#479: Breaking News: Announcing Our Latest Guest Host, Carly Neubauer

This episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty features our latest announcement and breaking news for 2024, introducing our new guest host, Carly Neubauer⁠.

Carly is based in Melbourne Australia, where she is a hugely popular loyalty industry personality, thanks to an incredibly impressive career, including agency, brand and loyalty community roles, which you’ll hear her explain in our conversation today.

Carly is also a compère and committee member for the Australian Loyalty Association, as well as the Co-Founder & Director of Elevate Loyalty & Pay2Elevate.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that, starting next month in February 2024,Carly will be hosting a monthly episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty, bringing her expertise and more leading loyalty industry personalities from the Australian market to you.

Please join us in meeting Carly and wishing a warm welcome as she joins our growing team!

Show Notes:

1) ⁠⁠Carly Neubauer⁠⁠

2) Australian Loyalty Association

3)⁠ Elevate Loyalty⁠

4) Pay2Elevate

5) Zero Co

6) who gives a crap


8) Eat Up

Audio Transcript

Paula: 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.

Just before we share today’s episode, I want to ask you to sign up to the Let’s Talk Loyalty email newsletter. Our email newsletter is by far the best way for us to keep you up to date with all of the latest incredible loyalty stories we’re sharing each week. It’s also the easiest place for you to find our show notes with links to everything mentioned in all of the episodes.

You can sign up at letstalkloyalty.com.

Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty where we’re announcing and introducing our newest guest host, Carly Neubauer. Carly is based in Melbourne, Australia, and she’s already a hugely popular industry personality where she has an incredibly impressive career, including agency, brand, and loyalty community roles, which you’ll hear her explain in our conversation today.

Carly is also an active member, a compare and committee member for The Australian Loyalty Association, as well as the Co-Founder and Director of her latest company, Elevate Loyalty and Pay2Elevate. Today, I’m thrilled to announce that starting next month in February, 2024, Carly will be hosting a monthly episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty bringing her expertise and many more leading loyalty industry personalities all the way from the Australian market directly to you. Please join me in wishing a warm Let’s Talk Loyalty welcome to Carly Neubauer as she joins our team.

So, Carly Neubauer. Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV.

Carly: Hi Paula, thank you so much. 

Paula: You know, this is the start of something absolutely extraordinary, Carly. I’m so excited to make a big announcement today about working with you super closely in 2024. We’ve done a little bit of work together in the past in all of your incredible work that you do in Australia in the loyalty market, but we’re taking it to a whole new level. So we’re here today to share that news with our audience. 

But of course, before we get into all of that detail, as you know, we always start this show talking about our favorite loyalty programs. So as a guest and as an expert loyalty practitioner, Carly, let’s kick off and please do tell our audience what is your favorite loyalty program?

Carly: Firstly, thank you, Paula. And I’m really excited to be joining this team. I think it’s such an honor to have been asked. So thank you. And I guess to answer the big question, first and foremost, I feel like I’m new to the team, but I’m already going to start breaking the rules. I have two, two loyalty programs that are my favorite.

However, there’s a reason. There’s a reason. They are the same loyalty construct, the same type of program. And I’ll talk to why I think they’re just really fabulous. And I think at this point as well, you can kind of debate one thing in loyalty. My two favorites are subscription programs. And I think it’s always a really great conversation in loyalty. Is subscription really loyalty? But this is my thought and this is why I do really love them. 

So one of them is Who Gives A Crap. It’s a toilet paper product. It’s a subscription program for toilet paper. That’s right. 

Paula: Wow. 

Carly: Absolutely. It’s a really popular one here in Australia. It’s really well known and they do some really cool things. 

The second one is Zero Co, which is also a subscription program. And that is for personal use and home cleaning products. Now, the reason I love them  Zero Co, they send funds of their purchases through to clean up the ocean and who gives a crap the toilet paper 50 percent of products go to sanitation projects across the world. So first and foremost, they’re fabulous for what they do across the world. I love it. It’s fine. 

