Millennials Represent Golden Demographic for Loyalty Marketers U.S. consumer participation in rewards programs may be on the rise, but there is one group that has seen a significant jump in loyalty program participation, making them a prime target for loyalty marketers during this economy. According to a COLLOQUY (www.colloquy.com) white paper, "After the Meltdown: Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions about Loyalty Programs in the Post-Recession Economy," participation rates for Millennials/young adults stand at 58%, a 32% increase from two years ago.
The study points out that Millennials (those born approximately after 1977) are more likely to enjoy engaging with programs through new media channels than the general population. More than 55% appreciate communicating through social net- working sites, and 52% enjoy communication via cell phone or text message.
"Millennials represent a golden opportunity in a time of economic darkness for loyalty marketers," says Kelly Hlavinka, COLLOQUY partner and co-author of the white paper. "This demographic is receptive to the wish-list of loyalty initiatives; they are eager to join programs, eager to build relationships with their favorite brands, and eager to engage with new media channels. This shows a powerful opening for loyalty marketers to build sustainable loyalty with the next generation of American consumers."
Some hospitality organizations are already rolling out programs designed around new media channels. Wyndham Hotel Group (www.wyndham.com) recently launched "Save Summer," a promotion that offers guests discounts at participating brands and the chance to win a variety of prizes. To participate, customers can download a widget to their Facebook, MySpace and other social networking profiles, and then share it with their friends online.
In the restaurant segment, Qdoba (www.qdoba.com) recently launched an extension of its loyalty program that taps into cell phone use, called Qdoba Mobile Rewards. "We already offer a standard loyalty card program in our stores and see customers picking up the membership cards, but only about one in four activate the cards to join," says Brent Higgins, director of marketing for Aztec Partners LLC, franchisee of 26 Qdoba locations. "With our new mobile loyalty program, activation is easier than ever. Customers just text on their mobile phones and can then start immediately enjoying great offers from Qdoba. It's a terrific way to interact with our younger customers who use their mobile phones for just about everything. After joining, they'll get great deals and information delivered right to their phone, and we'll gain more loyal customers."