Loy­alty pro­gramme opens dig­i­tal chan­nels

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS INNOVATION -

Once a cus­tomer down­loads the app they keep us­ing it – Neasa Parker, Three Ire­land

Three Ire­land’s rapidly ex­pand­ing 3Plus loy­alty pro­gramme is open­ing up a new dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing chan­nel for small busi­nesses around the coun­try. “Most small busi­nesses don’t have dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing bud­gets or the tech­ni­cal re­sources to de­velop their own loy­alty pro­grammes,” says Three Ire­land head of propo­si­tions Neasa Parker.

“We are be­gin­ning to open up our 3Plus pro­gramme to lo­cal busi­nesses in towns around Ire­land to give them an op­por­tu­nity to reach a new highly en­gaged au­di­ence.”

Launched last year, the 3Plus loy­alty pro­gramme now has more than half-a-mil­lion reg­u­lar users with between 15,000 and 20,000 cus­tomers sign­ing up ev­ery month. “Any Three cus­tomer can join the pro­gramme, there are no el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria,” says Parker.

“Over 550,000 cus­tomers use the app more than three times a month, that’s 35 per cent of our over­all cus­tomer base. Our am­bi­tion is to grow that to 50 per cent by the end of next year. Our ex­pe­ri­ence so far is that once a cus­tomer down­loads the app they keep us­ing it.”

The scheme blends spe­cial of­fers and re­wards from Three with of­fers from a range of part­ners in­clud­ing Eti­had Air­ways, De­liv­eroo, Four Star Pizza, IMC cin­e­mas, Elvery’s and Ea­son.

“The re­wards pack­age is re­freshed ev­ery month,” says Parker. “We lever­age our own spon­sor­ships to make sure we have en­gag­ing of­fer­ings for our cus­tomers. For ex­am­ple, 3Plus mem­bers can get ac­cess to pre-sale tick­ets for con­certs and events in the 3Arena, for the Elec­tric Pic­nic, and for Lon­gi­tude. They can pur­chase tick­ets up to 48 hours be­fore any­one else. When an event has sold out mem­bers still have ac­cess to a cer­tain amount of tick­ets as well. Over­all, about 14 mil­lion pre-sale tick­ets were sold through 3Plus last year. For Ed Sheeran alone, 43,000 pre-sale tick­ets were sold.”

Of­fers

Part­ner of­fers are cen­tral to the pro­gramme. “New part­ners are join­ing ev­ery month. The of­fers vary with some of them be­ing one-off pro­mo­tions and oth­ers there all the time. Some of them are very in­no­va­tive. De­liv­eroo were look­ing for ways to drive na­tional us­age and of­fers 3Plus mem­bers €5 off one or­der each month – over 4,000 mem­bers avail of that ev­ery month. IMC and Odeon have of­fers of two tick­ets for €10. Mem­bers can get 10 per cent off Eti­had flights and there is a range of other very at­trac­tive of­fers avail­able from part­ners.

“The only cri­te­rion for us is that the of­fer is some­thing our cus­tomers would like,” she con­tin­ues. “When we agree on an of­fer with a part­ner we pro­mote it through the 3Plus app, personalised no­tices through SMS, emails, and some­times through above the line ad­ver­tis­ing.”

The pro­gramme is not just about big brands and na­tional part­ner­ships, she points out. “The tech­nol­ogy is very in­no­va­tive, we spent a lot of time over the past two years work­ing on it. We use the in­for­ma­tion our cus­tomers give us to en­sure that they are only alerted to of­fers rel­e­vant to them. We have also in­cor­po­rated ge­ofenc­ing tech­nol­ogy which works be­hind the scenes to present cus­tomers with rel­e­vant of­fers in their area.”

So­lu­tion

That same tech­nol­ogy has en­abled Three to open the pro­gramme to small busi­nesses. “We started by of­fer­ing it to small busi­nesses in Ark­low,” Parker ex­plains.

“We have a florist, a bar­ber shop, and a num­ber of re­tail­ers and res­tau­rants par­tic­i­pat­ing. They don’t want to present of­fers to cus­tomers out­side their lo­cal area but would still like to be part of the pro­gramme. It’s a win win. We are giv­ing them ac­cess to a dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing so­lu­tion to pro­mote their busi­ness. Th­ese busi­nesses are able to present of­fers to 3Plus mem­bers who ei­ther live in Ark­low or are pass­ing through the area. They don’t have the bud­gets for ma­jor cam­paigns, they just want to be able to make the right of­fers, to the right cus­tomers at the right time and we are help­ing them do that. It’s not just about the big brands we are work­ing with lo­cal busi­nesses help­ing them to ex­pand foot­fall. We have ex­panded the pro­gramme to Sligo and Castle­bar and will be rolling it out to other towns around the coun­try in the com­ing months.”

Pro­mo­tion

Three also plays its part in pro­mot­ing the of­fers. “We do off­line pro­mo­tion of the of­fers as well with staff in the lo­cal Three store out and about get­ting in­volved,” she notes.

At the other end of the scale, large cor­po­rate cus­tomers of Three can make use of the 3Plus pro­gramme to roll out staff re­wards and bonuses. “They will be able to use it to make spe­cific of­fers avail­able ex­clu­sively to their em­ploy­ees. This will of­fer them a unique dif­fer­en­tia­tor as an em­ployer.”

No bad thing th­ese days when the war for tal­ent is be­ing fought more keenly than ever.

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