Loyalty programs for manufacturers can be a powerful tool to increase sales and build brand awareness and loyalty throughout your channel. At their best, manufacturer loyalty programs act as an extension of your brand, providing rewarding brand interactions and presenting a cohesive, compelling message to your channel partners and customers.
However, this is not always the case. According to the IRF, about one in five loyalty programs are cancelled due to a lack of executive support. On the other hand, manufacturers with the highest sales growth and customer satisfaction are twice as likely as average performers to have high levels of executive buy-in and interdepartmental collaboration for their loyalty program.
Step for Getting Departmental Buy-In for Your Loyalty Program
While each manufacturer is different from an organizational standpoint, these steps provide an outline for structuring a loyalty program your whole company can get behind:
- Examine priorities from different departments in your company to narrow down your pitch for a loyalty program to a specific, measurable, easily-communicated goal. (For more information on this step, check out Incentive Program Secrets for Manufacturers).
- Begin building a business case, using case studies and projected ROI calculations. Remember, you can always expand and refine your business case later. The idea is to arm yourself with enough knowledge to convince others in your organization of the benefit of a loyalty program.
- Recruit allies from other departments to act as influencers. Begin scheduling meeting. Start with people you have good rapport with and work your way outwards. The more members of your company that you can get invested in the idea of a loyalty program, the better your program will turn out (throughout its entire lifecycle!).
- Find an executive leadership champion. This could be you, your boss, or even a leader in another department. But it’s important to have a member of the leadership team who shares your vision and recognizes the important of loyalty programs for manufacturers.
- Personalize your business case for each department. Sales, marketing, operations, and research and development will each have different priorities for your loyalty program and slightly different objectives they want to accomplish.
- Once the program is approved, use insights from your conversations to refine your program goals. Make sure that multiple departments benefit from your manufacturer loyalty program.
- Identify KPIs that you can measure, so that everyone can see whether or not you’re on track to achieve your goals. Doing so will help keep your company invested in the program.
- Split accountability for reaching program goals between multiple departments. For example, you can split up KPI-tracking responsibilities between members of the sales and marketing teams, who will report to leaders from both departments on the loyalty program’s progress toward its goal.
- Share the victories with other departments! Communicate often about what’s happening with your manufacturer loyalty program, and allow members of other departments to give their feedback.
Aligning Interdepartmental Goals Within Your Manufacturer Loyalty Program
After reading the list above you might be asking yourself: How will I know the priorities of other departments at my manufacturer and how do they apply to our loyalty program? While the best way to get that information is to have those conversations, below is an excerpt from our latest e-book to give you a head start!
And, of course, if you’d like any additional help, don’t hesitate to reach out! We’d be more than happy to help you plan your manufacturer loyalty program (and we never charge for planning!).