Audio Transcript

Welcome to “Let’s Talk Loyalty”, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas. And if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. This episode is brought to you by Epsilon and their award-winning people cloud loyalty solution. Today, I’m delighted to announce that I’m taking part in Epsilon’s persona live event. This June persona live is a series of online events designed to inspire market tiers with thought leadership, best practices, as well as interactive discussions around identity and personalizing our customer’s experiences.
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If you’d like to register for this free event and hear from Epsilon clients such as Marriott inspire brands, GM financial, and FedEx, just go ahead and visit epsilon.com forward slash let’s talk loyalty.
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hello,
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And welcome to today’s episode of let’s talk loyalty today. I’m delighted
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To have my first guest on the show for a second time out. Impostor well known to many listeners as a loyalty specialist based out of Australia, and also particularly renowned for the publication of his annual report known as for love or money. So today Adam came onto the show to talk through some of the really fascinating learnings and lessons that came through in the latest research. He, for example, talks about some dramatic changes in activity rates by members of loyalty programs in the Australian market, some fascinating interest in the use of plastic cars by consumers, and well as some exciting insights on what new technologies customers are themselves specifically enjoying using.
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So without further ado, I’m really excited to talk about for love or money with Adam Posner.
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so
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Adam, please do tell me, what is your favorite loyalty statistic in 2021, 2221
2m 21s
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Has revealed some amazing statistics for me because of the release of our, for level money research study this year. But one that just blew me away, Paula, and more surprised than I am delighted is that we every year have been tracking since 2017. What I call the member interaction, identification and payments integration programs, and of the four elements that we research. We always look at the loyalty card and then paying separately. We look at mobile apps or mobile with payment integration. We look at, you know, apps with payments separate, and we also look at just a unique identifier, give me your email or whatever it is.
3m 5s
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And since 2017, the use of loyalty cards has been declining security complete from 81% preference down to about 47% in 2020. And then in 2021, I got the results and loyalty card preferences, significantly jumped to 55% of members saying they prefer to interact with the program. So, wow. That blew me away. And what are you thinking about, what do you think about that statistic?
3m 36s
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Well, I don’t know what to make of it. I have to say is, is the honest answer. And we talked about this a little bit before Adam and part of me was kind of like going, is it back to the prestige factor? Is that people wanting their silver and their gold cards? Because historically that’s, that’s the only reason I’ve ever really enjoyed presenting a card. And, and I didn’t, I don’t feel it is that Adam. So I don’t know whether it’s just, you know, people prefer certainty, whether there’s something about this COVID mindset where people are kind of going, do you know what actually, you know, it’s just nice to kind of, you know, make sure I get my points and all of that. So, I mean, it’s, it’s the, you know, the original form of identification as we know the, the most reliable, but my experience when I was thinking back, for example, to Ireland, you know, if I would hand over, let’s say my grocery, which would have been the plastic card I used the most, that did require me to hand it to the person, you know, so that they would take it.
4m 32s
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So this contact, and again, with health in mind, I was kind of thinking, no, actually I don’t want to have contact or transferring cards. So I really don’t know what to make of it, of them. I mean, it really is a really surprising statistic.
4m 45s
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Yeah. And surprise me too. I mean, we, in our research, we done ask why, why did you give that preference to myself in 2022? I’m going to ask why, but, but I don’t dig it the deeper into the, into the demographic and generational segments because we also analyze by gender. And we also look at, you know, gen Z, gen X, gen Y, and, and baby boomers. And I noticed that baby boomers have a massive preference. 82% said they prefer the card. Whereas gen Y 30, I think it was 36% said, you know, they prefer other well, they don’t prefer the card as much. So you got to look deeper into the insights.
5m 26s
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You know what they’d say about statistics? Sometimes you just got to go a little bit deeper and see where the insight is. So, no, I don’t actually have a reason. I mean, I think just a personal point of view in Australia. I think there’s some of the big programs still have, you know, many older members, they still love the card. Some programs have been coming into the market and launching with, with many options, you know, the app, you know, the mobile integration as well as a card to cover all bases, some of my hypotheses. However, back to your question, that surprised me the most amongst many others.
6m 0s
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Okay. Well, it’s a big statistic for sure, Adam, and definitely one, as you said, I really want to get in and understand it and, and challenge myself and, and maybe some of my other guests as well to see if that says something that they’re also seeing, because I think, you know, what I really was thinking about in preparation for this conversation was it’s so important to get the consumer perspective, but actually what we might also start needing to do is really start to get the B2B perspective and talk to more of our own community, just to kind of see if anybody’s experiencing it outside, for example, of Australia and New Zealand. So definitely I think it’s, it’s going to provoke something.
