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. Hello, and welcome to episode 1 71 of let’s talk loyalty, an exciting one for us here in the show, because it means Christmas is just around the corner. Now, as it’s also coming to the end of 2021, it’s exciting for us to bring you some insights from Italy, a country.
45s
1

We haven’t explored nearly enough on the show so far today, I’m joined by perhaps the most knowledgeable person on the planet about loyalty in Italy. Christina Giuliani is the professor of marketing at the university of Palmer, and also she is the head of the loyalty observatory, which they founded in 1999 to understand both the adoption and the potential power of loyalty initiatives by and for Italian companies. So if you’re interested in loyalty insights in Europe, particularly in Italy, I know you’ll enjoy this episode with Christina Xeljanz.
1m 36s
1

So, first of all, Christina, joining me today from Italy. Welcome to let’s talk loyalty.
1m 42s
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Thank you. Thank you, Paula. Thank you for having me
1m 44s
1

Great to have you Christina, for listeners. I will explain that you reached out to me recently to talk about all of the incredible work that you’re doing at the university of Parma. And so we’ll be get into explaining all of that, but I was amazed by all of the incredible work that you’re doing there and for her long, in fact, I don’t think there’s many academic institutions that have been working on loyalty as long as you have. So I’ll be dying to get the full story. And before we get into that, can you please share with our audience, what is your favorite loyalty statistic, or I think you have a few, tell us your favorite loyalty statistics.
2m 23s
2

Well, as you said, we are quite proud of the loyalty statistics of the loyalty observatory, and then I will go into other statistics of course, but let me say that the observatory was founded in 1999. So since then we have worked on almost 70 academic papers on different areas of customer loyalty, CRM, customer experience. We have published five books, the latest of which was published in English by Routledge. I’m saying that for the international audience and the observatory has the purpose of supporting the dissemination of knowledge and research on best practices in loyalty and CRM and customer experience management.
3m 15s
2

This means that we do activity with companies. First of all, we do training. We do consulting research for companies and we have a white papers and a yearly conference. And the conference has been running now for 21 years. We’ve just headed cause 15 October and every year we get something like 600 participants, loyalty managers here, and managers, marketing managers from all across Italy, over 20 years, it has been 4,000 different, but these events from 900 different companies, we’ve had 160 speakers from Italy and abroad.
4m 2s
2

Just as an example, we had Tesco this year, we had two American academics. We teach loyalty management and CRM in our master courses at the university of pharma. And there, our master’s students have discussed over a hundred dissertations on loyalty and CRM. Wow. Then thanks to the sponsors that we have had for across all these years, because this work couldn’t be done without companies committed to loyalty and CRM, multinational companies, local agencies. So we’ve had over 30 sponsors in 30 years.
4m 44s
2

These are our favorite numbers.
4m 46s
1

Wonderful. Well, thank you, Christina. It’s an extraordinary, first of all, to understand that the loyalty observatory has been operating since 1999. So, you know, I’m thinking there’s plenty of people in the audience, like who just didn’t realize the industry from an academic perspective, had anything going back that far. So, first of all, a huge congratulations. I know you’ve been involved for a very long time as well, Christina, so you probably wrote some of those books yourself, did you?
5m 16s
2

Oh, definitely. I wrote all of them with colleagues. Of course, all the colleagues, younger colleagues, but yes, I’m an all of them.
5m 25s
1

Wonderful. Okay. Well, well done. I think all of us know how challenging it is to sit down and write a book and thrill to hear that you have one in English. So we’ll make sure that that’s available. If the audience are interested. I think, you know, as well, Christina, that we love to talk about, you know, this show being part of the global voice of loyalty and obviously working with the guys in the wives, marketeer who, who used that very carefully, but I have very little knowledge of the loyalty market in Italy at all. So you’ll have to forgive me, but I would love you would just maybe give us an overview about, you know, how mature or how sophisticated would you say loyalty is in the whole country in general, in Italy.
6m 9s
2

Okay. Well thank you for the opportunity to reflect also on the Italian market for an international audience. Let’s say I want to observatory runs every year, three surveys, one on Italian consumers, thanks to listen IQ. We have a representative sample of the population. So we’ve been able to follow the evolution of Italians being members of loyalty schemes over the years in different industries, Italian switching behavior, that is this loyalty in a sense, and what they think of loyalty schemes and so on and so forth.
6m 56s
2

