#225: Insights from the "2022 Global Report on Loyalty Marketing & Rewards Programs"

In this episode, Łukasz Słoniewski of Comarch joins Let’s Talk Loyalty to discuss the “2022 Global Report on Loyalty Marketing & Rewards Programs,” a research report performed by Forrester Consulting in Q1 2022 with 549 loyalty marketing leaders from around the world.

Łukasz shared some of his key learnings from the report, such as understanding the significant difficulties we as loyalty marketers face, the most popular loyalty program benefits being offered in 2022, and their ambitions for the next five years.

Listen to learn from this interesting research on the loyalty marketing business, and how these global experts expect our programs to change in the coming months and years.

This episode is sponsored by Comarch.

Show Notes:
  1. “2022 Global Report on Loyalty Marketing & Rewards Programs.”
  2. Łukasz Słoniewski
  3. Comarch

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 from loyalty specialists around the world.

This show is sponsored by Comarch a global provider of innovative software products and business services. Comarch’s platform is used by leading brands across all industries to drive their customer loyalty. Powered by AI and machine learning, Comarch technologies allow you to build, run and manage personalized loyalty programs and product offers with ease. For more information, please visit comarch.com.

Hello, and welcome to episode 225 of Let’s Talk Loyalty, a discussion with our friends in Comarch. All about their 2022 Global Report on Loyalty Marketing and Rewards Programs. A research report they conducted in quarter one of 2022 with Forrester Consulting and 549 loyalty marketing leaders around the world. I’m joined today by Comarch’s Łukasz Słoniewski to discuss the key findings of the report, such as the key issues that we as loyalty, marketers really struggle with what their most popular loyalty program offerings are right now in 2022, as well as their plans for the next five years. I hope you enjoy listening to Comarch’s latest insights on the loyalty marketing industry and how they believe our programs will develop in the months and years to come.

So Łukasz joining me today from Warsaw in Poland for Comarch Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty.

Thank you for having me. I’m very, very excited. 1 (2m 13s): I know you’ve been a very long time listener and advocate of the show, Luca. So I want to say huge. Thank you even before we start for all of your support. 2 (2m 22s): That’s correct. Thank you so much. I’m really a big fan of that talk that podcasts. 1 (2m 27s): Oh, there you go. So it’s very exciting to have you on board as a guest. Now, today we have some wonderful research to go through that I know you’ve been leading on behalf of Comarch as the business unit director. So we’ll get into exactly your roles and responsibilities. And of course, you’ve been doing this with Forrester, so wonderful to see them involved with this research reports as well. But before we get into talking about the report, please tell me, Lucas, what is your current favorite loyalty program? 2 (2m 60s): Oh, my current favorite loyalty program is a warmup art science program, which is called star UK. And why it’s why it’s why I like it very much because of couple of things. First of all, it is at how the loyalty program should it be. So it’s not only about the rewarding people for the directions, but it’s about making the whole customer journey brand experience a much nicer, the whole process of interaction with that brand a much faster and much more comfortable. So basically the logo, because the loyalty program, there is a, is a base for many other actions, including pre-ordering payment and so on. 2 (3m 49s): It’s just a, you know, a great center of that customer journey. And, and because it is like the whole rewarding scheme is also very well blended with the strategy of the brand. So it supports also the sustainability, you get double points when you come with your reusable cop, it’s kind of like plays well with what their branding messages, what they really want to achieve, the, the values that they want to pass to the clients and so on. So this is, this is where the great, 1 (4m 23s): Wonderful, well, that’s a superb example, Lucas. And first of all, congratulations on winning a client like Costa coffee, especially in such a mature and competitive market like the UK. I can only imagine how competitive that tender was in terms of choosing a partner so extraordinary to have that case study. We’ll definitely have to get them on the show, but what I wanted to, I suppose, comment on from a user’s perspective, and I’ve always been on the brand side as I think, you know, I really love to hear when a program is delivering across such an incredible variety of business objectives as you’ve highlighted there. 