6m 40s
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So I know when we publish this podcast together, w we’ll get plenty of commentary. So we’ll certainly enjoy that. So for people who aren’t familiar with, particularly this reports, and I know it’s the ninth edition, so it’s cold for love or money. It’s the 20, 21 reports and obviously reflects the loyalty markets from a consumer perspective, both in Australia. And I know in New Zealand. So I guess the really important piece for me to understand thinking about listeners in the U S and in the UK for example, is really, you know, just give us the context for how do you do the report? Why do you do the report? I think I’ve talked about where you do the reports on, and just even when, so we’re chatting here today, now it’s may, but yeah.
7m 27s
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Just give us a bit of the context of, of where this whole kind of concept came from.
7m 32s
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Yeah. Thank you for asking that. Well, I’m a, you know, I’m a loyalty consultant, independent, always looking to learn. And I woke up one day and in fact, I met a colleague of mine, his name’s Pete noble we’re, you know, eight, nine, 10 years ago. And I said, I just think we need to do some insights about asking consumers what they think about loyalty and loyalty programs fast forward to today, where I’ve now done 14 studies, where the context is really just to keep myself fresh and really inspire the loyalty community. And like you did with your podcast and your content. So, so this study has now become a inspiration for loyalty marketers, for agencies, even my competitors love the, the, the research, you know, consultants, that loyalty technology providers, I guess I’m trying to lift and trying to lift the loyalty industry to out of what my mentor is out of the sea of sameness, if I can get insights, which just because it’s the Australian market and the dealer market doesn’t mean these don’t translate well.
8m 40s
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And, and it is a robust study. It’s an independently commissioned, it’s a thousand, a thousand plus consumers. So the sample size is significant. The margin of error is around 3%. So the sentiment is there. So yeah, that’s the background it’s to inspire our industries to our industry to be better.
8m 60s
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Absolutely. Yeah. And definitely that’s something we’ve always shared, Adam. I think we bonded on LinkedIn initially, but there is, we’re both, you know, genuinely I’m intrigued. And I I’ve started saying in my own conversations, the reason I’m podcasting is because I have more questions that I have answers. So I’m always relieved when I have someone like you, who’s got lots of answers. So as, so it’s always great. And, and one really important point as well for people listening. I mean, you know, you know, there’s, there’s over a hundred shows have gone out. You are my very first returning guests. So I think, I think that’s, first of all, the credit to you last year, I remember it was just as, as COVID was, was starting to land in terms of the impact on us as professionals.
9m 49s
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We did a great show based on some research you’d done then, which I think was called 119 loyalty ideas to beat COVID-19. So that was an extraordinary show. And yeah, and, and particularly I know how well respected this report is so for love, for money, phenomenal and great to have access to it. So, so let’s dive in Adam there’s. I think, first of all, really comprehensive executive summary that we know is available to everybody free of charge around the world. I was obviously reading it in preparation for today, a full 22 pages. So plenty there in the executive summary alone. So don’t have any sleepless nights. You had that in pulling it together, but tell me, well, I’m glad you have some support in terms of the agency behind you doing it because they get, I think market research has to be, has to be run again, as we say, for loyalty programs and with market research has to be done by professionals.
10m 45s
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So, so that’s super, and, but given how much, the depth of, of what you’ve been researching, Adam, what are the key points that you want to highlight? Let’s say even, you know, what’s, what’s the, the first big thing that you noticed in this report for love, for money 2021?
11m 3s
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The big thing for me is, would be tracking for now eight years, what I called member activity. So how active are members in programs? And that is a key metric. In fact, is one of my favorite statistics from other conversations you and I have had. And then the member loyalty managers around the world have many ways of measuring success and one, and perhaps one of the most important ones besides revenue and return on investment and a few others, one of the most important is how active are their members. However, they define them and I’ve seen a steady decline. In fact, the current statistic or measure, according to our, we studied is sitting at 43%, say they’re active in all of their programs and that’s declined over eight years.
11m 48s
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So it’s a little bit sobering, but it’s also a wake up call know people listening here will say, well, that’s that’s that’s that’s okay. My member engagement director is at 70%. Well, good luck. And give me a call afterwards and tell me what you’re doing. That’d be that to me is one of those benchmarks that every loyalty marketers should think about. And that keeps me honest and, and keeps everyone else the other trend that I’ve been tracking. And it’s more about this concept of loyalty versus loyalty program. Now I’m a big believer in that loyalty is not a program. Yeah. And loyalty is an outcome.
12m 30s
