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Motivait, European customer engagement and loyalty specialists, are delighted that Tendam Group, have been shortlisted for the ‘Best Long-Term Loyalty Programme’ award at The International Loyalty Awards 2022. The nomination is in recognition of their enhanced customer relationships and business results enabled through their highly successful omnichannel loyalty programme.  

The International Loyalty Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and best practices across the globe. The International Loyalty Awards have returned in 2022 with a record number of award nominations drawn from across multiple continents and a broad range of sectors. The Awards recognise all types of loyalty programmes among different categories; from small-scale to international; from financial services to retail; and everything in between.  

Tendam is a leading global fashion retailer, established 140 years ago, that brings together the Cortefiel, Springfield, Women’secret, Pedro del Hierro, Fifty, Hoss Intropia, Slowlove, High Spirits and Dash & Stars brands with over 1,800 points of sale across more than 90 countries. Veterans of the loyalty sector, they launched their first programme in the 1980’s and ever since have continuously extended their membership proposition, brand and geographic reach. 

The ‘Best Long-Term Loyalty’ category recognises businesses who have been able to demonstrate the value of outstanding, established and long-running programmes which have resulted in increased customer loyalty to the brand and value for the customer.  

In 2017 Tendam commenced their strategic partnership with Motivait, based on increasing value, agility and innovation at every customer touchpoint to also underpin enhanced customer lifetime value, membership growth and profitability. Motivait’s flexible, secure and reliable loyalty solution powers their successful omnichannel strategy based on an advanced digital proposition, supported by efficient and profitable stores with highly trained staff.  

Tendam and Motivait have worked together over this period to develop and deliver a Customer Engagement strategy that integrates real-time mobile, e-commerce and in-store customer interactions across their brands and markets. Their loyalty programmes have achieved sustained value for members whilst underpinning tangible business results for the company with a 50% growth in loyalty membership. 

Ensuring both integrity and integration of data across channels and brands, personalisation and relevance, together with an uncompromising user focus, has enabled Tendam to build closer and more valuable customer interactions that deliver optimised promotions for each customer in real-time. This has resulted in 30 million loyalty members across six brands and 11 countries. 75% of global transactions are now linked to specific customers. 

Antony Jones, Motivait’s Chief Executive commented:

“It is a privilege to work in close partnership supporting an organisation such as Tendam that places the customer at the heart of their strategy. Their passion for excellence, determination to constantly strive to deliver more value and their continuous innovation in delivering compelling integrated experiences demonstrate their proven credentials in the field of loyalty.”

Find out more at: www.internationalloyaltyawards.com   

 

Read the Tendam & Motivait solution case study

 

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With Meet Motivait we want to show what makes us special: our people. Meet Ana, one of our excellent creative and UI designers. She has an unrivalled positivity and is described by her colleagues as “cheerful, sociable and committed”. On a day-to-day basis, she is responsible for the design and execution of client projects, with an emphasis on developing appropriate imagery, video, animation and visual content to ensure an optimal level of engagement.

 

Name

Ana Lourenço

Role

Creative and UI Designer 

When did you join Motivait?

Initially in 2017 and after a break, re-joined in March 2021.

Describe what you do in under 5 words

Create and design visual content.

What part of your job do you love the most?

I love being able to transform the client needs and desires into something creative and unexpected to them – something they didn’t even know they needed. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

Amateur traveller, frequent festival goer, sports enthusiast and an experienced partier – As long as the current restrictions allow to. 

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“Step away from the screen”

If Ana’s colleagues could describe her in only 3 words, they would say:

Colleague 1: “Cheerful, Sociable, Committed

Colleague 2: “Extroverted, Detail-oriented, Fun

Colleague 3: “Exuberant, Undaunted, a 10/10 Drinking Partner

 

👋 Say ‘hi!’ to Ana on LinkedIn

 

Get in touch with our team

Behind each of our engagement solutions is a team that brings your ideas to life through design, communication and technology. Meet David! Our Senior Front-end Developer. One of our most versatile employees. Passionate salsa dancer, horseback archer and Cross Fit enthusiast. David is responsible for development functions such as design, software development, code review and automated testing to ensure the delivery of high quality solutions that meet our clients’ requirements in terms of functionality, performance, security and user experience.

Name

David Rubio Uceta

Role

Senior Front-end Developer

When did you join Motivait?

I started working at Motivait in July 2021. 

Describe what you do in under 5 words

Improve client’s business through code.

What part of your job do you love the most?

