Audio Transcript

Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas for loyalty specialists around the world. This episode is brought to you by Collinson, worldwide leaders in loyalty, creating and orchestrating loyalty initiatives and programs for some of the world’s biggest brands in travel retail and financial services. Doing it globally for over 30 years, want to know more, go to concent group.com.
51s
1

Welcome to episode 1 55 of let’s talk loyalty as October draws to a close I’m back talking with Dr. Najib Ben kether divisional senior vice president of Emirates airline with responsibility for skywards the loyalty program that I get the most opportunity to use on a personal basis. So as you can imagine, it’s even more fascinating for me professionally. The Jeep wants a guest on the show once before, which was just two weeks before the world went into lockdown in early 20, 20 as the global pandemic took hold. So I was fascinated to get insights on how skywards has used these last 18 months, how their membership and engagement levels were affected.
1m 39s
1

And also of course, talk about the new paid loyalty proposition that has been added to the program known as skywards plus, I hope you guys enjoy my second recording with sky roads from Emirates airline here in Dubai. So welcome back to the show doctrine and G Ben, Heather, how are you doing today? Good, good
2m 3s
2

Paula. And congratulations for reaching now. 150 podcasts.
2m 7s
1

Oh, thank you. A actually I was looking back and your show was episode number 25. So we initially recorded. Yes. And it was what you believe two weeks literally before the world went into lockdown. So I don’t think we had any idea how dramatic the changes would be in the time. Yeah, we have a lot to talk about, and also I will congratulate you because you are in my top 10. In fact, you are my, my seventh most listened to episode over the whole two years.
2m 39s
2

Okay. We’ll try to beat that in this time.
2m 41s
1

I think we need to get into the top five, at least in the GDPR. So listen, get straight into it. Tell us your, your latest favorite loyalty statistic Najib.
2m 54s
2

Well, Paul, I think last time I talked about engagement in general, I talked about, you know, flight active and program active numbers, being some of the stats that we track, obviously given the pandemic Trudy partner active has been top of our mind. It was very important for us to talk, whether members stayed engaged with the program. So we continue to track that and watch it. And, and no surprise. We’ve seen the number of partner active solely acts, meaning people who have not flown into us, but just had a transaction with our partner is earned with spend nearly double in terms of percentages. So we went from about 17% that were solely partner actives to about 33% that were solely partner active.
3m 38s
2

Wow. But I would like to bring up something that, that became our focus in the past year or so, you know, with the technology, providing us with, with the possibility for us to track these numbers, but more and more we want, we, we, we talk about digital engagement and in particular, we look at a number of stats around logged-in members. As, as, as you know, we do a lot of offers when people are coming on our website in path. So it’s important for us, for people to log in. So we, we track how many people log in. And then on the, on the email side, we look at, at open rates and lately we have done a lot in terms of personalization and nearly doubled the open rate for what, for the monthly digest we send to our members, but they can get a bit more personalized.
4m 29s
2

We have about 86 variance of emails that go to members based on their tier, the number of miles, they have their account that engagement with our partners. So that has helped really double the number of open rates we have on these types of emails. But the one that is really I’d say translates to actual revenue numbers is, is the conversion rate. So the look to book ratio that we have for members versus non-members, and I think provides an idea to the rest of our constituents and stakeholders of how important loyalty is for, for, for Emirates and the conversion rate.
5m 12s
2

Just to give you an idea for sky members versus non scours members is about four to five times higher. And we track that again to, to again, provide some, some idea around, around the level of engagement of our members when it comes to really the time of purchase. So that’s, that’s the one stat you have for you. And one that, that we are really focused on and we’re doing a lot, as I mentioned in path and also a lot to incentivize members to log in and then to be able to track their behavior when they’re there on the website. Wow.
5m 47s
1

Well, listen to G I mean, there’s so many things I want to pick up on and what you’ve said. So, I mean, I do remember in our last conversation you had just come out of like a four year digital transformation. So it was almost like all of the pieces of the puzzle were in place. And now it’s just a case of testing and refining. And I think we’re both equally fans of testing. You’ve mentioned it so many times, but the open rate, doubling the open rate on an email, I that’s extremely difficult to do. Can you tell us any specifics or is that, is that possible to share what kind of open rates now you’re actually achieving?
6m 25s
2