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And I’ve been studying for the last five years in the study about what I call the 11 dimensions of loyalty. So I call them the two dimensions. I call them behavior and belief. And there’s a lot of what I call layers underneath that transactional loyalty, emotional too, but I call them behavior and belief. And I’ve heard many of your podcasts, people talk about this, but we’ve been studying these 11 dimensions to see how they’d been tracking and moving. And in 2021, I’m seeing a little bit of a move away from what I call behavioral loyalty, which is the transaction into the emotional connections and dimensions. Now, transactional store number one and two, it hasn’t moved, but it is slowly, it’s slowly dissipating into what I call the belief loyalty.
13m 18s
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Yeah. So that I think is another thing for the wider loyalty community to always ask themselves loyalty versus loyalty program. And I’m a true believer that there are different
13m 30s
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Totally right, Adam and I’ve often made the point on the show that the reason that this podcast is not called let’s talk loyalty programs is exactly that. So it, this is about what I would say is the emotion of loyalty, what you described as the outcome of loyalty. And to me, you know, surprisingly for example, one of my most listened to shows is nothing to do with points or prizes or, or any of our mechanics. It’s actually about the concept of simplicity. So I’m sure you have plenty of views about that as well. But again, if there’s a way to drive loyalty from customers and actually, well, just make it easy, it’s something that I’ve learned along the way, you know, it shouldn’t be complicated.
14m 10s
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Yeah.
14m 10s
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Yeah. And then, you know, you’re right. But this study some of the mechanics of programs and my little mantra there is what I call SPB simple, personal valuable. And I was a study that and ask members. So you know, how they write the experience around simplicity, personalization, or being personal and how valuable that now, again, I’m not surprised to see that the value, the value comes through simplicity for members as it is for internet. So I agree with what you’re saying there. Yeah.
14m 50s
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And there’s lots of different ways that can come through Adam, but just because you mentioned program structures, that was one of my favorite parts of reading the, the executive summary for the report, because it reflects some of the work I’ve done in the past. So maybe it’s just my ego and both, you know, but it’s always good validation, you know, because again, there’s a, an eternal debate, I think in our industry about, you know, the value of points, the value of gamification, the value of partnerships. So, so I’d love maybe just to talk about any, any conclusions around that whole area of program structure. And again, I know it’s, you know, predominantly Australian consumer research, but again, I think it will give food for thought to listeners in, in all markets around the world.
15m 37s
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Yeah. Now when we talk about things, you asking that one, when we talk about program structure, you know, you know, as you say, we’ve got to look at a whole range of elements. And in every research we do, we do look at things like tiering versus no cheering subscription versus free. We look at immediate rewards saving up for the future. We look at any patient as a structural element. And we looked at this year, we looked at adding partnerships into the ecosystem of a program. Your members want to be rewarded outside of the program or only from within the ecosystem of the brand. So we look at a myriad of different program structures, which one of those you want to, you want to pick on, but they also many and structures of programs that are Armenia.
16m 23s
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I was particularly interested to understand where partnerships are going with programs. That seems to be the Hartford area at the moment, everyone’s saying let’s add value to our members. Let’s bring in partners from outside and add more to the, to the life of a member. So I’ll ask this later in the research, do you prefer to be, you know, rewarded from only within the brands, products and services and offerings, or do you prefer, would you like to see offers from external? And I’ll try to keep an open mind. I knew I had a feeling what would happen, but I was neither nor I was delighted, but not that surprised to see that they want partnerships.
17m 5s
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So they want added value members want that extra outside of all the other brand.
17m 11s
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Yeah. And that is exactly the conclusions that, that I always had to get out and with, you know, kind of blind research, talking to people because we were doing programs entirely based on partnerships. And, but when it came to rewarding, certainly our members, we found that there was sometimes this perception that if you reward people just with your own core product and it was in the telecoms industry in this example, and they sometimes felt that that was a little bit lazy that, you know, okay, you know, that’s fine, that’s kind of expected. And I know you’re a big fan of, of joy in, in, in terms of the creating moments. So we will definitely need to talk about that, but the research that we had, for example, and again, it was one company at one moment in time, but there was a triple and benefit as in the, it was three times more impressive to a member if they had, if they saw a member, sorry, a partner rewards versus our own core, we used to call them core rewards versus third-party rewards.
18m 9s
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So I definitely think that that’s something that’s coming in through in your research. And before we talk about joy, we can’t skip over the subscription versus free Adam, because that’s a, that’s a hot topic. I was speaking at an event myself this morning and it’s, you know, they said, what’s the next big mega trends. And because it was a non loyalty audience, I exactly said paid loyalty, certainly in mature markets is, is exploding and giving the example in my, my experience with Panera breads and the, the big coffee chain and, and cafes in the U S so what did Australian customers say about paid loyalty versus free loyalty programs?
18m 43s
3