1 (5m 7s): And the experience that I’ve seen Lucas actually comes from, I think it was actually in China, particularly where most of the brands there are very clear on this idea of, you know, they tend to have super apps for example, in China and exactly what those super apps are doing, as you said, is giving the customer multiple reasons to engage. Because I think what we’ve all experienced as program owners is it’s difficult to get people to download an app if it’s just really loyalty program, because actually I’m super busy and I have already got a lot of apps on my phone, but it sounds like Costa were very clear that they needed these multiple business objectives in order to justify getting their customers to add, to connect with them in a digital way. 2 (5m 54s): That is, that is correct, that this a perfectly summarizing, like the challenges of those marketers today, Dodd, you know, if you want to build that digital connection with your members, what they care about mainly is the user ability. So what do I get from that application? And it cannot be, as you said, just a loyalty points or coupons. It needs to give something more. So this is, this is exactly what the conscious brands are doing. Like connecting multiple services. If we’re talking about the fewer retail pay at pump for your nurse staff, get the messaging, the release, or book your Evie charging spot. 2 (6m 41s): This is, this is also playing a great role in, you know, supporting that digitalization of the business. 1 (6m 48s): Wonderful. Yeah. And everyone talks about it Lucas, but it says it’s not easy to achieve. So I’m again super excited and the cost to have managed it to get, to make that progress. So I know you have a huge years of experience, in fact, as a consulting director, specifically within Comarch, but very excitingly you’ve moved in now to more of, I suppose, a product development role and for the whole business unit around the new loyalty marketing cloud. So tell me, how is that new role going for you? 3 (7m 23s): Yeah, it’s very, it’s very nice. Actually. It’s completely different because so far I was more like helping our clients or potential clients in how to use Mario loyalty tools or marketing techniques to achieve their goals, which actually was a very nice experience right now. I moved more to, as you said, the product management product delivery. So as a business unit director, I’m responsible for both creation of our new S loyalty cloud platform, but also the whole go to market strategy. How do we market that? 3 (8m 4s): How we pass that new brands message to potential clients to the market, how we build our market and also the whole delivery and maintenance, which is completely different than this enterprise size project that we are experts at. For many, many years, we see that the market is changing, that the smaller and smaller companies, they are ready to also start building understanding of their client base. And that’s how we want to respond to those changing needs. 1 (8m 41s): Yes. Yeah, you’re absolutely right, Lucas. And, and it’s a good, I suppose, context for listeners as well to understand why you commissioned this region research with Forrester and, and for anyone who hasn’t seen it as yet. And this report is entitled loyalty marketing and Rewards Programs, and it is a global markets reports for 2022, literally conducted in the first and a huge sample actually, Lucas, I think it was 549 loyalty marketing professionals that you guys consulted in order to get these insights. 3 (9m 17s): That’s correct. A big thank you to our colleagues from Forester that actually have this kind of metaphoric off companies that they could reach out to and 3d conduct those this study with those who really take care of loyalty, initial pace in their businesses. We had like a very good selection of companies, different size, different markets. We wanted that report to be really showing that good state of level situation around the loyalty today. 1 (9m 60s): Yeah. Yeah. And I was impressed to see that you have great coverage across obviously the U S as the largest market, and then all of the German speaking markets in Europe and also France and also the UK. So extremely useful for anyone certainly listening to this show and even in terms of company size as well, I could see that a lot of these guys, you know, would have revenues between 300 million to $500 million. So actually quite sizeable in terms of, I guess, their expertise with loyalty as well. Would that be true? 3 (10m 35s): That’s a, that’s perfectly true. So we also have a sample of those smaller businesses, but as we want it to have, mainly those who are already engaged in that loyalty to understand what are their main travels today, what are their main challenges, but also what are their plans for they want to do how they want to improve the loyalty with targets. That’s mainly those larger companies, because they are a bit more experienced and a few steps ahead of those smaller ones. 1 (11m 10s): Yeah, for sure. And I have to say reading the report, it was reassuring, I suppose, how familiar it is with all of the kind of challenges that did come through. And I think that’s important that, you know, the loyalty community is actually quite a small industry, I think. And there’s a lot of kind of shared challenges that we need to learn from each other to share, to support each other. So maybe just as a starting point in terms of what you learn through, cause what do you find was most striking for you in terms of reading? I think there’s eight different categories, as you said, there’s lots of insights in terms of what people need from technology, what they’re planning to do with this. 1 (11m 56s): But first of all, in terms of what do they struggle with? I think that’s a good starting point just to understand the mindset of the people that you were talking to. 3 (12m 5s): Yeah, that’s right. Like if I want to give like one opinion or one idea that come up to me from reading that report, it’s mainly that building loyalty is a process. It’s a process and everyone who wants to do that needs to understand that, you know, at the very beginning, probably everyone is very excited about like all the nice things we’re going to be doing so many of them and you know, it’s going to be our cleaning and so on. And then they understand that it’s gonna take time. It’s required a lot of effort. 