Paula: Beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. 

Carly: And the other part, I guess, Let’s Talk Loyalty. Like why do I love them from a loyalty point of view? Of course it’s this behavior that they’ve created between their customers and their brand and then how they’ve done that as well.

They really do focus on two very strong loyalty principles. When you think back to principles and loyalty, one is simple. It’s a really simple customer journey, really easy to use, really easy to engage with no hassles. They are very much around that emotional connection. They use a lot of humor in their brands, but they really create this community of people. It’s emotional connection with their members as well. And it’s also about like doing right in the world. But I guess from a performance point of view, their subscribers very loyal to the brand, long lasting customers. And that’s my lifetime value. I mean, that’s what we’re all talking about. Right? So you want to measure it in that way.

Strong customer lifetime value and cost parity. They’re very good in relation to costing. If you price them against your general supermarket brands cost is very equivalent plus free delivery. So there’s a range of reasons why I really love these programs that, like I said at the start, can be debated whether you agree with subscription, but I do think they create a real strong loyalty behavior within their programs. So I do really love it and I love what they do for the world. So that’s my answer. 

Paula: Amazing. Wow. I feel like we’ve just had like a mini masterclass in loyalty, Carly. So thank you. That is exactly the purpose of that question is to illustrate the principles because we all have our personal favorites. 

But for me, for sure subscription, I always describe as like the ultimate loyalty. It’s if somebody is not just behaving in a certain way, you know, on a, on an occasional basis as required, but they’ve made that commitment and they’re spending money with you every month. So for me, absolutely subscription is a loyalty proposition. And so totally get that, but I know it’s also controversial. So we love that. 

Carly: There you go. Yeah. 

Paula: The other piece I love as well, Carly, is actually just that brand name. So I was a little surprised you had told me that it was you know, what type of program it was going to be, but Who Gives A Crap is hilarious and, you know, potentially offensive to some listeners. So apologies if so. But honestly, do you know, there is a, I suppose, a value in brand in driving loyalty as well. Like when I think about the name of my show, you know, Let’s Talk Loyalty is something that people understand to your point. It’s simple. So when they’re going to say, oh, I’m going to go and listen to it. They never struggle, I think, to think of our brand name. So that’s exactly what I’m hearing coming through as well.

So when I think about behavior change, all of the principles have to be in place as well, even from the basic product and branding perspective. So I know that’s outside and I suppose more broad than, of course, the loyalty marketing industry. But I think everybody listening to this show knows it and probably has to articulate that in their own businesses on a regular basis. 

Carly: Absolutely. And there’s nothing better than a brand that resonates with your target market to at least start the loyalty journey. I think that’s super imperative. And the fact that they can do it with some humor attached, I think is unique. Not everyone can get that exactly right. So if you’ve got, like you said, Paula, if you’ve got members who are willing to pay every month and continue that, then I consider that a loyalty program. So yeah. Love them. 

Paula: Totally. Great. Great. So we’ll make sure to link to both of those, of course, in the show notes. And just so that people who do want to explore a bit more, Carly, we’ll make sure to get that detail from you as well. 

So listen, we’re off to an amazing start. So let’s go back a bit. Let’s talk about how did you get into loyalty, Carly? Because I know it’s something you’re very passionate about. And again, it’s why we’re super excited to be working with you. So take us back to the beginning. How did you get into the business? 

Carly: So, my background. Okay. I started in sales and marketing. And that’s to a degree probably why I love it when I see great brand and marketing campaigns as well. Still inherently. I love that marketing side of things. So I started in sales and marketing. 

I’ve moved into consumer financial lending products from that point, which was great from the commercialization side of things, which I now love in my loyalty business. But I then spent some time in ad agency world. So that was always a great experience. But this is where I met my first two business partners and we decided to just create this side hustle and created this member benefits technology platform that we sort of built on the side. And then realized it worked and it was going really well. It was my first sort of foray, I guess, into loyalty and membership programs of that style fast.