Motivait is a small company that wants its employees to develop their careers, so you can take a look at what is being done in other departments and collaborate if you want and need to. When it comes to software development, Motivait gives you the opportunity to collaborate on more than one of the existing projects, so it is practically impossible to get bored.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I tried CrossFit at the beginning of the pandemic, and I liked it, so now I just want to have time to do it more often. Besides that, I’ve been a horseback archer for several years now, and now I’m training to improve my results in international competitions.   

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Never stop learning.

If David’s colleagues could describe him in only 3 words, they would say:

Colleague 1: “Resilient, Professional and Detail-Oriented”

Colleague 2: “Passionate, Thorough, Skilled”

Colleague 3:  “Patient, Relaxed, Thoughtful”

 

👋 Say ‘hi!’ to David on LinkedIn

 

Get in touch with our team

With Meet Motivait we want to show what makes us special: our people. Meet Emerson, one of our brilliant Software Developers. He is passionate about aeroplanes and is a frequent pilot of small planes and jet skis. On a day-to-day basis, he is involved in planning and developing applications for customers and providing maintenance for existing software using a wide range of different technologies.

 

Name

Emerson de Mello

Role

Full Stack Software Developer

When did you join Motivait?

I started working at Motivait in June 2021 

Describe what you do in under 5 words

Requirement gathering and Software Development.

What part of your job do you love the most?

The company is like one big team, everyone works together to solve problems and create amazing solutions for our clients!

What do you like to do outside of work?

My life is very social, I go out a lot to catch up with friends, I also like to fly small planes as pilot and to sail small boats and Jet Ski’s during the summer.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Leave your emotions at home.

If Emerson’s colleagues could describe him in only 3 words, they would say:

Colleague 1: “Charismatic, Knowledgeable, Entertaining”

Colleague 2: “Optimistic, Can-do, Upbeat”

Colleague 3: “Efficient, Reliable, Never-a-dull-moment”

 

 

👋 Say ‘hi!’ to Emerson on LinkedIn

 

Get in touch with our team

Behind each of our engagement solutions is a team that brings your ideas to life through design, communication and technology. Meet Daniela! One of our great Customer Support and Operations Engineers. She’s a very decisive person and is described as “brilliant” by her colleagues. Daniela ensures that automated processes and issues are handled correctly.

Name

Daniela Roberto Fuentes    

Role

Customer Support and Operations Engineer. 

When did you join Motivait?

I started working at Motivait on 14 November 2016.  

Describe what you do in under 5 words

I solve customer problems. 

What part of your job do you love the most?

In terms of the company I love the communication between departments, the idea that everyone in the company knows what everyone else is doing makes you feel included. In my day-to-day work I like the problem solving, the investigation process we go through when we have an incident or a new request.  

What do you like to do outside of work?

Running! I usually go out in the city and look at buildings, restaurants and new things while I’m running. I try to make a mental note of the interesting places I find and then visit them with friends. 

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Face incidents without preconceived ideas. 

If Daniela’s colleagues could describe her in only 3 words, they would say:

Colleague 1: “Upbeat, enthusiastic, inspirational”

Colleague 2: “Proactive, detailed, team-player!”

Colleague 3:  “Perceptive, patient, brilliant”

 

 

👋 Say ‘hi!’ to Daniela on LinkedIn

 

Get in touch with our team

“Individuality” [noun] – the qualities that make a person or thing different from others

It can be tempting to want to replicate a successful alumni engagement programme from a competing university – you know the ones, the award-winning, sector-shaking ideas you wish you had thought of first. And although it’s common-sense to recognise what works for one university may not work for another (in most cases, it won’t), the deep-rooted need to stay relevant, competitive, and to stand out in a saturated landscape, doesn’t stop you as a team wanting to reproduce ideas or variations of ideas in the hope they’ll also work in your environment.

There’s nothing wrong with adapting ideas that work. It happens everywhere and there is good reason to utilise effective, creative strategies that have made an impact in your sector. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. However, there is an argument to say it is through this default reaction to simply copy or clone, that we end up with ‘cookie-cutter’ initiatives that make their way across the university landscape, slowly becoming the ‘norm’ of alumni engagement. Behind each new university signing up is an Advancement Team looking to make a difference, hoping to achieve the level of success as the original institution. Instead, in more cases than not, there is a lack of engagement from graduates and students, leading to Advancement Teams scratching their heads as to why the programme hasn’t worked.

There are many factors at play as to why the ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘off-the-shelf’ engagement initiatives may not be successful, including the differences at the institutions themselves. From iconic buildings and venues, to student cultures, to the cities and towns themselves that shape the universities themselves, each institution inevitably offers unique but shared experiences for their alumni that stay with each generation. What makes your university distinctive may be the reason why your one-size-fits-all programme may be failing you and that’s OK, because it is exactly what makes your alumni community special, and is ultimately your secret weapon to delivering a killer engagement programme.