Yeah, we’re close to 30% now. And I would say even that, that 30% that we’re reaching now, the latest version of emails we’re providing is more than three, three acts, actually not even two X, two X was the average since we’ve started this whole personalization. So that’s, that’s really a, a very good rate and shows a level of engagement. As you mentioned, we do a lot of tests and learn, we see what works and what doesn’t work, and obviously try to, you know, fine tune that as we go, but they mentioned 86 variants of emails, probably at some point it will be even more as well, you know, when you add languages and, and other, other, other parameters that you would be using.
7m 9s
2

Yeah. So, yeah,
7m 10s
1

Well, yeah. I mean, when I think about the one email, I send out to my, as subscribers Najib every week and I don’t even get to get into variations obviously as just a solo person, but 86 variations. And I’ll have to go and check my open rate, but thank you for sharing that in a G, because I think it’s wonderful to hear two X and three X, but sometimes it’s even more useful to have a number like a 30% open rate, you know, I think we can, we can all aspire to, to, to match with what you’re achieving. Yeah.
7m 40s
2

Wow. Thank you, Paula. I just want to, I mean, on personalization in particular, because this is, this is truly, you know, there’s a lot of debate around like, you know, all the investment we do on personalization, if it’s bearing some fruit, I mean, this is a good example in a recent survey that I’ve seen through the, you ask members and personalization is very important, you know, for, for members. So it is, it is, it’s important for us to just, you know, jump on the bandwagon is part of the transformation that we started as you mentioned four years ago. And now we’re seeing all bearing fruit. This work’s been done obviously in close partnership with our marketing department leveraging some of the, the tools that they have put in place.
8m 20s
1

Yeah, yeah, no, I, if anything, Emirates has an extraordinary marketing team, so something I know you guys are extremely proud of, and it’s amazing to hear that. So, so phenomenal. So I guess the most obvious question then Naji Brealey I suppose, just because of the industry and the airline industry, we’re obviously now in October, 2021, as I said, it was March, 2020, so we almost have a before and after with the pandemic and, and clearly, you know, like everywhere else to buy had a lockdown, but I I’ve often said, you know, history, I think will show that Dubai had the most extraordinary management with only six weeks of lockdown.
9m 0s
1

Like we’ve been lucky.
9m 2s
2

Yeah. Yeah. I can only agree. And we’ve seen it in our numbers as well, a polar here, in terms of, of the UAE, you know, one, one item I could provide is, you know, our relationship with Dubai mall. So I look at, I would say, you know, immediately after the, the lockdown, of course, all the health measures were put in place or generic measures, but people went back and, and, and, you know, physically actually been in the mall. If I look at our engagement in the mall for our members, our numbers, you know, after the lockdown actually started even beating the pre COVID numbers, we had more transactions from members and more spanned than, than, than, than people with.
9m 50s
2

So it’s one, one of the partners that has performed extremely well. And to see that retail in general, when people were not flying all our activities on the retail side have actually worked very well as well for us.
10m 3s
1

Yeah. Yeah. So would you say that’s probably the biggest change in a G because I know there’s a very clear positioning that skywards is no longer just a, you know, an airline loyalty program and very much the lifestyle program obviously fly Dubai is part of the family as well. So, so what other changes would you have seen coming through in the last 18 months?
10m 27s
2

So, so one statistics may be to, to, to reflect that we were, I say, lucky that we have engaged this whole transformation, as you mentioned, from an FFP into a lifestyle loyalty is the fact that during this pandemic in, in, in last year, the earn on flights versus the earn on partners has really just swung overnight. So basically from a 70 30, w w w E on flights versus partner, it became 30, 70. So 70% of the miles were earned during the financial year of 2020 on w w we’re aren’t on partners.
11m 10s
2

