#437: Expedia Partnership Enhances Valuedynamx Proposition

Today’s episode features insights from our friends in Valuedynamx as they celebrate their latest partnership with Expedia as part of their ongoing product development.

Valuedynamx is a fairly new brand in the loyalty travel industry, but it is part of the well-known Collinson Group.

Today’s conversation centers on how the Expedia Group has become an exciting addition to the Value Dynamx product, as loyalty programs around the world looks for new ways to differentiate their brands from their competitors using their loyalty program propositions.

Joining me to share some exciting travel trends and insights as well as the early results of their partnership in Alice Wynne, Commercial Product Manager at ValueDynamx as well as Carolina Cabero, VP of Commercial Partnerships for the Expedia Group based in Spain.

This episode is sponsored by Valuedynamx.

Show notes:

1) Alice Wynne

2) Carolina Cabero

3) Valuedynamx

4) Collinson Group

5) Expedia Group

6) EMEA Trends: The Power of Strategic Partnerships: Enhancing Loyalty Programs in 2023

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, featuring our friends in Valuedynamx as they celebrate their latest partnership with Expedia as part of their ongoing product development. Valuedynamx is a fairly new brand of the loyalty travel industry, but it is part of the well known Collinson Group.

Today’s conversation centers on how the Expedia Group has become an exciting addition to the Valuedynamx product, as loyalty programs around the world look for new ways to differentiate their brands from their competitors using their loyalty program propositions. Joining me to share some exciting travel trends and insights, as well as the early results of their partnership, is Alice Wynne, Commercial Product Manager at Valuedynamx, as well as Carolina Cabero, Vice President of Commercial Partnerships for the Expedia Group based in Spain. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

So Alice Wynne, Carolina Cabero, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

Carolina: Thank you very much. 

Alice: Thank you, Paula. Delighted to be here. 

Paula: Great. It’s been a long time coming, ladies. I’ve been very excited to have this incredible conversation. I think my audience knows that travel is my favorite part of the loyalty industry. So two incredible brands and a wonderful story we’re going to share with the audience today. So, as you know, we always start our conversations just by trying to get an understanding about our favorite loyalty programs, given that we’re all industry professionals, obviously coming from different areas of the industry.

So Alice, I’m going to come to you first I know you’re working obviously in Valedynamx, so right in the middle of the loyalty sector. So give us a sense of, you know, if you had a favorite loyalty program, what would it be? 

Alice: Yeah, so obviously, Paula, I can’t really name any favorites because all of our clients loyalty programs are joint favorite with me.

But the kind of thing that I look for in a loyalty program is, is firstly that it’s relevant to the kind of thing that I want to be engaging with that brand on. That it’s, you know, it gives me a good way of earning some sort of rewards and that those rewards are not necessarily just for the, the initial thing that I engage with that program on, but perhaps more broadly. So for example, on a, on a airline flight loyalty program, I don’t just want to only be able to redeem flights. I want to be able to redeem something more broadly. So maybe you know, an iPad or iPhone or something of that nature. So I’m looking for sort of value added in the broader part of my life, rather than just in that single engagement. 

Paula: Well, that is a very diplomatic answer, Alice, absolutely. So thank you for that. And I fully agree. So so well answered. Carolina, I know it’s also a challenge for you with all of the wonderful partners you have, but tell us what would you say is your favorite loyalty program?

Carolina: Indeed, since I believe I cannot mention my own loyalty program, one key, I believe that as a frequent traveler of both for business and leisure for me, it’s important choice and flexibility and a program that will allow me to spend my points in different ways across different brands and provide access to any sort of recognition or something that I would not have if I would not be a member. So as I said, I value choice. and also the feeling of being special and remove any anxiety about retention expiration. 

Paula: Oh, nice. I like that. Yes. You know, it’s incredible. I think as loyalty professionals, sometimes we do create anxiety by putting, I remember vividly the moment I first noticed the expiry date on my favorite frequent flyer program. And thankfully it was three years hence. But actually it did give me a moment of panic. So you’re absolutely right. Anything we can do to alleviate that is is absolutely wonderful. 