Yeah. So you’ve got to contextualize this very carefully because in a research study, you don’t prove the value. So you’re done, you know what I mean, with spite or subscription, the value has to be there, no question. And you’ve got to prove the value. So if you’re asking somebody to part, with money, for a range of benefits or ongoing, you know, savings, you don’t prove that value. And so in a study like this, we don’t have the pleasure of saying, you know, paid by it. We just ask very straightforward question, which is, you know, do you prefer a program that has a free membership with access to a limited range of benefits and savings versus a program with a subscription membership that provides access to a extended range of benefits and savings.
19m 36s
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You got to give context to the results. The result is overwhelmingly that members want a free program. Okay. Yeah. But you’re right in that context. Absolutely. Because there’s no value proven by the proposition. Yeah. Subscription programs and PI programs are a huge benefit for business for a whole range of reasons, benefit for members. It has to be proven. And as I’ve said, keep showing the value. And in fact, we’ve just seen a big launch of Uber, of an Uber pay program in Australia now where it’s around $14.
20m 18s
3

In fact, my son, who’s a big Uber was sent to me. He said, dead. Do I use Uber enough? Uber eats enough to pay them $14 a month in order to get enough savings back. Because I think it was 10% back on rods. And look, I’ve done all the details to anyone can go online and check them out. And we had to do a quick relation to say, if you’re paying $14 a month, are you spending enough with Uber, Uber eats to override the $14
20m 45s
2

To justify the spend? Yes. Yeah. And I mean, what better way than to go to your dad? Who’s a loyalty expert and say, dad, can you do the, do the spreadsheet please? So, so what was your conclusion? You got to do this,
20m 60s
3

You got to do the numbers, but I say to them, you’ve got to make sure you spend enough to regularly enough, which I know it does. Unfortunately, I’m paying for it, but they’re in exactly the point about paid or subscription programs.
21m 13s
2

I think it’s a very, very well-made point out to them. And I know there is no such thing as a magic wand. And what I would say is I recently wrote an article from the consumer perspective about the benefits of subscription. Now, clearly I’m biased because I like innovation. And I think it’s kind of cool and sexy, but genuinely, I think human psychology, particularly at a time like now is that people want certainty and they want consistency. So when you talk about, again, the one I’m familiar with Panera bread, $8 99, excuse me, for unlimited coffee throughout a month is an extraordinary level of certainty and consistency of, for a customer.
21m 55s
2

But to your point about the business. And again, I was just looking at all the numbers this morning, 70% of those subscribers increase their spend on food. So there is an incredible business case, again, in that example. So I’ll have to try and get Uber on the show. So thank you for exploring the whole point about subscription or paid loyalty programs. And the other one that I definitely saw that you had some interesting conclusions and I want to get your, you know, I suppose your expert perspective and whether it compares or contrasts with what your actual and members said or your respondents said, and that’s around gamification, because I do find gamification again, a fascinating strategy, definitely not one that fits everyone.
22m 38s
2

