Audio Transcript

#201: Leveraging Known Customer Data to Acquire New Members (41m)
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 Peoplecloud loyalty solution personalization should be integrated into the entire customer experience, including of course 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 your 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 201 of Let’s Talk Loyalty. And today we’re bringing back a very popular guest from our friends and sponsors in Epsilon. Joseph Taylor is the senior vice president of strategic consulting and operations for Epsilon globally.
Paula Thomas

00:01:34
And he joins me today with a thought provoking idea and a loyalty strategy that we actually haven’t discussed on the show before. It’s the idea that’s why loyalty programs are of course, traditionally designed to retain our customers. In fact, the data they hold can also play a huge role in acquiring profitable customers, too. I was intrigued to find out more about the concept giving all of us as loyalty marketers a smart, new way to leverage the known profiles of our existing top customers to acquire more of the same quite simply.
Paula Thomas

00:02:15
It’s the idea of prioritizing quality over quantity when your acquisition campaigns are being planned. And I really think this idea is going to be increasingly important when cookies do finally disappear, as we all know it’s going to happen soon as a tool for our customer acquisition. I hope you enjoy listening to how this fascinating idea is already working in practice. So we talked through some great case studies and some results that Epsilon has achieved already using this approach with some of their clients So Joseph Taylor coming back to let’s talk laws new for a second time.
Paula Thomas

00:03:00
Welcome back to us.
Joseph Taylor

00:03:02
Thanks Paula. And nice to be back on your program again. Thank you.
Paula Thomas

00:03:06
It’s wonderful. And actually it was what, April, 2020 and the, the early, I think almost frantic days of the pandemic when you first joined. Oh my goodness. Well, things are much better now, thankfully, so, and a lot has changed in that time, Joseph and I know we have a wonderful conversation lined up today and I will say for people listening, this particular topic that you’ve talked to me about before is actually one I haven’t really had on the show. So I’m very excited, quite intrigued to hear what you’re doing. And, but before we get into the actual topic of the conversation, why don’t you start by telling all of us again, your favorite loyalty program?
Joseph Taylor

00:03:48
Absolutely. It’s I really like this question, because again, like many of the other speakers that you had on your show before, I’m also a member of so many programs as well. But yeah, the one I particularly like is the current sort of refresh marks. Spencer’s some sparks program. It’s, it’s a digital loyalty scheme and everything is obviously now done through a mobile app, but it’s got a very highly engaging experience. It’s it has personalized offers. It’s got weekly competitions and price draws and, and the bit that I liked the most or the surprise and design elements, Instant gratification reward model. So it’s a bit different than your traditional model of saving points, right.
Joseph Taylor

00:04:32
And redeem against the rewards later, but they’ve also been kind of very smart in how they collect first party data. So for instance, the other day I’ve received one of their emails and asking me to set reminders for the birthdays of my family members. Of course, they promise to send you a personalized office for the special occasions. So yeah, quite, quite a smart way of how they’re trying to engage with you and collect data for sure.
Paula Thomas

00:04:57
Oh my goodness. I love that idea. Joseph that’s genius.
Joseph Taylor

00:05:00
Definitely marks and Spencer’s are obviously keeping up with the trends, especially around this whole concept of instant gratification, for sure.
Paula Thomas

00:05:07
Yeah. And it’s such a beloved brand as well. Joseph, you know, I mean, I grew up, I think, you know, in Ireland and actually we used to call it marks and sparks, like that was our name for the brown. So the fact, I think that must be what everybody does and that’s obviously why it’s such a beloved program name even to, to call it sparks. And, but I’ve heard it described before as a very smart program. So that’s a really good, I think tangible example of how can you build, I suppose, the profile of your member at meaningful times, but in a way that’s also beneficial to them. I just really love that idea.
Joseph Taylor

00:05:42
I completely agree. I couldn’t agree more. It’s it’s, it’s just, it’s just one of those programs that they’re really yeah. Keeping up with the trends and they’re really understanding sort of the value that they bring to their consumers. For sure.
Paula Thomas

