travel industry loyalty program


Evolving travel industry marketing and loyalty programs

How brands can balance both customer and business values

Customer loyalty programs can help organizations differentiate their travel and hospitality companies' marketing efforts and build deep relationships with customers. Explore five ways to evolve customer loyalty programs and align customers, employees, and partners on a set of shared values and outcomes.

Challenges impacting loyalty programs and the customer loyalty landscape

Customer loyalty programs have proliferated and become more complex in recent decades. Four fundamental challenges influence today’s travel industry marketing and loyalty environment:

  • Consumer: Consumers are more connected and attention-starved than ever before, pressuring players to differentiate and connect to consumers in more personalized ways.
  • Competition: Proliferation of brands and travel loyalty programs makes it more difficult to create differentiated experiences as nontraditional competitors continue to gain share.
  • Configuration: Many brands have jumped in without an intentional approach to evolve customer loyalty programs over time; as a result, programs have lost their competitive advantage and become stale.
  • Climate: COVID-19 is putting trust and confidence to the test; this crisis is driving different behaviors and expectations as consumers engage with traditional brands in nontraditional ways.

Standing out in today’s travel industry marketing environment starts with defining loyalty as an implicit or explicit agreement between a consumer and brand to enter into a relationship that is mutually beneficial in a variety of forms over a period of time.

Our beliefs about customer loyalty programs

Grounded in our deep experience in travel industry marketing, informed by our understanding of the marketplace, and with an eye to the future, we believe loyalty should:

Drive a specific customer behavior that corresponds to a specific value to the business
Deliver a portfolio of compelling benefits and interactions

Engage the customer throughout their active journeys, while extending and building new connections across their customer life cycle
Effectively engage employees and other partners
Be delivered in a design-led, ongoing, and evolving model

More insights from Deloitte + Skift

Read the other articles in the Deloitte + Skift series on elevating the human experience in travel industry marketing.

How security, privacy, and trust can help travel brands offer a more human experience

Utilizing data is an integral part of how travel brands can offer a better customer experience. But securing this data, protecting customer privacy, and building trust can be equally essential to supporting both the human experience and the bottom line.

How can travel brands remain human in a digital-first world

To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, travel brands must find a way to humanize their interactions—even when customers are using digital channels to connect with them.

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