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 for loyalty specialists around the world. Marketeers have a choice to make when engaging their audience, they can build first-party relationships that bond consumers and brands in meaningful longterm relationships, or they can Snoop creep and deliver content and offers that holds little or no relevance. If you want to build more meaningful relationships with consumers, then join cheetah digital at signals 21.
50s
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This October, the award-winning virtual content series for marketeers register for free today for a host of unmissable sessions from the price as thought leaders, leading brands and industry heads signals 21, bigger, bolder, and better than ever. Visit cheetah digital.com to save your spot and don’t miss out. Hello and welcome to episode one 50. One of let’s talk loyalty today in particular, I want to extend a special welcome to everyone, perhaps listening to the show for the first time as part of signals, 21, the event from our friends and cheetah digital.
1m 37s
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My conversation today is with Richard Jones, the chief marketing officer at cheetah digital, someone who realized very early on the power of capturing customer data in such a way that brands can actually finally achieve the massive scale they need to build their databases. And of course, then using those experiences and fun to build true loyalty over time, Richard share some fascinating insights on how increasingly more and more industries such as consumer manufacturing brands are realizing the critical need for direct customer relationships and some of the great things that he’s hearing from customers directly, as well as from brands in terms of what they want from loyalty in 2021.
2m 24s
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So enjoy the show So Richard joining me today from the UK, first of all, welcome to let’s talk loyalty. Yeah. Great to have you. So, as you know, we always talk to our show at talking about our favorite loyalty statistics and you have an incredible career, which we’re going to talk about very entrepreneurial and very innovative, of course. So tell us, what are you going to start off our show with? What is your favorite loyalty statistic?
2m 57s
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This is a stat that I think is, eh, represents a bit of the sign of the times, but it’s actually from the 2021 digital consumer trends index research that consultancy dead sponsored by cheetah digital, where they went after consumers in five different markets, 5,000 people responded to the, the research and the particular stat that resonated with me is that 79% of those ares said that they actually would prefer it. If brands spent less on Facebook advertising to them and instead invested more into their own loyalty programs to reward the individuals for their business.
3m 43s
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So really, really interesting stat. I thought
3m 47s
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That’s incredible, Richard. Yeah, definitely resonates with me. I mean, I make it a point actually, when I see stuff on Facebook, that’s just not working. I just make sure to tell them to hide it and go away because I really find it even more intrusive. And I think the feedback we get consistently as people want rewards to come through in ways that are more meaningful to them in ways that are more accessible, I guess just make it quicker, easier for them.
4m 14s
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Yeah. I mean, there’s no way that we actually reaching the same research, but 63% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that do not advertise to them on Facebook. So, you know, there is, there is this sort of era where in where consumers in general are very suspicious about the kind of personalized ads they’re getting on platforms like Facebook, as much as I should just pick on Facebook. It’s not just Facebook, of course, but the industry itself has created a situation where there’s a lot of distrust with consumers. So, you know, as marketers, we have to figure out what’s the best way to navigate that landscape.
4m 51s
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I know, I think it was a world of opportunity when we did figure it all out and we had our cookies working and we had all of this amazing information coming through. But one of the ones I really liked on your website actually as well, was the 39% of consumers. Don’t like ads that contain information that’s been picked up from cookies. And I remember that from the word go, Richard, like actually it started to feel intrusive quite quickly. So am I, am I the only person who felt like that or
5m 19s
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No? No. In fact, I want a situation in which I was, I said a few times, you know, to, to sort of illustrate it, which was, I had a hernia operation a couple of years, a couple of years ago. And it was one of those things I’ve been meaning to get done for a while, but I hadn’t told anyone about it. I find, so I think over my wife knew I’m off. I’m going to go and have the operation now managed to find a bed time to squeeze your name. And, you know, I took, I think it was an Uber to, to the hospital, which was a specialized hospital for, for hernia treatment. But anyhow, this wasn’t something that I was broadcasting at all in any way. It was private thing, you know, procedures, private product, medical procedure.
6m 0s
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And within about 24 hours of waking up, you know, in the hospital from the meds and going home, I was getting ads on Facebook from lawyers saying, Hey, we’re a specialist legal firm that, you know, can help you when your hernia operation goes wrong, thinking how that happens so quickly, you know, w w w how did this invasion of privacy? And I figured out eventually it must’ve been one of the apps on my phone could have been Facebook. Uber could have been any of these apps the way the tracking was turned off. So my location going to this specialist hospital, where you can only have, you know, kind of earlier operations.
6m 44s
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So, you know, but to answer together, but was clearly, you know, an illustration of where it’s going to see far,
6m 50s
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Totally and chaos. What country was that in Richard? Because I know you’ve spent a lot of time in the U S as well as the UK, where did that happen? Oh my goodness. Yeah. Yeah. They have a long way to go.
7m 4s
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No, they have. And you know, if you kinda, you know, if he’s just going to think about the th th the etiquette of these things, I think we got drunk on data as marketers are just because we can connect stuff doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t. And I think we kind of lost all sense of, of, of etiquette, of, of what actually would be the respectful, polite thing to do on behalf of consumers. And that I know for that analogy, which kind of sums out from here. You know, if you, if you’re living in a, in your street, you know, you’re told the sack or whatever, you get to know the neighbors, and you have a new couple move in a new family, moving down the road, you know, you don’t, you don’t go well.
7m 51s
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I need to make a really great impression with this new family. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to put a tracking bug under their car and spy cameras through their window in order to learn about them. So what I do, she’s myself, I’ll do it in the most effective way. You bake an apple pie and take a Butler, a bottle of wine grounds and ask them about themselves. And I think we can take that analogy into what’s happening around privacy now in the digital space.