But again, you know, that, that the, the preparation that we’ve done, not, not that we knew that, that something like this would hit us, but just all the work that we’ve done actually allowed us to have that level of engagement during a time where it was, well, you know, where, where nearly we had the, through an operation shut, shut down from an airline perspective. Obviously we rebuilt since then, but, you know, for, for a few months, it was very difficult to, to get people to fly, obviously, except for, for some emergency flights. So, yeah, so, so that took place, and during the pandemic itself, we’ve accelerated the onboarding of a number of partners.
11m 53s
2

So we continued on that. We also, we had it obviously in our plans, but for example, scours minds mall, which, which works on, you know, providing people with access to two e-commerce sites and getting them to advise on e-commerce sites, you know, we’ve accelerated that and implemented it during the, the COVID time we implemented the UK us in, in July 20, 20, and more recently the UAE in April 21. So the pandemic offered us truly a good, a good, a good business case for us to, to push for this, especially with the rise of e-commerce
12m 34s
1

Sure yet. Yeah. It almost, you know, in some ways, from an operational perspective, I guess it just gave you the breathing space to say, okay, what are the other priorities alongside the, the airline sides to build the lifestyle side?
12m 48s
2

Yes, absolutely.
12m 49s
1

Yep. Yeah. Yeah. And I was just looking at the, the sky where it small just before we came on the Jeep. So certainly from a UAE perspective, very happy to see una us and some other brilliant regional brands in there. So yeah, we should say, just acknowledge our friends in Collinson. I know that they supported you with, with developing that whole proposition.
13m 8s
2

Yes, absolutely. I think quick, we wouldn’t have been able to onboard nearly 2000 partners, you know, across these three geographies, if it were not working with, you know, with a platform like Collins and, you know, and, and, and, and, and although that’s really to scale scale very rapidly in these three markets, by the way, these three markets, total 9 million members for us. So it was very important for us to be able to, to reach them at a time where they were again, not flying at the time where e-commerce was on the rise and the scours, my small really proposition is around reaching out, you know, the, some of the big brands in the UK, like John Lewis, Selfridges Harrods, or on the U S like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and here, as you mentioned for the UAE brands, like owners would choose or west Elm or, or, or shut up DJ.
14m 4s
2

So yeah, absolutely. I think it is a good way for us to engage our members and then to a little bit on this e-commerce wave
14m 14s
1

And you’re totally right. Energy. I think the affiliate model has been around, you know, as a cashback bottle, I think mainly for certainly 20 years that I’ve been working in, in travel. So I know you and I both go back a long way in achieve in our travel and airline careers, but, but yes, I think the cashback piece never had the loyalty angle, never got that sense of connection. I think that, that you can do with, you know, under the brand of skywards miles and skywards mall. I just think it’s a, it’s a very clever strategy. And as you said, another huge piece of the puzzle through a very difficult time
14m 51s
2

Exactly. This, this basically compliments what we do on retail in general, and on the brick and mortar side, I just mentioned Dubai mall. You probably know also about what we do with the Buster village in about 11 global locations now. And what we do
15m 5s
1

With was every day on as well, where we engage with about 1500 and mortar retail here in the, in the UAE. So yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s again, pieces of the puzzle coming together in some way. So brilliant, brilliant. Yeah. And I noticed the lovely thing that you have on your LinkedIn profile and the Jeep as well, which I’m guessing might be even pre COVID, but you can then help me understand this, but you literally explain that obviously you’re leading the loyalty program, but it was elevated instead of being a business unit previously, certainly when I was with Emirates, it’s now an entire division within Emirates. So when did dash actually repositioning happen, new Jeep,
15m 45s
2

Just pre COVID, as we were reaching three years in our transform mission and, and putting together our ambition plan going forward, we have, you know, specific targets that we put on ourselves for to reach by financial year 25, 26, by then we would have gone through 10 years of transformation. I think there was a, an, an awareness, I think, among, among the management, that this is a piece of the business that they wanted to invest in. And obviously there is growth in what we we’re doing, and then the impact of loyalty in general. I think we tried to convince everybody that all, everything we’re doing around partnerships is actually bringing back value to the airline in some way or fashion, because we’re bringing in maybe a new audience, you know, you’ve seen, for example, the launch that we’ve done in the U S with built, which is a renters program in the us, this whole idea was there to, to, to address the millennial segment.
16m 40s
2