So listen, we’re here to talk about the partnership between you guys. And I guess even before we get into that, you know, Valuedynamx, an incredible brand, very much laser focused on this beautiful whole travel sector. So Alice, tell us a bit about Valuedynamx  and the kind of things you guys are specialized in doing. 

Alice: The sort of ethos of Valuedynamx is to try and help our clients brands become more relevant to more of their customers. So we, the way we do that is we look at kind of, I guess, both sides of the loyalty world.

So we look at how can people I mean, also it’s about delivering value and delivering relevant, relevant value. But we’re looking at what are the options for people to kind of earn like a loyalty currency, for example. And then on the other side what are the options that we can provide to allow them to then use that loyalty currency to, to, to get that value?

So, you know, we provide options for people to use their points to buy merchandise and buy travel related rewards. So flights and hotel bookings. car hire, that kind of thing. And also experiences, which is very much a key driver now. So maybe when you’re on your holiday, you might want to go to a theme park or go to the theater or, or something of that nature.

So it’s really just trying to help our clients get you know, get customer engagement at many more touch points than they would otherwise. And to make that engagement relevant. 

Paula: Lovely. Absolutely. Yeah. I think more and more of us are really kind of realizing that yes, there is the transactional piece, but yet something like an experience creates an emotion of loyalty that makes us feel very different.

So I do think I am a points junkie, actually. I’ve often said it on the show. But going out and chasing experiences as well, you know, where I can feel special or do something that I might otherwise not be able to do. And actually you’ve reminded me, Alice my husband just got a new credit card which of course has wonderful travel benefits on it, but because he’s not as obsessive as I am in terms of understanding the industry, I’ve actually said to him, look, we need to sit down together. I want to check that statement with you and I want to get those luxury hotel breaks. So absolutely wonderful to get something that’s relevant to us. But again, only with the behavior that I’m going to make sure that he does. So so that’s wonderful. 

Alice: You’re absolutely right there, Paula. Sorry for talking over you. I think it’s much more valuable to people to be sitting on that beach or sitting in that hotel and thinking, I’m here because of shopping with brand X, rather than, you know, having that disassociation. Much more powerful. 

Paula: Exactly. Yes. And lasting memories indeed, you know, and I do think there’s something about feeling like we’ve, I don’t want to use the word game to the system, but I think you get what I mean.

Like we’ve managed to kind of really get something like beyond what maybe other people are getting. So it is that sense of exclusivity and feeling like I’ve actually won something. So there is a fun element as well, I guess, to to those of us who do engage. So definitely share that with you guys.

So let’s talk a bit about Expedia, Carolina, just, I know it’s a massive consumer brand. So most people listening to this show will be very familiar with that side. So maybe we can briefly touch on that, but of course, we’re here to talk about your role in the B2B side, of course, in terms of working with Valuedynamx. So give us the background and context. 

Carolina: Thank you, Paula. So Expedia Group operates in the travel and others that offer travel supply. And this ecosystem also includes organizations like banks and travel agencies who bring travel experiences to their customers. So the B2B network previously known as Expedia Partner Solutions, we call it now Private Label Solution business. We go around after 85 percent of the industry that we do not serve with our Expedia Group brands.

And we use our supply and technology to build and grow our partners travel businesses with a great supply at the core of our business. We have a custom suite of products and solutions that we can probably touch on later.

Paula: Okay. Super. Yeah. And I do think actually it’s probably the first time that I really kind of thought of Expedia as a technology company as well as a travel company. So that’s something that certainly came through in my kind of preparation for today. And obviously again, super relevant in terms of why you’re working with the team and Valuedynamx. So exciting times. And listen, we can’t really you know, not mention the loyalty program that obviously just briefly, I know we’re not here to talk about it just today. But the One Key loyalty program that Expedia launched, tell us a little bit about that because I’d love to do an episode on that maybe in the future. 

Carolina: Great. And it’s, it’s a great timing. We are a very exciting milestone at Expedia Group, having just launched on the 6th of July in the US our new loyalty program called OneKey that brings together 168 million members from our three different brands. And for the first time allows travelers to earn and redeem the 1K cash rewards across Expedia, Hotel. com, and Variable. Being the first time a major online vacation rental platform will have a loyalty program.

Paula: Incredible. Wonderful. Okay. Definitely one to follow up on and congratulations on getting it launched. 

