Audio Transcript

#192: Talking Loyalty with Tom Peace of The Loyalty People (24m)

Paula Thomas

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.

00:00:24 Paula Thomas

This episode is brought to you by Collinson, worldwide leaders in loyalty creating and orchestrating loyalty initiatives and programs for some of the world biggest brands in travel, retail and financial services, doing it globally for over 30 years. Want to know more? Go to Collinsongroup.com.

00:00:49 Paula Thomas

Hello and welcome to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty, which features an exciting announcement of a new content partnership for Let’s Talk Loyalty with a UK based consulting firm called The Loyalty People. I’m joined today by Tom Peace who is the Managing Director for The Loyalty People when Tom first reached out to me to connect with this idea of a partnership, I was absolutely amazed that our paths hadn’t crossed before.

00:01:24 Paula Thomas

And particularly when I noticed on LinkedIn that he and I have 1052 mutual connections. What I really noticed was that Tom is as passionate about loyalty and the loyalty community as I am.

00:01:40 Paula Thomas

So, as you will hear, Tom is as passionate about loyalty and the loyalty community as I am. So, we’ll be releasing shows together every second Wednesday going forward starting next week, the 9th of March.

00:01:56 Paula Thomas

So, with all of that said, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Tom Peace joining me from The Loyalty People in the UK. Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.

00:02:14 Tom Peace

Hi Paula, thank you very much for having me.

00:02:16 Paula Thomas

I’m delighted to chat with you today, Tom. How is life in the UK at the moment.

00:02:21 Tom Peace

Oh, it’s pretty good. The weather is starting to turn and get a bit more Clement. We’ve obviously had a few storms here. It’s not as much as. Northern Europe has, but in terms of business it feels really positive. I think we are now coming out of the pandemic and a lot of loyalty projects. CRM optimization projects are being reinvigorated and business is thriving really.

00:02:47 Paula Thomas

I totally agree with you Tom.

00:02:49 Paula Thomas

I think there was certainly at the beginning of the pandemic.

00:02:52 Paula Thomas

A whole big kind of freeze as we all kind of pan.

00:02:55 Paula Thomas

Correct, and then I think a lot of people went into realizing that they really need to focus on loyalty.

00:03:00 Paula Thomas

So certainly, an exciting time from my perspective. So, before we get into what you do as The Loyalty People, Tom, I think you know that I always love to start my conversations these days by understanding. I suppose a particular loyalty program or programs. Actually, we can certainly talk about more than one, but things that you admire in the loyalty industry, and I think particularly in the UK market, it’s often been said that you know the UK is such a mature and sophisticated market for everything to do with marketing. So, loyalty is no exception. So, can you start off by telling us what’s your favorite loyalty program?

00:03:40 Tom Peace

Well, yes, this is so difficult. I mean, I’m a a loyalty aficionado loyalty yet? But I would like to say. As I have several I would think, I think. There’s a few out there that I think are really clever, I think. Amazon Prime is a really good one because it’s a really strong value proposition and also, they make it so convenient for you to do your shopping, so they’ve actually generated a way that people subscribe. They pay to be loyal to the brand. And the other one that I’ve been a member of for many, many years. Is adios a big fan of that program. And that really is around the value proposition?

00:04:23 Tom Peace

You know you don’t travel that often, but when you do travel those points or air miles are very valuable to you but the program? Actually, that I’m really interested in it, and this is a brand that we’re working. For a little bit just now is Decathalon and their program the…There are global sports retailer, and they are in 70 markets so I’m sure most people and most listeners will be aware of them. That they are an exceptional brand in terms of generating loyalty they have slightly different approaches.

00:04:59 Tom Peace

Some countries do have a point or a value-based program element, but we don’t have that in the UK. But the reason I really like those is the reason that I’m loyal to those guys. It is because their whole customer experience is absolutely superb.

00:05:14 Tom Peace

They have really good technology and to enable Omni channel shopping they have customer reviews have really strong experts in store that can give advice and they have a really good product range. Kind of a good, better best.

00:05:29 Tom Peace

They call it beginner intermediate expert for each of their different sports and really that they totally manage my expectations. I always know that I will be able. To get what I need in store from those guys.

00:05:44 Tom Peace

Remind and masterful, it’s really good price positioning so they’re not super expensive, but they’re very, very good quality for the money, so I think overall the customer experience is so good that that is where I go for my sports equipment.