And yeah, so, you know, I think there is an awareness that, that the program can do even more moving from an FFP to a lifestyle. And therefore, I think it was a, it was a, it was a token of appreciation, wonderful and particular, allowing us a bit more empowerment in terms of making the strategy, implement the strategy.
17m 0s
1

Yeah. But I think it’s a great message for loyalty professionals that listen to this show in a Jeep, because, you know, we’ve talked about, you know, there is hope because like, if the duke has done it, everybody can do it. So,
17m 15s
2

Yeah,
17m 16s
1

For sure. Yeah. I think it’s important that you, because, and I know we talked about this the last time that we were together, because I felt, you know, in my own time, you know, running programs operationally that there was often a lot of resistance from maybe finance people in terms of exactly, you know, why are we investing in this asset? You know, is it, is it really giving us the returns? So clearly an airline like Emirates is not going to elevate their entire loyalty program to a business division unless those profits are coming through. So I just love to hear stories like that. It’s, it’s very important for the,
17m 54s
2

I want to stress the fact that obviously, you know, this is a, a good margin business. It’s a there’s profit associated with, with everything we’re doing in terms of selling miles. That obviously is one of the KPIs we follow. And it’s, it’s a way for us to reinvest in the program as well, but ultimately truly it’s, you know, the main KPI is bringing more people to fly with Emirates, of course, and we’re doing that. And then when I mentioned earlier conversion to be a very important KPI conversion is about getting people to come to the website who are, you know, again, who are engaged with the program and then to getting them to book ultimately, and doing and using incentives when they are on the website and, and personalized incentives to get them to book.
18m 38s
2

And ultimately that type of KPI federates everybody. So it’s, it’s not, it’s not something that is purely a skywards piece that I think everybody understands within the commercial organization, within finance with it. If we do something around that, and we prove the value of loyalty, then, then the business case is, is done. And then I think you have, you have support from finance. You have support from marketing and you have support from legal. We can be a nightmare for a lot of our stakeholders because we push, we push a lot. I mean, especially I have, I have a thought for our, our, our legal department in particular, with the number of partnerships we’re doing.
19m 19s
2

Every one of them, they have to go and work with us to make these things happen. Clearly, one thing we’ve done Paula is that really, we put a PMO function in place that is very help us prioritize through the initiatives. We started the year, believe it or not with about 180 initiatives, we have really narrowed that down to about, let’s say, 20, I think 2017, we ended up with, and that whole work required to us certain discipline. So there was no lack of ideas, but, you know, we understand the bandwidth that we have to work with, and it’s very important for us to, to manage things properly.
20m 1s
1

Okay. So your advice sounds like do less and do it obviously then you’ve got more capacity for excellence, I guess when you’re focused on fewer.
20m 9s
2

Exactly. Exact and, and on this as well. I think, I think a lot of fuss, like the new stuff it’s it’s the reality is, is, is, yeah, that’s very exciting. And I know for, for, for our team, it’s a, it’s a very motivating, but I, them, everybody, and my team I think is, is, you know, agree with me on this. So we need to sweat the existing assets as well. So, you know, if we have a relationship that’s been established with our partners, it’s important to go and do the best in terms of driving more with these partners, you know, so you have to find the right balance between the new and then the existing and trying to grow the existing as well.
20m 51s
2

So
20m 52s
1

That’s true. Yeah. And, and one, we, I don’t think mentioned even last time to G but I am a huge fan of, so we’ve already talked about Dubai mall and I was there this morning. So again, delighted with that one of course. Yeah,
21m 6s
2

Of course
21m 7s
1

All done all done, but the other one I love that you did. And I think it’s a couple of years old as well in the G, but it’s the Dubai duty-free partnership. So is that one, I’m sure that’s growing phenomenally as well for you.
21m 19s
2

