Audio Transcript

#188: VodaBucks: Loyalty Programme of South Africa’s Vodacom Group (Short Summary Show) (7m)
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
1m 15s
Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of Let’s Talk a Little Loyalty today. I’m looking back on my interview with George Mendes, the chief officer of the consumer business unit for south Africa’s Vodacom group. Vodacom is a telecommunications company.
1m 36s
And when I met George, his team had just launched the voter books loyalty program three months before. So in many ways, VodaBucks has like any traditional loyalty program. As members can earn points by buying Vodacom products, paying their bills and interacting with the app. But in many ways, this program is also very different. For example, I learned from George that in South Africa, people frequently have numerous different SIM cards for their phones and they swap them in and out in an effort to save money. So Vodacom offers its members voted books to simply keep their SIM card in the phone for longer VodaBucks is also using gamification as a key component, and there are plenty of different games available that of course unlocked different rewards for their members.
2m 35s
Now, I think all of us share the fact that we don’t enjoy having to pay our mobile phone bill. So I love this idea of adding in a bit of fun to make it a bit easier to accept, and of course, a lot more rewarding. The one thing that really surprised me when I spoke with George was the decision for the program where their members have to proactively either bank or save their points for later redemption. And as you all know, it’s rare to choose to add in manual steps as loyalty professionals. As of course, the focus is always to keep friction to a minimum. George did admit it was a risky decision, but the idea had been thoroughly tested and was working extremely well with increasing user metrics and really strong engagement rates.
3m 30s
Another wonderful topic we discussed was creating additional channels for members, for example, my favourite WhatsApp, and because this platform is already on most people’s phones, it allows them to quickly and easily check their points balance and even redeem their points. Using WhatsApp, finally, like many reward programs. George discovered the power of working with partners to ensure that voter books appeals to absolutely everyone. It also ensures that the partners can deliver great propositions and Vodacom can stay focused on its core competency.
4m 10s
In closing, George told me that the Vodacom team had traveled extensively to discuss and discover global best practice. And I’ve no doubt that this level of curiosity and commitment to excellence is one of the key reasons that voter books was already performing so well. That’s it for now? Of course, I’d love for you to go and listen to the full interview with George Mondays from Vodacom South Africa. You just need to go to Let’s Talk, and you’ll find the episode directly on that page. And lastly, I’d love for you to join me of course again on Thursday, when I’m back chatting with Paul smitten from Cathay Pacific airways and Paul shared their new master brand positioning strategy and their new customer lifestyle and wellness proposition. Thanks, guys, bye for now.
5m 13s
This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing use insights and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out and
5m 55s
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