Carolina: Thank you. 

Paula: Very exciting times. So Alice, let’s get into, you know, I suppose the context for today’s conversation. When we had the conversation to prepare and think about what was going to be interesting and exciting for the audience, you very much said something that really resonated because I’m hearing it from so so many loyalty programs.

And that’s this idea about, I suppose, essentially reinventing ourselves, not just as, for example, a bank loyalty program and our airline loyalty program, but much more around a lifestyle program. So I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. It sounds like it’s coming through loud and clear to you too. 

Alice: Yeah, that’s exactly right, Paula. We hear this a lot from all of our clients trying to position themselves more as a lifestyle brand. And as you said, with a financial services institution. As an example, it’s moved much more from, you know, the focus being trying to get your bank card to be front to get in your whole brand to be front of mind.

And that’s why it’s one of the reasons we’ve engaged with Expedia and other companies for, for a wide range of rewards so that our clients can be the, the, the brand that their customers think about when they’re doing the nice things. So like booking a holiday or like looking for the latest electronics product.

And this is how it can help client and a brand stand out from their competition and be the differentiator because they can have many more ways of engaging with people in new areas of their life. And I guess the other point about this is it’s very important, not only to have a wide range of of options, but also those options at a wide range of price points, just why engaging with Expedia as an example is really good for us because I’m sure Carolina will talk about it in a bit more detail, but Expedia from provide us with our hotel content on our travel redemption platform. And you know, we’ve got we’ve got a wide range of accommodation types on there from, you know, the small kind of little boutique hotels all the way up to the big names brands through to apartments. I’m sure Carolina can talk more about this, but the important thing is to give that real range of offerings. And also globally, because people don’t, you know, people are international citizens now, they’re not, they’re not sitting still, they’re, they’re looking to go and experience things across the world. And so being able to provide that opportunity and those, those redemption options for people is really important. 

An interesting stat that, that I, I like is there was a report from Skyscanner back end of last year that identified that 41 percent of travellers, sorry. 4 percent of travelers intend to spend more on international travel in 2023 compared to 2022. And for us, we already saw a massive increase in 2022, about 36 percent more than pre-pandemic. So the fact that people are willing to do more, and we’re sort of seeing more again already this year, just sort of shows how important travel is to people, even in these tough times. And that’s why a partner like Expedia is really important. Carolina, I’ve given you a few little intros there to talk a bit more about maybe the hotel offering, if that’s appropriate. 

Paula: Thank you. Totally. Go on Carolina. What are you going to say to that? 

Carolina: So it’s funny that we, we, interesting that we both share the same stats, right? We agree as well in some of the studies that we conduct, but 83 percent of travelers are planning to travel either more or the same amount, and 43, as we said they are increasing the amount they have budgeted, but not only that, the role of loyalty in travel shopping decisions continues to evolve, and among the travelers who are members of a travel reward program, 79 percent feel it’s important to book with a brand where their loyalty member can earn perks.

Like points in the future, and of those, the vast majority said it’s extremely important to recognize the brand at Expedia Group and B2B division. We definitely help our partners in this case, Valuedynamx, build better traveler experience, understand the travelers wants and needs, and how to reach new travelers as well.

Yeah, we can support their experience and book their entire trip on the supply offering. I agree that the breath is something that I mentioned at the start of our conversation, the breath and cover of our supply with over 700,000 properties, over 700, 000 vacation rental partners. 2.3 million properties across different geographies and airlines.

We use that together with our technology to build our partners travel business. And I think not only we can do that in the case of Valuedynamx, they’re using our login API called Rapid. Where they have access to competitive rates, availability. And also a great selection of last minute availability package rates and all the specialist rates that our supply teams by working closely on the ground based source and agree to be displayed in our ecosystem.

Paula: Okay. And am I right in understanding, Carolina, that a certain amount of that is very much kept private. So the, the whole concept of closed user groups is something then that Valuedynamx members, for example, can access that might not necessarily be available to me as an individual booker on an Expedia website or a hotels.com, for example. Is that fair to say? 

Carolina: Whatever, yes, it is correct to say as long as our supply partners, in this case the hotels, they are the ones that agree and provide these rates to be provided in our travel ecosystem. 