00:06:05 Tom Peace

Even though I’m a very loyal Amazon shopper, if I need stores for myself or my kids, I am going to catalog and I think that’s a very clever customer. Expect a very clever loyalty program based on an excellent customer experience, as all loyalty programs should be.

00:06:24 Paula Thomas

Very well said Tom. Yeah, I think from my perspective like one of the reasons I called this show, Let’s Talk Loyalty instead of Let’s Talk Loyalty programs for example.

00:06:35 Paula Thomas

Apart from the fact that it’s obviously shorter, but I suppose that key point you’re making about getting the basic slice is absolutely critical, and I think.

00:06:44 Paula Thomas

Party practitioners are very clear on that, but I think internally when we’re managing stakeholders and having those conversations about how do we make sure that we get?

00:06:54 Paula Thomas

I suppose the word-of-mouth referrals as much as anything.

00:06:57 Paula Thomas

Else there is so much that can be fixed on the customer experience side to your point about decathlon.

00:07:04 Paula Thomas

Like for me, for example, in Ireland we didn’t have decathlon and even in Dubai I believe it’s quite recently here as well, so I wasn’t aware of the expertise.

00:07:15 Paula Thomas

I was definitely though aware of the value. Because all of my friends have been to Europe or been to the UK and said Oh my God, have you seen the value that decathlon have?

00:07:25 Paula Thomas

So, so that’s where I think people do start considering first and foremost, and then as we know, the expertise is extremely important, and adding in points and other benefits in a structured way just builds the whole proposition for people.

00:07:40 Tom Peace

Yeah, absolutely, and I think it’s keen in loyalty. Is that, uh, people think of loyalty as points or air miles or cash back whenever. And that is a part of loyalty that reward element is part of loyalty.

But the other factors within there you know you.

You’ve got to recognize the customer.

You’ve got to give a strong experience and you’ve got to engage the customer.

And if you don’t get those elements right, then bolting a value proposition of points-based Program, for example on top of a business model that’s not performing well will not do you any good at all. You have to think about the overall customer experience and how you reward within a program that also offers really good experience and recognition and engagement.

00:08:30 Paula Thomas

Absolutely yeah. And I do think as external advisors, which I know you guys are. And again, you can talk us through that now in a moment. But I do think sometimes we do have a bit more permission and maybe just that. Positioning and ability, I suppose to give those more difficult messages. Perhaps to a business that again is looking perhaps at a loyalty program to fix a business model that perhaps needs more work so and so with that.

00:08:57 Paula Thomas

Then Tom tell us about your I suppose, career in loyalty and then The Loyalty People itself.

00:09:05 Tom Peace

So, I’m currently the Managing Director Of The Loyalty People I’ve been doing. That for about 18 months two years, I believe previously I’ve worked for a number of different loyalty distances, started my loyalty career.

And working with manufacturers to develop loyalty solutions through Sainsbury’s to acquire, engage and retain their customer base and really learn a massive amount about transactional loyalty and building customer relationships.

00:09:41 Tom Peace

And then I moved on to a Technology solution provider called our Reward Insight. To provide the card linked offers for RBS Group and Amex in the UK amongst the number of others and there were creating much longer-term journeys through their banking or financial service solutions and then moved on to Collinson and calling Sonora big business In terms of loyalty technology.

00:10:07 Tom Peace

And also added value services so they are able to not just provide a technology platform for a business to run loyalty through. They also have redemption solutions. So, people like Allius youth, Collinson to supply there. If you want to use your air Miles or for luggage or perfume or headphones.

00:10:30 Tom Peace

That’s a common solution. And of course, they do the airport lounges and travel insurance gadget shows all those benefits, and that’s worked really well in the financial service Sector where customers looking for added value solutions when they have a Premium bank account.

00:10:47 Tom Peace

Or a premium credit card. They’re looking for those added value services. And of course, that creates loyalty because it’s really beneficial and it’s very difficult to move Away from so you always want to use that card because you know you’re Gonna get the most benefits on it and so yeah, so.

00:11:04 Tom Peace

A very wide basis of loyalty, experience from kind of very data, analytical, transactional based loyalty through to card linking Very full Front of technology Type solutions, and then as well as technology.

00:11:21 Tom Peace

Bringing in that kind of added value. So, a very wide range of experience that I bring. To the Loyalty People. And what the Loyalty People we Are essentially a Strategic consultancy we are globally recognized globally global reach rather and we run projects for lots of different partners around the world. And are we are UK based but we have associate consultants all over the globe and we Essentially are a strategic consultancy but with a laser focus on loyalty and CRM.