8m 18s
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Oh, totally. I love it. Absolutely. And you don’t try and make money out of the one, the first visit either, you know, try and flog them stall.
8m 25s
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Exactly. You give something that’s the way.
8m 30s
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Oh, wonderful. So how did you end up in loyalty Richards? I was looking on your LinkedIn profile there, and I’ll, first of all, say, I love to find surprising things on people’s profiles. The bit that surprised me about yours was your actual academic studies, which I see was you studied history in the university of, of
8m 50s
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That’s, right? Yeah. Not, not necessarily the typical, you know, innovation yeah, exactly. To running a tech company, but that’s, that’s the way it went from 4 million yet. What are these things? It’s, it’s, it’s really kind, you ask inquisitive questions and, and, and search for, for, for, for, for answers. And that’s ultimately what innovation is all about. So it’s, it’s, it’s not too weird.
9m 14s
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Okay. Okay. So tell us then the, the career story, because you do have a great journey. I think you described it from, in a sales guy for a tech company into a very entrepreneurial journey, which I’m very envious of. I think I said to you, I’m waiting for my big startup idea to hit me someday. So, so you certainly found one, tell us how it all happened.
9m 35s
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Yeah. I’d say I’ve been working in sales, selling, marketing technology, and the whole stew, you know, large enterprises for, you know, 15, 16 years or so. And it just so got to the point where I was becoming, you know, a little bit jaded with the whole kind of process and thought there must be, there must be more of a, an intellectual challenge out there than, than what I was, what I was doing, which was starting to become very comfortable in. And it just so happened at that time, the company I was working, I’d been working for previously, it got sold and it created a, a payout for some of the senior team.
10m 18s
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And I was actually offered the chance to go and set up a company with two other colleagues. But without an idea, it very unusual way of doing it. Normally entrepreneurs have an idea and pitch endlessly to, to get the C funded. Whereas we actually had any other way right around when we had a senior executive say, if you, you free fall a company I’ll back here. And so we, we haven’t had that, we in situation of going right, but to start a company, what are we going to do? And that, and that was, that was the start of our journey and just figuring out what to actually do. Okay.
10m 58s
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Okay. And how long did it take for the light bulb to go off?
11m 3s
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Not too long, actually. It was, it was, it was about four to six weeks of kind of milling it’s over the kind of solidified ideas. And, and essentially the, we have, where we landed was we’d been helping marketers sets up their web platforms via a web content management system vignette for a number of years. And we’ve had good success in doing that. But the thing is that these web content management platforms didn’t actually work for marketers. You know, they were, they weren’t for it in terms of knocking down content and secure, say flat all the rest of it, but very markets that they wanted to go.
11m 44s
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You know, I’ve got a promotion. I want to get something out quick and fast. I want to create a great experience. I want to do something that looks amazing. All of these different sorts of things that just typically to marketers and this campaign time that we have, where everything’s last minute, everything’s going to execute quickly and everything has got to look cool and be a, deliver a great experience. That kind of agility is not what content management systems were built to do. So we thought, well, let’s set up a software as a service platform that helps marketers create interactive campaigns for, for their customers that could be delivered on websites. That was the original thinking as we started doing that. And then Facebook actually came knocking saying, Hey, would you like to also create these experiences inside Facebook in Facebook apps when, when that was, and that was something Facebook was interested in doing.
12m 36s
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So that was, that was the original sort of sets up.
12m 40s
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And it really then ended up specializing in experiences and capturing customer data and an extraordinary client portfolio Richards. I remember you mentioned, for example, discovery, Microsoft national geographic Etihad. These are incredible. And, and all brands that I think we know are pretty mature in their loyalty and execution. So have, you know, huge platforms, great solutions. So where did the experiences piece fit in? Like, what was the gap that is spotted that you were feeling?
13m 14s
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Yeah, it’s firstly, you know, this business, which was really these, these experiences, these campaign experiences that were being created on our platform, they were primarily things that would engage the consumer and collect data from them. And this was happening at the same time as Facebook was growing its business, where it was sort of saying, Hey, you know, you don’t need to know who your consumers are. We know everything about them. So just give us your money and you’ll be successful. Don’t worry about getting to know your customers or building a customer database, the rest of it. So our business grew in sort of direct competition if you like to, to this huge growth.
13m 58s
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But Facebook was having where they were literally telling marketers the opposite. We were finding individual sort of niche, pockets of marketers that were like, Hmm, I’m not so sure putting all my eggs in the Facebook basket is going to be the right thing to say long term. We were certainly swimming against the stream. There’s no question about that, but it wasn’t always like that. That’s the thing when thinking about the history of Facebook, it wasn’t always like that when we became a Facebook partner in 2010, I think it was 2011. At that point, Facebook was very interested in trying to, and had very lofty and idealistic goals about trying to rewire the relationship between brands and consumers and to do it in a much more interactive social and engaged way.
14m 49s
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And we thought, well, that’s, that sounds brilliant, but really does sound like, you know, instead of these faceless ads on sorta TV and bombards and taking out the airspace and billboards and rest, we’re trying to hit consumers with messages. How about engage with them, have a dialogue, interact, get to know them plus me. So we, we thought this was great and what they were relying on us was to help them create those experience on behalf of brands to engage consumers, circling from quizzes to sweepstakes. So probably I recommend those to challenges, to all sorts of different things that would engage consumers. And that was the goal, but it was, it was probably, I encouraged over 2013 or something like that, where 2012, where Facebook suddenly sorts of turned 180 degrees.
15m 33s
2