3 (12m 47s): It’s required, requires a lot of knowledge. And that’s why the whole delivery of that, of the loyalty program is a process that you need to start at some point and don’t be so much focused on how to differentiate, but more on how to set the basics, right? This is, and this is a very good thing for any size of company today like that they don’t need to compare themselves to the others. They don’t need to necessarily, you know, be outstanding because that’s might be a tricky situation where you are in a beauty industry. 3 (13m 31s): Then you see this fora program, which is really great. And then you feel like you might not have enough resources to really build something better, but that’s not the expectation. And that’s not really what you have to do. What you have to do is to understand what actually that loyalty initiative loyalty strategy is going to give you. And that if you do the basics, right, you are going to be already a few steps further with your internal organization and would be understanding of what your clients needs and how to respond to those needs and being more agile and so on. 1 (14m 9s): Yeah, I think that’s a very important point, Lucas and I have very much experienced that, as I said, it’s a very familiar feeling. I think when you do sometimes get the approval within a company, they sign off on an investment, which is usually quite significant and there’s all the excitement. And there’s a lot of communications perhaps that are being put together to support your program sometimes even on TV. So it’s a very visible project internally, but the managing of expectations I think is critical because actually it’s only after the program launches that the hard work really begins. And I think that’s something that you guys are very experienced at supporting your clients to, to understand that from the beginning so that they can set the expectations internally. 3 (14m 58s): That’s, that’s exactly right. That’s, that’s the most difficult part. And very often we do have a situation in which, you know, we agree to deliver, or we even deliver a number of features that then there is no capacity to really use them because it’s for all the forks to really plan all those activities, make use of all of the tools. So this is also something that, that we need to keep remembering and the step by step approach, as the suggested one here, they, they, well, there’s also kind of like important coming out of this report is that actually we can see that there are a lot of youth programs on the market. 3 (15m 44s): So it also shows that bigger and bigger amounts of companies started to invest in that loyalty strategy, because we had a feeling that, you know, loyalty is with us for so many years. I had a feeling that, you know, we’ve been always focusing on those big brands, those who really were having, you know, a right team, right. People right on this pending of what is it all about while right now it’s becoming more even we can call it mainstream. Not everyone can give it a shot, try to build something on their own. 3 (16m 24s): And actually probably because of the pandemics and because of all of the, the researches that clearly showed that those companies that had a loyalty initiatives have a loyalty programs, had a good direct connection with the client basis. It was just much easier for them to survive for, to go through the pandemic, then those who didn’t have it. So I guess that was kind of like a pivotal point for the management it’s when you work, you know, to prepare for, for the unknown and really start building those kinds of loyalty project inside of the organization. 1 (17m 5s): You’re absolutely right. Lucas, I’ve talked before on the show about our industry and my experience is actually counter cyclical. And for example, I got into loyalty marketing literally back at the big recession of 2008 and exactly like the pandemic. It was almost like a light bulb went off for certain brands. And I’m going to say braver brands that realize that when there are so few customers out there that that’s really when you need to hold onto every single one that you’ve got. So, so to me, it was actually very reassuring to see how many young programs, I think particularly less than two years were coming through and exactly in this report. 1 (17m 49s): So plenty of appetite for our industry. And as you said, with plenty of expectations to manage and for everyone listening, I suppose to feel that they’re not alone, if they’ve got a wonderful software platform and haven’t yet managed to fully optimize and use that capability, it sounds like something you see quite regularly, Lucas. Yeah. 3 (18m 11s): Yeah. That’s, that’s always, it’s very funny for me that we always, or very often we feel like that’s on us that has that issue on every single level. Like if we’re talking about sales, marketing, like any, any area of your business operations, you feel like, okay, all those companies out there are doing so great and they are doing such a nice thing. And then here we are struggling and why are we struggling? So for those who feel like they are struggling, I can tell you a hundred percent sure most of the companies are struggling with something. 