Key CCG Services

In 2012, a national footwear retailer decided to launch an innovative loyalty program. Along with the challenges any company faces at this juncture, they had an additional obstacle: No one on staff had experience in loyalty. That meant there was no one to tackle the specific tasks required to develop and implement a loyalty program. But it also meant no one had the specialized skill set needed to train internal resources or make informed hiring decisions for a new loyalty team.

“It would have been painful to try and train internal resources, because loyalty is such a specialized skill set,” says Sheila Hayward, a CCG loyalty & CRM strategist who worked closely with the client. “Of course, a lot of organizations choose to hire internal resources from the beginning. But when you don’t have the experience, it’s difficult to know the right questions to ask in an interview.”

So this retailer did the next best thing …

They had an additional obstacle: No one on staff had any experience in loyalty.

Leveraged a CCG seven-person team to develop and implement a loyalty program.

… they decided to bring in outside experts.

Pinch Hitters Take the Field

With CCG, the retailer was able to leverage an entire seven-person team, not simply a single contractor. Four team members worked remotely, from the agency, filling director and data analyst roles, and assisting with project management. Three additional team members were embedded at the client’s East Coast offices, dedicated 100 percent to program management and email deployment.

“A lot of agencies are more focused on what the agency wants rather than what the client needs,” says Hayward, who became one of the embedded employees. “But CCG has the flexibility to provide as little or as much as a client needs. We can be used on an ad hoc basis or partner with you for four or five years. And we can evolve our role to meet a client’s changing needs over time.”

Together, the CCG team provided the footwear retailer with the resources needed to manage every aspect of the program, including:
  • Conduct research (customers, internal stakeholders, industry best practices) to design the optimal loyalty program
  • Develop a mobile-based loyalty program — the first in North America
  • Launch the program
  • Manage the program, which included an extensive list of tasks, from providing pro formas, managing budgets and creating testing plans, to deploying and measuring email campaigns, creating analytics reports, managing vendors and managing data hygiene
  • Provide job descriptions for the client’s hiring process
  • Assist in training the new client team
It’s a Home Run

From the start, CCG’s team was able to integrate smoothly into the client’s operation. “The client’s staff was very welcoming, and we developed an excellent working relationship with them,” says Hayward.

CCG’s ability to bring not only expertise, but also a high degree of structure to the initiative proved key to launching the program on time. In fact, says Hayward, “We got feedback from a member of the operations team that our disciplined approach kept them on schedule, and there was no way they could have done this on their own.”

More than three years after CCG stepped in to help, we were able to begin ramping down our involvement as the client brought a new, in-house team on board. CCG will continue to assist with training and filling in gaps as the client requires. When we hand the reins over fully, it will be with the confidence that the client has a solid, strategically planned loyalty program, as well as the skills and internal resources to ensure long-term success.