1. Gain identification of the consumer.

Once you know who you’re interacting with, learn more to make each interaction even more relevant and valuable.

Start with consumer purchase data. Leveraging the data in your customer’s purchase file helps identify the type of goods or services the customer is interested in. However, good marketers need to go further.

Engage members to gain information about their interests and hobbies, as well as communication preferences, i.e. when and how they prefer to be contacted. Consumers generally respond well when asked to complete a profile and indicate their preferences through a preference center.

"Engage members to gain information about their interests and hobbies, as well as communication preferences, i.e. when and how they prefer to be contacted."

The key is to demonstrate how the information they provide will be used and how it will improve their experience with your brand. The more transparent you are about the use of the information you’re asking for, the more willing the consumer is to share.

2. Don’t stop there. Learn even more about the consumer with third party data.

Reach out to your partners or other companies who also know your loyalty members for promotion or co-marketing opportunities. Such partnerships allow you to offer more rewards to your loyalty members while enriching both of your data repositories.

Also, there are marketing data providers, such as Epsilon Targeting, that can provide demographic, psychographic and socioeconomic information. Typically these providers need only a name and address to match to consumer records on their databases. Once a match is made, consumer information is provided based on the needs of the marketer.

Marketers should always practice caution when sharing data and adhere to all applicable privacy policies.

3. Become part of their social circle and connect with them on a regular basis.

This can be done via social networks. Social media offers new information options through profiles, interests and activity of subscribers. With social channels, you can find consumers who have joined your fan page or ‘liked’ something about you.

You can also use social media to invite feedback. Inviting feedback from your loyalty program members allows you to capture new data or insights while engaging them. Ask for reviews of recent purchases, their opinion of the store location they visited or for suggestions for future promotions. Feedback also helps you control the conversations taking place about your brand.