Audio Transcript

#198: Driving Loyalty Beyond Cookies with Loyalty Expert Billy Loizou (44m)
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. Cheetah Digital’s relationship marketing platform, bridges the gaps in your customer data, moving people from unknown consumers to loyal brand ambassadors with customer acquisition, multi-channel messaging and customized emotional loyalty programs. Cheetah Digital is a one-stop-shop for enterprise brands looking to simplify and scale their relationship marketing strategy.
Paula Thomas

00:00:52
Learn how brands such as American Airlines and Discovery incorporated use Cheetah Digital to drive increased revenue with video case studies available on cheetahdigital.com. Hello, and welcome to episode 198 of Let’s Talk Loyalty today. I’m chatting with one of the most creative and insightful practitioners in the industry with a real commitment to understanding business issues and how to use loyalty mechanics to solve them.
Paula Thomas

00:01:33
Billy Loizou is best known as the vice president of go-to market Asia Pacific for Cheetah Digital. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Australian Loyalty Association. Billy shared some fascinating insights with me, for example, the first real example of a brand that has successfully used NFTs to build customer loyalty. But most importantly, we talked about why loyalty is perhaps the most important tool for any marketeer in 2022 as cookies and other forms of digital marketing solutions are set to become obsolete.
Paula Thomas

00:02:19
So Billy, you are joining me today from Melbourne Australia. Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Billy Loizou

00:02:24
Thanks for having me, Paula. How are you?
Paula Thomas

00:02:26
I’m extremely well delighted to be chatting with you, and yes, I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a long time and for a lot of reasons, including various very creative things that you do that we’ll get into today. But listen, we’re here to talk mainly about loyalty. And as you know, my favorite question at the moment is asking people about their favorite loyalty programs. So given all of your incredible experience, particularly at APAC, please do tell me, what is your favorite loyalty program at the moment?
Billy Loizou

00:02:55
Yeah, that’s a really good question that, you know, you post that one on me and I had to rack my brains. There’s a lot of loyalty programs that I’m a fan of, but I’m going to give you an example of probably, one of the most creative executions in loyalty programs that I’ve seen. And it’s a bakery chain by the name of Baker’s delight. It’s still a family-owned business. It’s started here at a Melbourne, they’ve got franchises, I think over 300 franchise stores and the program’s called dough getters. So as you see the com the creativity, right? Yes. D O U G H. And what they’ve, what they’ve done is not like revolutionary, but they’ve just turned the typical punch card loyalty program of by certain loaves of bread or spend a certain amount of money and get cashback.
Billy Loizou

00:03:40
But the execution is just, it’s just super cool. Like they’ve got little crumbs in their app, you know, they say you’re on a roll, you know, intended when you’ve achieved certain limits. And when you’ve got no, no offers or when you’ve got an issue like with wifi, they say like, like Homer Simpson does dope. Yeah. I love it. I think it’s great.
Paula Thomas

00:04:05
Wow. It’s a brilliant example of Billy. Yeah. I think the creativity piece is probably one that’s underappreciated, maybe UN under respected. Like I’ve often said, you know, it’s actually quite easy, I think in this day and age to get the basics rice and, but to amuse people and I suppose to have that intelligent approach to marketing. I find that that’s actually quite rare.
Billy Loizou

00:04:30
It is. I mean, it’s, you got to tie it back into the brand and how the brand wants to be positioned and how customers feel about the brand. And if you can have those little bits of gold in it throughout it, I mean, it just keeps people on, you know, excited and engaged outside of the mechanics of the program.
Paula Thomas

00:04:46
Yeah. And I think what it does as well, it’s the kind of thing that I know. I would comment to my friend about going, oh, it’s cool. It’s the dove getters. I love it. You know?
Billy Loizou

00:04:54
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s what I’ve actually heard. You know, I’ve heard people who have said, you know, did you get, you know, I was lucky enough to have worked on the program, but I’m like, yeah. You know, I wasn’t responsible for the creative execution, but the team that worked on it from Baker’s delight, just make sure they ticked every little box to make sure it was perfect.
Paula Thomas

00:05:13
Wonderful, wonderful. And I do like the evolution of thinking as well, Billy, because as you’ve mentioned already, they did have a traditional stamp cards program. I think the company is about 40 years in business. So, you know, certainly very clear I suppose, on its positioning and I suppose the type of behaviors that wanted to change, but I also saw some amazing statistics on the program on LinkedIn in terms of what’s happened now is they’ve launched a new program. So some that I was impressed with for example, as I know they have a $5 reward voucher and with incredible redemption rates over 80%, were you expecting that? Or how does that compare to, I suppose what you’d hoped for?
Billy Loizou

