Today is a short summary show of our interview with Bart Demczuk, Managing Director at Comarch Middle East, who joined “Let’s Talk Loyalty” in 2021 to share his perspective on our industry and what key issues were top of mind with his loyalty marketing technology clients in the Middle East region.
Bart shared his insights and expertise on how to best manage the data that we collect on our customers, given the importance of balancing privacy and personalization in a way that customers truly value.
We also discussed the importance of building direct relationships with your customers, as well as Bart’s advice on what KPIs are most important for loyalty program managers to measure and manage.
1) Bart Demczuk
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.
Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. I’m your host, Paula. And as you all know, we normally have an interview every Wednesday, as well as every Thursday. But today instead is one of our short summary episodes. One of the reasons is that I’m currently on annual leave for my wedding. So while I can usually manage changes in the availability of our guests, that just wasn’t possible this time around. So I hope you’ll check out some of my wedding pictures on LinkedIn, which I promised to post when I’m back at my desk next week. So back to business, in this review, I’m looking back to June of 2021. When I met in person with Bart Demczuk, Managing Director of Comarch Middle East, to hear his perspective on our industry, and what key issues are top of mind with his loyalty marketing technology clients in the Middle East region.
To start Bart shared with us his thoughts about how best to manage the data that we collect on our customers, which is of course a huge issue, although it is to very different degrees in different markets, worldwide. Bart highlighted the temptation to use excessive personalization when marketing to customers with their data. A trend, which I think has been exacerbated by our increasing use of social media over the last few years. So he reminded us of the importance of balancing privacy and personalization in a way that customers truly value, all of us love to collect data on our customers, purchases, and their behavior. And of course, we know it can be very helpful to serve that customer. But I do think that the needs of the business must also be balanced by how it makes the customer feel. When too much data is collected or it’s used excessively, Bart reminded us that customers experience it as a violation of their privacy. And of course, then this just damages the relationship that you’ve worked so hard to create. Bart had some great insights on how to collect data in a more sensitive way, and use it instead in a way that will simply delight your customers.
The second thing we talked about was the dramatic increase in eCommerce during the pandemic, which lots more brands becoming more reliant on selling online. But in some industries, they chose to rely on intermediaries or platforms like the food delivery aggregators who have built up relevant audiences for specific customer needs. For sure this helped to create new sales and marketing channels, but many brands are now beginning to realize that this means losing the opportunity to build any direct relationship with your customers. Bart believes that the best focus is always to focus on direct channels and connections with customers. Otherwise it’s the aggregators who capture these markets and end up owning these very valuable relationships. Those indirect sales channels definitely made sense in the short term when brands had to pivot very quickly during the pandemic, but now it’s back to almost normal. So direct sales and customer relationships are critical.
Our other main topic was what KPIs are most important for loyalty program managers to measure. A common mistake Bart sees is when program owners compare the statistics of members against non-members. And of course, they’re always looking very different and very impressive, but unfortunately, we can’t attribute those differences to our investment in a loyalty program. Correlation is not the same as causation. And this in my experience is where many loyalty professionals, including myself in the past might have lost credibility with colleagues in other departments, such as finance. So instead part recommends KPIs such as driving your share of the customer’s wallet, as well as measuring the growth in average order values for your members.
So that’s it for this short summary. If you’d like to hear more insights and privacy and loyalty from Bart’s many years of expertise, please do check out the full interview it’s available on letstalkloyalty.com/112, and tomorrow now we will be back with one of my favorite loyalty propositions that I’ve seen since launching the show.
It’s a brand new interview with Dave Canty, as he shares with me, all the latest news on Bilt Rewards. Bilt Rewards, of course, is continuing its exciting growth, rewarding more and more tenants for paying their apartment or house rent on time. So, this is definitely an innovative idea and definitely want to listen to.
Thanks again for listening to the episode. And I’ll talk with you again tomorrow.
This show is sponsored by The Loyalty People. A global strategic consultancy with a laser-focused on loyalty, CRM, and customer engagement. The Loyalty People work with clients in lots of different ways, whether it’s the strategic design of your loyalty program or a full service, including loyalty project execution. And they can also advise you on choosing the right technology and service partners. On their website, The Loyalty People also runs a free global community for loyalty practitioners and they also publish their own loyalty expert insights. So for more information and to subscribe, check out theloyaltypeople.global.
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