The $50,000 Question: How should loyalty managers spend a marketing budget surplus?

By October 10, 2014 July 14th, 2017 CCG Retail Marketing Blog


If you found yourself with a budget bonus, what would be the best way to spend it?

Fall is a busy time for retailers. Not only is the critical holiday shopping season in full swing, there’s the added stress of having to quickly estimate the marketing budget for 2015 based on those holiday sales. Here at CCG, that got us thinking.

If retailer loyalty managers found themselves with an extra $50,000 in their 2015 marketing budgets, how would they use it? And how could they get the most bang for their buck? At first glance, $50,000 may not seem like an amount large enough to make a difference, but trust us, if you spend strategically, not only could you increase sales, but you also may demonstrate the value of a new marketing project to senior management.

Intrigued? To help you brainstorm ideas of your own, we’ve put together our list of top marketing ideas for a budget that size.

→ Test, Test, Test
Whether for promotional offers, price sensitivity or improving click-through rates, testing is a simple and highly cost-effective way to get the information you need to improve your marketing results. For instance, you could use subject line testing to see what really motivates your best customers.

→ Invest in Data Modeling
Invest in data modeling that would predict which customers are most likely to become your best customers. Then build a campaign to target them specifically based on their past behavior and demographics. Voila! You’ve quickly increased your best customer base.

→ Reach Out With Research
Use a simple survey or more-involved focus group to find out why less-active customers haven’t been shopping or spending as much with you. Simply reaching out in this manner can, itself, help re-engage customers. Plus, you’ll glean valuable insights for these and future inactive customers.

→ Boost “Co-operation”
Not enough co-op dollars to do the promotion you really want to do? Go back and talk to your merchant partners — offer to boost your budget if they’ll boost theirs. It’s a classic win-win: You help them, and they help you.


What Our Clients Would Do
We rang up several of our retail clients and asked, “Here’s $50,000: How would you spend it?” Here’s what they said:

“I would mail deeper into our file for an already planned DM campaign. We are often limited by budget, not expected ROI, when pulling campaign volumes.”
— Mark P. Anderson, Director, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Zale Corporation

“I would use it to fund an analytics project to uncover hidden opportunities in the data being collected.”
— Dave Mueller, SVP, Sales and Marketing, Fred’s, Inc.

“I would probably allocate those dollars to my top tiers for a ‘surprise and delight’ gift.”
— Jan Mauldin, Director of Marketing, RackRoom Shoes/Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse

“Now that the Ulta loyalty program is mature, we would run a focus group to gather member ideas on how to keep it fresh and exciting for long-time members.”
— Paulo Claussen, Director of Loyalty, Ulta Beauty.


Tweak Last Year’s Budget
Not expecting an extra $50K to fall into your lap? You can still take advantage of the ideas we’ve outlined. Take a careful look at last year’s budget. Re-allocate this year’s dollars where they’ll do the most good for your loyalty initiatives.

Over the years, we’ve helped countless clients plan budgets big and small. Need advice on how you can make the most of your loyalty dollars? Contact us to schedule a 30-minute no obligation consultation. Email us or call 800.525.0313.

Customer Communications Group, Inc., is not responsible for products or services offered by third parties or websites mentioned and provides such information and sites solely for your convenience.

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