00:05:56
Yeah. I mean the team, some really ambitious goals because Baker’s delight, they’ve got Cubs as well in Canada. So that very like very, really the same, but they’re slightly different programs that they’ve run, but we didn’t expect to have such great adoption. Like their acquisition has been phenomenal. They drive acquisition through the downloading of the app. That’s gone through the roof and you don’t need to just use your mobile phone to redeem. You can tell them your mobile number or your email address. You can redeem it pause. So it makes it quite seamless if you do have internet issues, but 25% increase, in carts size or actual order value during for loyalty members.
Billy Loizou

00:06:42
So they are seeing that, that increasing basket size through loyalty.
Paula Thomas

00:06:46
Wonderful. They’re the kind of ones that absolutely make my heart swell with pride for our industry, Billy, because I think we’ve all been in the situation where somebody has asked us to, I suppose, justify their decision to invest in loyalty, convince them it can actually create value. So when you have statistics like that, that you can share, you must be incredibly proud.
Billy Loizou

00:07:09
Yeah. Yeah. Look for the first couple of weeks, I was sitting there in the account, watching the volume of customers go up and the basket size increase. I was like, wait, is this doing everything we’d kind of hoped for? Absolutely.
Paula Thomas

00:07:21
Great. Great, great. So listen, I mentioned at the beginning, Billy, that you have some am I think, truly creative ways to get insights from marketeers and for anyone listening, I’m going to say, first of all, you’re a fellow podcaster. So already a man after my own heart, you are a rap artist and You also have a supper club. So I’d love to get a, I suppose, insight into, first of all, why do you decide to invest your time in these kinds of very creative ways of connecting with people?
Billy Loizou

00:07:56
Yeah, I think for me, you know, I couldn’t read books and I do read books. I read blogs and I listen to other people’s podcasts, but a lot of the time I need to connect with the customers that are typically aligned to, you know, to have a job to serve. Right. So my, my goal in that whole business kind of model personally and professionally has always been to work with marketers, whether it be my design background as a UX designer coming out of a university, which is, but now we’re actually running a business to position software. So a lot of it started from a concept called 50 marketers in 50 days. I really just wanted to get insight from whether it be Australia or Asia on the things that are really keeping marketers up at night and how much, what we were going to market with was relevant to them.
Billy Loizou

00:08:45
And it repositioned my thinking. So I started off with these 50 marketers in 50 days, and then it turned into a podcast because the response I got from my audience was like, we would love to hear about these insights and these professionals talking about their lessons in life and in the career. So I did it now. I do it as a way of kind of keeping myself relevant and researching certain topics. So yeah, we know NFTs, I’ll get an NFT specialist on and have to do my research prior to interviewing them as I’m sure, you know, I, so it keeps me, keeps me relevant. Right. That’s why the rap thing, I, I, I guess from a very young age, I, I, I had a way with words and poetry.
Billy Loizou

00:09:27
So I, it, it ended up resulting in a, in an album, which I released just after my son was born. But I think what it actually helped me do was confident, be confident in front of people and being able to present and talk and run a podcast. So that’s a skill set I think has really helped me
Paula Thomas

00:09:47
Totally, totally. And what I hear coming through there, Billy is it’s almost like I really feel our brains. Like we educate our, our, our left side of our brain, I think in school and all the way up through our traditional education. But I think very often the right-hand side of the brain, the creative side is maybe neglected. So for me, that’s actually what I find coming through as a podcaster. I can hear coming through in your passion as an artist, and then the fact that the brain just has all of these different perspectives. I think it makes a very unique way of understanding how the world works in fact.
Billy Loizou

00:10:23
Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it’s, it’s just enlightening too. I speak to so many interesting people throughout my research and my podcasts. And even when I’m writing it, running a new song, connecting with different people from different industries, it just to be honest, like without it, I, I don’t know if I could do I do a nine to five like I do. It keeps me saying,
Paula Thomas

00:10:48
Well, well, it does mean that you’re very well positioned Billy too. Am I suppose, share what you’re hearing from particularly brands, I suppose, at the moment. And I will come back to NFTs because that’s something I’m interested in. I’m sure there are a lot of people that are still not really even aware of NFTs, but on the basics of loyalty, where here in, you know, in kind of February, March 20, 22 and a lot is changing as an always will do. But what do you think is keeping up those brand marketeers at nighttime as you went out to, to find out?
Billy Loizou