From the consumer perspective, they, the most mature loyalty market is supermarkets where something around, I don’t have data for this year, but in general, we can say almost 80% of consumers belong to at least one loan scheme. On average, they are active in 2.5, three loyalty schemes industry, and many other industries lag behind. According to our latest data, supermarkets was really mature on the contrary areas like, you know, bookstores or electronics, retail chains, pharmacists, drug stores, transportation, probably because of the lack of dominant national retail chains.
7m 60s
2

The Italian market is large, but it’s very fragmented because of the lack of a presence on the whole territory of the country. The penetration of these schemes doesn’t really reach a high number of the population. So there are many more fermented initiatives. Although this has been rapidly changing over the past, let’s say seven, eight years more and more companies adopting digital loyalty schemes, adopting loyalty apps and its consumers in Italy becoming more familiar with these digital loyalty tools.
8m 43s
2

So we’re looking forwards to the data from our latest survey on consumers, which is coming up late November, and I’ve been able to share it on our website because I am confident that will be a picture, an updated picture with a higher penetration of loyalty activities in many other fields for Italian consumers. On the company side, we run a survey every year of brands and retailers related to their CRM practices, the touch points, they connect for consumers, their loyalty strategies.
9m 28s
2

So we can see that Italian companies have been a little bit slow compared to, for example, north American ones to adopt loyalty practices. But then when digital kicked off w they have been gaining pace. And now we can, we’ll say that we are in the middle of the development of CRM. I may sound something old. You know, there’s all the expression of CRM. We can call it customer experience management, if you want.
10m 10s
2

What I mean is customer databases where data comes from different touch points. They are connected in an individual customer view and they employ, you know, marketing automation and other MarTech tools for contacting customers and personalizing activities. This is something that is done by, let’s say two third of Italian companies across different industries. Just to give you a couple of numbers, something like 30% of B2B companies in Italy have a loyalty activity or a customer club that’s B2B will has in B2C.
10m 55s
2

The numbers are much higher and it’s 70%. Okay. So the penetration of loyalty intended as, you know, keeping track of your customers with a database that’s, you know, two third of the companies are active and convinced and investing investments are going up. This is something that we ask every year. So investments in loyalty are increasing and even more after the pandemic.
11m 26s
1

Oh, wonderful. Well, I know you have a killer statistic available for us at the end of the show, Christina. So we’ll definitely touch on a boss. The expectations are for 2022, but I just also wanted to pick up because I guess one of the reasons I wanted you on the show, Christina, is because of this and close connection that you have with the business world and with the loyalty managers. In addition to you mentioned the students and it’s fantastic all of the dissertations and the academic research, but I love the fact that you’re so closely connected to the industry side.
12m 2s
2

Thank you. Well, yes, you know, it’s, it’s the tradition of our departments at the university to do applied research, as it used to be management. You know, you start with companies problems in a way and try to work with them to solve them. So this was the mission of the Soviet race. Since the beginning, doing research and disseminating knowledge that is useful to companies. And for this reason, we find it necessary to take the pulse of the business of business every year with our survey, as I said, we speak at their own events and we do training for companies.
12m 50s
2

And this is a privilege for us because when we really can see, you know, behind the scenes, how loyalty is organized within companies, how knowledge about customers is disseminated across the different departments, across decision levels, because this is where very often the problems with side is not in the tools. The problem, you know, of having a loan’s the culture is in sharing knowledge, sharing information, bringing it up the chain to decision makers and being a university.
13m 33s
2

We’re also very lucky because we train the next generation of loyalty managers, lots of masters students, they go on, you know, and take up positions in loyalty and CRM. And they just also, it’s very good because you develop the language of the industry and you stay connected. And I think this is the educational mission that we also have at the observatory.
13m 58s
1

Wonderful. My God, I certainly don’t think we have that in Ireland. I could be wrong, Christina, but you know, when I think about my own pain points, when I came into the loyalty industry, it would have been just extraordinary. If there had of been an initiative like the loyalty observatory to tap into the extraordinary at depth and breadth of knowledge. And for listeners, I will say that you’ve done actually an incredible amount of work specifically for us. And let’s talk loyalty with a huge presentation and detailing. Obviously the work has, we’ve talked about that, the loyalty observatories doing, and, but also really good insights in some of the most interesting loyalty models and concepts that are happening in Italy.
14m 42s
1

