04Apr

Journey through the world of customer motivation and loyalty from the perspective of Stream Loyalty MD, Mark Maclure

In this interview, Mark Maclure, MD of Stream Loyalty, takes us through his journey in loyalty, focusing on the benefits and potential of B2B loyalty programmes and what the future holds in the loyalty space.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming the MD of Stream Loyalty? 

My career started in the city and there I learned how companies tick and what drives success – ever since then I have been fascinated in how each business works and what their USP is. I then spent several years in the world of events initially as a board director of one business before setting up my own company focused on communication events and latterly incentives. Following that I co-founded Stream with Melanie Parker 15 years ago focused on the world of loyalty.  

 What inspired you to pursue a career in the customer loyalty space and, in particular, focusing on B2B? 

As mentioned above, having spent time in communications and events, I was involved in the world of motivation and reward – mainly internally within companies, so the step into setting up a business focused on the world of customer motivation and loyalty was a logical evolution. Loyalty in B2B was – and still is – an untapped opportunity so that is where we have set our focus. 

 How has the customer loyalty industry evolved over the past few years? 

Loyalty in the B2C world has been around for years and has particularly grown in this current century and, as a mature industry, in B2C there are regular new developments and brand partnerships appearing. However, the world of B2B is still in growth mode and there is plenty of room for innovation, taking learnings from other sectors and, of course, from B2C. 

 What are some common misconceptions about customer loyalty programmes in the B2B sector? 

The initial reaction is that loyalty is not something that B2B businesses need a programme for – key account managers look after valuable customers and account mangers look after the rest and marketing support both. The reality is that the Pareto rule means that, whilst the 20% (key customers) deliver most of the business, there are 80% of others who can be motivated to change behaviours and grow, and this can arguably have a larger impact on sales growth. This is where a good loyalty programme can help drive behaviours and, in turn, drive sales. 

What sets Stream Loyalty apart from others in your sector? 

We are unique amongst loyalty software providers in that we focus solely on B2B – we see that as a very different (and more complex) market than B2C, so this is our area of speciality. 

 The world of business has changed significantly since 2020, how does your approach to customer loyalty align with the changing needs of your potential customers today?         

One of the main trends in the last few years is the digitalisation of businesses. Again, B2B often lags the trends and there are many sectors where customers are still not engaging digitally with their suppliers. We can use a good loyalty programme to engage an audience digitally and this can, in effect, be the enabler of digital transformation for some businesses.  

What leadership lessons have you learned that are unique to managing a tech-focused company? 

The key with a tech business – and a tech business in the loyalty space – is to keep building recurring revenue and to sign up companies who will stay (and not ‘churn’).  In B2B, all customers will want to know is how your software will deliver results for them, so the objective is to keep focus on the core software capabilities and not get drawn into bespoke customisations to suit each client’s perceivably unique business operations and goals. 

 What is the biggest barrier to companies looking to set up a new loyalty programme?   

A well-structured programme should deliver a solid ROI so I would say that the barriers are largely around mindset and belief – as long as a company has good data, they can use that to build a programme whose KPIs can be set to help achieve the company goals.   

What advice would you give to businesses looking to implement or improve their customer loyalty programmes? 

Talk to us! Joking aside we are finding several companies coming to us from other providers for the simple reason that we are better geared up for their sector than our competitors. 

Are there any best practices you can share for creating effective B2B loyalty strategies? 

Identify the areas in your business where changing customer behaviour would have the greatest impact. Then create the right motivation for customers to change those behaviours and reward them for doing so. Get that right and it will pay massive dividends.  

What aspect of your work are you most passionate about? 

Talking to customers and creating a fit for our software that delivers value. 

What’s next for Stream Loyalty? Are there any exciting developments or projects on the horizon? 

We are at an exciting time as we scale up our client base. A difficult economic market focuses companies on keeping customers and that is exactly the space that we occupy. 

 

About the Author

Mark Maclure

Mark Maclure

Mark is a thought leader and shaper, and regularly speaks at seminars in different industry sectors on loyalty strategy, customer engagement, channel relationships and overall performance improvement.

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LoyaltyStream Key Features

  • 21 loyalty campaign types to suit every business
  • Options to deploy gamification campaigns such as Spin-To-Win and Prize Draws as well as Badges
  • Ability to track and reward all behaviours from transactions to actions
  • In-depth visual analytics and insights on Campaigns, Members, actions and transactions
  • Customisable CRM and segmentation options to suit your Member profile
  • Scalable modular SaaS platform that can grow with your business

 

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+44 (0)1844 208180

contact@streamloyalty.com

Carter House, Chilton Business Centre, Chilton, Buckinghamshire, HP18 9LS

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