00:12:00 Tom Peace

And customer engage. We don’t do any of the boring stuff. Last night traditional consultancy just so organized, national change and insolvency and all those things that’s not our bag. We help businesses to innovate or differentiate or build loyalty strategy.

00:12:20 Paula Thomas

Wonderful, wonderful, and there’s a couple of other obviously competitors in this space, Tom. So, what would you say The Loyalty People do That’s different to the other type of options that people listening might have.

00:12:34 Tom Peace

Yeah, OK, well we’re well, first of all it all experts everybody that works for the business or with the business is an expert in an element of loyalty. So, we have a lot of technology partners and service provider partners so we can pull in a technology pureplay technology solution A big enterprise solution Data analytics and market research.

00:13:00 Tom Peace

We have partnerships in every field that works within or touches loyalty so we can deliver an end-to-end solution. But our consultants are all experts in their field, so we have a hospitality expert, luxury expert, retail banking Et cetera, et cetera.

00:13:18 Tom Peace

So, any sector we can pull resource. And provide an expert to come to solve a problem for a for a brand or a client and we’re very flexible.

00:13:30 Tom Peace

We don’t have a kind of a a set process. We have a few a few processes that we take through, but we build our proposal to exactly meet the needs and budget and timing of the business. And that means we can turn things around very quickly if we need to or we could meet a specific budget where that’s right?

00:13:51 Tom Peace

Quiet and or we can create a very long-standing engagement with businesses where our services fluctuate meeting the needs of the of their requirements at the time and there are other brands out there that do That too, but I’d say we are very good value highly Expert and very flexible.

00:14:10 Paula Thomas

Lovely, lovely and I suppose one other thing that I really do see The Loyalty People doing exceptionally well. Tom, under your leadership is building the community side So somebody said to me recently now and I thought he really nailed it, Tom, and it was actually a previous guest on the show a couple of weeks ago from Microsoft.

00:14:31 Paula Thomas

It was Adam Grupp who literally said to me, and it was all fair, but he said Loyalty can be quite a lonely business and I really said that’s exactly how I felt when I was Running a loyalty program within a massive marketing team, but I had that sole responsibility and very little expertise in that specific niche so I can see you’re nodding your head there, Thomas. That’s something that you feel that the community has as well.

00:14:57 Tom Peace

Yeah, that that’s exactly the need. That we are aiming to fill on A global basis. I think that loyalty is absolutely a a facility or a part of marketing, and but it, but like you say, it can be a lonely part because you might be an individual or a small team within a much wider Marketing team and that means that.

00:15:24 Tom Peace

You really need to pull your knowledge, share ideas and have a Network that is outside of your business. A business may have hundreds of marketers and only two or three loyalty experts, and that’s really what we’re trying to do.

00:15:40 Tom Peace

We are Creating a community you can follow us on our LinkedIn page you can join our newsletter on our website and the idea is that We share lots of loyalty content, expert opinion.

00:15:54 Tom Peace

Trends, new news, partner updates, etc. And it’s all interesting Things for loyalty people to absorb, and it’s completely free to join and like you say it’s growing fast. I think when I started about 18 months ago, we had something like 300 followers and we’re well over 3000 now. So yeah, please do join the club.

00:16:17 Paula Thomas

Great. Well, we often talk about community when we talk about our loyalty programs, and obviously that’s from a consumer perspective, but I really do share your belief, Tom, that we need to be a closer and more trusting. I suppose Loyalty community. And that only comes, I suppose, from people like you guys.

00:16:37 Paula Thomas

Who are, you know independent but facilitating those connections and those relationships so that we can reach out to each other. And because again, yeah, no I mean, I’ve had it many times in the past.

00:16:49 Paula Thomas

Tom, my marketing career many years ago started again in a similar I, I suppose Situation where I was the only person running BA holidays at once at the time for The Middle East. So, there was only six people in the world who did my job, so my boss never had the answers. The people who had the answers to the business problems I faced were in each of the continents, so I found myself actually connecting with them on a regular basis. So, I really want to applaud what you’re doing with The Loyalty People community.

00:17:19 Tom Peace

Great yeah. Thank you and like you say that that community feel is really important to loyalty, and we are we are looking to the future where we would like to have networking events. It’s difficult the minute progress reasons to get people together and but.

00:17:33 Paula Thomas

Yeah, yeah.

00:17:34 Tom Peace

We’d like to have maybe Virtual meetings and forums and eventually This is opportunities for people to meet discuss. And we have to move away from thinking about competitiveness and actually think about just sharing knowledge and talking about exciting new things within the Loyalty set.

