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September 2013

Innovation in Loyalty Marketing, International

The Goal

In the United Arab Emirates, the weeks that run from mid-September to mid-October are traditionally thrifty ones. Families return from pricey vacations and face the expense of sending their children back to school. To inspire consumers to spend with its partners during this slow period, Air Miles (Middle East) multiplied its miles, and added prizes. The goal: a 10% return on investment.

The Initiative

Instead of seeing thriftiness as a threat, Air Miles turned it to its advantage, by offering special promotions and bargains that would encourage people to shop. The key message: By spending money now, you could save in the coming year. Air Miles delivered on this promise in several ways. First, it offered triple miles at eight participating merchant partners during the four-week campaign. Those who took part in the spending promotion were entered into a drawing to win one year’s worth of shopping vouchers, valued at about $7,600 (28,000 Arab Emerati Dirhams). Also, a three-week radio contest, called “Get a Life With Air Miles,” gave away 5 million Air Miles. The consumers who sent texts to the station and were subsequently called back had a chance to win 50,000 to 200,000 Air Miles.

Additional elements of the campaign included direct messaging to more than 82,000 best-prospect members, with click-throughs to the campaign, and sign-up stands for new customer acquisition. At these stands, located prominently at two major malls, consumers were enticed to join the program with rewards ranging from 50 to 1 million Air Miles. In all of these efforts, Air Miles included incentives to shop with its eight partners.

The Results

The Rewarding 2013 Experience campaign got a major lift for Air Miles, including a 360% percent return on investment – 36 times its target. Consumers spent more than $110 million (407 million Arab Emerati Dirhams) at the eight participating merchants during the campaign, for a spending increase over the previous year of 49%. Consumers visited an average of three partner merchants during the campaign, and collected a combined 269.6 million Air Miles.

“Our campaign (achieved) a remarkable ROI of 360%, which is undoubtedly the most prominent indicator of success we have achieved in our 11 years of existence in the region. The success of this means we will try and replicate this strategy as often as possible alongside appropriate partners.”

– Air Miles Rewards Management, Middle East

2013 COLLOQUY Loyalty Summit: Air Miles Middle East