MEC Rewards specializes in Business to Business Loyalty Programs and the World is Changing! No, let’s rephrase that … The World Has Changed!
If you are under 30 years of age you may not even know what a fax machine is or ever heard of thermal paper. Why would anyone ever use overhead projectors for an important business presentation, which by the way, people flew in for from various parts of the country to attend? And cheques prepared on a typewriter, can you imagine! No more green ledger paper or laptop computers, no more briefcases filled with your daily calendar and appointment book, paper business cards, Perley’s maps or glossy flyers.
Industry magazines are getting smaller and smaller … why, because no one reads hard copy anymore. The need for paper is smaller but competition is tougher. So if the traditional method of advertising doesn’t work anymore, what does?
Quite simply, the internet has changed how all of us do business.
Almost twenty years ago, when we got the idea to create a loyalty program focused on the B2B market, we got a lot of input such as, “It’ll never work”, “My customers don’t use the internet”, “My customers are not computer savvy”, “What, e-statements? Who is going to read them?”, “Are you still going to send out paper statements?”, “Our industry is not ready”.
Well, thank goodness that we persevered. What we found was that even 20 years ago, businesses were embracing the internet. Those same businesses opened e-statements and started engaging in their distributor’s loyalty programs. Companies did use their computers and actually welcomed the technology.
In the late 1990’s and into early 2000, the general public was starting to get used to the retail sector having loyalty programs, heck, Canadian Tire had been doing it for ages, just with the old Canadian Tire paper money. But no one had yet tried to enter the B2B sector.
What we found, almost immediately, was that businesses did use the internet. E-mails were becoming a mainstay in keeping in touch with customers. Younger staff and business associates were looking for better ways to communicate and boy did the internet offer them that.
You may be reading this thinking, “Hey, our business has come a long way. We have cut our paper flow in half, our sales staff all use their cell phones to text and e-mail and we even pay our bills by electronic fund transfer.” That’s great, but have you also thought about how you need to market your business differently in this changing environment? Your competition is no longer the guy a few blocks away or that national outlet on the other side of town. Potential customers no longer use the yellow pages to find a potential distributor in the area. Your competition is everywhere. As a result, the way you need to market your business has changed. Simply having a “good” location with ample parking no longer assures success. Customers have a lot of choices.
A strong B2B Loyalty Program will give your business a reason for your customers to keep coming back.