Yeah, it worked well again during the pandemic, obviously not a lot of activity at the, at the airport, but now things are booming against, so we will see more engagement there. But if I look at pre COVID levels, Dubai duty-free was really a very good redemption channel. It works well with our lifestyle retail, but it’s also tied back to travel. And then what we’ve seen there is very interesting is that for example, we, you know, our, our India based members use a lot Dubai duty free for redemption because, you know, the flights are pretty full out of India and they’re going to be even more now that we have don’t have the sense that the number of the frequency that, that we used to at least for, for, for now, as we are ramping up, this is a way for them to again, to, to use their miles.
22m 13s
2

And we’ve seen a big, a big engagement with Dubai duty free from our India base. So
22m 20s
1

Wonderful. Okay. It’s good to know. Great, great. Talk to me a bit just then about overall numbers in the G have you managed to grow the overall membership of skywards given, as we said, there’s been them, you know, such limitations in terms of the ability to fly.
22m 35s
2

Yeah. Now of course not at the same pace we used to, to grow is used to grow at around the 15, 16% a year since we started the transformation. And we have now reached nearly 28 million members. And, and so that’s, that’s lower growth from, from before. I think the last time we talked were about 27 million. So we added about a million during the pandemic. Now, very interesting is during the pandemic, because a lot of people who were flying were flying also with us for the first time, because, you know, they, again, we were one of the few, few airlines that were flying on, on certain flows that offered us really an opportunity for us to acquire new members.
23m 21s
2

And we did. So we made it much easier. Now, a few QR codes at the airports check-in for anybody to be able to just, you know, scan the QR code and then, and then be able in a couple of, you know, touches to yeah. A few steps to, to, to enroll. So was doing a lot at the airport at touchpoints and through partners as well. So that’s been a good acquisition play for us.
23m 50s
1

And I guess one of the biggest things that you’ve done as well in recent months, I believe it’s about two months old now, but tell us about skywards plus you launched a
24m 1s
2

Yeah. I mean, you can, I think, I think the jury is out to call it or not a paid loyalty program, because I think of it as something that really, as an add on to our existing loyalty program with, with, you know, with the, with the different tiers that we have based on, on your travel activity, obviously, and the tier miles that you’re acquiring by land, we thought, you know, thought about the different tiers and see, can we overlay the existing program with something else that could bring value to our members. So for your blue members, for example, with the, with the basic program, basic scours plus offering, we’re allowing them to have certain benefits or privileges, you know, go, you know, like a lounge access or extra baggage allowance.
24m 51s
2

So that is much more catered to them on top of the, the, the bonus miles that they would receive. And then the discounted upgrade that they would get. And then for the higher tier members who are truly wanting to retain their tier status, we offering more of the premium package that, that allows you to have 20% more tier miles on every flight you fly and therefore making it easier for you to retain your tier. So it’s very interesting, but 50% of the, of the people who have subscribed are actually silver on a boat, and they’re seeing value on top of the benefits that they’re receiving today by, by, by, by, by subscribing to two scours plus.
25m 37s
2

Now, you know, again, we’re, we’re ramping up as an airline and hopefully we’ll see much more traction around this program. Yeah. I mean, there is there’s, I think there’s, there’s literature around, around the people being much more engaged when they’re in, when they’re subscribing to a program and, and paying for it, we are somewhat in-between where we’re just say, you know, we keep the structure that we have today. We’re not selling the tiers per se, but we’re overlaying this with additional benefits that, that people can take. I can tell you from, from, from a benefit perspective, the one piece that we’ve seen has the biggest consumption is the discounted, the upgrades that continues to be in general upgrades continue to be the most attractive way for people to redeem their minds.
26m 31s
2

And then for us providing the 20% discount has, has made it even more attractive. And we see again, that involved members see value in, in, in both the, the, the, the discounted upgrades and on tyramine bonuses, the theater CV.
26m 46s
1

Yes. Yeah, yeah. And I know, so that’s a benefit that I think he gets said once a year, if I’m correct with the, with the program. So I love the idea, for example, of doing that when you’re taking maybe the big, say family holiday again. Yeah. That’s the thing when you get the most impact. So rather than using it, maybe just for my individual flights, that’s still, when there’s four people going. So we each get our 20%. Yeah. Great, great. Yeah. And you’re right, absolutely. In a Jeep, first of all, the jury’s out on, you know, is there such a thing as a paid loyalty program and, and while qualifies and how do we distinguish between a business model, a loyalty program.
27m 26s
1