00:05:55
Yeah. And I think as well, you know, in the UK, the, the whole privacy piece is so sensitive that I’m sure their legal people have been managing this now within an inch of their lives to get that kind of permission and to be obviously very transparent about it. So I do think, you know, privacy is something that I think scares most loyalty marketeers if I’m honest, but again, with a lovely program and care benefits, you can ask for this kind of information in a way that’s of benefit to the member
Joseph Taylor

00:06:23
And a hundred percent. And again, we’ll, we’ll talk about this in a little bit, but yes, definitely, you know, the whole privacy considerations that you need to take into account, but also the value exchange. So why are you asking members to give you their data and what are you giving them in return? What exactly are you sort of pressing that data for? But I think, yeah, it’s really about that value exchange. And it’s so crucial with a lot of these programs, especially loyalty programs.
Paula Thomas

00:06:49
Totally. And I remember from our last conversation, now you have actually been working in this industry about 20 years, Joseph. So for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to listen back to your first interview with us, will you just give us an overview of your career today?
Joseph Taylor

00:07:06
Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, so I started sort of in CRM and loyalty for about 20 years ago, as you said, and I was at the time I was working for ITV digital and I was providing customer analytics and customer segmentation on their pay-per-view TV customers. Since then, you know, I’ve been involved in leading teams, working on customer management, CRM, and loyalty, and again, across different industries. So from media financial services high-tech and direct to consumer, And for the last five years, I’ve been leading the European professional services team at Epsilon, again, with the aim of helping clients realize value from their data, the CRM and loyalty programs as well.
Paula Thomas

00:07:49
Wonderful. Yes. And, and actually what I should also mention is just to congratulate you Joseph, because I looked back at episode 33, as I mentioned, it was April, 2020 when we had our last conversation. And, you know, we would typically expect on this show maybe kind of four to 500 people to listen or plays per show as we call us. But I’m going to give a big reveal. Now your show had 840 plays of your interviews.
Joseph Taylor

00:08:17
Hopefully it was on something, right. And people are getting more interested in this industry for sure.
Paula Thomas

00:08:23
They definitely are. Yes. Yeah. And there was a lot of change at the time. And as I think I said a lot of concern, but I think we are coming out the other side now. So it just feels a lot more positive, I think. Do you feel the same?
Joseph Taylor

00:08:34
We, we do. We do. And, and, and we’re seeing, you know, we’re seeing a lot of engagement, obviously around various different topics. Clearly customers are using digital a lot more. They’re going online, shopping online a lot more. And now obviously with more and more companies realizing that, you know, the traffic is definitely changing, they’re keen to understand, well, how do we, you know, how do we capture these customers? How do we talk to them differently? And what else can we do? You know, is there value in doing things like, you know, loyalty programs? So we’ve definitely seen a lot of engagement around that and interest, and I think it’s really great. A great, because again, it’s so all about innovating the experience, right. And how do we make sure that digital is as strong, if not stronger than, than what we sometimes experience, you know, in a retail environment, perhaps.
Paula Thomas

00:09:21
Yeah, I totally agree. Yeah. I think everybody is stealing. It’s still dealing with exactly what are those changes? How do they start yes. To, to quantify them, to plan for them. So you’re absolutely right. And I do think retail is particularly a sector that has, has just had so much change to deal with. So people are calling to yeah. Yeah. And I guess just to find the loyalty program, I think you are right to mention that Joseph, I do think there’s a lot of us that tend to have to explain to senior management teams exactly what is the loyalty program contributing. And particularly as we get into maybe more normal times, you know, we have to go back to this, what’s the return on investment for the loyalty program and exactly, what’s it bringing to the business
Joseph Taylor

00:10:07
Again, there’s a kind of limited view of loyalty programs, which is all around, you know, you’d use it as a retention strategy, right. But actually loyalty program. In fact, even CRM programs, you know, strong CRM programs, it’s really about, you know, building that, that two-way communication, that two way relationship with the consumer and some channels you can do this really well. And sometimes you have to react very quickly, like what happens on social, right? But within a loyalty program brand has got so much control. And also you’ve got such a great opportunity to build such a strong relationship. And, and if you don’t see it that way as a relationship building exercise, and also as a, in the value that it has that exists within the program, you know, your first body data, the way you can engage with them and the way you can also use that data to support other programs within, you know, the wider marketing group and also, you know, across products and all sorts.
Joseph Taylor