UK University information statistics

Keeping the spark alive

A recent Living Liberty study revealed that only 36% of UK graduates remain in the city in which they studied, with Glasgow, Edinburgh or London based universities being the main exceptions as they tend to retain over half of their graduates on average. Furthermore, in 2018, CASE shared their latest findings on the HE landscape in their ‘Engaging for Excellence‘ Alumni Relations report, one significant figure was the total number of alumni across Europe and Asia-Pacific now stands at over 14 million (14,371,711), a figure that continues to grow each year.

The combination of these statistics alone presents an immediate consideration for any alumni strategy of programme. Time, distance and absence do not always make the heart grow fonder, and with more universities developing foreign campuses or providing courses through partner universities, there is a strong need for universities to find ways to stay connected – or even forge connections – despite the distance.

The simple fact of where your university is located can have a significant impact on how connected your alumni feel; Shift Learning’s 2020 Exploring UK Alumni Engagement Report found that there was no significant difference between types of UK universities and how engaged their alumni felt (ie Russell Group or Post-1992), however they did find a significant difference in the distance between the alumni and their institution; 22% of alumni sampled who lived 10-20 miles away felt strongly connected (scores of 9+/10), while only 8% of those who lived more than 100 miles away felt strongly connected (and 67% providing a connection score of 4 or less!).

CASE also revealed that the mean number of full-time staff stands at 1.2 per 10,000 alumni, so it is understandable why institutions take the mass approach when it comes to their engagement programmes, there are simply too many alumni to engage with on an individual level. It becomes impossible for alumni staff to have a personal relationship with every member of their alumni base, especially when engagement targets are often driven by ‘the bigger the number, the better’ quantifiable results.

Technology of course can help bridge both the gap in distance as well as the gap in alumni resources. Digital engagement platforms help provide a centralised point of contact or information for alumni to log on to. But in a world of endless distractions, saturated inboxes, constant notifications, people are increasingly exhausted and switched off by the frequent lack of consideration or personalisation for the individual at the receiving end of every news item, ping or mass email campaign.

Faced with increasingly disparate, diverse, distracted and demanding target audience, how can you make your alumni feel valued on a personal level and not just another number counting towards an end-of-year target when you are not able to actually give them that level of attention?

Recognising Individuality

As of 2019, there were a total of 164 university and higher education institutions in the United Kingdom (Statista). The UK Higher Education landscape is one of the most richly diverse in the world, with focus on nurturing independent study, debate, critical thinking, and more real-world application of teaching compared to other nations. 29 UK universities are in the global top 500, 18 in the top 100.

Motivait alumni individuality personalised experience

When marketing to potential students, universities undeniably lean into their differentiated offering. “Come study among our gorgeous buildings; investigate in the world’s best laboratory; benefit from our high graduate employability rates”. Attraction and recruitment to the university is firmly founded in what makes that specific university experience different, dynamic, and distinctive compared to any other. It only makes sense for alumni engagement to continue this approach beyond graduation through unique, differentiated experiences that attract, nurture and retain those potential supporter, volunteer and donor populations.

With the right technological capabilities, engagement initiatives can be almost automatically scaled up and made more accessible and inclusive, while simultaneously providing personalised experiences. Taking a page from Customer Engagement and Experience practices, the programmes that generate most participation and interaction for brands are those that deliver personalised, seamless, meaningful experiences that allow individuals to engage where, when and how they want. A customer centric approach revolves around utilising data and information provided to enhance every interaction throughout their journey or exploration of your platform– engaging, synchronised, attractive environments, and high performing customer-focused operations that, ultimately, make the individual feel as if everything has been made with them and their interests in mind.

By focussing on the end users that you’re looking to engage and forge meaningful relationships with, in this case alumni populations, you begin creating experiences/initiatives from a place of empathy – understanding their interests, their needs, how they will interact with the technology or expect it to respond.

Motivait alumni individuality

In an era where most of the population is aware of the data exchange for services, so much more can still be done to nurture trust and demonstrate the valuable application of consumer data. The argument being, if you’re going to request or collect data, at least use it to improve and personalise the experience by showing you understand individual preferences rather than blasting people with emails or notifications that are only in your interest.

Through technology, engagement initiatives can be almost automatically scaled up and made more accessible and inclusive. As we see consumers becoming more considerate of their personal circumstances and needs, there is a great opportunity to develop mindful experiences for them as well. Emails that are reactive but not invasive. Suggestions and recommendations that feel handpicked and perceptive, rather than random or machine generated.

Making it a reality

Universities are complex and there are many factors you could consider to determine how to deliver your alumni programme. Advancement Teams can benefit from analysing the distinctiveness of your institution and using this powerful information to design and implement effective engagement programmes for your alumni community.