But what I saw coming through in the, in the report was that consumers sound underwhelmed by this as a strategy, but what’s your view is that, is that your conclusion? And what’s your again, professional conclusion on, on gamification,
22m 53s
3

Again, another topic within the whole context of, you know, increasing engagement within a program. But the purpose when I got back to the strategy and the purpose of why put gamefication within the context of a program and they can prove to massively successful and get, you know, depends on how successfully put together the program. I mean, again, indication is the psychology of them. And because gaming is in our DNA, it’s in loyalty, isn’t it? And education just lifts. It lifts of higher. There’s certainly a place for it. You just gotta be put into context of who the customer is, remembering the audience and what it does engage with the program, but you’re right.
23m 36s
3

The results weren’t overwhelmingly, you know, positives include gamefication and programs. I think only 34% said they were interested. So that leaves, the rest are, they’re not interested or neutral. So let’s pretend we go to a business, a brand and they say, oh, we want to do gamification. Then I said, well, look, potentially only a third of your members based on my research. I don’t know you do your own would be the number.
24m 9s
2

Exactly, exactly. And I guess, yeah, it also comes to, you know, , you know, is it my Paraiso thirds? You know, are these the VIP customers that actually love it? Or is it the gen Z who are maybe saying no, that they’re totally cynical. So you’re absolutely right.
24m 26s
3

Yeah. And just to, just to add on to that, in this case, in our study that gen Z and gen Y were more significantly into it. So to close the loop on that those two generations were significantly more interested than the general. So back to who’s your audience, who’s your audience and that where you’ll get the engagement from love
24m 49s
2

It, love it. Yeah, no, again, another point very well-made. So I’m definitely appeals to people who I’m going to say, perhaps have been educated over time, you know, with them, you know, just with, just with life and digital life and being digital native. So you’re right. The, the, the, the psychology of gaming is certainly not new, but experiencing it and seeing a benefit from it and a reason to engage with it. That’s a definitely a different conversation. And the other really big thing, which I know is it’s super exciting for, for also as industry professionals, Adam is the leaderboard. So, you know, which are seen as the best loyalty programs from, again, your research consumer perspective in Australia, and there are two programs that absolutely leads the field, but there’s dramatic change happening there as well, Adam, so, so tell us exactly what came through.
25m 43s
3

Yeah. This, this part of the research is full of for different reasons. Very interesting. I mean, you know, the brands do like to know, you know, a perspective on, on what consumers say, and by definition in our study, we say, who do you think is doing a very good job? So we don’t go into what that actually means. We don’t get done there, but what a very good job means, we just look for a, for a non prompted answer to that. Very big programs, Flybuys and Woolworths, everyday rewards have been in a type tussle for a number of years, but this year Woolworths, everyday rewards jumped dramatically impact significantly still came second, but just so I feel as if there’s a, there’s a there’s, you know, there’s this whole what’s happening in the market.
26m 32s
3

What are they doing differently? I don’t know specifically. I mean, I’ve got a focus group of one, my wife, she came rushing in, they just gave me a thousand bonus points. And I said, well, because you married me. I don’t think they have a flag on that. That I’m the, the husband of the author of the report. So no, genuinely I literally do. And I know this is not a video, but I’ve literally got the receipt and it says a thousand bonus points back to you, or we can hypothesize why, but I’m just giving you one example of what happened before the everyday rewards.
27m 12s
3

Now it could be happening with Flybuys as well. Now I know I’ve got a case in point, but there is a data point to say, maybe they are doing something differently to lift up their program amongst others, other programs coming here every year, we’ve got new entrance, you know, programs, you know, this year, I’ve just got to remember, I think it’s make a beauty loop. That’s right. And make her come in. It’s always interesting for me to see which brands are coming in. Ultimately, I just had a chat with another brand that didn’t feature this year and phoned me and said, well, why?
27m 55s
3

And I said, well, I dunno, ask why, you know, you should do your own research and what category would that
28m 2s
2

Be an item? Can you say the category that, that,
28m 5s
3

Oh, it will be too obvious if I say so that’s just one part of the whole study in you creates a lot of interest naturally as a strategy. I think there’s so much more outside of that, but yeah. You know, that story back to back to the surprise and delight. Well, you know what,
28m 29s
2