And I know you’ve chosen some as well and with the perspective of innovation, because that’s obviously something I’m always looking to bring to the audience. I, as you’ve commented, supermarket loyalty is very well established. And, you know, for people in that industry, obviously you’ll have incredible depth of knowledge, but there’s, I think it totally, you sent me five different consumer loyalty programs that are popular in Italy. And I’m going to pick up on one of those maybe to talk through today, but you also talked about a couple of B2B loyalty programs. So it seems that the some very well established models and, and maybe it is the B2B doesn’t suffer from the fragmentation problem that you identified earlier.
15m 25s
1

Maybe that’s why that Sam coming through so strongly, but it wasn’t one, actually they’re not Sam segments that I’ve seen and many propositions for. So very exciting for me. And so tell us, first of all, will you about this utility loyalty program, Christina, and you, you know, showcased it for me. And again, anyone listening to this will be able to connect with the laundry observatory and connect with Christina to actually look at these programs and her overview, but tell us about this energy company and their environmental loyalty program.
15m 57s
2

Well, thank you. Yes. This is a very interesting case because first of all, the energy industry embracing loyalty is a very interesting case. Having, you know, having run the conference and the observatory for so many years, we were looking at the attendees database recently and we said, wow, all almost all the Italian energy companies were attending this here. This is really interesting because until five years ago, there was no talking about loyalty strategies. Let’s say not talking outside the company, it’s not the juice on the one side because of legislation issues.
16m 46s
2

The market has been privatized has become more competitive of the past few years. And this is the reason why new companies have sprung up and they definitely are competing to get new customers, engage customers and keep the customers they get. And because of these, of many of these companies being new, they started loyalty digital first. So 15 years ago, there was one major energy provider and they would run, you know, a lot of directly direct mailings with paper.
17m 27s
2

And everybody knows in the industry how cumbersome it is, you know, how it, and you see these examples like the so Jania case that you hear about. Yeah, they created a loyalty club that is totally mobile. So it’s based on the company app. It’s based on the concept of a community of people who want to leave a green existence because this company is a hundred percent green energy. And so what they do, they create a sense of community among people who share in this view of being green or having, you know, a small carbon footprint, they try to make it also gamified the fact of, you know, living a green existence with, you know, reducing your consumption and using green products.
18m 25s
2

And people get engaged in games and learning how they are reducing their footprint and how they are benefiting the environment and the community. For example, they adopt beehives, the community square meters of forest. It’s a very, it’s one trends. And I’m sure you can confirm this across the world of loyalty that many companies are trying to adopt this sustainability approach, hopefully. So, you know, it’s mandatory in a way for an energy company and since a very interesting challenge and company, thanks to this approach when, you know, engaging customers, having them going through steps in this new sustainable life, they have been able to reduce churn by 40%.
19m 26s
2

Wow. 70% of people registered to the program through the mobile, their mobile phone. And I think they launched only a few years ago when they have at 30% penetration of their residential customer base, which I think is very good for this type of program. So, and also on our website, we have an interview with the marketing manager or so Jania, I know it’s an Italian, but you know, we can use translation tools and maybe those who want to learn more.
20m 7s
2

I think it’s a very interesting case.
20m 9s
1

It is absolutely Christina and a sore Jenea. Am I right? Is that how you pronounce the name? Yes. Yes. Wonderful. Yeah. I mean, I would love to interview them myself if I had the opportunity. And I don’t know if you know, or if I mentioned, even for listeners that I used to work with electric Ireland, I’m going back now, I’m going to say, would it been 20 14, 20 15? And we didn’t really have maybe the necessary tools to build something that’s entirely environmentally focused. And, but again, internally there was, there was fabulous interest in really, you know, focusing on connecting with, you know, this key customer passion point.
20m 51s
1

And I think what fascinated me as well, you know, having come from, let’s say I was working in telcos loyalty and banking and all of these other industries where always, what we wanted to do with those loyalty programs was to increase the customer, spend perhaps, you know, it was a cross sell or an upsale, but of course, for an energy company, you cannot incentivize increased usage of the product. In fact, you have to disincentivize it. So I just found that an incredible mindset. So obviously soar Jenea has, has really understood exactly how to connect with people in a way that really matters to them.
21m 29s
2