Rather than looking at a programme that is successful at a neighbouring institution and using this as a basis for your next big engagement idea, first reflect on what makes your institution different and what this means for your graduates; what do they want and need from their alma mater? You need to take the time to really understand your institution and graduates.

Whatever the programme is, if you put your alumni at the heart of it, it will be more successful. University’s will never be able to truly engage with each graduate, but there are ways in which you can make them feel special enough to engage. Collecting rich data that will give you and the alumni real value, and figure out how to utilise this information to it’s fullest to design killer engagement programmes for your graduates.

In summary, know your institution, know your alumni and use this to your advantage. Utilise technology to engage alumni from afar and create ways in which your graduates can select their interest points.

 

 

 

*https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/latest/insights-and-analysis/higher-education-numbers

**https://www.statista.com/statistics/1084737/eu-28-adults-with-tertiary-education-attainment

^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_the_United_Kingdom_by_enrolment

In 2020, we said that we believed 2021 would be a year for reassessing and improving approaches. The very human challenges and experiences of 2020, we felt, would inevitably cause businesses and organisations to empathetically reconsider and refocus on the people at the heart of their operations. Looking back on the last 12 months there have certainly been significant changes – many of them focused on improving connection and proximity between people, their brands, their communities, and their needs.  

Employee Engagement has seen more debate and discussion than ever before (9-5, WFH, The Great Resignation), driven by necessity, by competition, and by a real shift in the previously established status-quo. Technologies that seemed inaccessible or expensive became common practice, with QR codes and apps becoming part of day-to-day life from ordering from a menu to storing medical information. 2021 provoked developments which at their core worked to enable, encourage, and connect people. 

As we say goodbye to 2021 and hello to 2022, we round up the themes and pieces that most appealed to you this year.  

Empowering the People  

2021 saw people revaluating what they wanted their life to look like and how their work fitted into the picture. After proving working from home was more than just a possibility, businesses have wrestled with how to offer flexibility to employees revaluating what they want their working life to look like, without compromising on other aspects of company culture. Companies who have embraced more flexibility for workers have then in turn been faced with challenges around sustaining a sense of belonging, a sense of community, as well as a sense of enthusiasm across remote teams whose only interface with their colleagues and the company is their laptop screen.  

While working from home may not be going anywhere soon, looking to the immediate future there will be a very real need to implement the infrastructure and solutions to support a seamless working experience across all circumstances.  

Customer Centric  

Looking specifically at Customer Engagement, the last 18 months have probably seen more need for change, reinvention, and agile responses than in the last 10 years. Supply chain shortages, haulage delays, new legislation on importing and deporting – it’s been a tough year to meet ever increasing demand and high customer expectations. It would be wrong to write off today’s consumers as easily influenced or swayed, when the reality is that most are actually looking to be impressed by services, values and experiences that stand out from the crowd. In their research into customer journeys, PwC found that people will pay up to 16% more for a great customer experience (CX), while Gartner found that 64% of customers value CX over price.  

The growing market evidence suggests that instead of being impatient for deliveries, consumers may actually be frustrated with poor communication and service; instead of fickle they may in fact be more conscious of where they’re spending than ever before. If 2021 was the year for trying to keep up with an ever-changing landscape, will 2022 be the year to utilise learnings to actually stop, listen and understand the customer?  

Sustainable Change for the Greater Good 

Since early 2020, we have all had time to think and reflect on the way we live our lives. People have taken up habits and hobbies with more interest in sustainability, nature and resourcefulness – DIY around the house, upcycling furniture or clothing, sewing masks, growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Outside of the home, local communities and governments have become more aware of the conscious efforts required to reengage, reassure and encourage participation in order to sustain local businesses and commerce. On a global scale, the recent COP26 conventions acted as a reminder for many that collective action is desperately needed to address the very present challenges for society – to turn the tides or slow down the devastating effects of climate change, and to support communities rebuild or reinforce their right to belong and thrive.       

Have the unignorable events of 2020 and 2021 provoked new practices that we will take with us into 2022? Could we be at a turning point for attitudes and values across society? 

As organisations across the world adjust and transform to keep up with an evolving economic and social landscape, there is much talk about the many challenges that are having to be confronted, particularly in the workplace. From managing the increased desire of employees to work remotely and flexibly, to addressing the talent shortages that exist across a number sectors – the teams responsible for managing and sustaining employee engagement are being impacted from different directions.  

How can we better attract and keep the talent we need when there are many other companies out there fishing in the same pool trying to entice the best people with propositions and perks that may turn their heads? How can we help people feel like they belong, when there may not be an office to belong to anymore?     