00:10:56
So CSO. So I think, you know, when, when it comes to looking at loyalty as an investment, it’s, it clearly has to be looked at beyond just a retention strategy. And there’s so much that we can talk about on this topic as well.
Paula Thomas

00:11:08
Well, this is exactly why I’m excited about today’s show Joseph because I think we’re certainly preaching to the converted in terms of, you know, the need for loyalty programs in, you know, our retention activities. But the idea that you were telling me you wanted to, and I suppose just create awareness around is the opportunity to use your loyalty program as a way to acquire new customers, which I think is quite controversial actually. So I’d love you to explain, first of all, how can you really acquire new customers using your loyalty platform
Joseph Taylor

00:11:42
Right now, we’re hearing a lot about the fact that more and more people are using, you know, various different devices and obviously clearly lots of, lots of different browsers. And therefore it’s hard to identify who these individuals are, especially when they’re not logged in, right, because we don’t always kind of log in on every single site on every single app, but it’s also gonna, the problem is going to get even worse because there’s this whole eminent sort of removal of digital identifiers. So we’re talking about things like, you know, the third-party cookies that we’re hearing from Google Chrome, for example, or the mobile identifiers that we’ve heard, you know, they came from the likes of apple. So when those identifiers start disappearing, what else have we got to fall back on?
Joseph Taylor

00:12:23
Right. And, and again, there are still lots of marketers out there that relies so much on third-party cookies for things such as in a performance campaigns, right. And, and, and digital campaigns. So loyalty has got this loyalty programs have gotten this opportunity to leverage that first party data outside of just the loyalty program. And we’ll talk about, you know, how do we, how do we do that in terms of acquiring new customers, right. For loyalty programs. So I’m going to call it a three-step process. Yeah. So step one, we’re going to talk about, you know, having a foundational first party data, and I’ll explain that in a bit. The second one is about building online identities and hacking, how do you go about doing that?
Joseph Taylor

00:13:08
And the third one we’re going to talk about, you know, how do we leverage these identities to find new at all, you know, new audiences within the wider marketplace.
Paula Thomas

00:13:17
Okay. Even it, can I interrupt you for one second, Joseph, just because I really do think that there is still a huge education piece around this idea that third-party cookies are disappearing and in some markets, I think that’s that’s well understood. And again, it was your colleague, Elliot Clayton was the very first person to explain to me the dramatic change that was bringing in our ability as marketeers to really understand online behavior with all of that tracking capability. So I just want to expose, get a sense, Joseph, on, you know, you’re based in the UK. I think you have a global remit if I’m not mistaken.
Paula Thomas

00:13:57
Yes. Wonderful. So like, what is your experience in the awareness of this, of this problem and the current, I suppose over-reliance on third-party cookies.
Joseph Taylor

00:14:07
It’s, it’s, it’s a mixed one. And I think some markets, especially the U S there’s a lot of information being shared by the various different agencies and different companies about, you know, what it means to, you know, to lose, you know, access to third-party data. Right. Which is mostly kind of driven by cookies, but they’ve also got, you know, a different legislation around how they collect data in markets like ours, especially, you know, both in the UK and in Europe, you know, you’ve got things like GDPR. So therefore, you know, whenever you collect data, whether you do that through third party cookies, or, you know, through Z or a first-party, it gonna have to give, you know, individuals or customers and reason for collecting that data.
Joseph Taylor

00:14:48
And you don’t have these different, you know, so many data providers out there that can simply share data with you, that you can easily match that with cookies, because in most cases, you know, you’re talking about a cookie, so somebody who’s not authenticated, you don’t really know who they are. Right. They’re still an unknown entity and you clearly know where they’re browsing from and what kind of device they’re using, but not so much information about, you know, who they are really, and whether they transact with you online or offline. So, so, so losing already some of that information that you previously relied on to optimize your website and to try and target them through digital channels, it’s, it’s going to be a big problem.
Joseph Taylor

