How Brands are Nailing Digital Engagement

Oct 11, 2023

Kobie recently weighed in with Loyalty360 on the topic of how digital engagement is impacting customer loyalty.

Leveraging digital channels to meaningfully engage customers has become critical for brands to thrive. Interacting in “the digital space” allows brands to deepen relationships with customers by demonstrating through personalization that customer expectations and preferences are heard. Personalization is no longer a “nice touch” — it’s a vital component in a brand’s customer loyalty strategy. Elevating individual customer experiences or failing to do so can be the dealmaker or dealbreaker. Customers can choose a brand’s competitor with a click.

Kobie’s VP of Strategic Consulting, Chris Barnett, provided insights as to how we approach digital engagement with our clients to ensure they are maximizing value and enhancing the customer experience.

  1. How has the rise of digital engagement transformed the traditional notions of customer loyalty? In what ways are brands launching or redesigning their strategies to build and maintain customer loyalty in the digital age?

Digital engagement has redefined customer loyalty, shifting focus from just offering great products and in-store experiences to delivering personalized and unified touchpoints across all digital channels. Digital has also allowed brands to leverage data-driven insights in real-time to power smart apps, creating seamless and timely interactions to keep members engaged wherever they are, online or off. Some are even moving into the next phase of digital engagement with Generative AI and NFTs.


  1. In a world where competition is just a click away, how can businesses leverage digital channels to engage customers and create emotional connections and foster a sense of brand loyalty?

Customer data is the game-changer here. When brands use digital channels to deliver those personalized, spot-on experiences, they don’t just grab attention; they create emotional connection. The brands that are really nailing it are using data analytics to fine-tune these interactions, making it tough for competitors to lure their best customers away.


  1. Mobile devices have become central to digital engagement. How can brands optimize mobile experiences to create value, convenience, and lasting loyalty among on-the-go customers?

Brands have seriously upped their game in mobile apps, going beyond the usual points-for-purchases to offer real, tangible benefits that stand out. Think one-click ordering, personalized gamification, life-altering convenience, and exclusive access to content or experiences. It’s this kind of app experience that keeps customers not just engaged, but genuinely loyal, even when they’re on the move.


  1. The Gen Z and Millennial generations have grown up in a digital world. How do their expectations and behaviors influence businesses’ digital engagement strategies, and what should brands consider to secure their long-term loyalty?

Gen Z and Millennials, as digital natives, aren’t just hoping for easy, instant, and personalized online interactions with brands—they expect it. Brands are using digital engagement strategies like personalization, community building, user-generated content, convenience features, and gamification to create real-time engagement between and during purchases using a mobile-first approach. While digital, brands should try to inject a human feel by being authentic, transparent, inclusive, and purposeful in their online interactions.


  1. Measuring the ROI of digital engagement initiatives can be complex. What metrics and KPIs should brands use to assess the impacts and effectiveness of their digital engagement efforts on customer loyalty?

Measuring the ROI of digital engagement isn’t easy, but it’s essential for making savvy investment decisions. Brands can’t just look at the usual suspects like response and conversion rates, ROI, or session duration; they need to watch ‘big picture’ metrics like benefit utilization, NPS, CLTV, and retention rates. That way, they get the full 360 on how well they’re doing at building enduring customer relationships.


  1. Looking ahead, what emerging technologies or trends do you think will have the most significant impact on the relationship between digital engagement and customer loyalty? How should marketers prepare for these changes?

Looking ahead, Generative AI and NFTs are game-changers for loyalty programs. Imagine members getting rewards or content that are not just personalized but uniquely theirs, thanks to AI. And with NFTs, it could include exclusive digital assets members can own, trade, or sell, adding a whole new level of exclusivity, monetization, and ownership to loyalty programs—think special tiers, unique benefits or rewards, and even one-of-a-kind partnerships.

Reach our strategy team today for more insights!