And it was like, actually that all seems like it’s too hard. Let’s just become a display ads for brands, but to do so on the basis of data that we, that Facebook harvested directly from consumers. And that’s where you got all the investments in, you know, cross site tracking and, you know, using Facebook log-ins and anything they could do to harvest data from consumers, and then use that to power the display ads, essentially it wasn’t business models. So lofty ideals where we’re soon buckets under the pressure of venture capital power to growth, I think
16m 13s
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Totally, but, but I will credit them Richard Dunn. I don’t know if you’d agree with me on this one, but I will certainly credit them with teaching us agility because, you know, that was your point as an objective for a software platform. And I think when we all realized, oh my God, I can publish stuff on the internet on a social media platform in five seconds. And that was the game changer. And that I think then probably set the expectation for what future software platforms had to deliver is that level of capability. So, so I think to credit them that they did a good job along the way, even if they did a bit of an about turn for you guys.
16m 49s
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Well, I think the, the, the Maxine, you know, move fast and break things, which is, which is Facebook. You’ve got positives and negatives that go along with that, the positives is the, is the ability to execute quickly, to empower teams, to go and try things and rest of it. So, you know, that, that was great. And there is actually an interesting story here. So one part of my entrepreneurial journey, w w w w the company that I found in gay science is merged with a company called weigh-in. And I took over the CEO of the combined entity. And that was, that was a way, it was a company that was founded by Scott McNealy.
17m 29s
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He was the CEO and co-founder of sun Microsystems, which causes massive Silicon valley company, 25,000 people. And actually Facebook took over the sudden the former, the Southern campus cause to, to Oracle, they took it over and actually they left on the issue, come and drive in and out of the campus on the front, as you come in here and it says Facebook, and they actually left the sun Microsystems old sign as the employees were driving out. So you could see that. And they did it. He was saying generally that I want to leave as a reminder of what can happen if you don’t innovate quickly enough. So, so there is good things, but the move fast and break things that kind of works when you’re a small startup, that’s where innovation comes too.
18m 15s
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But I think when you get to a certain size, the breaking things can also mean breaking society. And there are massive issues with what happens when a company doesn’t take the extra responsibility. Seriously. I think that’s why wall street journal today is putting Facebook fairly squarely in the box for some of its past practices and his transparency. So the story, I think will well yet to be unfolded on whether overall it was a positive or a negative impact.
18m 43s
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Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It is human nature. And, you know, as you said, the inevitable pressures of scaling something mean that the decisions that are made are, are sometimes just in the company’s interest and not in the user’s interest. So definitely one, I think the history books of the future Richard will definitely be, you know, focusing on the stories of Facebook and the likes. So incredible.
19m 5s
2