Forward a few years, and I moved into the role as a General Manager of the Loyalty Division at Village Roadshow. So that was a huge role and a really fabulous time. I spent a number of years there developing some loyalty tech, we had a fabulous loyalty team and rolled out a number of programs across Australia for across a range of industries as well.

That was also where I met the ALA, Australian Loyalty Association and became one of the earlier sponsors of the ALA. So I guess from this point forward loyalty incentives has been my life and it’s where I live now. So loving that. And I guess these days there’s a few things I do. I love the industry. I love being involved locally and globally these days, I nine years on, I’m still a regular with the ALA loving the team, loving the people. 

I three years ago, I met some amazing co-founders and we launched WiiN Global. So that’s a global association in incentives and loyalty. And a year ago the IMA, I joined the board of the IMA. That has been a really fabulous experience as well. Bringing the strength of the IMA that is very prominent in the US and the UK across to the MENA and APAC region as well. So quite a few things going on. 

And and then earlier this year launched a new business called Elevate Loyalty and my awesome business partner, Jodie Wilson. And we’ve had a really huge year launching a brand new business in the industry. 

Paula: Okay, well, listen, we have to get into that now, but it would be remiss if I didn’t. First of all, again, congratulate you on WiiN. So that’s an extraordinary association. And again, female led, female focused. I have certainly made some great friends through that organization. Even from just attending a couple of virtual events. So absolutely incredible. 

And I love that global positioning because there is so much expertise and it’s exactly what we try and do on this show is to say, my goodness, here’s brilliant people doing work here, brilliant people doing work here, and how can we bring them together? So absolutely extraordinary. I know you’ve got a mentorship program there as well for up and coming talent. So again, a lot of integrity around what WiiN is doing. So, really great to hear. 

And IMA, I think just for people who are not familiar is the Incentive Marketing Association. 

Carly: Exactly.

Paula: So maybe just, yeah, exactly. Would you mind just explaining that one a little bit as well, Carly? 

Carly: Yes. Absolutely. So I am a Incentive Marketing Association. It’s been very strong. It’s very well known across Europe, the UK and the US, which is where it originally started a number of years ago. And it really is a different style of association bringing together companies particularly that want to join a network within that incentives and marketing style industry, of course.

And next year is going to be a really big year for us. We started this year across the MENA, APAC region. Next year, we’ve got some big plans around some bigger events and a lot more webinars as well. So it’s been a great kickoff year, but next year should be better again. 

Paula: Oh my goodness, yeah, busy lady. So let’s talk about Elevate Loyalty, Carly as well. For me, the whole idea of payment-linked loyalty, and I hope I’m using the same terminology and that you are so passionate about, but from the very first time I heard about payment-linked loyalty, it blew my mind. 

As a consumer, I was like, this is what I want every loyalty program in the world to make available for me. Like, it’s just cool. And it was still early days. It was in Ireland. It was being tested. And I know you’re specializing in that. So tell us about Elevate and I hope I positioned that right. Because honestly, for any loyalty program owner, it’s a game changer. So yeah. Tell us about the tech. 

Carly: Sure, sure. So Elevate Loyalty. We started out with some global rewards content, and that’s where we kicked off the business. But very recently I mean, the last sort of 2 months, we’ve just announced and launched our latest product, which is called 1 Tap Loyalty, which is the product you’re referring to Paula. And look, we are passionate around digital payments technology and the loyalty industry. It’s what we like to focus on. And realistically, what we saw is this opportunity to use payment technology to solve a loyalty problem. 

