The President of the Air Miles program in Canada recently spoke in Vancouver, suggesting that retailers are missing out on the true benefit of his loyalty program. It's not being able to say "hey, we give you Air Miles so shop here", but rather to build a more intimate relationship with your customers (via data mining):
Retailers missing the point of loyalty reward programs, Air Miles head says - Yahoo! News
VANCOUVER (CP) - Retailers have lost their way and have become too focused on using loyalty reward programs as a currency to attract customers, says the president of Air Miles.
Bryan Pearson says most retailers are neglecting the wealth of shopper data that is collected by the programs that could be used to better market to their customers, which was one of the purposes the program was created in the first place.
"Points are really viewed as discounts or an alternative way to get something extra and that's not a bad thing, but I'm not sure it's sustainable in the long run," Pearson said in an interview Thursday.