Yeah. The question, I didn’t answer your question about loyalty. Loyalty pays come in. And it was interesting because it’s all around this sort of time, 2013, 2014, 2015, we started to get contacted by some of the largest operators of, of loyalty platforms in the world. They’re wanting to speak to us because they had seen what we were doing with these kind of, you know, everything from quizzes to surveys, to screens. So there’s all these different experiences to engage consumers and collect data. And they came and pitched us with this, this view, bear in mind, we didn’t know anything about loyalty. At that point, we were just doing experiences directly, brand CPGs, all sorts of retailers, all sorts of companies.
19m 48s
2

And they came to us and said, actually, we’re really interested in looking at what you’re doing because loyalty programs we believe are going to transition away from the points to purchase a method of sort of traditional way things into more experiential programs that engage the lights and collect data from the consumers. And, you know, that’s something that might’ve not been in the, in their sort of the experience-based if those, some of those companies. So they were looking at what other technologies and startups were out there doing interesting stuff. And so that’s how we first connected with the sort of loyalty JSS system.
20m 30s
2

And then subsequently we then started to having a number of pro platform, naughty programs that were already out there were very successful. So, you know, people like nectar and Kellogg’s and AB InBev and others were looking at say, well, we’ve already got a loyalty program, but what we want to do is have more experiences to engage people within that. Multi-program so it could we work with your technology and your platforms do that, and then reward people with points if they, you know, engage in these experiences. And so that’s, that was really the beginning of our, of our journey into loyalty, which ended up with the selling of the company to cheetah digital, who obviously had great strides in the loyalty space.
21m 12s
1

Oh my goodness. Super exciting. And, and there’s loads of bits I want to pick up on. And the first bit I’ll ask you about is I suppose, that role of gamification, because what I’m certainly hearing, and maybe it’s been accelerated by COVID and I definitely think it was already there, but I think as you said, the transactional part of loyalty programs has been done so well, and it’s important, but this opportunity to really just have fun with your customers. I feel like that’s really only now coming of age and that surprises me because I’ve been talking about it for probably, you know, maybe quite as long as you have. So, so do you think it is accelerated by COVID or is it just a natural evolution in terms of the loyalty industry?
21m 57s
2

