Tesco is continuing to ignore calls to slash its Clubcard budget – said to cost the retailer more than £500m a year – with plans to ramp up activity and appoint a second direct agency to work alongside Havas EHS.
The retail giant is reportedly talking to a number of agencies about the strategy, although exact details of its plans are being kept under wraps.
However, last month Tesco did confirm it will roll out a digital wallet later this year, transforming the loyalty scheme into a “connected and multichannel” format that consumers can use via their computers and smartphones.
The review is being spearheaded by Rebecca Pollard, the senior marketing manager of Clubcard development. She is part of the Clubcard operations team responsible for defining and delivering the strategic future direction of the programme in the UK. Pollard’s remit also includes developing new customer propositions and overseeing all customer and data insight.
Havas EHS’ role on the business is not thought to be uder threat; it has worked with Tesco for nearly 20 years, having devised and then launched Clubcard alongside DunnHumby back in the mid-Nineties. Tesco group marketing boss Matt Atkinson was poached from the agency two years ago.
Tesco already works with a number of other agencies, including Arc London, WDMP and Harvest Digital, on other parts of the business; its advertising is handled by Wieden + Kennedy.
The Clubcard scheme holds highly detailed data on 16 million customers, yet according to some estimates only brings in 10% of sales. Some in the City have called on the retailer to rein in spending on the programme.
But Tesco recently pledged to get even more personal in its marketing, maintaining that the loyalty programme is “the glue that brings it all together”.
Group multichannel director Robin Terrell reiterated that Clubcard remains at the heart of all Tesco’s plans. In an update to the City, Terrell said: “When we think of Tesco, we don’t just think of 3,000 stores, we think about the customer. [Clubcard] drives customer loyalty and helps personalise and tailor our offer.”
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