00:15:31
And again, you know, how do you go about targeting these individuals, right? Unless you start using the big, the big area of sort of walled gardens and ecosystems like the Facebook’s of this world and the Googles and the Amazons of this world. So it becomes a problem because it limits your ability to target and limits your ability to identify and learn about these, these consumers that are busy, sort of browsing the net and looking from one, one site at an accident and exploring content and products are out there.
Paula Thomas

00:15:59
Totally. Totally. Okay. So sorry, I interrupted you and Yeah, so again, just the, there’s so many different, you know, countries listening to this show. So as I said, I still think there’s a lot of education around that. So thank you for that. And then I guess into this whole idea about, you know, first party data, again, everyone listening to this show absolutely bought into that concept. But as you said, I think we’ve only been valuing our loyalty programs based on using that data to change behavior with those customers. But there is this opportunity now to look for new customers based on the data within the loyalty platform. So we did take us through these three stages that you mentioned, and you could use to do exactly that.
Joseph Taylor

00:16:45
Yes, absolutely. So we’ll, we’ll, we’ll start with the, with the first stage, which we talked about earlier, which is, but we need to have a good foundational first body of data, right? So an effective loyalty program offers us a strong two-way value exchange in which obviously customers are encouraged to share their data, right. And in return, we will provide them with exclusive offers and personalized loyalty experience. Yeah, we’ve already kind of talked a little bit earlier about the, you know, the sparks program and how they use smart ways to collect data in a privacy compliant and transparent manner. So step one, build a loyalty capability with a strong value proposition that helps you collect that first party data.
Joseph Taylor

00:17:25
And this is where marketers can work with special specialist providers, you know, such such as Epsilon. Who’ve got experience in designing, implementing, and optimizing CRM and lots of capabilities in a privacy-compliant manner. Now the second step is about, you know, well, how do we build these online sort of, you know, profiles, right? And again, this is where we talk about, you know, from an Epsilon standpoint, we talk a lot about building your own private identity graph, and this requires selecting an experienced and reliable partner that can match most of your first party loyalty data, right against a cookie proof identity network.
Joseph Taylor

00:18:07
Like what we do at Epsilon. This means, you know, you match your first buddy data with a scalable identity graph that can help you build these enhanced profiles that can be found both online and offline. So, step two is really about building these, you know, owning your own private identity graph that can help you identify both your existing members, but also non-customers or non members that are browsing your science, your apps, right from this, you know, with the power of this identity network. And then lastly, the last final step is really okay. Well, now that you’ve got these enhanced customer profiles, you know, we need to try and find a way of finding new audiences, like your best loyalty customers, right?
Joseph Taylor

00:18:49
And again, this tactic is commonly known in the media. Well, this look like modeling and it helps you build your prospective audiences and that you can target with the right offer at the right time.
Paula Thomas

00:19:01
Okay.
Joseph Taylor

00:19:02
So, sow obviously with the identity partner death, you know, we’ll have this kind of reach this kind of strong market reach, right? You can also analyze think about this, the size of your market opportunity online. You tell them, right, I’ve got these individuals, these are my best customers. How many of them are there in the market? And then once you know that you can start devising appropriate strategies to go after these is new opportunities,
Paula Thomas

00:19:27
It sounds very clever. And I would love to understand more Joseph about what do you mean by a private identity graph? Because again, step one super clear world, really, you know, again, very happy with the, you know, first-party data collection and building an existing loyalty program. So what’s a private identity graph. Is that something that you guys have built and where does the data come from within that identity network
Joseph Taylor

00:19:53
Epsilon? Like, you know, some of them are, the providers are there, they have got an end to end ecosystem, right? Where we have a combinate it’s it’s affecting of S and marketplace, right. Where you’ve got brands that act as publishers, right. Where they make their existing digital ecosystem available for advertisers, right. To advertise, Right? So they are exposing their audiences. They’re exposing their digital properties to advertisers to be able to communicate their own value propositions. Now, the data that is flowing through that network is obviously something that we curate, you know, very well as an ecosystem.
Joseph Taylor

