For the last 60 years, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has been a leader in the outdoor hospitality industry. KOA consists of two unique companies: Kampgrounds of America Inc. and Terramor Outdoor Resorts. KOA is the world’s largest system of privately-owned, open-to-the-public campgrounds, with 500+ locations across North America. Terramor focuses on delivering a refined and upscale outdoor experience.
Since the brand’s founding, KOA has used customer feedback and data to drive decision-making. Additionally, KOA’s unique position within the hospitality industry required it to build its digital platforms — including the loyalty program — from scratch, since no other program in the industry could meet KOA’s customer needs. To build these platforms, KOA leaned into its customer data to make sure it produced meaningful engagement with its customers.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Diane Eichler, Senior Vice President of Marketing at KOA, about her upcoming presentation at the 2023 Loyalty Expo on collecting and leveraging customer data.
Could you give us a brief overview of your presentation at the 2023 Loyalty Expo?
Eichler: The title of our presentation is “How Kampgrounds of America Takes a Data-Centric Approach to Design Effective Customer Loyalty.” We’ll delve into how we’ve used data over the last 60 years to refine, grow, and present a fee-based membership program to our consumers. As a franchise model, we look at our data in multiple ways, including how it guides our campground operations and growth and impacts and grows loyalty among our franchisees.
Additionally, as we don't fit into a traditional travel model, we've had to grow and customize our loyalty program from the ground up. We'll discuss some of the challenges, opportunities, and wins of using data to do that.
Who do you think would benefit most from your presentation at the conference?
Eichler: There are multiple audiences who will benefit from the presentation. Those interested in rolling out or growing a loyalty program with franchisees or multi-unit operators would find value. It's also important for those wanting to start or grow any fee-based loyalty program.
What are a few key takeaways attendees can expect to learn from your presentation?
Eichler: For over 60 years, we have been using third-party research and data to make many business decisions at KOA, from the brands we partner with to the locations where we place our campgrounds. I want attendees to realize the power that in-depth and varied information and data can give a business and how it can foster brand growth, loyalty, longevity, and emotional loyalty to a brand.