Tata group firms to launch common loyalty plan

03 Feb,2012

By Sagar Malviya


Tata Group’s consumer-centric firms including Taj Hotels, Croma and Westside will soon initiate cross-marketing activities such as promotions and campaigns by sharing customer database and insights.


“What we plan to do is leverage different databases and provide more value to the customers,” says Akash Sahai, managing director, AIMIA India, a joint venture between Tata Capital and Canadian firm AIMIA (formerly Groupe Aeroplan) that will launch a common loyalty card for clients within and outside Tata Group.


“For instance, we are using the database of Taj Hotels to give its customers additional promotions at Tata’s department store Westside,” he says. “Similarly, consumers could use Tata Capital card at Westside and Croma for added benefits and finance schemes.” Most Tata Group companies have been working together in legal, real estate sourcing and IT services among other administrative work, but the conglomerate so far did not have a common customer relationship management (CRM) programme for its half a dozen consumer-centric companies spanning retail, consumer goods, hospitality, financial services and telecom segments.


AIMIA has started managing Taj Group’s customer relationships and will soon include other consumer firms of the group to create a unified CRM programme.


Customer service is clearly emerging as a differentiator for consumer-centric companies as competition increases and consumers become more empowered.


Several global multi-partner loyalty operators have set their sights on the Indian market, valued roughly around $1 billion.


While Tatas roped in AIMIA last year, another Canadian firm, LoyaltyOne, has acquired a stake in local firm Directions. Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, the country’s largest retailer, is partnering German loyalty management firm Payback.


Penetration of loyalty cards in India is just 42% of organized retail consumers with an average of 2.8 cards for each person compared to 74% penetration at an average of 3.8 cards for each consumer in the US.


LoyaltyOne Chief Marketing Officer Rathin Lahiri says loyalty programmes will help marketers leverage consumer insights for developing customised programs. “That will not just impact the way that consumers respond to their brands, but also in the long term will shape their buying patterns,” he says.


AIMIA will launch its multi-party loyalty card later this year. Apart from Tata Group firms, it is in talks with several non-competing brands in the aviation, petrol retailing and financial services space to launch a loyalty card to be used across companies.



Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2012, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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