A recent survey by McKinsey certainly highlighted the challenge in retaining employees. The survey found that 40% of participants said they are at least somewhat likely to quit in the next three to six months. 18% of respondents said their intentions range from likely to almost certain. These findings held across all five countries surveyed (Australia, Canada, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and were broadly consistent across industries. Businesses in the leisure and hospitality industry are the most at risk for losing employees, but many healthcare and white-collar workers say they also plan to quit. Even among educators—the employees least likely to say they may quit—almost one-third reported that they are at least somewhat likely to do so. 

Digital illustration showing an employees at work with a graphic above stating 40% of the workforce are somewhat likely to leave their job in the next six months

In my experience in HR and the recruitment sector, there is not one simple solution to this. There are a range of factors that can influence an individual’s decision to either join, stay or go, and if they decide to go, what are the considerations that are going to convince them which option is right for them. One size doesn’t fit all and the decision is ultimately a personal one. It might be the remuneration, the location, culture, belief in the vision, leadership and managerial capability, colleagues, market position, ability to develop and progress, interesting and relevant work or a complex mixture of all the above.  

That same McKinsey report highlighted that:

“employees crave investment in the human aspects of work. They want a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work. They want social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. They want to feel a sense of shared identity. Yes, they want pay, benefits, and perks, but more than that they want to feel valued by their organizations and managers. They want meaningful—though not necessarily in-person—interactions, not just transactions!” 

Fundamentally, personal decisions are founded on how you make people feel. In other words, building an emotional attachment and engaging with them. Do they believe and are they convinced that they want to go on the journey with you? Do they understand your values? Can they see how they can fit in and perform? Did you make them feel valued and important?  Did you listen and understand their needs, wants and motivations? 

Let’s never forget that it’s a two-way experience and it’s about give and get, which is not a new concept but in the current climate, the power has shifted from the organisation to the individual. As a consequence; mindsets, attitudes and employee experiences need to be reviewed and tailored in order to differentiate organisations.  

According to Qualtrics, 55% of workers surveyed agreed that recognition for good work drives employee engagement, while employees studied tended to be at least 17% more engaged if they felt able to participate in feedback schemes. These types of investigations support the idea that engagement can be driven by reciprocity, and that if businesses make a genuine investment in their people, employees generally do tend to feel more valued and acknowledged, and in turn more motivated to commit and perform.   

When looking to provide consistent, sustainable and valued experiences for employees, consider how technology can be used to enhance existing approaches. When operating in a virtual environment, technology effectively enables scalability and accessibility; lifting or translating experiences to a digital environment with rich opportunity for additional features and interventions to boost interaction and engagement. Particularly for supporting the virtual connectedness of colleagues, or to hire on a large scale without leaning on internal resourcing, the right solutions can really make a positive impact and notable difference.  

In a world with almost endless options and solutions, there is no excuse to simply pile on tools and software that ends up overcomplicating the average day in the life of employees – especially considering budget restrictions and already saturated systems. Instead, digital solutions deployed should work to prioritise and embed the following into employee’s experiences:  

  • amplifying employee voice and feedback
  • encouraging multilevel recognition and communication 
  • embodying and reinforcing company culture and values 
  • improving the overall experience and “moments that matter” in the employee’s journey with you 
  • creating a sense of belonging 
  • seamless integration with existing tools.  

If ultimately, how the employee feels about work and the workplace will be a significant deciding factor as to whether they apply, join, and stay, then companies ought to start looking into how they deliver experiences in a way that leaves people excited or switched on. Much like how brands seek to nurture loyal, returning customers through innovative, impactful CX (customer experience), there is plenty of opportunity to apply the same dedication and care across the Employee Journey in order to nurture committed, engaged individuals eager to stay and grow.  

 

 

Does your organisation have employee engagement challenges are you looking for some inspiration on how to solve?

We at Motivait love creating innovative solutions that address real problems, do any of these sound familiar?

MOTIVAIT – Innovative Employee Solutions for Intangible Challenges

If you have managed to escape any form of “Get Back” message in recent months, you should perhaps consider yourself one of the fortunate few. As a follow-on “the new normal” catchphrase, for many the “Get Back” messaging hints at a world hoping to reassure, encourage, and incentivise: Get back to the office, get back to the high street, get back into shops, get back to restaurants, get back to going on holiday, get back to the cinema – you get the idea.

For a lot of people, the idea of a return to their pre-covid routines, habits and lifestyles is incredibly welcome. For others, going back still feels daunting or maybe even unnecessary. Most seem to be approaching things with a mixture of caution and relish, apprehension and relief. However, if ongoing debate and research tell us anything, it’s that, more than ever before, each decision we make is primarily based on personal preferences and needs. This newfound focus, requires a shift in thinking about how brands, organisations and communities engage with their audiences, working towards achieving more tailored and personalised responses.