No, I it’s a hundred percent. It’s been accelerated by COVID. You know what hasn’t been said already by COVID in the digital space, you know, I feel like we’ve had a McKinsey report. Seven years of digital acceleration happened in the first match months of COVID-19 and loyalty programs. And the way they’ve evolved have been no different. In fact, in many of the segments that we work with, you know, the industry has tight restaurants and bars, as an example, you know, this period of digital acceleration has happened because of COVID-19 there’s not had sort of loyalty on the side, it’s actually being done through loyalty.
22m 38s
2

So the loyalty programs have actually been the way that, you know, the industry has re reinvented itself in terms of how it not only engages with consumers and reward them, but also has serves them, which I think is super, super interesting.
22m 54s
1

Yeah. And somebody asked me a question a couple of days ago, Richard, which am I’m gonna pass on to you because I didn’t feel I answered it as well as I think you might. And somebody said, what’s the role of the loyalty program in acquiring new customers. And my sense is that might be in the same space around gamification, because as we’ve talked about it, it’s the value exchange. It’s, it’s the fun piece. And it’s almost when you can, I think, just ask for the data and just get them started on that loyalty journey. Would that be fair to say?
23m 24s
2

I mean, absolutely. So, you know, to give you some sort of stats around this, just with the, what is now teacher experience, that’s it’s tutor experiences. That’s the technology that, that, that the, I co-founded will add 750 million net new names into a database for our customers every single year. And it’s, and it’s, you know, it’s accelerating as, as we speak. So when doing experiences, you know, brands, this is pre brands. Retailers does Trinity, you know, multiple different industry segments can connect with audiences that may have been customers, but they just didn’t know about them. So they can actually take that unknown audience and convert them into a known audience in the database to establish that first handshake establish that first direct relationship.
24m 12s
2

And actually the value exchange that you offer consumers is the hook with getting that data, getting that handshake, getting them into the marketing database, then obviously loyalty programs have always been that sort of vehicle for delivering a value exchange. We’ve had a recent launch of taco did that the Dell yeah. Rewards loyalty program just launched recently. And I actually find that a really interesting Y they’ve constructed it because the value exchange upfront is it’s very real. Let’s get two free just by creating a daily rewards accounts are bought off the bat two free, free pre-meals essentially for joining that’s the value exchange.
25m 0s
2

And then when you think of what the loyalty program is, what they’ve done, which I think is, is, is what we’re seeing as people are kind of, re-imagining this relationship between the brands and their consumers is the, the, the loyalty program itself is got in, but it’s got four different tiers to it. And so they’re using experiences. You’re getting points for making purchases, there’s challenges, there’s rewards, you know, they’ve got gamification and then there’s sort of, you have to never lie to, to get to each tier and these four different tiers in order to unlock basically more and more benefits. And it’s a very fun experiential program. And I think it say much more of
25m 42s
1

For sure. And somebody gave me a buzzword around with Richard, which I’ll share, cause it’s always good to have a bit of jargon in a, in a chat and, and the, and the guys I was talking to called it progressive profiling. And I thought, you know, it’s genius actually, because I think it’s exactly what you were saying. You can’t be greedy upfront and put, people will share if there’s a reason in it for that.
26m 3s
2

Oh yeah. A hundred percent. If you go back many years loyalty programs and board’s been a fantastic vehicle for understanding customers. I think the bit that where the innovation really is happening right now is it’s not just transactional data, but then the other two programs are surfacing up. They’re servicing up all of this, what we would call zero party data, because as you’re creating these experiences that asked people about their attitudes, their motivations, their desires, getting their feedback on products, services, the rest of it, and then leveraging that data to have that one to one relationship. I think that’s where, where loyalty programs could really drive data collection in a privacy first world, because you’re not snooping on them.
26m 47s
2