I think it’s good for both bronze as well, Adam, because you know, flybys have been on the program. It’s an extraordinary program, hugely well-respected. So I’m just looking at your numbers. In fact. So last year, 30.8% of people said, you know, that that was the program doing a very good job on Woolworths rewards was 19.4. So kind of good 10 percentage points behind. And as you said, then, first of all, clearly Woolworths rewards was rebranded. So it’s now I believe called everyday rewards, but the margin is so tight now. So Flybuys is showing 29.7% and the Woolworths everyday rewards program, literally just behind us, you said 28.9%.
29m 10s
2

So clearly they’re doing something
29m 12s
3

Right. Yeah. And I went back to my analyst and I said, please check the numbers. And he came back and said, nothing’s changed Adam. The numbers are the numbers. Right.
29m 22s
2

Well, I mean, it proves that it’s all there to be done at them. And I think, you know, to your point, we are strategists. It also means now that will, its rewards is on my prospect list for please come be a guest on the show so we can explore and see. And maybe it is a case where, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re going with surprise and delight and your wife might one of, you know, a lot of lucky people who are getting a thousand bonus points and quite delighted, obviously to have that experience. And actually the other one that am, I know you use the terms kind of surprised and delight at, but I think I was probably most disappointed, let’s say, because at the bottom of that league table, I think there was 11% said that nobody does a really good job of loyalty.
30m 3s
3

I love somebody actually notices the negatives, not the positives in everything of the doctor. There’s always the, the other side of the yes, that’s absolutely true. So again, that keeps us all honest programs continuously improve. And that’s where the rest of the insights in the study. And in fact talking about there’s a great question, Paula, because we can segue straight into our loyalty programs actually improving. And we did, we do ask that and we have been asking that over the years and that’s tracking up with, so that are improving. And the three areas that are pretty according to members are number one, the earn rate seems to be getting better.
30m 43s
3

The same program, right. Is getting a bit better. Number two, this is number two. They say simplicity back to them, are they improve their use of technology? So there’s great program managers are doing a good job in improving the value that earn rights and doing a good job in defining their programs because we were all tired of being of mental gymnastics in the thirties. Yeah. And they are getting into technology and everything else. So those are all, that’s all good news. Then we ask, and I think this is also important for managers or programs around the world.
31m 24s
3

We then said, well, where do you think programs need to improve in the future? Of course. And so that the same sort of contextualize options were given and the three that come up as where they need to be improving in the future. Number one, which I’m not surprised is earned. Right. So
31m 44s
2

I’m greedy. So that’s inevitable. Yeah. Yeah.
31m 48s
3

More and more value. Number two was more surprise and delight or joy. So, you know, seeing, seeing that one come up is more surprise and delight and then third was more, more non-financial rewards. So that’s my call out to a loyalty program managers to start adding more nonfinancial ways of rewarding and recognizing their members, what’s surprising is, you know, it’s been said so many times it still works so powerful. My favorite term out of bed is joy.
32m 28s
3

I got it from a book I read on Amazon. The book was called brand currency, but he did. I gave it its own definition. So I’ve borrowed the word, but I’ve created my own definition of JLT in loyalty program land. Yeah. And it’s, it’s your customer’s feeling of maximum joy and delight from one or a series of moments of magic delivered by your brand. Beautiful. So that’s my little definition. People can move wine, the magic that we put into our programs, you know, the emotional connection drives goes up and all the other benefits come out of it.
33m 12s
3

So I was pleased to see the Decker have programs could improve in the future.
33m 18s
2

Yeah. Great. And again, it’s probably, you know, it’s in some way a reflection of the, the mindset of the current, you know, scenario of life can feel a little bit difficult and, and, you know, challenging a lot of anxiety around. So what can we do as brands and businesses to counteract that? And, and again, a point I often repeat about being loyal to your customers. I think if you do build in the surprise and delight strategy, it does come back again. It takes patience. It takes time. And in my experience, it’s hard to build an entire proposition around surprise and delight because then you can’t promise anything. So yeah, it kind of, it’s almost like the, the, the cream on top of, of something that can be enjoyed and looked forward to and everything.
34m 2s
2

So, so definitely join LT w will definitely endorse that one. I thought it was your word by the way. So
34m 8s
3

