Report analyzes the impacts of COVID-19 and social disruption on consumer behaviors
COLUMBIA, Md. — Merkle (www.merkleinc.com), a leading technology-enabled, data-driven performance marketing company, has released a special edition of its annual Loyalty Barometer Report. The updated 2020 Loyalty Barometer Report reveals the importance of loyalty as businesses re-emerge from the pandemic and features updated research and comparisons to the March 2020 report, including how consumer expectations around loyalty and rewards programs have been impacted by the events of 2020. Merkle surveyed over 1,800 US residents aged 18 to 65 in July 2020 for the report.
“Gen-Z, millennials, Gen X, and boomers continue to favor loyalty marketing. Brands must differentiate themselves by creating an emotional connection and building trust, which can only be achieved by tailoring strategies to ensure that individual consumer needs are met.”
Because of 2020’s economic and societal turmoil, the benefits of loyalty marketing programs are now in higher demand by consumers. Insights from the report reveal important changes to consumer behavior and preferences, as a result of the unprecedented economy. The pandemic has also intensified fundamental human values, which vary widely across generations. For instance, boomers favor stability and security, while millennials and Gen Z crave excitement and a sense of achievement. Findings within the report reflect these preferences by revealing shifts in the types of features consumers want to experience in loyalty programs.
“COVID-19 has led us to a pandemic economy impacting everyone in different ways. Loyalty marketing is the only sustained brand marketing program that helps maintain valuable relationships with consumers over time, while being directly linked to increasing shareholder value. Due to the changes we’ve faced this year, brands have experienced database churn, category switching by consumers, and a massive surge in eCommerce,” said Chris Wayman, executive vice president and general manager, Promotion and Loyalty Solutions at Merkle. “Gen-Z, millennials, Gen X, and boomers continue to favor loyalty marketing. Brands must differentiate themselves by creating an emotional connection and building trust, which can only be achieved by tailoring strategies to ensure that individual consumer needs are met.”
Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing company that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 30 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.