Paula: Okay. Yeah. Having done a lot of partnerships in my own career, I think everyone listening knows that I started actually, you know, developing partnerships specifically for, for telecoms as it happens, but, you know, the whole idea that people were, you know within a closed user group and that products, if they were being offered at preferential rates, member pricing, for example, it’s perhaps one of the most compelling loyalty benefits to be able to offer but does have to be done very carefully. And again, I know there’s some, you know, very beautiful hotel brands that you do have available, but again, within certain conditions. So it still has to make commercial sense. So absolutely amazing. 

Carolina: Something that is very unique to the B2B network is our optimized distribution program. You mentioned hotel brands, right? So we extend through the optimized distribution program, we extend to our partners, rich and revenue opportunities while staying in control of these brands distribution and strategy through our trusted network and some of the most recognizable brands we have Marriott, ISE, Highgate, a total of 36 hotel chains fully participating or piloting the program. And this is specifically distributed through our B2B network. 

Paula: Amazing. So Alice, I’m guessing that’s why you got excited about working with Carolina. 

Alice: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And of course it doesn’t. The other benefit is that Expedia don’t, they don’t stop. So they’re, they’re always looking to negotiate better rates or bring on additional content. So it allows us to collectively ensure that that offering in our clients loyalty programs is fresh and up to date. 

Paula: Yes, incredible. And I saw a wonderful statistic, Alice, on your website that in terms of the, the clients of Valuedynamx, there’s access to 400 million members of the various loyalty programs. It’s pretty impressive. 

Alice: Yeah, we’ve had, we’ve had really good performance so far of Expedia. So we’ve been, we’ve been alive with them since middle of March. And Yeah, we’ve had really good response. So I think it’s working for both of us, which is obviously the secret to any partnership. 

Paula: What I really love is a term which could be considered quite negative, but it does resonate in terms of how I’m behaving myself at the moment now that we’re, you know, coming up towards Q4 in 2023.

And it’s this term of revenge travel. So, literally, there are those of us who feel like we lost time, we lost opportunity for a considerable amount of time, of course, during the pandemic, but are you familiar with this concept of revenge travel? Is that what you’re seeing? 

Alice: I’ve not heard that term, but we are definitely seeing a lot of travel this year. And indeed, last year, once countries opened up and people became more confident in traveling. Interestingly, we’re, we’re not necessarily seeing a higher number of transactions. So I, I had a little look at our data and, and Carolina may be seeing different, more broadly, but on our platforms, we’re only seeing a sort of 2% increase in the number of transactions compared to pre pandemic.

But what we are seeing is people are spending about 36% more. So I think people are treating themselves. I mean, travel has become more expensive for a variety of reasons, but I think people are treating themselves to some special holidays and some special travel is what we’re seeing on our and our user group. It’s quite interesting. And probably there’s some pent up demand from, from points that they haven’t been able to redeem. 

Paula: I think that’s a much nicer term, pent up demand versus my revenge travel. I think it’s the same thing, but I know it is getting more expensive, Alice, you’re absolutely right. And the load factors certainly out of the Middle East are off the charts.

So it’s extremely hard to get anything like the airfares that we used to be able to get, but 36% I certainly hadn’t realized it was quite at that level. And as you said, that’s on the revenue side, not on the transaction side. So it sounds like travel is back to pre pandemic, but spend is back way beyond, and obviously Valuedynamx is benefiting as a result. And all of your clients, of course, as well, I can see Carolina nodding away. So it sounds like you’re seeing similar trends on the Expedia side. 

Carolina: Definitely. We, we we recover early 2022 and the recovery was different, right? We started with a strong recovery after pandemic in North America, followed by Europe, and the last one has been APAC, definitely impacted by the restrictions in China.

But according to, to the data that we surveyed, around 46 percent of consumers said that travel is more important to them now that it was pre pandemic. So it’s not only important, they are traveling more. I agree with your comments of traveling. It’s been, it’s more expensive now, but around, I think over half, 58 percent of the travelers said they’re willing to pay more to book and travel.

Even if this number climbs, you know, for travelers booking vacation rentals and flights where we’ve seen an increase in the last 12 months. So definitely, I don’t know if it’s revenge travel or taking the opportunity, but people are traveling more. And in younger generations, the buckets are up even more to 47% compared to last year. Yeah.