Well done. I just wanted to make sure I want to get records where it comes from. I’ve defined it differently.
34m 15s
2

Okay. Okay. That makes sense. The other one I love actually in, you touched on it, Sam, I suppose just as, you know, one of the areas improvement out on the use of technology, which I often think is, is lost and there’s often not a consumer benefit to better technology or, or an understanding, but my favorite show, one of my favorite technologies is the whole piece around card linking. So I can see there’s, there’s been incredible. And what I might ask you to do, I’m actually just before you comment on, honestly, is just to explain card linking as it’s, you know, executed, let’s say in the Australian Marcus. Cause I was thinking about card linking versus Cobra and cards and my different experiences with, with how they compare and contrast, you know, cause ultimately again, we all want the maximum value.
35m 2s
2

So I guess, you know, I have a Cobra and card, so I kind of get points on everything, but yet card linking is super important and I love the simplicity of that. So, so would you, I’d love you just to explain the card linking as, as it came through in the research and, and exactly what came through.
35m 18s
3

Yeah. So called Linky is not the word we use in the research because consumers wouldn’t understand that that’s your strategy, technology, loyalty people speak. Yeah. We explain it as, you know, the integration of payment into a mobile app and with rewards. So it’s an all in one experiences, you, your tap, you get your rewards and you pay at the same time in whatever form or function that is. We call it coddling, they see payment ratio. That’s how we explain it. And to me has jumped 400% in preference since we started asking that same question I thought years ago.
35m 59s
3

Wow. So by definition, and as I’ve explained, that has become a huge reference for Corps members on, although it’s still the line second to the loyalty card, remember our earlier conversation within the same rent dramatically. And in fact it reminds me of a quote that, that Kevin Kelly, who’s a co-founder of wired magazine. He says, you said something to the effect of the future happens very slowly and then all at once. Yes,
36m 31s
2

Yes, yes. My goodness. Yeah. Kevin is, is a phenomenal mind. Yes, it is. It’s extraordinary. You know, and again, I’m not even sure all industry professionals are using the same kind of terminology around card link loyalty. But I think what we all know is that, you know, there has to be an identifier, as you mentioned earlier, and why not make that the payment cards, you know, why, why make it anything else? You know, that the only guaranteed piece of, you know, transaction that’s going to happen is you’re going to get paid. So let’s, let’s make that the single point of truth. So I am a huge fan of that. So great to see it coming through in the research. And I think the maybe last, or maybe second to last item, I wanted to ask about the COVID piece because we can’t not discuss, you know, any implications on COVID-19 to how Australian consumers say they’re feeling in terms of their loyalty to brands.
37m 24s
2

But what kind of came through, I know you did some explicit questioning around this.
37m 29s
3

Yeah. We, we needed to do that only because in 2020, when we did this study, COVID out and hips. In fact, I was in a, in a little bit of a challenge in, in early 2020 when the results came out and I see my researcher, this is private. And she said, don’t worry, I’d be patient. Let’s do it next year, 2021. And see if there’s any changes or anything like that. So that’s the sort of the background to this. But specifically I did look at the influence of what I call loyalty programs while, while COVID-19 prevails. And so it’s still around. And so we are asking members are, you know, due to being a member of a program actually influenced you through this period and your brand loyalty.
38m 17s
3

So does the program actually have an influence? You know, you know, the brand, you know, the program, the certain things, like you said, the certainty and so on. And yes, we did find what they’d wild COVID-19 does prevail. 48% of the members in our study said that they tend to stay loyal to a whose program. They’re a member of the influence of a program whilst this situation is around us. The program does have an influence and that does jump up dramatically. I was so surprised that generation Z I think 63, I call them now the loyal, the loyalty generation loyalty generation, you know, 63% of them said, yes, I stay loyal to a brand during this period whose program I’m a member of now, again, I didn’t dig deeper into the why.
39m 12s
3

And all of that is just more a benchmark to say that programs that have an influence. So do the loyalty program managers. Yes.
39m 21s
2