So in a loyalty program, you know, we acquire members and then we want them to come back and re engage and spend again, let’s say. So that’s great. But the next step usually is even if that member comes back and they’re spending and they’re engaging, they also have to self identify. They need to scan a card or remember a membership number or identify themselves somewhere in that process as well. What we’ve done is create a piece of technology that can effectively identify them by their payment. Because what we want to do in loyalty is, yes, we’ve asked you to come back. Yes, we want you to spend again. That’s great. But we want to make the identification part seamless and easy. So that part’s not a friction point. That part’s not challenging for the member.

There’s a heap of benefits. The member gets their reward. They get their points. They don’t feel a bit we were funny that I spent, but I didn’t get my points. Number one, that’s kind of a big one. And that can be kind of annoying for members when they forget later. Cause I forgot to scan my card or, you know, remember later.

Or the other part is for the loyalty program. I mean, a lot of loyalty programs really rely on that data and the insights they’re getting from their members spend. If the members not scanning. They’re not getting the data. So this part as well really brings that together where the members happier, they’re getting their points, their rewards every time they spend and they engage, that’s great. They get a notification to say, Hey, thanks so much. You’ve just been here. We really appreciate you or whatever wording. And then the program themselves, the sales attribution, that’s a big one for measurement in a loyalty program. You don’t want to know that your members might be spending in store, but we can’t really tell if it’s part of the program or if they’re an anonymous customer. So it’s bringing those together and using that payment tech to be the loyalty identifier. So, we’re pretty excited. It’s been a big few months. 

Paula: Incredible. My goodness. So in 2024, of course, Elevate Loyalty is going to have incredible attention, WiiN, IMA we’ve talked about, and you have also agreed to become a guest host on Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Carly: Yes, very excited. 

Paula: Yeah, drum roll, of course feels appropriate. So every month you’re going to come and join us and I suppose host incredible interviews with your incredible network of people. So I’m thrilled to have, again, your expertise and your insight. So tell us a bit about what you’re thinking in terms of your role as a host with our business.

Carly: Look, this is such a great year coming and I can’t wait for this role. I love talking to people and I’m talking to people about loyalty, obviously. So the guest lineup is awesome. I’m really excited to be meeting with these people and discussing their views and their background and their loyalty, you know, career and experience. I think this is really exciting time. And so great guest lineup. That’s the first thing. And I’m really looking forward to that. 

I’m also really looking forward to delving into a little bit about, so what did they see happening? What’s really going on in their world of loyalty? You know, what’s the good, the bad, the ugly, what do we need to be aware of what’s coming through? And you know, whenever you hear these great speakers on stage or at conferences, et cetera, you always come away with something that always triggers something or you get a, there’s always some great insights. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to spending time with these speakers and these guests to do that and to understand more about them. 

And there’s a huge range of industries we’re looking to cover. So that’s really great to get a real mix as well. Mix of insights. 

Paula: Indeed, absolutely. And I think the geographical piece as well, Carly, because, you know, we have obviously a huge audience in the US, the UK, and Australia, as well as, of course, everywhere else.

But for me, Australia, a bit like South Africa, of course, we have Amanda, and the UK, we have Charlie. So there are nuances, but of course similarities. So you’ve already talked about the fact that you love the local application and insights, but also the global perspective. So I think you’re going to bring that incredible insight in terms of what’s working for Australian loyalty programs that perhaps somebody in the US or UK or South Africa, or who knows where can absolutely apply and adopt as well. So amazing expertise, geographical relevance, and yeah, very exciting times. 

So tell us then from your side, Carly, you know, there are trends, as you’ve said, you’re going to be exploring and digging into all of those. I love the good, the bad, the ugly, you know, so let’s not pretend that we’re perfect. I think loyalty has a long way to go. So yeah. And I think everybody who listens to this show, that’s exactly why they do, because they want to know how to get from the ugly to the beautiful and the perfect and the ideal scenario. So tell us about some of the trends and maybe challenges that you’re seeing in the industry that you’re going to be exploring.

