Audio Transcript

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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.co/ let’s talk loyalty.

Hello, and welcome to episode 1 78 of let’s talk loyalty this week. I’m looking back on an interview with an executive from Comarch the well-known loyalty technology platform, and also a great sponsor of our show. Now, as most of you know, I came to the loyalty industry very much from an operational perspective, and generally I haven’t had much insight on the ins and outs of all of the technology options available. So whenever I have the opportunity to talk with a company running large global programs, it’s fascinating to hear their perspective, especially in this case with client companies, including BP Costa coffee, Eddie had airways and Saudi Arabia airways. Joining me on that episode was Sydney Dunn, who at the time was client and business development manager for Comarch in the Americas. It was super exciting to hear about some of the programs they’re involved in both here in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And of course all over the United States, we both agreed how incredibly brave it is for brands to find an opportunity and choose to invest in making a loyalty program as a strategic priority, especially in emerging markets or new industries that may not have invested in loyalty before sit mentioned, one of the highlights of his job is when he could sit in on senior level meetings with C-suite executives and literally be a fly on the wall, listening to what their most interested in when it comes to their customers’ loyalty. Of course, they’re overall interested in the company’s financial performance, but also in global benchmarks and insights on what is happening in different brands with loyalty around the world. Sid noted that there’s never just one important metric to follow even within any one industry or one specific market. And I think that’s probably the reason why I asked so many of my guests, what their favorite loyalty statistic was simply because there are so many out there you can choose to follow. One thing Sydney said that I thought was a great insight, is that even with all of your own internal data or even external analysis from professional advisors or consultants, it’s only when your loyalty service provider actually partners with you as a client, that they can offer lots more insight on how your loyalty program is performing compared to their other clients or other programs that they run. So I guess the key point he was making was the importance of a strong partnership with your program providers. So you can access the expertise they gain from working across markets and across industries. We then talked about some of the newer technology concepts like machine learning and how AI can help companies refine program offers from a deeper understanding of your customer’s behavior. This has always been something I was curious about, but again, I haven’t worked with, but by breaking down just what the data can do to help you as a program manager, make these decisions really highlighted the need for collecting additional customer information and using it in a smart, useful, and practical way. We also discussed social mining because I think that’s where we all realize that every single click is still being monitored and it can be used to benefit the business. And also of course benefit our customers. According to Sydney, surprisingly, millennials are a demographic really willing to give a personal data and they understand the value exchange between the brand and the customer. So once they clearly understand something in it for them, they really do love joining. We also talked about consumer feedback on data collection, especially when a brand is introducing a new program in a new Marcus consumer culture and retail behavior are super important to take into consideration. And Sydney recommended that new propositions should always be tested with real customers to see what will work and what they’ll accept. The final thing we talked about was fraud and the reality of strong criminal interest in the data that we hold within the industry. Sydney reminded us how badly a data hack can really damage customer’s trust, especially if the media gets involved in sharing the story. And that type of publicity can have a really negative effect, not just on one particular brand, but also on the entire loyalty industry. So whether it’s a hack by professionals or an instance of fraud by employees or customers, it’s super important for loyalty managers to continually pay attention and definitely work with your service partners on this key issue of underlying and ongoing concern. So as you can tell, this was a very insightful interview and one that I’d like to invite you to listen to in full it’s episode, number 58 on let’s talk loyalty.com. And finally, I invite you to join me again on Thursday. When this week I’m talking with Eileen McGinnis about the upcoming Irish loyalty summers and the Irish loyalty awards. The show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing news insights and research. The wines marketeer 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 wise market tier.com and loyalty academy.org. 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. Of course, I’d love your feedback and reviews. And thanks again for supporting the show.