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More and more loyalty programs are competing for attention, and not just from travel companies. A new survey from iSeatz offers insights into the travel and lifestyle rewards offered by membership-based organizations.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

The travel and lifestyle rewards offered by membership-based organizations like auto clubs, trade groups, wholesale clubs, and retail subscriptions are often overlooked in analyses of loyalty programs. Unlike major consumer brands, membership-based organizations have yet to fully embrace the revenue-boosting and engagement-enhancing potential of compelling loyalty programs. 

In a new report, “The Benefits of Belonging: An Analysis of Membership-Based Organizations, Their Constituents, and Their Loyalty Strategies,” iSeatz details unique trends and issues within the membership sector from both member and organizational perspectives, highlighting the benefits of travel rewards and loyalty platforms in achieving their objectives. 

“Travel demand continues to surge, and the travel distribution market is getting increasingly crowded,” said Kenneth Purcell, founder and CEO of iSeatz. “In addition to airlines and hotels, the last few years have seen an overhaul and influx of travel reward platforms from major banks. More recently, we’re seeing offerings from new entrants into the market from outside the travel and banking industries. Despite the prevalence of travel rewards amongst membership-based organizations, very little research exists about these reward programs. We wanted to better understand the unique needs and priorities for this segment of travelers and consumers and how these organizations are leveraging travel rewards and technology to meet those needs.”

This study, involving 251 professionals from membership organizations and 2,130 consumers in the U.S., was designed to explore and understand membership-based organizations better. By assessing the alignment between consumer demand and loyalty program offerings and identifying improvement opportunities for loyalty and retention, the report aims to guide U.S. membership organizations in enhancing their services and technology.

From the survey findings, iSeatz uncovered various essential themes related to the needs of members and subscribers and the priorities and challenges these organizations face. The survey shows differing priorities for members and organizations versus prior research into broader travel reward programs, highlighting the importance of delivering value, saving money, and recognizing shared interests and values. 

“Although many membership-based organizations currently offer travel rewards, these loyalty programs are rarely points-based, which is a major differentiator from typical travel loyalty programs,” Purcell said. “Other methods for providing value along the customer journey are critical. And that’s just one facet that sets these groups apart. Business objectives identified for these programs by the professionals we surveyed also differed from our previous research on travel loyalty programs. One consistent finding across our recent research was the desire for value and the belief amongst consumers that personalization would drive better value within their reward programs. We also found that members are more engaged and emotionally connected to their membership organizations than typical loyalty programs, so these groups are in a prime position to capitalize on those sentiments if they can provide a travel rewards experience that delivers that value.”

In this report, you’ll also find:

  • Insights into the needs of consumers who are members of U.S.-based clubs, associations, and other private user groups 
  • How member perceptions of value, engagement metrics, and other factors differ by organization type
  • Why a loyalty strategy that reinforces advocacy and social loyalty will be more effective for membership organizations, where member affinity already skews toward emotion 
  • Member sentiment about personalized offers and privacy 
  • Outstanding investment priorities among membership organizations, including the need to develop more effective marketing strategies and build stronger travel booking capabilities 
  • Key challenges and opportunities within the competitive landscape of membership-based organizations

This content was created collaboratively by iSeatz and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX

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Tags: iseatz, loyalty, membership clubs, SkiftX Creative Studio, SkiftX Showcase: Hospitality, SkiftX Showcase: Technology

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