00:20:35
And then what, what really though happens is that each individual company that decides to leverage that network is able to look at right, is this individual that is browsing my site or browsing my app, is this person already within this network? And can I find this person within the network? And what else do we know about them? And again, we’re not talking about necessarily sharing data between partners, between different companies, because every single one of them have got their own isolated Privacy. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. What we’re specifically talking about here is the ability for us to tell them whether the individual has been in the network and also whether the individual has, whether we know any additional information about perhaps, you know, have they got any other devices?
Joseph Taylor

00:21:24
Have they gone any other, is there any other information that we know about them? Like, for example, you know, how often did they show up within this particular network? So it’s it’s information that gets led on top of the client’s first party data. Right. But then they have a stronger online identity because we’re, we’re telling them is, oh, yes, of course this individual has these devices. This individual has this particular online profile. So it’s really about making sure that we’re helping clients see them more than just a cookie. And again, with cookies disappearing, right. You really need to be able to still find these individuals within, within, within the network to be able to talk to them.
Paula Thomas

00:22:08
Sure. Yeah. And, and what’s striking me about that, Joseph, I like this, this word you used about layering of data, because as you said, so cookies, you know how to place, and we’ll still have a place for, for a short while, but the more, I suppose, mutually beneficial understandings, we can build up our customer profile. It just makes us all more intelligent. And I guess obviously, as you said, in an anonymous way, but I particularly liked the piece about the devices, insights, Joseph, because I remember when I was, I was on your event actually last year, the persona live events and Amy Lindsay was mentioning only about three to 4% of customer journeys actually overlap. And we all tend to think that, you know, people behave very similarly, but actually that’s just not what happens.
Paula Thomas

00:22:53
So you’ll never know whether they’re going to show up in the, you know, what type of device or where else they’re shopping. So I think the more layers we can add, the more insights we’re going to house.
Joseph Taylor

00:23:04
Absolutely. And all of this is also kind of, you know, again, it’s, it’s all about compliance, right? So we don’t track devices. We don’t track individuals without their consent. And this is what we, you know, we make sure we always do like all responsible partners and responsible providers out there. Right. You’re doing this all within the boundaries of the law that are on top of that. Also give them a value, a value, a reason why you’re doing this. So yes. We’d like to know a little bit more about your less. Yes. We want to be able to identify you as an individual, but in return you’re doing that because you’re providing a better personalized experience or you know, much more relevant office to, to what you’d normally do when, when you’ve gone identify individuals.
Paula Thomas

00:23:45
Yeah. And I know one of my favorite terms that our industry Joseph, and I don’t know if it said if it’s used actually in Epsilon as well, but I remember somebody using the words progressive profiling. That’s exactly. Okay. So you’re, you’re obviously using the same term. I think that’s a very clever one as well, especially for, again, I suppose people listening to this show who need to explain to other departments and other teams. And I think particularly, you know, this whole idea that very often in marketing teams, the acquisition marketing people sit in a separate department and are often very disjointed from the people who sit in loyalty. So the whole opportunity for these people to work together more closely with an understanding that first of all, we can progressively profile our customers.
Paula Thomas

00:24:32
And then as you’re alluding to, there’s an opportunity to support the acquisition teams using that enhanced state of profile
Joseph Taylor

00:24:40
A hundred, hundred percent, a hundred percent. I mean, a lot of the time, obviously with, with acquisition, you’re definitely dealing with a lot of platforms and channels, right. And you’re also potentially dealing with data that it’s not necessarily yours. So you’re making guesses around their demographics. You’re making guesses around their location, the things they’re interested in. Right. And that our current online intent, when you’ve already got some of the information on your own existing properties, you’ve already got some of the information within your loyalty program. Right. So wouldn’t it be nice that if you actually leveraged that to be able to inform your acquisition strategies, and again, we could do that for a lot of, you know, lots of other programs, not just acquisition in this case.
Paula Thomas

00:25:20
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So what would it look like then, I guess for, you know, in your experience, different brands, those are, you know, looking at this type of approach, what does it deliver for them?
Joseph Taylor