3 (18m 55s): And especially with, with managing those expectations and delivering everything that they planned at the beginning around them loyalty. So yeah, that’s completely true. 1 (19m 7s): Yeah, for sure. And also, I know the report identified that all of us seem to be struggling with staffing and resources as well as the challenge. So again, I think that’s probably something that we all feel is just in our companies, but seems to be quite prevalent actually. What was the percentage there? 20% of companies said that is their biggest challenge. So that’s quite huge actually. 3 (19m 31s): Yeah, that’s true. And we see that being or happening in every single area of the businesses. So basically the coughing is the issue, every work. And if we’re talking about the steel, quite niche competence, because managing the loyalty, it’s not a super popular thing. So it’s not like a fail or like anything else, like you have thousands of agencies out there, everyone can do that. It’s like a lot of people like thousands of courses that you can learn on your own loyalty is still quite specific knowledge that you need to have to understand. 3 (20m 19s): It it’s quite complex. It’s quite niche. So having the right people who understand and are capable of running efficiency, a loyalty program for the organization, this is really difficult. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s a triangle number one overall for the whole report. So that’s true. That’s, that’s the number one issue for those who are already running a loyalty program, loyalty, some kind of loyalty fraud that you, because we should been kind of like limit that to some kind of points program or reward program. We’re talking about anyone who’s having some kind of like loyalty strategy and then does the second one, the second and the third one are quite close to each other and they are from the same space. 3 (21m 11s): So then the biggest issue, the second one is delivering consistent experience across the touch points. And then the third one is understanding the customer interactions across touch points. So w what does it mean from my perspective and from my experience, that’s a very important knowledge that you can take out from that report. If you are thinking about building a loyalty strategy, that you can not only think about the rewarding part of it, because very often when we are thinking about the loyalty, we’re thinking about, okay, so how are we going to appreciate those people, how they will be rewarded for which kind of DVT is then, you know, are we bringing some, a levels peers statuses within the program? 3 (22m 4s): Like this is, this is our main area of concern, but then when you start the running up loyalty initiative, you see that there are so much more around the communications are so much more around the, on the sending of what those people are doing on the sending what’s the customer journey. So when you are planning those strategies, when you’re organizing a loyalty project, you need to look at it from a much broader perspective, like the complete customer journey management. 1 (22m 37s): Yeah. You’re absolutely right, Lucas. Yeah. There’s a lot more than anyone initially appreciates. And one of the reasons, I suppose, I’ve always loved being a consultant, as you know, I don’t do that anymore, but again, working with people like yourselves, there’s so much expertise to tap into. And for me, that was always important too, when I was client-side to have, you know, again, that support because I didn’t have internally to access it access as externally. So you guys certainly provide a huge role in that. And just because you touched on, you know, we don’t want to just simplify to loyalty as a program that has a points currency, for example, can you talk us through what you learned in the report about, you know, what are the most popular functionality that the disrepair showed and are being used by all of these incredible 549 loyalty leaders at the moment? 1 (23m 38s): And then of course, we look at what they plan to do as well in the future. 3 (23m 42s): Yeah. So actually that’s quite unexpected because we asked all those professionals what they would be looking at right now when they are, when they are choosing the solution to run their loyalty initiative. And there were a lot of options for them to choose from including different features, functionalities, and form. But actually, what was the main factor was the capability to integrate with different platforms, which is why maybe unexpected, but it shows also another struggle that’s potentially those people had in the project, because if we’re talking about under staffing in the loyalty marketing team, probably the same on their stuffing compounds in the ITT. 3 (24m 39s): So whenever we’re talking about the projects where the disloyalty solution needs to come back and it needs to connect with other tools like marketing automation, like CDP CRM, transactional systems, that’s where the problem starts because the capacity of those, it teams are limited. There’s always many projects, many things to do. And then it’s all about the prioritization. It’s all about the, you know, people fighting internally for the time of other people. And, and this is a big issue. So this is the number one, actually cut ability of the, of the loyalty solution dot those people for running loyalty you would be looking at today. 