Audio Transcript

#180: Loyalty Partner Insights from Epsilon’s Tamara Oliverio and Julie Smith (Short Summary Show)
Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and 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.

Paula Thomas

00:00:50
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. Hello, and welcome to episode 180 of Let’s Talk Loyalty. In this week short episode, I’m looking back on an interview with two leading ladies in loyalty, both experts working with our friends in Epsilon, which most of, you know, as an impressive loyalty technology platform that we love working closely with us sponsors of the show.

Paula Thomas

00:01:37
I was joined by Julie Smith, who is the vice-president of technology for Epsilon as well as Tamara Oliviero, who is vice president of loyalty, strategic consulting. Tamara joined Epsilon after roles delivering loyalty programs on the client-side. And she introduced me to the idea of kicking off a marketing program by writing the press release first, then with the headline written the technology capabilities and the overall proposition can be developed to deliver and even exceed the expectations you have set with internal stakeholders in order to delight your customers.

Paula Thomas

00:02:21
I love this idea as it’s a super inspiring way to challenge our thinking and launch any new loyalty strategy or initiative. We then talked about loyalty trends. The ladies were seeing and hearing at the time in the US market, in particular, one centered on brands wanting to reinvent their loyalty strategies in the wake of all the market disruption caused by the pandemic. Epsilon works with lots of leading brands, and many of them are keen to offer more than just rewards and discounts with convenience becoming an increasingly important factor in retail, particularly this includes contactless payments becoming so important and obviously having a strong mobile platform plays a big part in delivering that.

Paula Thomas

00:03:17
Secondly, simplifying the customer’s experience of the point of sale is also really important and something, all retailers are looking to achieve. Julie, who works on the technology side, suggested that brands look to create a connected ecosystem that brings together all of your customer touchpoints, whether on a mobile device on your website, or of course in your store. I, myself very much believe that customers expect that the programs they’re engaging with should understand who we are, what we like and what we want. And of course, that’s regardless of how or where we’re interacting with that branch.

Paula Thomas

00:04:03
It’s also super important for us as loyalty marketeers, to work with our technology partners, to gather insights. Because as you’ve heard me say before on this show, I really think that technology partners have so much real-world experience and usually across lots of different industries so they can identify trends and maybe share some new ideas for you from other industries that you might never have seen before. We also talked about a topic that more and more of us are really interested in, which is emotional loyalty. Tamara shared how data can help us tap into what our customers feel in the moment they’re connecting with our brands and how that insight helps us grow our share of spend and how we can use the insights to support our customers in the future.

Paula Thomas

00:04:59
As well as share of wallet, that we focused on in the past brands are increasingly looking to achieve, share of heart with their customers and given the challenges we all face these days, anything that helps us connect with customers is a powerful way to create the elusive emotional loyalty. The final suggestion from Julie and Tamara was for brands to always design their loyalty journeys from the customer perspective, in particular, to look for insights and surprising data. So you can then take your program in any different direction when needed.

Paula Thomas

00:05:39
This helps to future-proof your business and both Tamara and Julie agreed that everything is changing so fast. Anything you were doing or thinking about doing even six months ago could be out of date by the time you launch. So as loyalty managers, we need to be agile and evolve our approach as quickly as our customers are evolving. So in closing, this was a really useful and interesting discussion. And one I’d love for you to listen to in full, if you’d like to it’s episode 59 on Let’sTalkLoyalty.com. And lastly, I invite you to join me again this Thursday when I talk with a Annich McIntosh, the creator of the recently renamed International Loyalty Awards.

Paula Thomas

00:06:26
Now celebrating 10 years of international loyalty excellence, we’re sharing all about the upcoming awards, the closing date for entries, which is coming very soon in February, as well as some tips and tricks for a successful entry. To me, these awards will be a really wonderful way to celebrate all of the amazing work that everyone in our industry has been doing in the past few years, since we were last together in London. That’s it for now. I look forward to talking with you guys again on Thursday.

Paula Thomas

00:07:06
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 loyaltyacademy.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 Letstalkloyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favourite podcast platform, find Let’s Talk Loyalty and subscribe.

Paula Thomas

00:07:58
Of course I’d love your feedback and reviews. And thanks again for supporting the show.