Yeah, I think so. You’re right. It’s a different, completely different approach moving away from transactional loyalty, you know, and focusing on, you know, engaging customers. Yeah. Different points. Yeah. That’s also something that we are seeing in other industries. I think, I think companies trying to move away from pushing purchases per se.
21m 58s
1

Yeah. Yeah. And again, just for listeners who might be interested in, in understanding more of the consumer programs in Italy, and I’ll just mention, obviously you do have payback who am, where on our show am originally a German and coalition program. And I also recognized the name of Luisa via Roma, which I know is a premium fashion brand, which has invested very heavily in loyalty and plenty of others. So I know once people do go looking at your website, Christina, you’ll be able to share lots more about all of those programs with them.
22m 33s
2

Yeah.
22m 34s
1

Yeah. Fantastic. Okay. And then can you maybe just talk us a bit through the end, the two B2B programs and in very different sectors. And the first one you’ve highlighted for me is a cruise company called Costa. And so I think it just be interesting. I know that’s been done in other markets, but also just to see that, you know, what’s great to see, I suppose, the travel industry focusing on, you know, recognizing and rewarding people that are selling, you know, big, high ticket items like cruise. And then the one I loved was you mentioned a program for, at bars and restaurants, so completely different concept, which I haven’t seen again.
23m 14s
1

So I’d love you just to talk us through a bit of those two programs.
23m 18s
2

Okay. Yeah. Those are very, very interesting in my viewpoint. First of all, because to my knowledge, there’s not much research and insight into B to B programs. And of course, because we also, our consumers, we as researchers, maybe we pay a little bit more attention when the loyalty schemes I’ll be to see, you know, you know, I think we should address trying to share and gather more knowledge, more evidence about successful B to B programs, which for their nature don’t get advertised.
24m 2s
2

And sometimes they go on for years and years, like the Horeca street club, which is the bars and restaurant lunch that you mentioned. I think if I’m not mistaken, I’m sure they have been on the market for at least 15 years. I remember it’s something like in 2006 or seven for the first time, but they had already been there. What is really interesting about this came is the company that originated it because that is that’s the company that launched the scheme. They are wholesalers of beverages.
24m 43s
2

And this one can name belongs to a big group, an international group producing beverages. However, their strategy for the distribution of their beverages in Italy is to distribute not totally their brands, but to act as sailors of many other different brands because bars and restaurants and this, you know, sector in general, they thrive on variety. So they need to serve a variety of brands, a variety of innovative things. You know? So the, the whole idea is really interesting because this company distributes and sells products from many different countries and companies not only theirs.
25m 31s
2

And they create this concept of supporting Basel restaurants in their marketing. That is, they do a lot of training. They have, for example, the beer university, you know, Italy is not to be a country of at least, although the culture of beer has definitely developed over the past 30 years, but they teach bartenders how to knew more about the product, how to serve it, you know, how to store it and how to tell the story of the beer to customers.
26m 14s
2

Then they offer managed services like, you know, everything that you need to manage your bar from a subscription to the T cable TV to, you know, and other stuff. So they want their scheme to be a support to, for these businesses, not only incentivizing more purchases, then all the side on the side of this education and support and giving services, they analyze in depth, the purchase patterns of the different dolls, because you knew very well that depending on the audience of the bar and restaurant, the consumption of type of drinks, you know, can be to friends.
27m 10s
2

So they provide targeted offers. And based on your shopping history, every dog gets, you know, a special offers, special prices and innovation that is tailored to what that bar I may want to continue shopping or may try and so on and so forth. So it’s a nice mixture of CRM. Again, service was very, very interesting approach.
27m 44s
1

It’s absolutely fascinating. So am I right in understanding that the objectives then are, as you said, education and, and obviously offers so, you know, and obviously highly relevant, but not directly incentivizing sales as such, that’s, that’s obviously going to be a result as well, but they’re not actively, I’m setting out to reward the level of purchases by the sounds of it.
28m 9s
2

Yeah. They also reward that. But as you said, for me, the way they put it is a nice mixture of, you know, again, we support you with education and services, and of course we also reward you. They have reward catalog where, you know, products for the bar that you can go on with points and the points you earn because of your purchases, of course. So you can get, you know, espresso machines, the latest generation for your perfect espresso coffee. Everything is very, very well conceived around, you know, this idea of 360 degrees needs of the bar.
28m 57s
2