00:11:21
Yeah. One of the interesting topics that we kind of discussed in our supper club was the privacy changes that are hitting the industry, right? So a lot of marketers, it’s hard enough doing their day job of executing, but to stay on top of data and regulation, challenges and privacy, while that stuff’s not sexy, They’re not, they’re not sure as to how they can connect with a customer in this cookie Lois era that started to come. So you may have heard, you know, Google is changing their privacy laws, Apple’s changing their privacy laws, clearly trying to monopolize as well. That’s a session for another day and, and the market is I think it to themselves.
Billy Loizou

00:12:01
Well, the traditional way of, of advertising through Facebook or social media platforms and third party kind of providers is going to be gone. So how do we now build this direct to consumer relationship and a lot of companies, whether you’re a CPG vendor or a, or, or a retailer, it doesn’t matter. Like a lot of them are relying on the third party. So when I asked the simple question of like, what activities driving the most attribution or channels driving the most attribution to your marketing efforts, if there’s a question mark saying, well, a big part of it is third party advertising. You’ve got to find a way to connect with the end consumer. And the loyalty is actually driving that connection, because if you can package up a great value proposition, whether it be a membership program, a subscription program, punchcard program, a customer will give you that information if they know why.
Billy Loizou

00:12:54
So that’s, that’s definitely something that’s keeping people at night and the connection is definitely loyalty.
Paula Thomas

00:13:00
Yeah. Yeah. You’re absolutely right. And I think we’re still at the early stages, Billy I’m certainly in my view of the understanding of the complexity, particularly as you said for privacy and even, you know, to your point about doing research before a show, I knew we were going to be talking about this today. I had to go back and look up the difference between zero party data, first-party data, because it is so utterly complex. And I think we’re in a privileged position. You and I, that we know the cookies are going. We’re probably on a, I dunno, what, like a 12-month countdown, is it right now with the Google side?
Billy Loizou

00:13:35
Yes. They pushed it out to 20, 23 is what they’ve kind of mandated. And I think they’ve done that to give people more time to kind of make sure that they prepare for it. And, but you’re already seeing apple with their latest ads. You know, I don’t know if you saw the commercial where the guy’s on his phone and then he stops at the cafe to get a coffee, and then he starts following him and it’s like, it’s hilarious, but apple is starting to play on it because what they want inherently is people to start managing their preferences and how they engage with brands through the app or through their software being iOS.
Paula Thomas

00:14:11
Yeah. Yeah. And probably one of the most dramatic, I suppose, results that I’ve seen recently. And I think the whole world was, was truly shocked was the devaluation, for example, with Facebook. And I think that was partly because there, yes. Investing in the metaverse to an extraordinary degree, I think $10 billion was the number I saw. But to me, I think it’s the business model of yes, as you said, the marketers have been spending their budgets, you know, with the Facebooks of the world, in order to follow people around the internet, something I really, really don’t enjoy. I have to say as a consumer. And, but absolutely if that’s going to discontinue, then Facebook, I think is in question as a marketing solution.
Paula Thomas

00:14:52
And I think you’re absolutely right. I think loyalty has to be increasingly respected and invested in, in order to compensate for that loss channel
Billy Loizou

00:15:02
A hundred percent. Well, I think it was saying is wherever the mice are playing the cats come out to pray and that’s typically what’s Facebook and every marketer has done is they go, we know that there’s this demographic of people that we may want to target an ad to. Let’s put that into Facebook and hope for the best. Well, it’s about time. We’ve started to go back to the basics of marketing and say, well, build a value proposition, find a reason why people will engage and acquire them and build your own customer database that you can gain insights from. I mean, It’s, it’s a, it is 1 0 1, but we kind of lose sight. So it’s a blessing at the same time. And the devaluation of Facebook, I think kind of moving into this tangent of the metaverse probably had something to do with it too, but it’s, it’s, it’s great.
Billy Loizou

00:15:48
It’s great to see kind of, I’m kind of happy to see it, to be honest,
Paula Thomas

00:15:53
We’re feeling validated Billy. I think if I’m
Billy Loizou

00:15:57
Right.
Paula Thomas

00:15:57
Okay. Brilliant. And I do think, I suppose it’s also timely though, Billy, because as we’ve said, if it’s 20, 23 and I think it’s been pushed out, I think twice in terms of how long I’ve been following this decision for Chrome, not to obviously continue with cookies, you’re absolutely right. That’s giving people time to get their heads around us, but certainly in my experience, sometimes loyalty programs really do take time to think through properly, to go out to market. As I know, all of your clients have done, you know, choose a vendor like Cheetah Digital, for example, as a solution. And then as we said, build the creativity, the proposition and launch something. So I think it’s about time now that people have to think about it.
Paula Thomas