You’re connecting with them and offering a value exchange in return for their engagement, their data that then you can use to personalize your experiences.
26m 56s
1

Yeah, for sure. Uncertainly, everyone listening to this show is, is very aware of the, you know, the imminent demise of cookies for sure. And what’s your experience, Richard? You know, I think the broader business community maybe has less awareness. I think we’re, as I said, very, very clued in, what do you think everyone’s taking sufficient action at this point? I know it’s been delayed again in terms of Google, kind of giving us a little bit more time to, to find solutions, but what are your clients saying to you about this, you know, huge change.
27m 25s
2

There are customers that are sitting extremely pretty, this, this change. And then there are other customers that are, you know, putting the pedal to the floor in order to play catch up and to hopefully be in a better position when the change takes place. So, you know, one of our customers, which is a great example is Starbucks. Starbucks is so insulated against these changes and the death of the cookie, because, you know, it’s, it’s a loyalty program. So well-advanced is so mature. It catches such a large proportion of their customer base.
28m 7s
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The, you know, when you’ve got the strength of that direct relationship to your customers via your loyalty app, it really does. It does reduce the risk that you have for some of these external market forces and changes around privacy and personalization.
28m 26s
1

You’ve reminded me of, I’m sure I learned it in school or my MBA. I’m not sure which, but you know, this whole kind of Porter’s five forces model and who holds the power in a relationship. I mean, no, one’s going to argue that Starbucks has it right there. Huh?
28m 39s
2

Absolutely. And you know, to be fair, I would, you know, I sometimes cause I promote, you know, I believe absolutely passionately in, we’ve gone through a period where the, the gravitational pull of, of, of, of, of the marketing norms that have almost been turned on their head where, you know, things that seem so, so obviously sensible, like build direct relationships with consumers, build your marketing database, learn about individuals directly, take, take, relate, take control over your own customer relationships that almost sort of went away where this weird period where we just went completely drunk on dates or thought it was okay to steal data smooth on people, you know, sell data through the uptight ecosystem in a whole number of the various ways.
29m 29s
2

We’ve literally come out of that now. And we were back to almost these marketing norms again. And I, I will, I hats off to Google because what I do for, and I think Google has been better than some of the other players in space is that they have come out unequivocally rather than using it as a, as a sort of way to go, oh, well, in this period of destruction, give us even more money. We’ll work it out. They have come out and said, no, we’re not going to, to have some sort of hash email identifier that is essentially another replacement cookie. We feel that that infringes consumer privacy is not the way forward.
30m 11s
2

So, you know, they gone out on rack record March of this year saying everyone needs to build first party relationships. You need that direct data from consumers. It’s absolutely vital in anything that we do to support you moving forward. So they’ve been very, very clear and I think that’s given guidance to marketers.
30m 30s
1

Yeah, for sure. And I think again, you know, obviously different verticals are different stages of maturity. So, you know, our retailers, our Starbucks, you know, those examples are, are, as we said, very advanced what’s your view on, on how do the, the CPGs get into this when, you know, they don’t have the transactional relationship, for example, as the starting point. And I know the company again, that, that you founded did already start to build those solutions, but I’m fascinated by loyalty for, for manufacturers. Where is it up? Please tell me.
31m 4s
2

Yeah. So, and this is it, this is a really interesting thing because I about five years ago, I think it was maybe six years ago, I was at a trade show and I managed to get myself a very senior meeting with, with a, a senior senior exec at Unilever. I hope they won’t mind me saying I was really chuffed to be able to sort of tell them everything we were doing and talk about how terrible this data. I kind of left the meeting actually deflate it because I basically got told that we’re not interested in building out a data consent around consumers. We can hyper target and hyper-personalized content at we’ll use it, all of the targeting criteria of Facebook and a coterie of third party data providers.
31m 53s
2