So this is the, the,
29m 1s
1

I can see particularly coming out of COVID Christina, that there’s probably a lot of countries that would really, you know, need the support of a program like this. You know, because again, my, my outsider knowledge I’ll call it M of the Irish bar scene is that there are, you know, lots of grants and support coming through from huge companies like Diasio, but I don’t know if they have the, the data and the integration that you’re talking about in terms of understanding the profile of the individual bars. And to your point earlier, it’s certainly a sector in Ireland that would be, you know, very fragmented. Whereas I think markets like the UK, they have big chains of bars and restaurants, and we don’t really have the same in hospitality sector.
29m 48s
1

Let’s say so. Yeah. It’s a great concept and a amazing they’ve been doing it for so long.
29m 53s
2

Yeah, absolutely. Actually, it’s interesting what you said because of the quantity and variety of data about the bar and restaurant scene and the country. I don’t know, but I guess they could cooperate with suppliers in sharing insights like other retailers do, of course, you know, given the fact that they belong, the company belongs to one beverage group, maybe we should here, but definitely they have a picture which is broader than the picture that the single beverage company may have. Yeah,
30m 31s
1

Yeah, yeah. Fascinating stuff. And then the other one is the, the Costa, which I think is itself an Italian company. And so I guess they’re obviously trying to, you know, incentivize people to book cruises, not sure, obviously whether COVID has them, you know, impacted them. I’m sure it has, but tell us maybe a bit about that. Just loyalty proposition, because again, we don’t hear too much about loyalty for travel agencies.
30m 58s
2

Ah, that’s right. Costa ha again is another scheme that has been on the market for many, many years, very quiet. They talk with their customers a lot in a very personalized way. You know, this business, which has been growing before COVID for the decade before call the, the, the cruise business, at least in our country has been growing is an infrequent purchase industry. So you have all the challenges of business where you don’t see your customers very often.
31m 40s
2

And at the same time, you have a very big difference between your frequent customers and the occasional ones. So the polarization of your customer base is very strong, and this makes the case for CRM, for a club. They actually used to have this isn’t the latest information I have. It might not be totally accurate. They have six levels based on, you know, how frequently you travel with them. The, the type of cruise you take, the level of, you know, the type of cabin you have and the services you buy more or less exclusive.
32m 22s
2

And you accumulate points based on the services you buy and the type and the frequency, and this entitles you to one area of loyalty rewards that we call privileges. So, you know, a special services services, advanced bookings guarantees that if you can’t travel, then you know, you’re saving your, your spend for the next one. And I think I don’t have data on this, but I have the feeling that this dialogue that they have built over the years has really helped, is helping the company going through the turbulent years of the pandemic, where, you know, they didn’t travel or people were afraid, may be still a little bit afraid of traveling.
33m 18s
2

The other interesting thing of this scheme, as you mentioned, is the B2B side that this is a type of consumption where the advice and suggestion of the travel agent is consistent. So, yeah, so the company has been working on two levels on the B2B side, they incentivize travel agencies, mean the company, the partner companies, and by providing, for example, software services, customer support, and they have a loyalty program for the travel agents.
34m 11s
2

And at the same time, the second level is they incentivize the individuals working with the travel agents. So the employees for every cruise they sell, they can choose rewards from a set of, you know, different products that they can request for themselves. So it’s an interesting approach. We see that also, for example, in the beauty industry where, you know, a few shops and drugstores, it happens that it’s the employee and the company as a whole that get rewarded for the purchase or for, you know, being active in promoting the brands.
34m 58s
2

So it’s interesting because this approach again has been going on for many years. It’s a testimony to how important the loyalty of the channel partners is not so many consumers, especially, you know, when the, the market gets crowded with more competitors. So that’s an interesting case. Wonderful. Wow. And remind me, Christine. I was just trying to remember, how long have you been with the university yourself? Oh, well, let’s say, I must say that I, from that university many years ago, and then I moved on for my PhD and for my experience abroad to other universities in Milani, the UK, and then I came back.
35m 51s
2

So, Ooh, I must say that I’ve been in research for, it will be 30 years next year.
36m 1s
1

