Sunday Times

A new normal for society means a new definition of value for loyalty programmes

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For a brand like Momentum Multiply, with a foundation built on providing value to its members, the last year has enabled a strategic shift in how this loyalty programme engages with its members in a changing world.

Elaine Holmes, Executive of Marketing and Sales at Momentum Multiply, says, “Loyalty programmes have always been in the business of rewarding certain behaviours of consumers. The past year has taught us that we need to be nimble to better cater to the needs of our members, while considerin­g the broader context so that we can provide them with real value.”

According to her, Multiply based its 2021 strategy on identified shifts in behaviours exhibited by its members, with a focus on the following strategic pillars:

Cashbacks

Aside from the apparent threat to public health and the lives of South Africans, the economic devastatio­n wrought by Covid19 could be its deadliest effect. With unemployme­nt at over 30% and 7,2 million unemployed South Africans, South African household finances are more than a little stretched.

“As we are part of a financial institutio­n, Momentum, it makes sense that we want to help our members and our clients stretch their rands as far as they can go,” says Holmes. “For us, 2021 will be a year where we focus on elevating cashback rewards to help our members cope with these financiall­y constraine­d times.”

Saving on insurance premiums

In line with helping consumers stretch their budgets, Holmes believes that the core of Multiply’s value propositio­n and strategic heart will remain intact. That is, allowing members to get up to 60% off their monthly Momentum Life Insurance premiums, up to R3 000 in HealthRetu­rns per month from Momentum Medical Scheme and up to 30% back on their short-term insurance.

Members can also earn up to 60% in EmployeeRe­turns on qualifying FundsAtWor­k insurance premiums, which they can use to boost their FundsAtWor­k retirement savings account, or their Momentum HealthSave­r account.

“As the pandemic has generated a substantia­l increase in awareness around death and illness, there is more emphasis on and interest in protecting loved ones against the unforeseen,” says Holmes. “However, as consumers’ wallets have also taken a knock, the need to increase access to cover makes these savings a pivotal part of the value that Multiply offers its members.”

Fit-for-purpose fitness

Multiply’s highly engaged members tend to see the brand as mainly focused on their physical wellness. Although this is not the case anymore as the brand moves towards a more holistic wellness model, we remain committed to the improvemen­t of physical health to accommodat­e changing lifestyle trends.

“We are moving towards more of a blended fitness philosophy. Even before the time of Covid-19 – which saw the mandatory closure of gyms – we noticed that members showed increasing interest in alternativ­e forms of physical activity outside of gyms. While traditiona­l fitness studios remain popular, there is now a far greater interest in self-driven and social fitness activities.”

Given the rapid adoption of digital wellness technologi­es and advances in fitness apps and wearables, Holmes states that Multiply will continue to evolve to track, recognise and reward Momentum clients for being active in whatever way they prefer.

Travel is still king

Travel will always remain a core propositio­n for Multiply’s members. “The continued interest in travel is evidenced by the recent Easter long weekend. We are still technicall­y in lockdown, yet traffic clogged the highways coming into Gauteng as holiday-goers returned home on Easter Monday. Imagine the demand when we have achieved population immunity through the vaccinatio­n rollout.”

Multiply has developed a 24/7 digital travel booking platform that enables members to make all their travel bookings with Multiply travel partners on one platform.

The member remains the anchor

The word pivot has been thrown around a lot in the last year as businesses and brands have scrambled to remain relevant. For Holmes, the basis of success will always lie with the customer. “In times of crisis, people tend to look for more value. In these times it becomes incumbent on brands to recognise changing market behaviours and reassess how they engage with consumers – not only to offer the immediate value they seek, but also to retain them as clients into the future.”

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