And so, you know, why would we bother with your solution? And I was very defiant. That’s why I’m seeing the world’s gone mad fast forward to today. Unilever are in a completely different picture. There are clients of ours and they’re, they, they, they’re, they’re really a very forward thinking and progressive company in terms of how they engage with consumers and collect data transparently that that’s been mirrored across the CPG space the last few years. So you with the likes of P and G and ABM Bev, and a whole host of different CPGs around the world, PepsiCo Coca-Cola, you know, you name it, it’s really a who’s who they, they basically as a, as a sort of category realized, but because they don’t have transactional relationship, it’s even more important for them to go and think about how do they collect first party data?
32m 45s
2

How do they collect zero party data, which is the database in a transparently given to you? I consume it in return. So that usually to some value so that you can personalize your marketing. So they’ve gone and done that. I mean, P and G the chief brand officer came out about two years ago. Now that was about 18 months, two years ago saying, you know, P and G. And we were fortunate to work with them in this process of collecting 1.5 billion relationships. So when they put their mind to it, you know, these guys can do things very, very quickly.
33m 20s
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I’ve often said, Richard, I wish I’d done a stint in FMCG because it really, as you said, when they put their minds to it, my God, you know, the insights are super cured, the discipline, and then the execution, my God. So how exciting to be part of that journey.
33m 35s
2

Absolutely. And you know, the other side of it is in terms of how they pioneer these things in the CPG space, when, when you don’t have that transactional relationship, actually the owners for doing, you know, more in, into things when it comes to the types of experiences that you prove out, and that being the value that you can connect with consumers is very much that they are. They obviously do have a benefit in the site that a lot of the CPGs have packaging that we pick up and use every day. That could be cool for getting people to take some sort of digital action these days, QR codes, all the rest of it. So, you know, they there’s, there’s there’s options for them to go and collect this, this data.
34m 17s
2

And we’re seeing more of them starts putting in quite interesting loyalty programs because they don’t want just one campaign to collect a bunch of data. They want that ongoing relationship. So the loyalty frameworks give that ability to, to keep, keep people coming back and engaging between purchases is having more of a relationship with, with the brand.
34m 37s
1

Yeah, for sure. We’ll definitely one-on-one to hear all of your thoughts on an ongoing basis, as I said, I’m fascinated with this. I feel like it’s the next big thing in loyalty. And just as a final point on that one, I know before COVID, Coca-Cola had launched, I think you referenced at yourself the Coca Cola club, but actually it was a paid loyalty program. And that also to me was quite fascinating. And I think Hugh bronze can probably compete with Coca Cola, obviously in terms of their brand value to, to pay, to get merchandise or, or flavors or whatever the benefits are. But yeah, definitely one we’ll have to stay close on. So listen, the final kind of main area wants to ask you about Richard was, I know you guys do loads and in terms of consumer research, and so I’d love to get a sense of, you know, what exactly like, do you do, like, is it in, you know, maybe just your main markets or how do you approach getting this research?
35m 31s
1

Because I was looking on your website in advance of this call and there’s some fabulous stuff on there, which obviously talk about as well in terms of your upcoming content as well, but tell us, first of all, about the research piece and then your whole kind of content strategy.
35m 45s
2

Yeah. So we, we aim to, to, we’ve totally dedicated to marketers. That’s, you know, we’re sort of single lane on all that focus. And so ultimately that’s not just about providing technology and services to, to market as that community. It’s also being part of the conversation about how the industry is evolving and trying to tee up and provide as much value as we can to the marketing community about the kinds of things that they should be doing to anticipate changes that are happening today with consumer attitudes, with technology, with things like privacy in the death of the cookie. And one of the ways that we can do that is going out there investing in original research, Richard, by both research, this focus from consumers, but also research that’s focused on the attitudes of marketers to see, you know, are they aligned to the way that the marketing community see things, you see the trends and try and then share that information and start to hopefully spark conversation.
36m 51s
2

That that’s what we intend to do.
36m 53s
1

Nice. Nice, nice. I didn’t realize you did both sides because I think sometimes again, like we research and we find out what we want to find or
37m 2s
2

