Loyalty and CRM

Four keys to scaling strategic partnerships in loyalty


Strategic partnerships expand the products and services loyalty programs can offer, driving increased value and engagement for members, and retention and revenue opportunities for providers. But navigating the complexities of partnership management is a challenge of its own. From negotiating agreements to onboarding partners seamlessly, how do you scale up your partnership game effectively? 

Flexible partnership models: where it all starts

Whether prepaid, postpaid, volume-based pricing, or promotions, partnership strategies must consider flexible commercial models that can adapt to the diverse needs of your partners. Your loyalty program and platform must have the flexibility to offer adaptable structures that foster mutually beneficial collaborations. Beyond supporting commercial mechanics, other critical loyalty aspects must be considered.

An often overlooked but crucial aspect of partnerships is the power of deep-linking accounts to enrich member experiences through mutual tier status recognition across partner programs. It's not merely about the benefits; it's about reinforcing loyalty by fostering member recognition at every touchpoint. A loyalty platform with built-in flexibility to support different partnership and value models accelerates partner ecosystem expansion.

Efficient partner onboarding and management

Reducing time to market is paramount for your loyalty program´s competitiveness and attractiveness. Streamlining partner onboarding processes isn't just a necessity—it's a strategic advantage. Once onboard, managing daily interactions with your partners, from new promotions to billing and invoicing, is the next challenge. Doing so across different systems for multiple partnerships is burdensome, complex, and inefficient. The ability to set up and manage various partnerships from a single platform accelerates onboarding and streamlines daily operations.

Additionally, intuitive, self-service portals grant your partners greater autonomy to manage their information, accelerating adoption while reducing committed resources and manual intervention on your side. This dual benefit enhances the experience for both internal and external teams, fostering efficiency, satisfaction, and empowerment. Centralizing partnership management through highly configurable options accelerates value diversification and delivery for your program members.

Seamless integration: overcoming complexity

Integrating partners means dealing with multiple systems and technical intricacies. To tackle this challenge head-on, loyalty programs must harness technology capable of seamlessly interfacing with partner systems, whether legacy or modern. Ensuring diverse messaging standards can be consumed accurately and in real-time is critical for data integrity, workflow synchronization, scalability, and overall system performance.

A loyalty platform with highly configurable and flexible integration capabilities reduces the need for heavy-handed customizations and workarounds, reducing go-to-market timelines. Leveraging embedded automated tools throughout the process accelerates integration, improves quality, and boosts productivity, especially when resources are scarce. 

Innovation: driving continuous evolution

Strategic partnerships are the very cornerstone of innovation. By harnessing customer and business insights across partner systems, organizations can better pool data to create personalized experiences that truly wow their customers. Bringing partners from outside the industry into the ecosystem doesn´t just expand a program´s value offering; it stimulates new ways of looking at loyalty and member engagement that transcend traditional models and redefine customer expectations.

Ultimately, innovation depends on the ability to deploy, test, and learn from new value propositions. A flexible platform enables loyalty program executives to quickly translate innovative ideas into tangible market opportunities and results.

Looking to maximize your partnership ROI? Technology can get you there.

In today's competitive landscape, the race is on to transform loyalty schemes into lifestyle programs that add and expand value to members through relevant and timely offerings. To that end, partnerships are a strategic avenue to driving meaningful engagement, customer loyalty, and business growth.

Partner scalability and agility are crucial to generating more program stickiness and engagement. The success of a partner ecosystem relies on actionable insights and a flexible loyalty platform that unlocks full collaborative potential, drives innovation, and delivers unparalleled customer experiences. Ultimately, forging lasting connections with members requires loyalty programs to nurture customer relationships beyond simple transactions. 

Author Info

Olivier Cazeaux is Senior Director of Product Management—Loyalty at IBS Software. In this role, he is responsible for driving the strategic direction and execution of the iLoyal product suite, a next-generation platform that enables some of the most successful customer engagement programs in travel.


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