Carly: Absolutely. And I think you’ve touched on a really good point, Paula, and that why do we all need to make our own mistakes? We can listen in and hear from somebody else’s occasionally. 

Paula: That’s great. 

Carly: Right. Let’s learn from someone else as well. So I think there’s nothing wrong with sharing all of that. Some of the trends, look, I’m definitely bias, digital payments and loyalty. I think in 2024, it’s going to be closer than ever that’s coming together. And I’m seeing them almost as the same industry. I know it’s not quite, but it’s really a big crossover.

You know, in any loyalty transaction, there’s a payment, you know, you might have a different pause. You may have a staff member who isn’t trained on the loyalty program. I have a customer who forgets and doesn’t register themselves as the loyalty member. The transaction always happens. Right. It’s the common denominator. So for me, I really am biased, but I do see a lot of not just outtake, but plenty of different really cool pieces of tech coming through. That’ll be seen in loyalty.

And another one, I may be sounding like a bit of a broken record, honestly, but I think personalization. I’m going to say it again. I know it’s probably been said most years over the last few years, but I think there’s still room to grow. I think loyalty programs have still got a lot of work we can do in this space.

We still see loyalty programs sending out blanket emails to all members or you can log into a member profile area and it’s the same dashboard for every member. I think there’s room for loyalty programs to use a bit more personalization. They’ve got the data in most cases. How do we use that in a clever and engaging way? How do we start to personalize better in our loyalty programs? I think there’s some real, some game changer style things coming through that I’m seeing and hearing about, and I’m looking forward to seeing that happen more in 2024 as well.

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. I suppose with increased sophistication, it always does bring extra challenges Carly, you’re absolutely right. So, you know, I remember working for a company many years ago, which I’ll keep nameless but they had invested like 3 million pounds at the time in an amazing piece of personalization technology, and it was sitting on a virtual shelf and was never implemented. And I was utterly shocked, but I think it’s more prevalent than we would ever want to admit. I think there is so much complexity. 

And as you said, personalization, everybody agrees with, but actually getting it to make a difference in the business. It’s not something that I think anybody’s kind of going, you know what? We’ve nailed it. So definitely challenging times ahead. I know you’re going to be exploring that with all of your guests on the show. So lots to learn in terms of who is doing it well. So we’re very excited to hear all about that. 

And I know you’re also going to talk about, I suppose, best practices. You know, so what can we learn from your guests? So that sounds like something that you’re going to take as a theme to go through all of your interviews with us.

Carly: Yes. I’m really keen to look into, like I said earlier, we can learn from the, hey, this didn’t work or what’s the downsides. What’s the ugly, right? We can learn from that. But also what’s always interesting in a guest speaker environment is what have we done really well? What am I proud of? What has been excellent in the market. What resonated really well with our members that, you know, another program may be able to learn from or take that piece of advice and use it in their rollout as well. So I think that’s really important to hear. So what are the big wins that people are having?

And like I said, bringing across different industry experts and people running programs in a range of different industries can give different ideas. You know, maybe they can cross over in some cases as well. So that’s something I’m very keen to, to talk to the guests about is what are the best practices in loyalty across our region?

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. And speaking of being proud of Carly, what would you say you’re most proud of given your, you know, long career, love of loyalty? I mean, there’s so many things. So what would you say you’re most proud of?

Carly: Good question. Okay. I think when would definitely be number one there is, I think that’s just a given, right? WiiN has been, we didn’t know what to expect when we started. I think I could probably say, I hope my co founders agree. We had big ideas and we had ambitions and we were hopeful and it really has. Our members have just told us that they’re loving it, that it’s working, they’re connecting the business connections, the global networking, the engagement is really fabulous.

We’ve got some bigger plans for next year. We’ve just run our new strategy for recent months for plans for next year. And we always ask for member feedback, which then obviously drives down next year strategy. So that one. Well, I think we’re all proud of it. I love the women that I was privileged to start it with as well. They have been so supportive and just such great people to have across the world to reach out to at any stage. So I think that that’s what we’re trying to offer to our members as well. 

