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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 from loyalty specialists around the world.
This episode is brought to you by Epsilon and their award-winning People Cloud loyalty solution.
Personalization should be integrated into the entire customer experience, including your loyalty program. With this in mind, Epsilon recently released a guide outlining six key components that will put you on the path to personalizing the entire loyalty experience.
This guide challenges you to do some housekeeping and reconsider how you think about your current and future loyalty personalization efforts.
So to download your copy of the report, visit epsilon.com/letstalkloyalty.
Welcome to episode 1 68 of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, a short summary of my interview with Pavel Los, the global loyalty program manager for Shell worldwide.
Shell is known all over the world for its fuel stations, and in fact, it’s one of the world’s largest retailers with over 45,000 outlets.
They operate loyalty programs in 21 countries, each tailored to local market needs and maturity.
At the time of our interview, Pavel had already worked with Shell for over 20 years in a variety of roles and to me, he clearly is somebody who loves loyalty, although he admitted that with so many programs and in so many markets, the amount of data they have to deal with can be overwhelming.
One thing I realized about shell is how well respected their loyalty programs are internally, and Pavel was clear that this is because they have been proven to drive customer visits, margin, incremental spend, and brand preference, and even more so during the global pandemic.
As a result, Shell is extremely careful to tailor each country’s loyalty proposition so that it resonates with its local customers.
With this approach, Pavel’s team had just won the Loyalty Magazine Award for three categories, and in the UK, they won the “Loyalty Redefined” award for the new “Go+” program, which was launched to replace the well-known Shell Drivers Club.
Pavel proudly explained that this was the first time they had decided to completely eliminate points and instead Go+ is a scheme that recognizes visits and rewards loyalty with discounts on other things people love, like premium branded food products or coffee or carwash.
So over time it will be incredibly exciting to hear how that new strategy performs.
He also actually believes that the UK is perhaps the world’s most advanced loyalty market, so therefore it needed something revolutionary rather than just evolutionary, so that they could stand out and delight customers.
Another big shift that Pavel highlighted is that Shell’s commercial priority is to reposition itself beyond fuel as a “mobility retailer”, selling everything people need when they’re on the move, not just fuel.
So the Go+ proposition is designed for that broader business vision.
We then discussed Shell’s loyalty strategy in China, another award-winning program, which is quite traditional in its value proposition, but highly innovative in its execution.
As many of you know, the Wechat superapp is the dominant platform for connection between Chinese consumers and brands.
So naturally the Shell program in China has been fully integrated now into that app and Pavel told us this strategy is working really well for the business.
Another main topic was the importance of environmental propositions and the various different initiatives that Shell’s working on to help drivers offset their carbon emissions.
And as you can imagine, this whole area is really growing in popularity.
Finally, we talked through the opportunity, but the complexity of coalition programs and when that model makes sense for a powerful brand like Shell and when it doesn’t.
So for Pavel, it’s all about access to the members.
So do listen to the full episodes where he explains his thinking in more detail.
Last but not least, Pavel shared the KPIs that he and his team monitor as the “subject matter experts” on loyalty within Shell and for me, there were really some important reminders about ensuring contactability, for example, rather than purely registration, which I think is a mistake that plenty of us have made in the past, particularly with privacy regulations becoming increasingly prominent.
That’s it for now.
If you do want to hear my full chat with Pavel Los, it’s episode 53 of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, and then please do join me again on Thursday when I’m talking with a true disruptor – Panera Bread, the brand that to me, invented subscription loyalty in the restaurant sector.
Thanks again for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty and I look forward to talking with you again on Thursday.
This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer -the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news insights and research.
The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 170 executives in 20 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals.
For more information, check out the WiseMarketer.com and Loyalty Academy.org.
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