Oh my goodness. That’s just incredible. You know, I mean, congratulations. I can see how much you love it. You’re smiling. You’re excited. It feels like it’s like a never ending passion. So it’s almost like there’s so much we could talk about, but tell me just about the recent conference, Christina. I know we recorded something for your audience. I know you had a lot of content, as you mentioned from, you know, from the U S from other academics and I’m sure plenty in, in Italian as well, but what were the key themes that you felt maybe coming out of that, you know, we’re coming up to the end of 2021. And I think you presented all of the, the big research with the companies was not a key focus for you.
36m 46s
2

Yeah. Thank you. Yes. The, we presented results from our consumer study and on that side, let me just say, what is interesting to share with Italian companies is the increase in the number of touchpoints that consumers encounter every day. It is something that we read about everywhere. Don’t we, we talk about customer journeys across touch points. We talk about designing the experience by adopting and connecting touch points. So Italian companies, they need to knew on which touch points they can encounter the majority of their customers.
37m 30s
2

And this is the reason why on the consumer side, what we do, we map the touch points that have the highest reach industries. And we present the market with these results, which is very interesting to prioritize your investments. Just to give you a couple of numbers, the supermarket industry in Italy, we still have, you know, paper flyers where you present offers and coupons. And this is something that is massive, and you spend a lot of money printing those flyers. They also have these environmentally bad side to them.
38m 15s
2

Companies are continuously questioning whether they should reduce this investment, stop distributing them. And they have introduced digital clients, you know, so where customers can just, you know, check their offers. And so on. The good thing of digital flyers is that if you have a database, you can personalize, of course, retailers are moving Whitley into this because they have this opportunity and they can recruit most suppliers. So paying for digital targeted advertising. And so when you ask Italian consumers, have you seen a digital flyer from your retailer, or have you seen the paper one, or have you seen nothing at all telling Italian companies that the digital flyer today is as distributed as the paper one actually not distributed?
39m 8s
2

Is it seen as not visible? Yeah. That’s a very important piece of information. We, the logic behind some of the data that we collect about consumers, another and last example on the consumer side is the study. We did this year on food. The deliberate for the library exploded during the lockdown and we’ll do in Italy. It’s concentrated in some larger cities, not everywhere, you know, that was more villages or towns and still it’s a booming industry.
39m 52s
2

And the number one touch point is the app. Okay. Second one is the website. So it’s totally digital and that’s very, it may sound abuse, but it’s very interesting to see what are the touch points, where the brand should be if you want to reach your customers. So those were some of the highlights that we presented from the consumer research, and then moving into what you were asking, the, the company survey on that side every year, we, you know, it’s an observatory. So what we do, we monitor some questions every year, see kind of data you have in your database.
40m 41s
2

What kind of tools you employ? Where are you in terms of analytics so that we can take the pulse of the market this year, we did a few new things like mutton MarTech investments, because this is a growing concern and a growing opportunity, but still, you know, Italian companies in many cases due to their size, which is you, for example, come totally different. On average from American companies, they don’t have the cultural day, don’t want to invest so much.
41m 21s
2

So we want to contribute to diffusing this idea that these tools exist. They can be introduced, they can definitely improve the loyalty and CRM activities that you do. Just to give you an example, we asked Italian companies, are you in using your customer database to optimize your digital campaigns for acquisitions or social media, like, you know, sharing with Google and Instagram and Facebook, and only 7% of companies said we do it regularly.
42m 3s
2

Wow. Which is a very interesting number, a big opportunity opportunity. It means that there’s also need for education. How do you enhance your digital strategy with a customer database? What more can you do? Because there are lots of things that you can do. And so we explored MarTech a little bit when you explored the type of data that companies would love to work with, but still aren’t really integrating again, social media data is something that lots of companies are interested into pulling into their customer databases, but they’re still struggling to do that.
42m 51s
2

And it’s an area where they will work. We looked into the familiarity with analytics. Okay, that’s the other point? You know, if you want to obtain insight from data, you know, 90% of Italian companies have customer databases of some sort, but not many of them are able to extract the type of analysis that could inform customer experience management, for example, and designing experiences across the different touch points. And in fact, when you ask Italian companies about the analytics, again, the picture is very fragmented.
43m 37s
2

