Postscript: Lidl makes a mark on social media
HOT on the footsteps of Tourism Ireland, a new star when it comes to social media management has emerged: Lidl. From a standing-start launch on Facebook four years ago, the retailer's European Facebook page has just topped a collective 10 million fans – and it's now the most popular food retailer on the site in Europe, beating wealthier behemoths like Tesco and El Corte Ingles.
Lidl's Irish page was its first in Europe, set up four years ago on its 10th anniversary in Ireland.
The page is managed by its communication team in Newbridge, alongside YouTube and Twitter accounts.
The team has won five awards to date, including two Digital Media Awards, two Bord Gais Social Media Awards and a Fresh Award.
TESCO TOPS LOYALTY PROGRAMME LIST
Amarach Research and Chilli Pepper Marketing have revealed the results of their inaugural Loyalty Performance Index, the first ever independent report on loyalty programmes in Ireland. This model was developed to provide useful benchmarking data for brands running or planning to embark on a loyalty programme. The food, fuel, fashion, homeware and beauty categories were all examined.
The winner of the food retailer programme went to the Tesco Club Card; 73pc of shoppers had registered for their loyalty programme, spending up to 80pc more than non-loyalty members. Topaz Play or Park took the fuel retailer loyalty price, with 64pc of their members participating in the programme and actively redeeming their rewards.
The Topaz scheme was only launched four years ago, which Amarach said was evidence that longevity is no barrier to generating customer loyalty. Other winners included Boots Advantage Card system and the Brown Thomas Black loyalty card.
Active customer participation in a scheme, and not just ownership of a card or fob, was one of the key measures used to gauge success. While customers may be aware of a loyalty programme and may be using their card to collect points, if they never or seldom redeem their rewards, then they don't actually value being a member. Customers actively participating in a loyalty programme spend as much as 40-50pc more – or in Tesco's case, 80pc more – than the customers not pro-actively participating in the loyalty programme.
"We are all in the 'repeat business' business" said Amarach chairman Gerard O'Neill. "Loyalty plays a key part in ensuring we get repeat business from our customers. In a slow market, holding on to your customers is job number one for marketers and their agencies. However, customer loyalty is now being shaped by a range of forces, from digital trends to competing offers – making it more difficult to find the loyalty strategy that works. It is vital, therefore, to measure the impact of loyalty driven marketing in order to make sure that current practices are working and that opportunities for further improvement are not being missed."
BYRNE JOINS TEAM AT CORE MEDIA
THE COUNTRY'S largest media buying agency Core Media has a new chief financial and commercial officer, Arthur Byrne. He joins after a 17-year stint with Aegis Media Ireland, where he was group finance and commercial director. Mr Byrne is a qualified accountant and also worked with electronics company Delaire Power Supplies.