00:25:31
Sure. So, so again, when we talk about implementation, I, I’m talking about sort of targeting your best customers, right? We know that, you know, if you’re targeting prospects that look like your best customers, you’re, you’re going to increase your chances of acquiring high potential value members and also improves the return of your existing programs all at once. Right? So there’s kind of, win-win on both sides there it’s, it’s what we call the quality over the quantity. And again, using the parent Pareto principle, right? You are aiming to have your sort of top 20 of your best customers, right? Delivering 80% of your future profits.
Joseph Taylor

00:26:12
If we can identify these prospects for look like your top 20 and build a strong acquisition program around them, then obviously we can entice them with stronger office, right. That will convert them into high value program members. And again, it’s going back to that same kind of concept of having a strong identity, right. Build from your existing loyalty member data will help you experiment and test out these strategies, which is obviously going to be much easier than, than other acquisition initiatives that sort of, we talked about a bit where you’re targeting all sorts of different audiences, some of which might not at that point in time, be interested in your loyalty program. Yeah. So, so value of the kind of loyalty member data, right. As you can see, it doesn’t stop that as well. You can leverage the same data, right.
Joseph Taylor

00:26:53
And the same identity to reach and retarget those lapse loyalty members rather than just simply right. Using email perhaps, or the traditional approaches. Right. We can still go and read target, and we could still go and talk to them again via other digital and offline channels as well. So there’s, there’s a huge amount of value in that data. And again, it’s all about getting different parts of the organization talking to each other and making them realize the value that they have already. Yeah.
Paula Thomas

00:27:18
Yeah. And again, I suppose, going back to my own days, running loyalty programs, Joseph, which I know you also did, of course, on the client side, it was always difficult to build the business case, you know, to, to, again, as we said earlier, justify sometimes the level of investment required to deliver programs of the scale and quality that we really need. And I guess as customers increasingly expect, what, if you can add in an extra concept on an extra value, I suppose, to, you know, as you said, informing the acquisition efforts to match the Paraiso principle, the top 20%, not just any customer which are most valuable customers. I think that kind of modeling could be incredibly valuable for brands
Joseph Taylor

00:28:00
A hundred, a hundred percent. And, and again, it’s, it’s about sort of sharing those learnings and those insights, right? If you’ve got so many insights about your customers, why can’t we go and talk to other other departments and other parts of the organization about them? And, you know, it’s a bit like becoming the customer champion, which is kind of what we’re here talking about. Right. But it’s, it’s not just leaving it within the marketing team is going to go and talk to other parts of the organization, you know, show them the potential and then partner up with colleagues within the different departments and find out whether there’s an opportunity to kind of, you know, leverage that potential across the organization.
Paula Thomas

00:28:36
Yeah. And I’ve said a few times, actually, just in the last few weeks, Joseph does, somebody mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Sam loyalty is a very lonely business and I can hear also. Yeah, well, I totally felt that because it feels like such a, you know, refined discipline that I always felt that internally again, there was not a lot of people who really understood what we were doing in our department. So I guess anything like this, where you can show that added value, as you said, go and support your acquisition marketing colleagues. I just think it’s good for the overall organization as a whole.
Joseph Taylor

00:29:12
Okay. Opposite. I absolutely agree with you the loyalty in the beginning, when you start a lot of the initiative, there’s a lot of focus around the performance of the program itself. And so therefore you tend to sort of narrow down, right. And focus on making sure that you’re achieving a certain level of performance because that’s, what’s being promised right. Based on the business case that was developed originally. And again, it kind of started from the get-go focusing on specific goals and, but you know, the opportunity, it doesn’t stop there. And again, as soon as the, the, you know, certain members within the team are able to go and talk to other stakeholders within the organization, right. They can start sharing these findings, these learnings. And again, they need to take it like a learning rather than just simply, oh, look, I’ve met my numbers.
Joseph Taylor

00:29:53
I’ve actually achieved my numbers. It’s kind of get excited about the potential potential to go beyond just delivering on, on the
Paula Thomas

00:30:01
Wow. So I can imagine everybody listening is wondering, you know, how much of this kind of work is, is happening in the loyalty industry worldwide. Joseph, can you share maybe some examples in your experience of, of, you know, maybe clients that you’ve done this with?
Joseph Taylor