Looking specifically at Customer Engagement, the last 18 months have probably seen more need for change, reinvention, and agile responses than in the last 10 years. The volatile political and economic landscapes are often having sudden and dramatic effects on prices across sectors, most notably within retail, and many brands are yet again having to rethink how they offer value to their customers, and how to entice and encourage higher levels of activity at a time when slashing prices is not financially viable, nor is expecting cautious customers to spend like they would in more stable circumstances. It is therefore critical to review Customer Engagement strategies and truly consider what the audience’s needs and behaviours are.

Speaking the Customer’s Language

Judging by recent research into attitudes and sentiments, consumers certainly appear to be open to new offerings and experiences. While their priorities and preferences may have changed, what hasn’t waned is the positive effect of customer centric experiences.

Whether tailoring offers, promotions and communications, or improving accessibility and innovation in how people are able to reach your brand and services, the impact on the end customer is undeniably powerful. For example, in their research into customer journeys, PwC found that people will pay up to 16% more for a great customer experience (CX), while Gartner found that 64% of customers value CX over price.

If people are still uncertain or ambiguous in their habits, and if we’re likely to continue to see differing approaches to getting back to shopping in physical stores (which had arguably already been in decline even before Covid) then we need to consider how to motivate the customer. It would be like providing and engaging customer experience from wherever people want to access the brand from, and treat them as individuals with particular needs and preferences.

Retaining Meaningful Connections

More targeted, personalised approaches don’t have to entirely overtake all strategies, but they should be a crucial part of attracting, retaining and nurturing loyal customers. After time spent in lockdowns, only interacting with the outside world through our devices, we are all collectively more eager to be seen and recognised as individuals, rather than just another number or data point on a brand’s radar.

According to Engage Hub, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalised experiences. Personalisation means more than just capturing the customer’s name and age. A customer centric approach revolves around utilising data and information provided to enhance every interaction throughout the customer journey – engaging, synchronised, attractive environments, and high performing customer-focused operations that facilitate a closeness to the brand, ultimately, making the customer feel as if the brand, services, or products as a whole are made for them.

 

What should be part of a personalised experience for the customer?

  • Omnichannel: Improving omnichannel offering that goes beyond having a presence on multiple channels, make it seamless for customers to hop between their devices and interact with your brand, whether they’re dealing with customer care, picking up an order, or saving items for later
  • Communications: Tailoring communications (emails, push notifications) to suit previous shopping behaviour and preferences
  • Trust: Enabling customers to be in control of their own data preferences: providing clear, intuitive portals for managing consent and communication
  • Relevance: Personalised offers and promotions – discounts on birthdays are a solid starting point, but promotions that are relevant to their usual spending habits rather than just inviting them to a blanket sale is even better.
  • Exclusivity: Everyone wants to feel special, especially when handing over visibility to personal or sensitive data. Their loyalty will be eroded if they feel they’re not treated differently from someone who just submits an email address and gets the same 10% off. Provide tiers, but also recognise different levels of participation to nurture and sustain meaningful connections with customers of all types.

Digital Empowerment

BCG claims growth rates increase by 6% to 10% in companies that master personalisation, not to mention the beneficial ripple effect across marketing efficiency, boosted digital sales, and stronger relationships developed with customers. The key to being able to execute personalised strategies is of course having the right technological capabilities in place. To reach end users is one hurdle, but you also need digital solutions that can facilitate, anticipate, and support closer interactions across all touchpoints between consumer and brand, providing a holistic vision of customer and behaviour.

Through technology, engagement initiatives can be almost automatically scaled up and made more accessible and inclusive. There is, however, still a need to tailor and craft experiences so that they offer users the best of both the digital and physical worlds. As we see consumers becoming more considerate of their personal circumstances and needs, there is a great opportunity to develop mindful experiences for them as well. Emails that are reactive but not invasive. Suggestions and recommendations that feel handpicked and perceptive, rather than random or machine generated. So, while digital engagement may be underpinned by technology, it does not need to veer away from the human touch, as mastering personalisation of course ultimately comes down to keeping things exactly that – personal.

 

Interested in innovative Customer Engagement & Loyalty?

Read how we help global fashion retailer Tendam deliver their integrated omnichannel strategy based on an advanced digital proposition, with over 24 million loyalty members

Read More

There is no doubt that the last 18 months brought the subject of health and well-being into sharp focus. Many of us had to learn how to stay active within the four walls of home, devoting significant willpower, determination, and energy into ensuring that the sudden lack of activity and routine didn’t come at the expense of our health.