3 (25m 28s): So that’s kind of like a go tint for those who didn’t start or are in such a process right now, what is, what is the next one is definitely the personalization personalization of promotions offers communication, which also kind of resonates with, with this issue that we, that we mentioned. So actually in ability to communicate omni-channel in a proper way, in a personalized way. So there’s definitely some issue there. I strongly believe that it’s very heavily connected with this inability to connect with the marketing automation tools that are already used by the organization, that there is once again, some kind of silo thing happening that there’s one team operating, one tool, the other team operating the second tool, and there’s obviously they understand what needs to be done, but then the capacity to do it is limited. 3 (26m 31s): So it takes time. It, you know, like there are different priorities on different sites. So that might be, that might be an issue because of that. And then also there’s the zero party data collection. That’s the important thing, even more important, even more important recently, because as we know, the cookies might stop to, to, to be supported the ability to actually track customer lazy customers without their full let’s say concern consent, or I warn this is going to be probably ending. 3 (27m 24s): So the more they tell us about themselves on their own, it’s, it’s very important. So those are the, the elements that, that are the ones that are actually considered very important by those loyalty marketing marketers today. 1 (27m 45s): For sure. And you know, the other thing that I think is important, given those priorities that these, you know, professionals are identifying is it’s one thing to, to understand that you need this integration and when you have a single brand loyalty program, but also increasingly what I was really impressed to see, and certainly what I’m hearing as well, Lucas from my interviews is the increasing appetite to expand loyalty programs across multibrand certainly in groups of companies, obviously coalition as a model is, is extremely popular. So, so that type of integration becomes even more complicated if you have multi brands more than just even one single branch, would that be fair to say? 3 (28m 32s): Yes, definitely. Definitely. It’s what is even more interesting is that we can see a large appetite for building those college and not only in the B2C, because that’s something that we’ve seen for many years already, but also in the B2B area where those loyalty programs are not that well developed yet, it feels kind of like a more developing market, but we see it’s developing in a, with a good pace and in a good direction. So there’s a lot of plans around connecting multiple brands in those B2B loyalty programs. 3 (29m 13s): So not to consumers, but rather to business parkers professionals who really sell or art, some kind of, part of your, of your strategy as a, as a brand. 1 (29m 24s): Yeah, totally. And I’m glad you mentioned that Lucas. I meant to mention it at the very beginning because we’ve already obviously aggrieved that that loyalty is a really specialist expertise within marketing, but then B to B loyalty again, is another very niche area. And I totally agree. It has plenty of room to grow plenty of interest from lots of people. And also, I know the whole area of employee loyalty is also something that you guys are starting to hear increasingly the clients are looking to, to explore with their, their businesses. 3 (30m 1s): Yeah, yeah, that’s right. There’s like, if you’re, we’re talking more, even not about the loyalty, but the motivation programs and also the, the engagement programs for those employees or business partners. That’s a, that’s a very fast and growing on with say market as well. Definitely. There’s a good understanding, especially today as always, like I wore this a very connected pace. So we are talking about under staffing problem to find the right people. 3 (30m 42s): So obviously companies are looking at ways to improve the efficiency off the employees and also connect them to the, to, to the place, to the, to the work they are doing to the community of, of other employees. So this is what all those programs are about mainly. 1 (31m 5s): Yeah. Wonderful. Yeah. I was just talking to a huge retail brand yesterday in the UK Lucas. And they were saying exactly the same that, you know, all of their employees are on the exact same loyalty program as consumers, but with added benefits. And I think that’s a very clever strategy that lots of us really need to be thinking about, first of all, to make sure that the point of sales staff are familiar exactly with using the loyalty program. And of course they’re excited about it because I think that’s always the challenge when we launch something, again, is we might be excited in marketing, but point of sale, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, I suppose, ideas and campaigns they see coming and going, and you really want them to drive your loyalty program. 1 (31m 51s): Otherwise it just won’t be successful. 