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BIA/Kelsey recently published the second in a series of reports based on specific cuts of data from our Local Commerce Monitor research. LCM is BIA/Kelsey’s long-running study of how U.S. small business advertisers are evolving their use of media to acquire and retain customers.

The second of these “Spotlight” reports focuses on small business advertisers that are operating customer loyalty programs. In LCM Wave 16, 40 percent of respondents reported having a customer loyalty program. (We provided respondents with this definition of a loyalty program: “[A] program in which you might offer discounts or special promotions to frequent customers.”)

The LCM data shows that SMBs with loyalty programs are distinctive from those without such programs in several important ways:

— SMBs with loyalty programs are vastly more engaged with their customers, across the board.
— Loyalty programs are just as popular with SMBs that depend on customer acquisition as on customer retention.
— SMBs with loyalty programs spend much more on advertising and web presence than those without them.
— SMBs with loyalty programs appear to be very satisfied that the programs contribute to business growth.
— SMBs with loyalty programs use more online services, and are more inclined to consider purchasing them from an advertising or marketing services provider.

    Future LCM Spotlight reports will address changes in media usage (including insight into new product adoption), customer engagement, sales channels and self-serve, and mobile, among others.

    BIA/Kelsey will be conducting the 17th Wave of LCM this summer, in time to inform the messaging at BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing, coming up Sept. 11-13 in Austin, Texas.


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