The majority of companies are many with descriptive statistics, you know, and regularly looking at your customers and retention and churn, and, you know, a customer’s going up and down the loyalty ladder. Then if you ask them, do you use predictive? Do you use prescriptive models? Then the numbers become very small. So again, there’s a lot of interest, lots of opportunity. I think it’s going to change rapidly because of everything that’s happening in digital with marketplaces, with the example of digital companies, it also is home to Amazon prime.
44m 23s
2

So, you know, companies are pushed to see what some best in class are doing. So it’s very interesting times for Italian companies, for sure. One page of digital and loyalty at the same time.
44m 41s
1

And I think you also did the same Christina, if I’m right. And your conference, you did have obviously an in-person and great to know that there are in-person conferences coming back, but you did also have a virtual aspect. I think you told me. So, you know, certainly I know it says very far away now, but for next year, for example, I think anyone listening to this show internationally, if they’re interested in the Italian market, it sounds like something they can follow and join with you as well.
45m 10s
2

Absolutely. There’ll be, that’d be welcome. And I want materials again this year, we had several speeches in English, so the videos are on our website and everybody’s welcome to watch them and download them. And a lot of the other material may the Italian, but we are, you know, very happy to have a conversation and share some contents and, you know, provide some background. Wow,
45m 39s
1

Wonderful. So it sounds like for anyone listening, perhaps if they do have an interest in the market, they could perhaps find you on LinkedIn, for example, and connect you with you for specific questions, they may have
45m 51s
2

Sure. Absolutely. The observatory and myself, we are on LinkedIn and looking at,
45m 56s
1

Oh, that’s very generous of you, Christina. Well, listen, I think we have done a huge amount and thank you again for the extraordinary amount of work preparing and the strategic perspective on the loyalty market in Italy still can’t believe the loyalty observatory was set up in 1999. I think that’s absolutely a real Testament of innovation to you and to the university. Are there any other key points that you wanted to mention before we wrap up?
46m 27s
2

Oh, well, yeah, let me say that. Well, first of all, I would like to thank you for this opportunity and, you know, having worked on already for 20 years, we, we are looking now towards our next 20 years. Hopefully, you know, my younger cooperators, you know, professors, not myself, but what we would love to do is to strengthen the connections with centers and groups and, you know, academics and companies that really are interested in loyalty and want to do research, want to do, you know, to share views because very often we have the same questions.
47m 15s
2

It will be incredibly useful to, to know if someone else in another country has tried to find an answer. So, you know, that would like to, to do here is to just say, let’s get connected. And thanks also to your podcast. I think this is becoming a reality. I would love to, you know, start a network or develop a network of, you know, centers and people who are interested in loyalty research.
47m 50s
1

Okay. And tell us then em, on the company side as well, Christina, and I know what’s called the loyalty observatory, what’s the actual website for people who are interested more from the research perspective, just to, you know, find out what you have presented, anyone interested in your findings. Where’s the best website to find all of that information.
48m 11s
2

Okay. I will website is www dot dot ID. Okay. So also is the Italian for loyalty observatory. Again, we have an English, the general ed be patient because the majority of the content is in Italian. So it’s quite, you know, a summary. But again, as I said, all our publications, our white papers, I was slides for 20 years. They are available up there. They are mostly, you know, for Italian monitors.
48m 52s
2

So the prevalent language is Italian, but we cover what’s happening, you know, across the world. So hopefully the content will be
49m 2s
1

Totally. Yeah. And because I know my own spelling in Italian is not very good. Christina, what I’ll do is obviously we’ll be sending this out by email the whole episode. So am all of the show notes, I’ll make sure to link directly to your profile on LinkedIn directly we’ll link to the loyalty observatory and anything else that you want to share with us to make sure people can find you at least. And then as we said, reach out and have conversations as appropriate. I think that’s probably the best approach. Yeah.
49m 32s
2

Thank you. Lovely. That’d be great.
49m 34s
1

Wonderful, great. Well, listen, on that note, I will say we’re recording in November, but releasing a, literally I know we’re coming up to Christmas, so I will wish you and everybody listening to the show, a happy Christmas, that feels very strange to say, but most importantly, Christine, it’s been a fabulous conversation. So I want to say thank you so much to Christina’s Giuliani professor at the university of Parma. Thank you so much from let’s talk closer to
50m 2s
2

Thank you, Paula. Thank you very much for having me and Eric Christmas.
51m 11s
1

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.