00:16:38
Like there is no time to be lost.
Billy Loizou

00:16:40
No, no. I mean, you’ve got to the planning that goes into launching a loyalty program and, and getting the business buy in every department, that’s going to touch the loyalty program, which is every single department in an organization. And if you have physical stores, it’s even larger, you’ve got to get buy-in, you got to get their support behind it. And then you’ve got to commercialize it and activate it. Right. So you’re right. It does take a while. So starting now is, is not too late.
Paula Thomas

00:17:07
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think he said to me before, when we chatted as well, Billy, again, something that I have, you know, seen in my own career is that it’s often the big kind of sexy TV campaigns or outdoor creative that often gets the most bulls internally when you’re doing, you know, high profile thing. So I think you’re right, like going back to basics 1 0 1 is sometimes quite difficult for loyalty marketers to get that level of visibility, respect, and investment that they need. But hopefully these kinds of conversations will help them get all of that.
Billy Loizou

00:17:39
Yes. Yeah. You’re not wrong. I think the way I kind of phrase it is like, if you’re at the bar, you’re not talking about your loyalty program, are you, you’re talking about, you know, we’re trialing virtual reality, you know, we’re launching a set of NFTs, we’re doing all these great TV campaigns and we have Robert DeNiro starring whatever it may be, that loyalty is the afterthought where now it’s, it’s going to have to be at the forefront because it’s definitely going to help position you for the future.
Paula Thomas

00:18:08
For sure. For sure. And then another thing I know you’ve commented to me, Billy, which I really love is for some programs they’re starting to think even more creatively, I think beyond transactions. And I think Toms was the particular clients that you mentioned doing this, but I love the idea of identifying other behaviors that are beneficial to the business, without it being a sale, for example, and using our loyalty assets in order to incentivize that. So I’d love you to talk a bit about that kind of non-transactional stuff that you’re seeing from your clients.
Billy Loizou

00:18:44
Yeah, absolutely. I think the movement happened during Kobe. There was a lot of brands who tried to say like, how do we stop forcing transactions on a, on a client, on a customer, right? Because we don’t want to be that brand. That’s like, Hey, you may have lost your job, but keep buying to keep your loyalty. Right. So this kind of movement and vest, yes. Vance family is the perfect example from it of this, this kind of concept is how do you move away from transactions to interactions and what behaviors do you want to make a customer kind of do to be rewarded for them? A simple concept with vans was we want to reward you for engagement. So if you give us information and when you join the program, you get asked questions, like how do you lace up your vans?
Billy Loizou

00:19:26
Do you wear them laced up or unlaced? You know, what would it take, share a photo with our community on your first pair of vans. So they will reward you for UGC connect your social account, refer a friend, participate in, in a challenge around watching a video, whatever you do, they reward you with points. And those points can be used to then redeem rewards in their loyalty rewards store could be anything from skateboard stickers to a 24 karat gold skateboard ramp. But the beauty of this engagement was that they could profile their audience and learn things like, Hey, a lot of our customers have a great affinity to music, so we’ll do it.
Billy Loizou

00:20:06
We’ll do a partnership with beats Dr. Dre beats headphones. They’ve got an affinity to pets. Okay. We’ll release some dogs, stickers and dog colors. So you could see this kind of information transcending into their program. And it was, it was brilliant, but it’s more than that. Like if you look at other metrics, so let’s just say, yeah, metrics that activities that businesses want to kind of promote, you’ve got your health insurance provider, your benefits program really shouldn’t just be about movie tickets or, you know, getting some 25% off your electricity, whatever it may be. It should be to reward those values that you instill in your brand, which is creating healthier humans.
Billy Loizou

00:20:50
So if that’s the case, should you reward people for steps, miles, distance, run, you know, that’s the type of thing that you can now track through a Fitbit or a Garmin or Strava device and reward your consumers for. So we are seeing a huge movement in this move at what metrics do we want to reward consumers for achieving?
Paula Thomas

00:21:15
Wow, that’s again, music to my ears, Billy, because I think in the past, when I’ve been having those kinds of conversations, which probably goes back five or six years at this stage, there was always pushback on the financial side. Like why would we invest, you know, our marketing budgets in, again, something where there’s no actual direct return on that investment. So it sounds like the mindset has shifted in terms of the clients and brands you’re talking to.
Billy Loizou