00:30:15
Yeah, of course. Absolutely. And I’ve got, I’ll be talking about two examples right. From, from different industries. And the first one is specifically from the hospitality industry. So we, we worked with a company called preferred hotels, right? They’re, they’re a chain of independent hotels and they’ve got several sort of different locations around the world and they needed a solution to create stronger engagement for the, I prefer rewards program members. They already had demographic data and reservation data from their existing loyalty program. But although they were sending personalized email marketing campaigns, right. And they were not happy with the level of engagement that they were getting from these members.
Paula Thomas

00:30:59
Yeah,
Joseph Taylor

00:31:00
Exactly, exactly. And so they tried to, you know, like most of us would have done right. Try to use different digital channels, right. To entice some of these members back again, they were focusing too much on converting existing site traffic and not really kind of drilling down and looking at, you know, what, what what’s happening, what was going on with the high value and ops members. Okay. So we work with them, we built their private ID graph, right. And, and we help, we help them match. They helped them to start delivering highly personalized digital promotions about the residences and about, you know, the different experiences. And again, all of this link to, you know, each members previously visited destination and reservations.
Paula Thomas

00:31:40
So
Joseph Taylor

00:31:41
This, this solution actually delivered a combined 50% increase in both online engagement and human engagement. And what’s even knows this, that in the end, even delivered 15% lift in new reservations, which is kind of really giving them sort of, you know, value beyond what they were expecting.
Paula Thomas

00:31:58
Wow. Yeah. Well, I mean, again, we have a lot of people in the hotel industry, Joseph who have obviously been through a tough couple of years, but I suppose any campaign that you can demonstrate a 15% lift in reservations, that’s, that’s a really impressive number. My goodness.
Joseph Taylor

00:32:13
Absolutely. And, and digital, you know, digital is one way to get some of that attention. Right. Which obviously traditionally we’ve kind of relied on just the limited set of channels, but yeah. Digital can open up quite a lot more opportunities. Yeah. Yeah. Then the second one that I want to talk about as well is something from the retail industry, it’s a company called route 21 clothing and accessories retailer. They they’ve had transactional data. And again, they had some email data, right. That they collected from their both point of sale systems and their e-commerce site, but they didn’t quite know who their customers were. And also what they’d like to shop, you know, w what they like to shop and where they like to shop so Epsilon, right.
Joseph Taylor

00:32:57
Help them design and implement a loyalty program. Again, help them identify who their customers are, both online and offline. We also help them incentivize them right. To investments into my side, their members to complete their profiles. And again, through this exercise, they were able to get some, some really great insights. So, so they discovered that 30% of their shoppers were actually parents buying for the children, which is really interesting. Yeah, absolutely. And, and on top of that, even 40% of their shoppers came from a multicultural background now. Yeah, no, no, it’s, it was incredible, but you know, Rue 21 has a strong marketing team and, and, and they’re, they’re really good.
Joseph Taylor

00:33:43
They reacted, you know, they’re not actually active, sorry, up on the learnings, you know, really, really quickly on that. First of all, they looked at how to improve their branding and photography, right. To reflect this multicultural membership that they’ve got. And they also started to improving their offers as well. Now this time with a focus on targeting parents during seasonal events, such as back to school. So yes, it was, it was interesting how obviously, you know, with a bit more of a, you know, additional focus on data and generating those customer insights, right. How can you then take that into your program to optimize and improve what you’ve already got? They were also very, very successful as well at using direct mail.
Joseph Taylor

00:34:25
Right? Which some people might say, well, actually, that’s very old traditional channel. We know what would you want to send the catalogs and coupons right. To somebody’s house badly. You know, they used it as a channel and, and it helped them generate incredible sort of incremental sales on top of what they already do online. And, and now we’re at the, you know, we’re at a stage where we’re helping route 21, you know, who use their first party data to help them build prospective customer lists, especially for online targeting, but also size up prospective opportunities around, you know, some of their bigger stores. So again, you know, through to the power of the identity and the power of the ID graph, you know, what do we, what else do we know about these individuals?
Joseph Taylor