Paula: Oh, my goodness. I guess a nice way of framing it would be living life to the full, given that we maybe had our priorities refocused as we went through that time, huh? Definitely. 

Carolina: Definitely. I’m up for it.

Paula: Totally. And what other trends, Alice, would you say you’ve seen in your data? There was a wonderful press release I know just went live on your website yesterday talking about general EMEA trends, for example, things like growth and spend across categories like food and drink, like sport and fitness, and entertainment and leisure. And I’ll make sure, of course, just for anyone listening, that we’ll put a link to that particular press release in the show notes.

But I was amazed to see that coming through. And these were increases compared to 2019. So not just again, year on year performances, but what would you say has been striking you in terms of what’s been changing? 

Alice: So I think those stats are on the earning side, Paula. So that’s about how people are spending on travel and other sectors in order to earn points that they then then hopefully then spend again on travel and and other sectors.

So there’s been a there’s been a phenomenal increase on the earn side. And I think travels been the top, the top one. I think some of the other sectors in the food and drink sector seem to be around. I might call it kind of delivery or convenience food. So it’s been in, in the kind of I don’t know if I can mention any brands, but those types of brands that come with a little moped.

Paula: Yes, we love that. We love it.

Alice: And, and takeaway food to your house. So there’s been a real, a real emergence of that, which I think is just another example of this kind of treat yourself attitude that, that, that people have got into. So, you know, travel being for the most part. A bit of a luxury as as well as you know a takeaway being a luxury And I think I think we can see that in a number of different sectors.

Paula: Absolutely. Yeah. And in my head, as you say the word luxury I almost feel like it’s an essential luxury. Like I don’t want to feel like it’s optional. I feel like it is something that I should prioritize again, depending on what my budget might be at the particular time. I might be in the market for a luxury experience, or I might just be in the market for something that’s a bit more budget friendly.

 But absolutely. I think that whole piece around reprioritization. The value of a travel experience is something that can never be underestimated. And I think we’re quite lucky in this industry that particularly, I guess, the airline programs are so robust, so well developed, they’ve obviously been around the longest for kind of 40 odd years.

So what I’m guessing you’re hearing Alice is that they’re coming to you with more and more expectations about how you can evolve the Valuedynamx product. And hence, of course, you’re going to the likes of Expedia to, to, to resource that. Is that fair to say? 

Alice: Yeah, I think that’s completely right. And as I mentioned before, they’re, they’re looking for more and more channels in which to offer value to their customer base in which to engage with them. So you know, we’ve Expedia is one of our partners that provides the sort of hotel travel, but we have many other partners that allow us to provide other values. 

So we’ve, as an example, we’ve got lots of gift card providers for a whole range of gift card sectors, excuse me, sectors. And, one of the other products that I manage allows people to redeem their, their points for merchandise and electronics as an example is always very, very popular, especially with some of the some of the sort of popular lifestyle brands like, like Apple and those kind of brands, super popular and, and really sometimes a a real way of, of people getting value. 

And we’ve seen through our research, and I’m sure, I’m sure people from Valuedynamx have mentioned this to you before, Paula, but we have a real phrase that is burning drives earning. So we have done research and seen research that shows that if you’ve got a loyalty program, where people get value from spending their currency on things that they can use in their wider life, then they’re more likely to, you know, if you’re an airline to book with you again, if you were, you know, a bank to use that bank card when they’re paying for something. So it’s very important to give, you know, lots of thank you flexibility. 

Paula: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And it’s exactly those kind of insights. Actually, Alice, that’s one of the reasons I started the show, because when I started running loyalty programs, I didn’t have that, I suppose, evidence or statistic or industry insight, I guess even to go to senior management and say, yes, the burn drives the earn. And therefore this is where we should be putting our time and attention. 

I think we do have some very sophisticated, obviously loyalty marketers that do listen to this show that probably know it better than you and I. But would you say that in general, your clients are clear on that, or is it still something that they’re wrapping their head around and that might be different by sector because again, I think, you know, the, the airline programs are probably more mature perhaps than maybe financial services. So we’d love just to get your perspective on that. 