And I think the second part well, it is when Elevate, when we started Elevate we decided that we wanted to launch a profit for purpose business. So we really wanted to use our skills to start a new business. Yes. But also how can we support a dedicated charity? 

We chose Eat Up Australia and I definitely want to mention that because I love what they do. They literally feed hungry children in Australia and just this year, the stats are one in five children are going hungry. And they, this particular charity Eat Up Australia. I’m saying it really clearly. I hope everybody Googles it next because I love what they do. The team are absolutely phenomenal. They make sandwiches, they deliver them to school so that children can eat lunch that day, then those kids may not get breakfast or dinner, but they get lunch. So we are super passionate about supporting them and working with them. Yeah. 

Paula: Yeah. You know, in a first world country, Carly, it’s actually quite shocking to have a statistic that high in terms of hungry children. 

Carly: Yes. And we met with a team earlier this week and the wait list of schools that they have is in the hundreds now because the cost of living crisis has hit so many people. And I know it’s not just Australia. Looking at Australia at this point but the, their wait list is in the hundreds of schools that are asking for help and that the charity hasn’t been able to reach yet. So we are putting our efforts into overdrive because we really want to start closing that gap for helping those kids. Yeah. 

Paula: Incredible. Okay. Well, of course, we’ll make sure to link to Eat Up Australia in the show notes as well. So beautiful integrity coming through Carly. I like the term profit for purpose. Actually, I haven’t heard it phrased in such a way. I think there are lots of, again, incredible people in this industry doing their own kind of CSR initiatives and what to position the whole business as a profit for purpose to me is taking it again, dare I say it, you know, to elevate it to another level. So there you go. A bit of a cliche feels appropriate. Wonderful. Yeah. 

So listen, I think that’s all I wanted to go through today, Carly. Incredible to hear your background, of course, it would be remiss if I didn’t comment even on your incredible work as a compare. And as you said, as a committee member with The Australian Loyalty Association, an early advocate of our friends there. So kudos to you for joining forces with them. We obviously love working with the ladies there as well.

And for me, I suppose the extraordinary pieces, you know, you’re taking those skills of hosting physical conferences, meeting all of those wonderful people, having the conversations and obviously taking it to our world, sharing it in this kind of wonderful kind of podcast environment where we can continue to make sure those conversations are available forever. So creating the, I suppose, evergreen version of what you already do so well in Australia. 

Thank you for agreeing to be a guest host on Let’s Talk Loyalty. I know our audience are going to be super excited to hear you coming on every month and sharing these incredible interviews. 

So with all of that said, that’s everything from my side, Carly. Have we touched on everything? Is there anything else you wanted to mention before we wrap up? 

Carly: No, I think just thank you again. I’m really excited about the role for next year. It’s a privilege to join the team and I know it’s you’ve put so much work into building this business, Paula, and I’m really excited to join you. So thank you. And I’m looking forward to 2024. 

Paula: Amazing. So, Carly Neubauer, Co-Founder and Director of Elevate Loyalty. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Carly:  Thank you.

Paula: The Australian Loyalty Association is proud to bring you The Asia Pacific Loyalty Awards to celebrate excellence, innovation and best practice in the thriving loyalty industry across the region. Tickets are now available for the awards gala event, taking place on the 14th of March 2024 at the Glasshouse Melbourne, Australia.

Book your ticket or table at australianloyaltyassociation.com.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. If you’d like us to send you the latest shows each week, simply sign up for the Let’s Talk Loyalty newsletter on letstalkloyalty.com. And we’ll send our best episodes straight to your inbox. And don’t forget that you can follow Let’s Talk Loyalty on any of your favorite podcast platforms. And of course, we’d love for you to share your feedback and reviews. Thanks again for supporting the show.