00:21:42
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And when we use a very simple concept of crawl walk, run, right? Like what do we want to do today, tomorrow? And in the future. And a lot of the future planning for the brands that I’m interacting with is figuring out how to reward consumers for things outside of spending. And, you know, mindfulness is a big thing. So if you’re a brand that’s, you know, working towards healthier humans, but should you not reward people for doing mindfulness minutes with smiling mind or, you know, Headspace. So there’s this, the coalition is changing in my mind as well. It’s not just about getting an order of selling something with a coalition partner. It’s about, you know, making sure we enable them to connect with their brand as well in different ways.
Paula Thomas

00:22:26
I love it. I love it. And I think, yes, mindfulness again, you know, five or six years ago was probably something that was quite taboo to mention certainly in a business context and plenty of us were probably exploring it outside of the office, but wonderful to hear that there’s an openness to that. And again, I guess, driven by actual consumer behavior and I guess consumer demand for that kind of stuff.
Billy Loizou

00:22:48
Yeah. Yeah. The big consumers, if you look at some recent studies that were done at consumers are saying that they want to engage with brands who also suit their values and they want to deliver against that brand promise. So I used to walk in and I still walk into a lot of offices where there’s a quote on a wall, but it’s got to be more than that. The customer now wants to see you executing that promise. So if you say something and promote something, you’ve got to make sure you execute on it too. Otherwise, they will move on.
Paula Thomas

00:23:17
Yes, you’re absolutely right. So listen, Billy, you and I both share an absolute passion for innovation. And, and I think that’s both within loyalty and obviously in other areas, and I know design thinking, for example, is something you’ve studied. I’m very interested to see your whole LinkedIn profile. But tell me about, I suppose, NFTs, first of all, as an innovation in the world, that a lot of people still don’t understand. I’d love a quick, you know, maybe explanation, but if you don’t mind and then just your thoughts on how do NFTs, for example, maybe relate to the loyalty industry.
Billy Loizou

00:23:54
Yeah. That’s a really good bits of really good question. NFTs are confusing a lot of people because there’s this movement that we’re seeing of people, people spending 250 $300,000 on a, on a, on a digital piece of art of a, of a board ape. Right. But why would people do that? Yeah, so, so the movement of NFTs non-functional tokens is essentially a digital contract of some kind, right? And it could be art. It could be, you know, tomorrow Starbucks could release a hundred NFT badges of coffee cups of, of designed coffee cups and people who buy those digital and Ft, coffee cups could unlock benefits that nobody else has being part of a loyalty program, like a lifetime supply of free coffee.
Billy Loizou

00:24:45
Right? Yeah. So if it’s a smart contract between the consumer and a brand and a brand can kind of add to it at any point in time. So a lot of the NFTs that we’re seeing be promoted right now is digital art. As he’s seeing the board ape yacht club who have launched a whole bunch of eight characters, so to speak that people are buying and putting as a, as a LinkedIn photo or as a Twitter photo. And it’s creating almost this form of exclusivity, like, are you part of this community? And I actually know people in New York who have bought these apps very early on and they get exclusive access to certain nightclubs, certain bars, certain cafes, they get discounts at certain things just because they have got this digital NFT in their mobile or digital wallets.
Billy Loizou

00:25:38
So I’ll give you a great example of an NFT use case during the tennis at a stretch, the Australian Open Tennis Australia released. I think it was about could have been about 10,000, maybe less digital 3d NFT, tennis balls. Every tennis ball was designed bespoke. So it had its own little pattern on it. But what you didn’t realize is like you, as you went and bid and you bought this, this digital tennis ball, which you had to have a theory, which is a digital cryptocurrency too, to buy it actually then told you that it occupied a space on there.
Billy Loizou

00:26:24
Rod Laver arena, tennis court. So the tennis court at Laver Arena is a digital court. Meaning as you may have seen, if someone does an out or a fault or hit the ball, hits the line, they can actually tell you in live time, like, yeah, it was actually in rewards and points, but they turned the tennis court into a, or let’s just say pixels and every tennis ball had a spot on the court. So if you did have that tennis poor, where, you know, in the dial hit a serve and aced and, and, you know, won a match point, you would then get an elevation in your tennis ball. So it would go from bronze to silver, to gold.
Billy Loizou