And obviously we’re, we’re going to keep the, the core loyalty programs, but adding in these new propositions, I think is very important. Yeah. Yeah. But I will quote actually the, the M statistic, which I know we talked about all fair ourselves, which I’ll make sure to link to in the show notes for people, because there’s just so much appetite around paid loyalty in general. And I was really impressed. I came across one, a statistic from McKinsey, which I’m sure everybody knows that the consulting firm and they quoted that. And this is 2020 figures. In fact, that, you know, essentially members of paid loyalty programs are 60% more likely to spend on the brand after paying to subscribe.
28m 6s
1

Whereas a free loyalty program only increases the likelihood of increased band by 30%. It’s absolutely extraordinary.
28m 13s
2

Interesting. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Much more engaged people. I think when they, when, when they pay for it. I mean, obviously for us also the, the, the, you know, people are actually subscribing most of the benefits, if not, all of them are related to flying. And therefore it’s a good indication that, that, that people, that, that, that, you know, people are going back and flying and so people are subscribing. It means that there is, it’s a positive sign, I think. Yeah.
28m 44s
1

W well, again, definitely one the next time you’re on the show in a Jeep, I’ll definitely be making sure to reference it again, because I know you’re in soft launch phase still. I think very much at the moment.
28m 54s
2

Yeah, exactly, exactly what fine tuning, as you mentioned earlier, test and learn is important for us. So we’re, we’re learning from this. We, we did a first one, I think it was a year and a half ago when we started this week, we tried it a bit with only one proposal. This time we went with three packages based on all the information we received or, you know, the insights we gained from that, that testing phase. Now we’re going to go through this and also learn from it and see how to fine tune it, add maybe more benefits to members, so that over time, and then, and then see how it works going forward, but so far so good.
29m 34s
2

And then we’re seeing good, good traction.
29m 37s
1

Great, great. Yeah. And I’m sure there’s market specific pricing as well. That has to be considered eventually,
29m 43s
2

Eventually as well. We will, we will. Absolutely. Absolutely.
29m 47s
1

And not everyone can afford in every country the same. So I guess the same way, airfares vary by point of origin. So yeah. Super.
29m 55s
2

Yeah. We have that level of sophistications. Absolutely. Yeah.
29m 58s
1

Great. Tell us also then I love that. I think I said to you, the, the points.com partnership, I found myself doing the mathematics and working out exactly when there was a fabulous offer, came into me with a 40% discounts to buy more Skyward smiles. So I was very excited. Yeah. I did do a lot of calculations to work it out, but tell us, how’s that going for you
30m 23s
2

Extremely well. And once again, you know, we made, we made the, we made the decision when we started this whole transformation four years ago, that we will find the right partners to work with, to scale the program. So we don’t have to invent everything if something has been done somewhere, we should just learn from it and work with, with the best out there to just go and do it. I think you mentioned Collins on four for the scours machismo four points and, and the work we’re doing with them. You know, if, if I compare where we were from, from this whole mind retailing piece, before we engaged with them, and now, now, as in pre COVID, we, we multiplied by three, the, the number of miles that, that were retail retail doesn’t either sold or transferred, or, you know, one, one of the, one, one of the products that we have with points.com, as a matter of fact, during the pandemic, if I compare during the pandemic to five years ago, when we didn’t have this relationship, or even four years ago, when we didn’t have the relationship with, with points, it was 60% higher than, than, than, you know, when, when, when we didn’t have this relationship.
31m 34s
2

So I can only say that this whole work with, with points has helped us a lot in particular. I think what we found very interesting, we work together and with our marketing department, in terms of putting some campaigns, you’ve seen them yourself, you refer to them, Paula, these are targeted campaigns that we do on a monthly basis. You you’ve seen I’m sure, multiple types of campaigns. We try to personalize them also. And then we’re, we’re, we’re using different variants and we’re, again, points our marketing department and ourselves are learning from these interactions and obviously seeing where the value is.
32m 17s
2

