Marvel is an iconic company, a truly multimedia brand that includes games, films, TV, books, comics, and live shows. Founded in 1939 as Timely Publications, Marvel’s unprecedented film success has changed the industry.

But, until last year, Marvel didn’t have a loyalty program and until it partnered with CrowdTwist.

Julie Gerola, vice president & general manager for digital marketing & operations, Marvel, Emily Rudin, chief customer officer at CrowdTwist, talked about how Marvel’s new loyalty program is charged by customer engagement during their session, “How Marvel Drives Loyalty with Points for Engagement,” on Tuesday at the 10th annual Loyalty Expo.

“We have an avid, lifelong, devoted fan base with incredible reach,” Gerola said. “We wanted to connect our community digitally and across different business units and evolve how we engage with our loyal fans and customers.”

Powered by CrowdTwist, the Marvel Insider loyalty program launched eight months ago and has seen great success.

“We’re eight months in and exceeded our yearlong goal for membership and engagement,” Gerola said. “The sauce for us is keeping our members engaged.”

Allowing Marvel fans to be rewarded for their customer engagement is the centerpiece of the new loyalty program. Marvel fans can join the all-new Marvel Insider loyalty program for free and start earning points for connecting, sharing, watching, and more.

Marvel fans can create their Marvel Insider accounts, earn points across various Marvel channels, and receive incredible Marvel rewards such as best-selling digital comics, amazing collectibles, and unforgettable experiences. To register, fans can go to: Marvel.com/insider

Gerola said Marvel wanted to know who its customers are, what’s important to them, and how to effectively engage with them?

Why Marvel started the loyalty program?

To interact with and engage its customers in the latest content

To facilitate discovery and connect fans to what they truly love

To unlock insights into key behaviors across promotional programs

To collect first-party data about its fans so we can personalize their experience

“We focus on our own DNA because we do have passionate fans,” Gerola said.

Marvel Insider rewards customers for engagement. The program rewards fans with points for a range of activities across channels, including: making a digital comic purchase; checking out the latest original content on Marvel.com; interacting on social; and downloading and engaging with Marvel mobile games.

How does Marvel acquire members?

Special events (ComicCon)

Mobile games

Marvel.com

Publishing

How does Marvel keep members engaged?

With 70-plus engagement activities (refreshed each month), including:

Promoting multiple properties, channels, and activities

Tying in to new releases like Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Urging members forward with Tiers

Becoming a “True Believer”

Promoting one-of-a-kind rewards

Those activities include:

Connect on Social

Refer to Friends

Participate in surveys

Check out the latest news at Marvel

Listen to a podcast

Watch trailers and videos

Purchase comics

Make a purchase at the Digital Comics Shop

Check-in at a Comic Book Store

Rewards include: Social packs, digital wallpapers, digital comics, digital comics selection, in-game credits, membership to Marvel unlimited, collectibles, and “Money Can’t Buy” experiences.

“People are redeeming social packs,” Gerola said. “They see value in something that doesn’t have a monetary assignment. What people want to be showcasing is their love of the characters. Marvel is about story-telling. We’re not just comic book lovers. We’re constantly learning along this journey with Insider.”

After just eight months, Rudin told attendees that she is very excited about the real learnings that can be gleaned from it. Collecting data from customer online profiles helps understand and personalize offerings.

Rudin said “tens of thousands” new members are joining the Marvel Insider loyalty program each week.
What’s more, Insiders are three times more likely to complete registration than non-members who subscribe to the website; 78 percent of program members are completing actions beyond registration; program members are more active and spend more money in mobile games than non-members.

Marvel Insider’s benchmark rates are incredibly high, Rudin noted.

“The power of the program is phenomenal,” Rudin said.

Rudin offered some loyalty program best practices:

Test & Learns: Pilot tactics with one channel or audience and build and optimize based on the results.

Create Personalized Customer Experiences:
Leverage customer data to personalize the brand experience and content for fans/customers.

Surprise & Delight:
Offer rewards that are truly unique to your brand, make your customers feel valued and provide access to something special.

What’s next?

Gerola said the key priorities moving forward are: Personalized rewards and incentives; greater promotion of the program; and continuing to build the Marvel community.

Presented by Loyalty360 – Association for Customer Loyalty, Loyalty Expo has earned the reputation of being one of the industry’s premier events.

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