ST. LOUIS – Companies that think implementing rewards programs is enough to gain consumers’ loyalty is enough better think again. Results of a recent poll by Maritz Loyalty Marketing show that despite rewards programs’ benefits for consumers as well as the company offering the program, consumers’ preference for types of rewards varies. The online poll, conducted April 7-9 among 1,205 randomly selected adult participants in the U.S., found that the youngest and wealthiest consumers are the most consistent participants in rewards programs and are more likely than other groups to do business with a company that offers a loyalty program. However the study findings also indicate that these two groups have different rewards preferences. Nearly 89% of consumers age 18-24, 86% of consumers with $75,000-$100,000 in household income, and 86% of consumers with a household income of $100,000 or more said their membership in a rewards program makes them more likely to do business with that company. The most popular rewards programs for those with household incomes of $100,000 or more were airline programs (52%), while the most popular reward programs among consumers age 18-24 were credit card programs (26%). Airlines programs followed at 23%. When asked why they participate in rewards programs, 63% of those in the $100,000 and over household income group said for the free travel; 69% of those age 18-24 said for the discounts. The differences didn’t stop there. The poll also found consumers have different preferences for redeeming rewards online. Consumers under age 35 were more likely to redeem online (62%), than those age 65 and older (35%). Fifty-seven percent of survey participants age 35-64 said they redeem online. The same poll showed that 22% of consumers don’t know all the rules and regulations of the rewards program they participate in very well, 58% understand the program somewhat well, and 19% understand it very well. In addition, 89% of consumers who responded “very well” to knowing all the rules and regulations of a company’s rewards program are more likely to do business with that company. -

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