It is of course true that most of us know that we need to eat well and exercise regularly to stay healthy. Nevertheless, it is also the case that a lot of us find it hard to do either in a sustained manner. Rationally, we may know these things are important for our own personal interest, but something often seems to get in the way. Academics, behavioural experts, and health professionals have known for many years that mere awareness of a health issue or risk is not always enough to motivate people to change deeply entrenched habits or to develop new ones.

Developing and sustaining motivation for lifestyle change is critical in managing chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes or heart and pulmonary disease. But the same is equally true across many other aspects of healthcare as well as any number of personal health and fitness related goals, be it remembering to take medication at particular times, kicking bad habits, the journey from couch to 5k, or any number of well-intentioned New Year’s Resolutions.

Health motivation has many of the same influences as other aspects of motivation but with, perhaps, some specific additions to the mix. Alongside the obvious environmental, physical, and psychological variables and the experiences that can shape our perceptions, there is an equation of perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers that can combine to determine individual attitudes and actions. Even with a positive attitude, action can often still require a cue, stimulus, or nudge. We all need encouragement to put us, and keep us, on the right path and that is where the use of digital innovation can go a long way to building our engagement.

More than ‘just a game’

Gamification, Serious Games and Game Design have all been growing in use over the last 10 years in a wide range of non-entertainment contexts, from finances to learning to play the piano and everything in between. There are several reasons for this, a key one being how well these approaches can engage and focus users. It is this capacity for engagement, encouragement and commitment that can make Game Design and Gamification significantly impactful within Health and Wellbeing.

 


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Recent years have seen an increased application of game thinking across health, fitness, and wellbeing through the explosion of fitness apps and a better understanding of motivation and behavioural psychology. The growing use of Gamification to support the management of chronic illness, rehabilitation, health, and wellbeing is already proving to have fascinating and significant benefits. Serious contexts with serious connotations and consequences, but with an opportunity to inject well designed user focussed strategies that can support people on their journey to changing their behaviours for the better and towards improved health.

A System for Support

An important initial step in managing a long-term condition, such as diabetes or a heart condition, is helping with their overall understanding and awareness. Depending on diagnosis, traditionally a GP or doctor will talk through symptoms to monitor or watch out for supported with leaflets, websites and an initial schedule of check-ups and tests. In cases where the individual may have access to specialists and dedicated practitioners, their progress and the management of their condition may have more support to hand – perhaps with these specialists available for frequent check-ups and monitoring, personalised health plans, etc. Sadly, the growing prevalence of these conditions across a health service that is already economically challenged, makes this support increasingly difficult to provide.

Despite the best endeavours of healthcare professionals, diagnosis of a chronic illness can still be a lonely, confusing, or frightening period for many. Faced with such, it is all too easy to resort to the internet to identify and interpret symptoms or browse forums to find what has worked for other people. This can, of course, become even more confusing and frightening since the available information may not feel relevant or be appropriate for each situation.

Given the importance of scalability and availability, this is where appropriate and well-designed technology solutions can help to complement the support system provided by medical professionals facing a level of increasing demand that they cannot possibly satisfy in the long term. Whilst some people have claimed that the pace of digital innovation that has taken place in the last ten months is equivalent to that of the previous ten years, this does not perhaps fairly reflect some of the innovation that has been quietly taking place across the health sector and is starting to deliver significant benefits.

Health and Gamification in Practice

A good example of gamification being successfully integrated into a healthcare solution can be seen with PainSquad: a smartphone based electronic pain management tool which helps 8 to 18-year old cancer patients track pain levels and complete daily reports. It turns an emotionally complex task into an engaging experience, as users climb the ranks and earn rewards by habitually using a crime-fighting style application. The result? 90%+ initial completion rates for the pain journals, a percentage noted to be unheard of in paediatric medicine, highlighting the empowering and constructive impact that a gamified experience can have.

Another example of using gamification can be seen with Mango Health. Their smartphone application is designed to allow users to set up their daily medication schedule and then provides them with appropriate prompts to take the medication. If the user takes their medication at the right time, they earn points that can be converted into gift cards or even charitable donations.  On top of this, the mobile app also provides educational materials about the user’s medication, including drug interactions and potential side effects.

Occasionally there is a concern raised regarding the opportunity to address health matters with digital solutions, based on an assumption that it involves expensive and frequently inaccessible technologies. Or that they end up reducing the important subject and science at their core. However there are plenty of examples where technology has helped make a significant and positive impact on health and well being, and plenty of examples demonstrating how technology actually improves scalability and accessibility of much needed support. For instance, the role of virtual reality video games in promoting active movement, improving balance, and increasing energy expenditure in children with cerebral palsy. These examples have used a Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Kinect as a low cost, accessible way to offer self-motivated physical therapy through a video game. Studies showed that patients who participated in virtual reality gaming therapy increased the intensity, frequency, and duration of therapy movements, leading to enhanced motor performance.

