiences will have a stronger competitive advantage and drive deeper value with their loyal customer base, while those that don’t make the transition will begin losing share.”