Go Back Buyer's Guide to Enterprise Loyalty

Loyalty Landscape: Types of Providers

What loyalty program types are available on the market? Dive into the pros and cons of both pure-play loyalty providers and managed services providers.

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There are two main types of vendors on the market to evaluate: pure-play loyalty platform providers and loyalty managed services providers.

1. Pure-Play Loyalty Platform Providers

This type of vendor offers businesses the technology to build and control their custom loyalty program. The vendor will support with framework establishment, program logic, implementation, strategic guidance, and analytics, but the business is able to identify, track, and engage customers via their program at any time without the need for the vendor’s assistance.

The following are characteristics of a pure-play loyalty provider:

  • Business has ownership and control over their own program
  • Sophisticated loyalty engine
  • Extended consumer data integrations
  • Strategic account management
  • Direct solution integrations, including SMS and email marketing
  • Easy and fast user adoption
  • Quick to launch and bring to market
  • Wide variety of pre-built transactional reward options, including points accrual, experience perks, and redemption templates
  • Wide variety of pre-built rewards for engagement, including rewards for leaving reviews, reading content, social follows, and more

Pros: Control over the program, ability to make agile decisions, access to customer data for applications beyond loyalty, quick to launch, pre-built reward options, custom-build capabilities

Cons: Requires time by ongoing, in-house management, requires existing CRM & CDP

2. Loyalty Management Service Providers

These vendors provide loyalty-specific consulting to assist businesses by conducting market research, developing strategies, building and managing programs, measuring performance, and offering support. Most loyalty management service providers will partner with a loyalty technology platform to execute the program build, but some agencies have the ability to develop custom loyalty solutions for clients.

The following are characteristics of a loyalty management service provider:

  • Complete management of program execution and management
  • Changes and updates to program require discussions, decision tables, and approval
  • Services bundle on top of a set of technologies
  • Highly complex rule sets for personalization
  • Granular campaign segmentation
  • Owns proprietary consumer data assets for prospecting and analytics

Pros: Hands-off program launch and ongoing management, less in-house resources required

Cons: Lack of program access, agency controls program, no customer data for solutions beyond loyalty, less ability to be agile