Exactly. Yes. Yeah. Usually when we do what we do, the consumer and the marketer, so it’s never totally aligned. There’s always gaps there because it’s changing so quickly. I mean, it’s hard to keep up.
37m 16s
1

Yeah. Yeah. But to your point earlier, actually I suppose there’s the opportunity to be inquisitive opportunity to involve the community in, in, you know, answering and asking those questions. So a very valuable contribution. So, and the final thing then is I suppose, just to talk about the, the, the ongoing content, so signals 21. So we’re releasing this show now literally at the end of day four. And so there’s some amazing content already being released and some upcoming content as well. So tell us a bit about signals 21 and maybe the background on that piece,
37m 51s
2

You know, a signal was 2021. It’s, it’s a conference that we have as a virtual content series that we make available. It’s for everybody that’s interested in all things, you know, loyalty, personalization, messaging, data, CRM data. So we create a whole set of content, which is just got analysts points of view. It’s got customer keynotes, it’s got original research and hopefully is a, is a guide to how marketers might think about addressing some of the challenges that they might be facing over the next 12 months. And, you know, talking about kind of loyalty.
38m 32s
2

One of the things that we saw around the original research that we did for the 2021 consumer trends index versus, you know, go back to talk 2019 is there’s just been this significant statistical change in what consumers think about loyalty and rewards program and what brands should offer them to keep coming back. And that the change is actually almost the opposite of what you’d expect. You might think that in a pandemic, it’s going to be, give me more discounts, give me some rewards. And it’s not, it’s actually, there’s been a noticeable reduction in discounts and points and rewards.
39m 16s
2

It’s been the main drivers of loyalty programs. They’re still the main drivers, but they’re less impact than they were two years ago. And actually more interest in things like, you know, exclusive access to products or early access to products and services, you know, recognition, challenges, and experiential things like contests and sweepstakes. And what have you. So we’re seeing consumers, basically brands giving, give me more of an experience. Get me closer to the, you don’t just give me points and rewards and discounts.
39m 51s
1

Oh my goodness. That’s fascinating. And, and I did look myself as well, Richard, at some of the, the lineup and I saw from, from last year from signals 2020, I saw Seth Goden who is actually the man responsible for me, podcasting actually I’ll give him that credit. Yes. He convinced me it was a good thing to do so well done set. And, but then coming up on this year, I love the idea of the rise of the ethical consumer. So I’m guessing that’s coming through in your research as well, obviously lots of zero party data and also customer lifetime value, which is obviously a topic that increasingly I just love talking about. I think everybody’s kind of finally realized that that’s the way we have to go. So an incredible lineup.
40m 30s
1

So, so I guess just I’m so sorry. Go on. Tell me,
40m 35s
2

We’ve also got a bevy of brands that would be brick giving their opinion on how to build a direct relationship with consumers. We’ve got blooming brands, we’ve got Del taco, we’d got Torchy’s tacos, we’ve got Unilever. There’s a whole set of different fabulous marketers that you can hear from as well.
40m 55s
1

Wonderful. Well, as I said, I’m totally geeking out on the CPG stuff, so I’ll definitely add a Unilever to the list. So that’s wonderful. Richard’s am a fabulous conversation from my side and love everything that you’ve created. So again, congratulations on coming up with something super useful to the community. And anything else that you wanted to mention for listeners before we wrap up?
41m 17s
2

Not last thing I’d say is that the, the content and signals, if you register that you could all access it both live and get live Q and A’s, but you can also get it on demand if you register as well. So bite size bits of content that you can
41m 33s
1

Access as needed. Wonderful. Brilliant. Okay. Well, listen, on that note, Richard Jones, chief marketing officer at cheetah digital, 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”. If you’d like me to send you the latest show each week, simply sign up for the show newsletter on Let’s Talk Loyalty.com and I’ll send you the latest episode to your inbox every Thursday, or just head to your favorite podcast platform, find “Let’s Talk Loyalty” and subscribe. Now, of course I’d love your feedback and reviews and thanks again for supporting the show.
42m 46s
1