Alice: I think, I think you’re right. I think the more mature loyalty programs have known this for a number of years. I think that some of the banks that are maybe coming to loyalty, or at least broadening their understanding of loyalty, it’s it’s still something that they’re getting their head around rather than just seeing the the redemption side as a cost which, you know, any kind of financial person is always very focused on, on cost. So actually being able to show to them the sort of return on that investment is really important. 

Paula: For sure. And final question, just on the, the piece you just answered for me, Alice I noted you used the word channels. People are looking for new channels to redeem. I’d love if you just explain that a little bit more, I wasn’t clear exactly what you were sharing with us.

Alice: Sorry, that’s probably just some techie jargon, but what I was with that really is they don’t just want to always redeem their loyalty currency on the same thing. So having in your loyalty portfolio, a travel channel where you can buy travel experiences or travel related stuff is, is definitely important and having other channels like merchandise, gift vouchers, experiences, etcetera. I think it’s really important. 

Paula: Okay. So gone are the days where we’re happy with the boring old toaster. It’s got to be the latest Apple iPhone or something, huh? 

Alice: Exactly, exactly. 

Paula: And Carolina, I’m guessing that you’re also getting the same feedback again in a B2B context with lots of different partners as you, I suppose, grow this side of your business. It sounds super exciting, but what kind of expectations are you hearing coming through from loyalty managers or from the industry in terms of what they need from travel? 

Carolina: So I think we consider that around, like we mentioned, like 80 percent of people are planning to take a trip in the next 12 months. We, we should also remember that there is what we call in our flexcation, pleasure or business and leisure mix. And 40 percent of the consumers want to take a business trip in the next 12 months. There is so much opportunity to capture. 

Loyalty has become a very important topic in our discussions with our partners and how we, not only how we can support them and how we can understand what is the end consumer wants in terms of earning and redemption, but also how we can retain that customer and coming back. In the case of Valuedynamx, they talk about the choice and the variety of channels. Where you can use your points, and I think it ties up, like I mentioned before, with a one key, you know, if you buy a flight, you will not be able only to redeem it on a flight. You can redeem it somewhere else. And I believe companies and travel professionals, they want to increase repeated customers. They want to increase trust with travelers as the most value benefits.

Paula: Okay. Amazing. Amazing. So it sounds like a wonderful partnership, ladies. You know, I think Alice, you used the words that if everybody benefits, of course, that’s the whole point.

And as I’ve already said, my background is partnership. So, you know, I’ve spent a great deal of my career going out to find solutions where everybody feels like they’ve won and that they’ve built something that’s absolutely extraordinary. 

So Carolina, just from your side in terms of working with Valuedynamx, how has it been? I guess you’re super excited, but tell us what it is that you’re most excited about? 

Carolina: Definitely, we are super excited. It’s not only the fact that we are able to have a transactional relation, but for us, our relationship goes beyond that is we can learn from their experience and their expertise in a sector that it’s not only travel related.

So how we can have those exchanges support each other. It sometimes is technology, others is data. But having that visibility and communication on what are the plans from Valuedynamx to expand the loyalty offering, I think it will complement the fact that we support them with our KPI or with our supply. It’s a win win situation and we just started, as you say, it’s only a month, so we’re very, very excited and have tons of potential. And it’s definitely a key target for us to continue growing these partnerships and our footprint in the loyalty space. 

Paula: Very exciting. And Alice, you mentioned you you went to Expedia obviously to build out a really spectacular product for yourself. So tell us from you know, from the original idea through to now being live in market for three months. First of all, I guess, what was it that really inspired you to choose Expedia and and how is it going? 

Alice: So the reason we chose Expedia was I guess there are a number of reasons. One is they’re a, they have a great reputation in the market. We would be going in with someone who was, you know, trustworthy, was going to deliver on their promises, was going to deliver us really good quality travel and hotel options. So that was sort of point number one is that we, we could rely on them. 

And then point number two once we started engaging, we could see the wide range of accommodation options that they had both in terms of the types of accommodation, but also the location and the brands that were available.