Yes. For sure. For sure. And, and you did make exactly that point. I’m not sure if it was the same section out on bus. And I just have a note that 62% of your respondents said, yes, a brand does need a loyalty program to keep its customer loyal. And so, and I know that’s always debated as well and, and I’ll challenge you with it because it’s, it’s a, it’s the one that we’re always, you know, defending, I would say in an, in, in boardroom meetings, the classic example of the opposite perspective is, well, what about apple? You know, I’m loyal to, you know, my phone and whatever. So when they don’t have a loyalty program, I can’t, I can’t imagine a scenario in which apple points is a thing.
40m 1s
2

So
40m 4s
3

A little bit biased, you know, I’m going to say straight away, but I wasn’t quite create a bit of a balanced point of view because that question has been asked since 2015, so over a period of time, and it has grown over that period of time, but there are people who say, no brands don’t need a program, just be brilliant, the basics, great service, great product, you know, you don’t need a program. So yeah, I, I, even as an independent consultant who loves loyalty and loyalty programs are really the difference is that not everybody needs a program.
40m 41s
2

I, yeah, you’re right. And again, it’s up to us to have our kind of, you know, Juul hat on too, you know, the, the, the points you made earlier around loyalties the outcomes. So how can we help people achieve that? And whether it is around something like helping them simplify or whatever, and there’s lots of ways that might not mean that we’re we’re building points or, or games or whatever else that we talked about earlier. Well, I think Adam we’ve been through and certainly for me, all of the extraordinary highlights of the reports, and I’m pretty sure we could do at least another hour on it, but what I’m I’m most keen to do is make sure that people know where to find the reports. So, yeah. So what I’ll do is I’ll ask you maybe just to mention that, and then I want to summarize, I suppose maybe the, the kind of, couple of key points that I picked up at them, and then we’ll make sure people know where to find you.
41m 32s
3

Yeah. Great. Well, look, I really, to thank you, you’re doing a tremendous job for the community. You know, more, we talk about it, find ways challenge each other, the better we can all be, you know, collectively. So, you know, just a shout out to you to say, thanks, the report is available at my website, the point of loyalty.com.edu. And as you said, you know, this year I’ve got up the new Australian version, New Zealand version, and I’m about to put up onto my side, but I think early next week, yeah, well, it’ll be out is the combination of the comparison reports as well, and that complementary executive summary. And then if they want to part with some dollars, 370 Australian dollars for the rapport, the full report, that 80 odd pages, and then also come along.
42m 23s
3

One of the things that offered some brands that have taken it up is I do a present or what I call a personal presentation on the report on that. It’s also got a value on it and they can find it on the website where I go to a boardroom and sit with marketers for a period of time and go through the whole report, similar to what we’ve done now and discuss it. Yeah,
42m 42s
2

Well certainly from my perspective out on, that’s probably the best 370 Australian dollars or any dollars in fact that that any loyalty professional could spend. So I highly recommend people do go and get the detailed report. So certainly we’ll make sure that in the newsletter for this show, and again on all of the website links that we have links to, to you and to the report to make sure it’s accessible. And I always like, you know, when I read research to kind of say, well, what did I learn? So I was scribbling notes there as you were and giving us your, your website address items. So for me, you know, the, the plastic cards on the rise, we can’t get away from the shock factor. That’s certainly in Australia, there seems to be an, a renewed interest.
43m 25s
2

So we’ll be dying to see next year, whether that continues. And I think the watch out is the fact that activity levels are the lowest they’ve been, as you said, an eight years. So I think that’s our, our caution not to not to get complacent. And my favorite really is the whole piece around card linking. So again, it’s something that I preach whenever I’m asked for, you know, what, what can we do? I definitely think it sets a really, really powerful strategy and consumers are obviously loving it. So is there anything else that, that, that you wanted to mention before we wrap up? I think we’ve
43m 58s
3

Done it all. I think you’ve done a brilliant job in, in questioning me challenging it, discussing it. There is so much, you know, people shouldn’t enjoy it. It’s a, it’s, it’s a, a good read. I think if I’m biased. No, thank you very much. Once again.
44m 16s
1

Wonderful. So Adam Posner, chief executive officer and founder of the point of loyalty. Thank you so much from let’s talk loyalty.This show is sponsored by “The Wise Marketer”, the world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing news, insights and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training, both online and in workshops around the world through its Loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 150 executives in 18 countries as Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of “Let’s Talk Loyalty”.
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