00:27:06
And the more match points that were hit in that spot would unlock a whole new set of benefits for you. Those benefits could be going to a, a metaverse event. So it would have been like they typically do all their shows with live bands during the Australian Open. But if you dialed into the metaverse and joined their live band, it could have been Travis Scott. It could have been anyone from around the world performing in what they called. You know, there was like a digital Wonderland. You can have basically two years of free access to tennis. So at any point in time, anyone who bought one of those tennis balls can gain access to things that they don’t even know about.
Billy Loizou

00:27:53
So tennis Australia could turn around tomorrow and say, everyone that funded our project can have a signed tennis racket from their favorite tennis player leaves it completely open because there are no rules. It’s contract between yourself and the brand. It’s, it’s diverse, it’s complicated, but it’s also up to the most creative minds to figure out how we use this technology, to drive brand loyalty. And you’re going to see quite a few brands. I know McDonald’s have now bought some space in the metaverse to have not sure why anyone would put the headset on and an order take away from a virtual store.
Billy Loizou

00:28:39
But if you’re, but if you’re in a, in a virtual game and you veer off to the left and order a hamburger and it gets delivered to your doorstep and you buy it using a McDonald’s NFT token, it could be a world that we live that maybe I’m not part of, but it’s something that the future is going to have access to.
Paula Thomas

00:28:57
Wow. Well, I mean, that’s an incredible case study, Billy. I’ve been looking for examples of how NFTs could drive loyalty and you’re the first person who could actually give me one so well done on that amazing example. Yeah, no, I think it’s extraordinary because like, we talk a lot on this show, as I’m sure you do on your own podcast about the difference between transactional loyalty and emotional loyalty. And I think my expectation was that anything in the metaverse or that’s NFTs or crypto-related, all of those kinds of scary new words, that would feel quite transactional or quite hype-driven. So I was looking on your LinkedIn about the hype cycle, and I think that’s absolutely something that we’re all I suppose aware of in terms of these new technologies.
Paula Thomas

00:29:44
So I think for brands that is quite nerve-wracking to say, at what point do we jump on this bandwagon and try and develop something like that, Australia tennis open. I think that’s a brilliant example of just taking a risk and giving it a go.
Billy Loizou

00:29:59
Yeah. You know, the one thing I’ve been able to understand, and this is like anything during the hype cycle, a lot of people got into the NFT space and really releasing digital art, but the ones that have got lifetime value of the ones that have a form of utility. So what does it actually unlock for you as opposed to just being a piece of digital art and the brands who are thinking about, well, what do we want to reward these people? Just like a loyalty program. There’s people that buy these digital NFTs and have them on a wallet, A digital wallet, what will that gain access to?
Paula Thomas

00:30:34
Yeah.
Billy Loizou

00:30:34
Is it greater than a loyalty program or is it just the future of how to engage and buy into a loyalty program because you don’t get it for free, you have to buy it.
Paula Thomas

00:30:45
Yeah. Yeah. And again, that will lead us definitely into our next topic. But before I leave this one, what I am kind of hearing as well, Billy is definitely, I suppose there are the early adopters, which I think we’re all familiar with. So anybody, I think now who is buying NFTs definitely has a, probably some level of similar, you know, socio-demographic profile. I’m guessing book, that piece of exclusivity that you mentioned. And I’d heard about the same thing in New York, for example. And I suppose to, to show up and get into an exclusive club and to be, I suppose, then together with a tribe of people who are other early adopters and buying whether it’s board apes or whatever the particular asset might be.
Paula Thomas

00:31:26
I think that must be super cool when you get in the door, you know, I’m just super exciting.
Billy Loizou

00:31:32
Yeah. It’s, it’s, you know, you question why people buy, spend thousands of dollars on a Louis Vuitton handbag. Sometimes it’s just to be part of a tribe or a community of people. I suspect that the early adopters have felt the same and now they’re actually gaining access to things that they may never thought they would have by investing in these sorts of things. So it’s super cool. I keep my ear to the ground to see how it’s going to impact the world in the market, but I’m not, I’m also not spending a huge fortune in finding a lot work.
Paula Thomas

00:32:07
Exactly. Exactly. So, listen, then I mentioned that the other one that I’m always interested in asking about is this whole idea of paid loyalty. And I mean, in the, I suppose the more traditional sense of subscription programs, we’re all familiar with the business model of subscription, but given the chore in APAC and some very sophisticated markets there, Billy, what is the appetite or interest in subscription type loyalty in your business and your market at the moment?
Billy Loizou