And it’s really great for us to go to our clients and say, Hotels through Expedia, because actually that’s what we need to say to them and they’re told. It’s, you know, it’s such an important brand from that perspective. So, you know, it’s got a great name, but it delivers on that by providing exactly what you would expect from Expedia. Good quality hotels and accommodation and a really good customer service experience. 

Paula: Incredible. 

Alice: Should there be any, any problems? 

Paula: Yeah. That’s, that’s great to hear. My final question, Alice, to you is, you know, future trends for Valuedynamx. Again, there’s some wonderful research and insights coming through in terms of what your clients are looking for.

And you’ve obviously started to really nail these, these partnerships particularly. But I think there’s a couple of other things that you’re planning. What else can you share with us? 

Alice: So I think, I think the key thing we’re focusing on at the moment is really around personalization. So I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there was a McKinsey report in 2021 that looks at e commerce in general. And the findings were that consumers now view personalization as the default standard for engagement. And in fact, 76% of consumers get frustrated when they don’t have a personalized experience. So it’s super important that we start to focus on that. It’s an area we’ve actually been investing in in Valuedynamx for a number of years. And we already have solutions that use big data and AI techniques to try and provide individually personalized recommendations. 

So where I can kind of see us going in the future with this travel side with Expedia is, imagine if if you know that someone’s just booked a hotel and it’s not in a country that they live in, and you know when they’re traveling, maybe you can then go and recommend to them, you know and you know how many points they’ve got, you can recommend to them perhaps some travel accessories like a suitcase or you know, if they’re going to the World Cup maybe you can recommend some World Cup memorabilia.

So I think you can start to be a lot more relevant and, and a lot more, rather than waiting for people to reach out to you, you can kind of start to reach out to them through, you know, if people have got apps you can start to to jump out to them and say, hey you just booked that hotel but what about this, or what about, have you thought about this other hotel and would you like to upgrade for an extra room.

And all of these kind of things you can start to do once you start putting together the various different aspects of your loyalty platform. So that’s where we see future investment. 

Paula: Yeah, I love that actually I was thinking recently actually as well Alice, you know, because, you know, my favorite airline knows my most popular destination, and it probably also knows when I have enough points to fly to that destination for free. So sometimes instead of me having to go in and check if there’s any redemption seats available, and if so, can I afford them? I would love if they just sent me an email saying, did you know you have enough free, you know, miles to get to Dublin now? So yeah, I do think there’s more and more of these recommendations that that technology can enable and create that kind of wow factor where all of us can kind of go, oh my goodness. Now I am getting that loyalty benefit that, that I’ve been saving up for, for so long. So thank you for that insight, Alice. 

And Carolina, final word then to you. What’s the future plans for, for Expedia on the B2B side? 

Carolina: So definitely on the Expedia as a whole, it’s funding our One Key program outside of the U S so exciting the next few months will be interesting. And this is to reinforce our mission to power travel for everyone and everywhere. 

And in the B2B, we call it the power of partnerships. And Alice was talking about it, right? So we definitely working hard to strengthen these relationships, develop cutting edge technology, making our product offering even better, our supply even better. So we’re very excited. And as I say, I will highlight the power of partnerships rise is our mission. 

Paula: Wonderful words. Well, listen, on that note, I have to say it’s a, it’s a wonderful celebration. I’m delighted you guys have found each other and everybody I think in the industry is going to benefit. I’m assuming you’re both more than happy if we link to you guys in the show notes and for anyone who might be interested in having follow up conversations, is that okay that we can connect you with our audience?

Alice: Yes.

Carolina: I’d love that. 

Paula: Great. Okay. Well, listen, we love to encourage collaboration. So with all of that said, I’m delighted to have had this conversation. Hopefully it’s going to continue. 

So Carolina Cabero, Vice President of Commercial Partnerships at Expedia Group. And of course, Alice Wynne, Commercial Product Manager at Valuedynamx. Thank you both so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

Carolina: Thank you, Paula. And thank you, Alice, for your trust and your partnership.

Alice: Thank you, Paula.

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 active in the region. The awards have been split into 16 key categories and submissions will be judged by a panel of local experts. Early bird submissions close on the 5th of November, 2023. And the awards gala event will take place on the 14th of March, 2024 at the Glasshouse in Melbourne. 

Contact them at the australianloyaltyassociation.com for further information.

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.