But I can say that the feedback from the members is excellent. It shows in the numbers, as I mentioned, even during pandemic, we did 60% higher than, than when we had a, more of a stale proposition before, before in 2014. Yeah.
32m 36s
1

And I think pop parts is the genius around that whole proposition, as you alluded to is the level of control. Being able to turn it on, turn it off and have that level of flexibility. So it adds urgency as well. I think for somebody like me, who’s a member.
32m 54s
2

Yeah. And I think also that the work that we would be doing in path as well, when people are looking for upgrades, et cetera, and they are either don’t have the, the, the number of mines required. This is the best time to put an offer in front of them to convert them as we go. And this is, you know, we get smarter as we go and trying to understand a bit more the intent and, and be able to put the right offers in front of the right members.
33m 16s
1

Yeah. I love that in path piece. And I know anybody who’s in the world of e-commerce, which obviously you are, you know, putting it literally like the right solution when the pain is literally just, you know, becoming visible to the person, you know, at that point is, is very clever stuff. So, and, and very difficult technically in my experience. Yeah.
33m 36s
2

Yeah. It is difficult. Technically now I brought that concept with me when I, I don’t know, I’ve managed online travel agents a few years back, about 10 years ago. And we were, we were all, you know, we’re doing a lot of AB testing. We were doing a lot in terms of, of, of conversion and in particular, a lot of work on the impact piece as well. It’s very, very difficult with, with artificial intelligence today. And this is really where our focus is in the next year or so is to try to go beyond just doing, you know, which has discreet offers to be, to make it, to make it a bit more dynamic and to understand truly the intent of the, the, the, the member who’s visiting, and to be able to understand, again, his background, her background, and then be able to put the right offer in front of them.
34m 29s
2

So, yeah. You know, when you visit what type of, you know, flights you’re looking for cabin, et cetera, based also on your profile, we’ll be able to offer you something that’s, that’s very, very targeted to you.
34m 45s
1

Yeah. Yeah, no, and I’ve noticed it obviously, like anytime I go, you know, so regularly and, you know, check my various destinations that I aspire to go to, and just to get a sense on flights and timings and pricing and all of that kind of research, you know, obviously immediately the, the offer comes through with the reminder, you know, to make sure, you know, once a travel to Dublin holdup.
35m 5s
2

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. There’s a lot of work around abandoned carts that we’re doing as well, both on the retailing piece, but also on the flights piece as well. We’ll be able to target back numbers as well. Yeah.
35m 21s
1

Yeah. It’s, it’s almost like as loyalty managers now we do need to be e-commerce experts as well. Very much to understand this, you know, the abandoned shopping carts. I remember from my time, years ago and Ebookers, you know, it is, it’s a significant issue online.
35m 37s
2

Absolutely.
35m 38s
1

The other piece that I know is, is great to have back the G, but again, a global audience might be as familiar with it, but the whole M skywards exclusives. So leveraging all of the Emirates sponsorship assets. And particularly now, again, when people I think are excited to get back into the real world to get to conferences and get to sporting events. So tell us all about the, the sky what’s exclusive proposition. I love it.
36m 4s
2

Yeah, it is again, one, I mean, I, for us, it’s a way also to gamify the, the engagement with our, with our members, especially the auction part or the bidding part, I think where we found it was something that the members liked, you know, this is, this is in pre pre COVID. We had people bidding, you know, 300, 300,000 miles for, for, for, you know, for the formula one and, you know, 200,000 miles, that’s 20 round trips to London. So, so, so it’s good to see that, that level of engagement. And I know people missed all these events, obviously for, for, for, for a good reason. Now we’re back, as you know, here in Dubai, we’re hosting the ICC mans 20 world cup.
36m 49s
2