00:35:07
Where, what else did they live? You know, how close are they to these particular stores and, and therefore, you know, how many other non-members are there out there that they can potentially target? So again, it’s, it’s a nice example of how, in this case we’ve helped, you know, brands established brands that have got some data, but perhaps they didn’t think they could do more with it, and they couldn’t use the loyalty program to help them achieve some of those goals. So, yeah. So it’s, hopefully it’s something that is also kind of interesting and maybe have an interest as well to, you know,
Paula Thomas

00:35:40
Totally, totally. And the first thing I’ll say, Joseph, is obviously we’d love to get both Rue 21 and preferred hotels to come onto Let’s Talk Loyalty and share their experience as well because I think there’s incredible learnings in this whole concept. So definitely we’ll extend that invitation straight away. And you had mentioned these two brands to me just briefly, I suppose, am in preparation for today. And I just, even, I hadn’t heard of the route 21 brand Joseph, so I just, of course, went straight to their website. And the first thing that struck me was the multicultural visual imagery. It immediately impressed me. I was like, that is a brand that is at least practicing diversity.
Paula Thomas

00:36:21
And I didn’t know your perspective, obviously in that they done the research obviously to understand the multicultural nature of their customers, but you can feel it immediately when you see how they’re marketing themselves
Joseph Taylor

00:36:32
No, a hundred percent. And again, and in that case, I mean, in the case of route 21, not only did they have as they collect data from their program, but also they were getting a lot of feedback from the retail staff. And also we help them find a, you know, an additional data source, which we’ve got partnerships with to also kind of enriched this additional kind of, you know, information around sort of, you know, the, the background, the actual cultural backgrounds of some of these individuals. And, and I think that’s, that’s very, very important as well, right? Because again, it’s a little bit like trying to sort of get a Western company to go and promote their products in China, but all the imagery around looking like Western people rather than, you know, Asians and net market.
Joseph Taylor

00:37:12
And we all kind of go through this kind of learning experience. But yeah, this is kind of a really nice way of how, as I said, the marketing team is incredibly kind of switched on. And as soon as they picked up on the, on those learnings, they went and acted on them straight away.
Paula Thomas

00:37:27
Yeah. And again, it’s a great example because I think, you know, again, in traditional, you know, offline stores, you know, high street retailers of course understand their customer profile just from, you know, meeting them in store. But obviously with the last couple of years, the shift to online, you don’t get those cultural insights. So I think it is important to have a reactive marketing team that first of all, asks those questions and then I tell them,
Joseph Taylor

00:37:54
I agree,
Paula Thomas

00:37:55
Wonderful. Well, well, listen, as I said, Joseph, I think we have come an extraordinary way forward in the last two years. I think you guys are doing an incredible amount of work leading, I suppose, in terms of the thinking for loyalty market tiers. As I said, it was you guys who first told me about the cookie problem, which again, I was completely unaware of. So that was my first real learning from Epsilon. But now this whole concept of, I think you called it a private identity graph in terms of, as you said, mirroring your top 20% of your customers in order to acquire lookalikes. I think this is a wonderful concept.
Joseph Taylor

00:38:33
It is. It is. And again, you know, if you look at, you know, it’s about looking at the potential that your loyalty program data can, can offer you beyond just your existing loyalty members and yeah, no, absolutely. It’s, it’s, it’s hopefully, you know, it inspires a few more other, people’s kind of to look at the value of loyalty beyond just the program and find opportunities to engage with both lapsed members, but also to be able to go and find, you know, more people like their best customers as well.
Paula Thomas

00:39:03
Wonderful. Well, on that note, I will say, I have asked all of my questions, Joseph, is there anything else you wanted to say for our listeners before we wrap up?
Joseph Taylor

00:39:11
Yes. I would like to leave your listeners with a simple message that a loyalty program is more than just a retention program. So let’s start exploring how to unlock loyalty’s full potential as an asset for value creation.
Paula Thomas

00:39:24
With that said, I will say Joseph Taylor, senior vice president of strategic consulting and operations for Epsilon. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Joseph Taylor

00:39:33
Thanks Paula, for having me to thank you.
Paula Thomas

00:39:37
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 LoyaltyAacademy, 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

00:40:18
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