#104: Australian Loyalty Expertise with Sarah Richardson, Founder of the Australian Loyalty Association

Today’s episode is a summary of my interview with Sarah Richardson, Founder of the Australian Loyalty Association.

In our original interview, Sarah had showcased the impressive loyalty marketing industry in Australia, so this short summary highlights some of the amazing things I learned from her expertise in that market.

Sarah now runs a boutique loyalty consultancy firm called SCIENSA, advising on loyalty strategy and helping programme owners measure and improve the value of their loyalty programmes.

Listen and learn for a masterclass in the Australian loyalty market.

Show Notes:

1) Sarah Richardson 

2) Let’s Talk Loyalty – Episode 21

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. This episode is brought to you by Collin center. The pandemic has introduced major disruption to our lives and spending habits, and these shifts are having a direct impact on customer’s loyalty to your brands. As experts in customer engagement and loyalty Collinson can help you to harness your data for deeper customer understanding and adapt your customer strategy to successfully navigate uncertainty so that your loyalty program will continue to drive engagement and deliver you revenue streams, make every interaction count, visit Collinson group.com to learn more.
1m 8s

So welcome to the latest episode of let’s talk loyalty. And today I’m delighted to be summarizing my interview with one of the leading ladies of loyalty. Sarah Richardson is the founder and chairperson of the Australian loyalty association, as well as the founder of a boutique loyalty consulting firm in Australia called sea Enza. Now as regular listeners will know, I normally release a new interview every Thursday. So today is an exception to that, but we will be back next week with our usual format. So Sarah started the interview by sharing a simply staggering statistic. And what I love is she chose it very intentionally because she and I both share the belief that many loyalty program owners struggle to quantify the exact value and return on investment that their loyalty program is delivering for the business, the program she chose to highlight.
2m 6s

This is one of Australia’s leading programs, and it was the valuation for velocity. The loyalty program operated by Virgin Australia. Now this show was recorded before the global pandemic, but nonetheless, the figure is absolutely staggering. It may not be the exact figure at this moment in time, but I have absolutely no doubt that it will come back again in the future. So the valuation for velocity by Virgin Australia was in excess of 2 billion Australian dollars. Now clearly any of us would be thrilled to be able to put such a clear valuation on our work.
2m 47s

And I really do agree with Sarah that this is a key area of focus and Sarah herself estimated that about 60% of loyalty program owners, she talks to count, put this level of clarity around their work. Sarah then gave me a great overview of the whole Australian loyalty markers, which to my mind is a mature and very sophisticated loyalty market. And we can definitely take plenty of learnings us. She shared with me the top four programs, which quite understandably span both airlines and retail, but she also explained the entire model around partnerships and affiliations.
3m 29s

And all of these programs do an incredible job of sharing their loyalty brands with smaller companies. So any Australian retailer or any Australian business can in fact deliver an extraordinary loyalty program by simply partnering with one of the big program operators. And I thought that was a great insight that really many people could learn from what’s. There also mentioned was how aware of Australian consumers are all of the value of their loyalty programs. Sometimes even they are asking about what happens your loyalty points when you die. So perhaps that’s another topic we can talk about in the future.
4m 12s

4m 12s

Then shared some incredible insights from work she did with on Australian department store called Meyer. She talked about their framework and particularly their approach to rewarding customers. Now, of course, for a department store, there’s a huge amount of exclusivity. But what I really loved was the insight that all though, this department store did launch a digital app and a digital version of their program. They actually retained a lot of the very traditional approach by posting out rewards vouchers to their customers and even issuing gold cards. The insight around this was that customers really would not articulate necessarily, but really did value.
4m 56s

The prestige are presenting the go-karts at the desk at the time of payment. And again, this is something that I’ve seen coming through in research when I worked with British airways. So the other insight that she shared, which I thought was incredible was that when members do come in to spend that rewards voucher, they end up spending 3.8 times the amount in the store on that visit. Some of the other topics we discussed were the loyalty course that Sarah recently designed for Australian loyalty professionals, all of the events that she runs for the Australian loyalty association, as well as a really big event that she had been planning for loyalty professionals to meet and network and ski in Japan.
5m 42s

So that is something that I really hope is going to happen at some stage in the future. We had a final discussion then about the emerging area of paid subscription programs in Australia and Sarah shared some incredible early results in that space. All in all, Sarah is someone who’s incredibly passionate about loyalty and sharing industry best practice in any way she can. So I highly recommend you listen to the full interview. It’s about half an hour long and it’s episode 21 of let’s talk loyalty. That’s it for today. I’ll be back with you again soon.
6m 23s

This show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing news insights and research. This show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing news insights and research. The wise marketeer also offers loyalty marketing training through its loyalty Academy, which has already certified over 170 executives in 20 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out the wise market, tier.com and loyalty academy.org. 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.
7m 14s

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7m 21s