00:32:35
Yeah. So I’ve spoken to quite a few clients, funnily enough, in the retail vertical, who are thinking about how to create subscription loyalty. And it’s, there’s a, there’s a company years ago that I was, I got the chance to work with called the trunk club. And what they did was they, they understood that any of these subscription loyalties, but when they, they understood men, don’t like going and doing any shopping right before most men stereotyping, but they, they, they solve the problem by you subscribe to a certain trunk. So a box of clothing and it would be a, you know, let’s just call it bronze to platinum.
Billy Loizou

00:33:19
You may spend a hundred to $300 a month on this trunk. They profile you and they understand your tastes, what you like, what type of things you want to wear your dimensions. And they send you a trunk of clothing. And that trunk of clothing is, comes to your doorstep. You try on all the clothes, whatever you don’t like, you put there and they give back and they refund you for those items. And I’ve spoken to a lot of brands who are thinking about how do we create a subscription or something. So we have a residual income or revenue that’s coming from the consumer and we can reward them with something. I mean, you’ve got the Mecca beauty loop program. That’s definitely not sure if you’ve heard of the pediatric program, but they send you, a box of, yeah, let’s just call it a new to market or new product lines that you can test and trial.
Billy Loizou

00:34:11
If they can move into that subscription paid loyalty concept.
Billy Loizou

00:34:53
And it’s food for thought at the moment, but they are definitely considering it.
Paula Thomas

00:34:58
I think that’s a really good example, Billy. And having just had to buy some gifts actually for some new parents, I was even thinking, wouldn’t that be a wonderful gift, for example, if everybody could club together and contribute towards their subscription. So, because I think what we all do is we go and buy, you know, baby clothes for the, you know, the three-month-old and then six months later, you know, that they’re, they’re literally building out of those. So that idea of an ongoing benefit for the new parents when there is a pain point, but also allowing other people to get involved. I think there could be something wonderful in that.
Billy Loizou

00:35:33
Yeah. It’s, it’s like replenishment, right. You know, a baby between the ages of three to six months is going to grow. Why wouldn’t we not send them a new grow suit? And there are things that, that are just from, in my mind as a marketer and, and understanding the way data works. It makes sense to try and build a program like that. So here, watch this space. Hopefully we see something get launched soon.
Paula Thomas

00:35:58
Absolutely. And just on the other side of subscription as well, Billy, before I let you go, do you see any appetite in the Australian market or APAC, I suppose, overall for things like coffee subscription programs or, you know, anything in that kind of space like meal plans and, you know, because I think the curated subscription definitely has a tiered value and it’s a, it’s a, maybe one variation of subscription, but I also love, you know, what’s happening with coffee programs in the US and UK, for example.
Billy Loizou

00:36:27
Yeah. I did follow actually this, the journey of one of the coffee companies in America starts with a P I can’t remember the name of it. That’s the one. And you know what, I’ve been reading a little bit about the idea in a, in a whole was, was great. I’m not sure how they’re going out financially based on, based on the promise, but there is, there is an appetite in Australia and there is a lot of brands in Australia and Asia Pacific as a whole, when you mentioned meal-prep that people are already grabbing onto and especially linking that with new time parents or time-poor professionals that are starting to say, you know what? I am going to pay to get a box of, of great food delivered to my door.
Billy Loizou

00:37:10
It’s actually not, it’s actually not just the convenience part. So if the people I know and I speak to regularly, they don’t want that. Some of them do, they want the ones that you just put in the microwave. But the one I use is a company called hello, fresh, and they deliver three or four recipes to me with all the fresh produce. They deliver it on a Monday morning. And all I need to do is follow the recipe. So I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook. I just choose the meals. And I just prep it for the kids. I say, I, me and my wife and that’s, that’s a big thing. So there is definitely a movement in that subscription space, or let’s just say convenience space that people are willing to pay for.
Paula Thomas

00:37:54
Yes. Yeah. And I love that actually, because one of my personal pain points, Billy is anytime when I go out and I find a recipe that I want to cook, it always seems that it’s, you know, some particular weird ingredient. That’s only available in whole foods in the US certainly not in Dubai. So, you know, and then I just kind of give up, I’m like, oh, I don’t know what to replace it with. So I don’t end up doing the cooking, but sounds like HelloFresh is an amazing solution for you.
Billy Loizou