We will have, we will have some offerings there. And this is, this is very obviously starts, I think, from 17th of October and then 14th of November. Yeah. And starting at 3000 miles, you can actually buy a ticket to watch around one of, of, of the, of the cricket, but formula one is coming back as well, football with arsenal, with Olympic Lyonnais with the real Madrid, with AC Milan. So we’re, we’re, we’re back in full swing there in terms of, of offering for our members. And as, as I mentioned, it’s something that’s, there was some general admission tickets, and then we have hospitality tickets that usually are put for, for an auction.
37m 40s
2

And we’ve got look at members doing that. It’s very engaging, I think, as an experience as a, if you try it, you know, Paula, you’d see what I’m talking about.
37m 49s
1

I say, I’ve obviously missed the auction piece and maybe just because it’d be no, no events to go to, but then there’s plenty coming up, as you mentioned. And my personal favorite is the, the Emirates airline rugby sevens tournament.
38m 4s
2

Yes. It’s coming. Yes. It’s coming. You will see that as well. And of course, you know, we have tennis as well now coming, so yeah. Yeah. So, and baseball in the U S so, you know, the, all the sports that we sponsor, so we’ll, we’ll be there on all of them being one of them, obviously.
38m 25s
1

Brilliant. Well, I suppose you already mentioned a little about future trends, the Jeep with the artificial intelligence and the increasing interest in personalization, and making sure that that’s, I suppose, relevance piece continues to stay front and center. Anything else that you’re focused on, I suppose, from, you know, a sky was perspective that might be, you know, coming up in the next year or two or any other future trends that you think we as loyalty professionals should, should be thinking about?
38m 58s
2

Well, I mean, a couple of things, maybe a polo that we have started even a pre COVID that we’re trying to find tune and, and, and, and improve on as well. You know, sky was my family. We launched it in 2018. Now we’re reached the bottom million members on that. And then we, in the latest enhancement, we allow the family to pull miles even that not only earned on flights, but also earned on partners as well. This is a good way for us to, you know, we cater a lot to family as Emirates. So it’s important for us to, to, to have an offering like that. We’re also looking at the sky surfer program, which is our kids program, or young flop I a program to try to see how we can enhance that as well.
39m 43s
2

There’s a good segment there with that. We are working on, we’re trying as well. I think you’ve, you’ve seen us also increase the number of conversion partners that we have across. So we’re, we’re, we’re working on that globally. We’re also using some platforms like Sanda and points to make that happen. We’ll be launching a couple actually in, in the next few days that you’ll hear about. So, you know, in general, we continue with, with this high pace of, of, of bringing partners on board of catering to different segments of understanding our members a bit more and doing more on personalization, using technology a bit more as well, and doing more on the, on the digital digital front.
40m 31s
2

But I think, I think it’s truly right now, it’s, you know, back to the basics, we have to help the airlines recover in, in, in any way we can. And, and, and I think that’s our biggest focus is to see how we can, we can make that happen and how we can reward them and members and keep that loyalty that we have earned throughout the years and not let it, let it go, you know, and, and do the right thing for our numbers again. And for our anchor airline. Yeah.
41m 1s
1

Yeah. You’re absolutely right. The G I think what we’ve all learned through these last very difficult months, especially for you guys, is how powerful the loyalty proposition is and the memberships and the, the relationships actually more importantly. So, you know, it drives the stickiness that drives the revenue, and yes, I think your first role is to support the airlines. So they’re very lucky to have you, so, yeah. Right now, anything else that you wanted to mention to G before we wrap up?
41m 31s
2

No, I think that’s it. I think I, I we’ll get to talk to you again down the road, maybe with more stuff happening in the states. So stay tuned.
41m 42s
1

Absolutely. Yeah, no, it’s always super exciting to Jeep and there’s amazing work you’re doing so, and thank you for the opportunity to, to pick your brains, to learn from what’s going on and definitely look forward to even the next one. So the Jeep and Kevin, thank you so much. Let’s talk towards easy. Thank you. This show is sponsored by “The Wise Marketer”, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights and research.
42m 13s
1

The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training, both online and in workshops around the world through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 150 executives in 18 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on Let’s Talk Loyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favorite podcast platform, find “Let’s Talk Loyalty” and subscribe. Now, of course I’d love your feedback and reviews and thanks again for supporting the show.
43m 1s
1