Whilst the use of gamification in healthcare has been around for a while, it is still developing and continues to represent a significant opportunity for future research and impact.  As an example that demonstrates how fast this is expanding and how seriously it is being applied right now, the FDA in America recently made a landmark decision to officially validate the use of a video game as a prescribed treatment for children with ADHD after 7 years of clinical trials.

Rehabilitation and Recovery

Another stimulating opportunity area for the application of game thinking in healthcare lies in rehabilitation and recovery from acute conditions such as strokes or spinal injury. Here, there are good examples where “real” games can play as important a role in a patient’s recovery as specifically made serious games. To help recovery, the engaging and fun nature of the game is of critical importance. Video games require focused and repetitive movements, which is often exactly what is needed for this kind of rehabilitation. Because the game is fun and provides the patient a distraction whilst they play, it is potentially able to offer a degree of sustainability that traditional rehabilitation may not always be able to easily provide.

For example, games such as Battlefield have been used to help stroke patients by using special controllers that use the feet rather than hands to move. This has been shown to help to recover lost function, by encouraging repetitive movements and stimulation. Research has also shown that more active games, such as Wii Fit Sports, where controllers are motion activated, can improve upper body muscle activation in quadriplegics and tetraplegics.

In contrast to the reuse of standard games with modified controllers or gameplay tweaks, there are also games that are created specifically for rehabilitation. One such game, designed by a research team at Newcastle University, was successfully used to evaluate the effectiveness of small changes to therapeutic regimes, by asking the patient to play a simple video game that measured their physical responses to onscreen movement.

One of the key reasons we are all drawn to games in their different forms is precisely because of their ability to immerse us in a different world, or a different story, with different rules to the one we live in normally. The notion of being able to open new worlds for people to explore, when they may be feeling trapped or struggling in whatever way, is incredibly exciting and is matched with the positive results and outcomes achieved in patients taking on these new forms of therapy. In the same way that we are seeing more and more innovative story telling in the traditional world of games, perhaps we can look forward to even more inspirational blends of imagination, creativity and science to deliver real change and impact in rehabilitation and recovery?

Wellbeing

Wellbeing is often used to cover a vast array of topics, from mental wellness to weight management to fitness. Whether it is the use of Wii Bowling to help keep the eldering active, corporate fitness schemes that make use of wearable technologies to create internal competitions and challenges or more bespoke solutions that help monitor mental health and depression such as SuperBetter, game thinking and gamification are increasingly being applied to enable effective solutions.

Within the workplace, gamified solutions have already proven the value and positive impact they can offer in terms of the employee experience and in achieving organisational objectives. Whether it is in terms of consistent and effective onboarding, uniting remote teams, engaging individuals in learning and development, or standardising processes and approaches, gamified tools and experiences have been shown to be readily adopted and to deliver tangible results.  However, there is space for this value and user centric approach to be directed towards corporate wellness schemes in order to produce meaningful solutions, beyond counting how many daily steps you achieve as a team. There is no doubt that the world of work already has and will continue to undergo significant change. There is already acute focus on employee wellbeing and organisations across all sectors are faced with the need to increase participation, commitment and overall engagement amongst their employees whilst also finding the balance between empathy and effectiveness. During the pandemic, the necessary distancing, shielding, and lockdown requirements meant that loneliness impacted on health and wellbeing with 24% of adults feeling significantly isolated. The use of technology to replace face to face social interactions undoubtedly helped some individuals maintain contact and activities through these abnormal times. There has never been a more important time for organisations to apply innovation to these areas with digital solutions to support health and well-being as an intrinsic part of their employee experience.

Change for the Future

There is enough pressure in today’s society to fit one fitness standard or another, and the reality is everyone is fighting their own personal challenge regarding their health and wellbeing and where they would like it to be. Whatever the solution, it cannot lose sight of the end needs and requirements of the user it should be helping and supporting. Solutions do not need to be overly complex to be effective. When considering behaviour change, we are often focused on making small changes to help new behaviours stick. Constant availability, reliability and security are also important characteristics of these solutions whilst it is important to keep in mind that there is no “one size fits all” approach so personalisation and user-focussed design will determine adoption and ultimately sustained behaviour outcomes. It is time to take careful steps towards future designs that leverage the exciting possibilities and mechanics, founded on the exciting scientific research, in order to deliver exciting and encouraging results for the individuals at the heart.