00:38:19
Yes. And they teach you things like what? I didn’t think I could do that. Right. You actually feel like you can cook. And a lot of people who are like out, I avoid the kitchen, but they, they really help you through it. And on the point of cooking, there’s actually another really interesting loyalty program. I want it to kinda, I want it to kind of give you a heads up on. Yeah. So how often do people buy a barbecue? Right. I’d say I’ve had the same barbecue for like five years. And then I moved house and I didn’t want to bring it with me. And I went and bought another one. So a loyalty program for Pete for a company that sells barbecues is, is a strange concept. So barbecue galore barbecues galore have, I would say they’ve almost created what you would classify as tribe loyalty.
Billy Loizou

00:39:00
So they know it’s not necessarily about buying the barbecue. It can be about buying the accessories, but it’s also connecting with the community of people who love to grill. So they’ve set up this community of people who literally just speak about the recipes. They grill, have a baby back ribs, the sources they use the types of bushes they buy meat from. So they’ve realized that if they could actually create a program that drives connection utilization of their products, they’re going to have more loyalty when they go and buy their next barbecue. When they’re, it’d be five years down the track or not, Or they’ll also realize the more you use it, the more likely you are to need a new one, so, and expand your accessories.
Billy Loizou

00:39:44
So,
Paula Thomas

00:39:44
Yeah, and I can also see that as much as the intention is very much the soft sell and indirect and truly creating that community. I absolutely guarantee if I was in a community like that, Billy, I don’t know about you, but I would definitely want the coolest barbecue that you might have, you know? So you discovered the functionality through, you know, a friend or a neighbor in a way that you wouldn’t probably want or welcome, you know, if you were, you know, to our point journey or being targeted by cookies on the internet, just because you happen to be grilling. So, wow. Okay. So barbecues galore. We’ll have to add that one onto the prospect list.
Paula Thomas

00:40:24
Wonderful, great stuff. And for anyone listening, and we did a Panera bread on the show recently as well, Billy. So that is a wonderful case study. So anyone who is in, I suppose, the restaurant sector, it’s a really good one, just to understand and extraordinary results probably also benefiting from, I suppose, the pandemic mentality of, you know, we love to know and manage, I suppose, on certainty and particularly when there’s, I suppose, a crisis in the world. So that was definitely something I picked up, from Panera Bread.
Billy Loizou

00:40:54
Yeah. You know, it’s a really interesting concept. I mean, if I, if I was back at the office and my local coffee shop downstairs said, Hey, Billy, you know, pay this much a week and just come and grab a coffee whenever you feel. I would absolutely do it.
Paula Thomas

00:41:10
Totally. Yeah.
Billy Loizou

00:41:10
I’m always having meetings. I’m always walking past the same coffee shop. So it’s a no brainer. If you can make it work, why not?
Paula Thomas

00:41:18
Well, I literally just subscribed to something here in Dubai recently as well, Billy, and you know, it’s a two for one type proposition and I literally now have almost gamified myself to go, I need to get back what I’m spending and then I’m, I’m totally winning. So it actually becomes super fun.
Billy Loizou

00:41:36
So the points whisperer, there
Paula Thomas

00:41:39
You go. Exactly. Exactly. Brilliant. Well, listen, I have loved all of these fascinating topics and getting your perspectives on all of them. Are there any other key things that you wanted to mention today before we wrap up?
Billy Loizou

00:41:52
Look, there’s, there’s not really anything else I want to jump into, but you, you’re doing a great job and I love listening to your podcast. So I’m really fortunate to have featured on it. And thank you for taking the time to chat with me.
Paula Thomas

00:42:04
Oh, that’s wonderful. And I will mention certainly the name of yours. So your podcast is called, created for marketers by marketers. So we’re definitely going to make sure we link to that in the show notes, Billy. And so everyone can listen to your wonderful insights. Are you happy for people to connect with you on LinkedIn, Billy, if they do want to reach out to you?
Billy Loizou

00:42:24
Absolutely. Yeah. The more the merrier.
Paula Thomas

00:42:27
So on that note, Billy Loizou, vice-president go to market APAC for Cheetah Digital. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Billy Loizou

00:42:35
Appreciate it Paula. Thank you.
Paula Thomas

00:42:39
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 thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.
Paula Thomas

00:43:20
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. If you’d like us to send you the latest shows each week, simply sign up for the Let’s Talk Loyalty newsletter on LetsTalkLoyalty.com. We’ll send our best episodes straight to your inbox. And don’t forget that you can follow Let’s Talk Loyalty on any of your favorite podcast platforms. And of course we’d love for you to share your feedback and reviews. Thanks again for supporting the show.