Case Study:

Reducing Point Liability in the age of COVID-19

How Engage People Inc. gift card and promotional programs reduced point liabilities for a big 6 Canadian Bank during the COVID pandemic when travel redemptions had declined precipitously.

Overview

A large Canadian Bank (an Engage client) faced a situation where point liabilities were growing but its most popular redemption option had been all but eliminated as a result of consumers’ reluctance to travel during the COVID pandemic. They asked Engage to develop an innovative alternative to reduce their point liabilities in light of such dwindling travel redemptions.

Approach

In the absence of travel during the pandemic, Engage needed to identify a ready avenue to drive redemption, keep program members engaged and reduce point liabilities. Engage proposed an alternative program that had high appeal to program members based on market consumption trends that were identified during COVID. Engage presented to its client a gift card program with a focus on top tier, highly popular products that were desired by consumers who were locked at home.

Three different gift card brands were used for the promotion:

The campaign was overlaid with a promotion for a 25% discount on the points required to purchase the cards, which applied during the entire promotional period. Merchandise redemptions were included in the promotion and ran in concert with the gift card program. The full promotion spanned 5 months from May 2020 through September 2020.

Results
Conclusion

Successfully increasing redemption when travel is not an option does not mean simply promoting an offer, but involves finding ways to engage customers in a campaign. This requires an understanding of changing and time specific customer needs, particularly during unprecedented times, and moving quickly. Offsetting travel redemption was a challenge but providing a compelling offer, communicating and delivering in a timely manner, and providing a frictionless way of converting points, helped reduce overall point liability for, and increased the satisfaction of, our bank client.

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