00:17:55 Paula Thomas

Yeah, and you’ve reminded me of an amazing term I heard. Actually, Tom Just because obviously I’m, you know, so proud of creating content and you know, I really love my role in this industry, and Seth Godin is the world-famous Marketeer that I’m sure many listeners are familiar with.

00:18:13 Paula Thomas

Who really explained what he’s calling the post scarcity economy where ideas grow when you share them, whereas in the past you know if you gave something away from your business, you know it cost You something? So, I really took thought that that was a very generous mindset and I Definitely agree with you That’s actually what’s happening now.

00:18:35 Paula Thomas

I think the pandemic has, maybe, you know, given us all an opportunity to step back and reflect a little bit in terms of what kind of people we want to be and whether that’s personally or professionally, so I’m super excited, and I think I said to you all fair as well. Tom to me, I feel like we are actually getting better as a community.

00:18:54 Paula Thomas

People like you and I actually sitting down finding a way to complement each other and go look We’re all in the same game. We’re all here to grow our businesses, so let’s find ways to collaborate and which is probably a perfect way to announce what we’re about to announce.

00:19:11 Tom Peace

Yes, absolutely.

00:19:13 Paula Thomas

Why don’t you lead with our announcement, Tom?

00:19:16 Tom Peace

So well, yes, absolutely. So I’m really pleased to announce that The Loyalty People are going to be joining forces with Let’s Talk Loyalty to provide a fortnightly podcast, and we’re thrilled that you, Paula, will be will be creating this and publishing this for it Because your podcasts are genuinely market leading, I think they are the best out There in terms of loyalty, expertise, and Commentary on our sector and so yeah, I’m absolutely thrilled the Greens get this emotion And start singing.

00:19:57 Paula Thomas

Yeah, absolutely So yeah, we’re literally starting together for listeners with a new show, which will be every second Wednesday starting next Wednesday the 9th of March And as you said, Tom, it’s my I suppose joy to create content that is exclusive to The Loyalty People and promoted through all of your channels to your community.

00:20:22 Paula Thomas

And because again, I think there is this massive hunger for new content, so I think you’re going to be keeping me extremely busy Dare I say it I thought I was grand with two shows a week and you know my Tuesday and Thursday shows including obviously this one is going out on a Thursday.

00:20:39 Paula Thomas

But, and what I’m hearing is that there is more and more needs people want to hear more of this kind of thought leadership And it’s one thing for me to create it and post it for example, and it can go out on Apple or Spotify It doesn’t really matter, but for me I suppose I can see what The Loyalty People are doing in terms of bringing people together, and I suppose.

00:20:59 Paula Thomas

That’s where I want my show to be found, and that’s where we’ll have them Impact, so from my perspective, I admire what you’re doing, and I can see that you’re extremely ambitious and growing your community. As you said at a phenomenal rate So from my perspective and let’s look loyalty is really, really pleased with them kicking this off, getting going and creating some extraordinary content.

00:21:22 Paula Thomas

Because honestly, Tom, even your kind of clients. I was looking at There’s going to be some amazing interviews we can do together with them Yeah, hopefully yeah, absolutely.

00:21:31 Tom Peace

We’d love to get some of our Existing business to be on the show Yeah wonderful. OK so I think that’s most of the kind of questions I had Tom and I think it’s very clear for anyone listening.

00:21:44 Paula Thomas

I suppose the consultancy side of The Loyalty People, and I suppose more importantly. To collaborate at the community side and we’ve talked about the exclusive content, so I think that’s also going to be extremely clear. Is there anything else Tom that you wanted to mention for listeners of the show before we wrap up?

00:22:04 Tom Peace

No, I don’t think so. I think that covers it. I think it’s It would be great if people Would join our community. So please do come to our website, theloyaltypeople.global sign up to the newsletter. Follow us on LinkedIn and you’ll start to get all our latest news and also the podcast and it Would be fantastic to just continue to build out that community, and as that community grows There’ll be more and more features to help People to engage with other Loyalty members around the world.

00:22:35 Paula Thomas

OK, well as I said Tom, it’s a joy to be working with you.

00:22:39 Paula Thomas

Very excited to be announcing this today, so exciting times for everybody. So, Tom Peace managing director of The Loyalty People.

00:22:47 Paula Thomas

Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.

00:22:49 Tom Peace

Thank you, Paula.

00:22:53 Paula Thomas

This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world 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 245 executives in 27 countries. As certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org

00:23:34 Paula Thomas

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