3 (31m 53s): That’s I cannot agree more like having your staff as the ambassadors of the program is the best thing you can do. And if you find a formula for that, you’ll found the holy grail basically. Correct. Yeah. 1 (32m 11s): Great, great. Super and my favorite area, I suppose, is understanding the loyalty program offerings Lucas, and it’s amazing how much difference there is coming through in this Forrester report with what is currently being offered. And, and I was surprised to see cashback actually coming out, which is the, the main one may meet mainly perhaps, or maybe driven by the U S I think is more driven with that particular offering, but some super exciting stuff coming up in the future. So would you mind just talking our listeners through what all the offerings that are currently popular with the audience that you’ve been researching and what do you see coming in the future? 3 (32m 55s): Yeah, sure. So, so what are they priorities for our audience around the loyalty? This we need to consider separately for those B2C programs and B2B programs, because we’ve run this research, having both types of businesses and both types of loyalty programs. And actually here, we see quite as strong differences between those answers. So ask the rest of the questions announcer it’s we could generalize and then look at them as a whole here, we see a big difference. 3 (33m 42s): So in the B-to-C this, the sec for wants to mainly are planning to mainly add some gamification elements and some other fun ways to collect some more zero party data to improve the personalization. And they also are planning to add the value by three words. This is, this is an important factor for them, which basically means that even though we are, you know, we see the gamification as a concept with us for many years, steel, there are a number of programs that didn’t have a chance to implement that those techniques appropriately, but they see them valuable. 3 (34m 26s): So this is, this is like also something that comes out from the report. And we internally we call it, you know, reality versus versus dream flow because you’re dreaming a lot at the beginning. And then the reality is that you deliver 30% of that. So this is like a good example of that because we’ve been implementing those first gamification projects probably even seven, eight years ago. Like we started with <inaudible> in the us with the very popular badges program at the, at the very beginning. And we are passing those different techniques, like can either board like many games, some competition type of promotions and so on and so on for all those years. 3 (35m 15s): But still we see that it is a priorities for many, many B-to-C loyalty program operators, which means that they see it’s words that you see that it could be effective, especially if we’re talking about engaging people to perform some non transactional activities, like yeah. Sharing data, watching videos, partying the survey, that’s a perfect way to actually utilize those kinds of non-monetary rewarding. And this is, this is, this is a fun thing to see. I’m really happy about it because I’m the, you know, a big fan of video games. 3 (35m 59s): So I really believe that you can copy a lot of those are, you know, kind of like making you spend those hours in front of your computer or console and, and try to use the same logic and drivers in the loyalty program. 1 (36m 20s): Yeah. And I think that’s part of the move as well, Lucas away from transactional style loyalty. And we talk about emotional, but so much of the time, you know, I suppose we struggle to identify bot is an emotionally led loyalty program. And I think gamification is a perfect solution to at least create fun and engagement. You know, it doesn’t have to be all heartfelt. It just means it doesn’t have to feel like do this and get that it just needs to have an extra edge. And I’ve always believed gamification does exactly that for, for the program. 3 (36m 55s): Yeah, that’s true. I, I feel like actually this thing, so the loyalty program should kind of generate those public moments and those moments of happiness. So that’s why I don’t like to look at the loyalty strategies as the point programs. I’ll give you some, some currency, then you exchange it for reward. Only of course this is very much needed. And I’m just always saying that this is a base that you need to have to do the whole rest because without it, it’s going to be difficult to, to even track those activities, make people identify themselves at different channels. 3 (37m 40s): That’s why you need that. But then what you’re going to do with this data on how you are going to build on that process is actually what’s what can make it a successful strategy or just a, you know, simple rewards program. So if we’re talking about those happiness moments, like the fact that I can quickly fuel my car without having to go to the cash register and pay for it, but I can do it on my application. And it takes me five seconds instead of 20 minutes, because it’s like a, you know, morning rock. And there are so many people and they really liked because I was supposed to be at work at eight and it’s eight five, and they feel hope I’m going to be there at the 80. 3 (38m 25s): And we all have those moments. So this is like, this is where I’m going to feel like this branch gave me some kind of like happiness comparing to another, and this is what we should be looking at when we are talking about the loyalty and the true loyalty strategy. 1 (38m 43s): Yeah, yeah, no, it’s a very good example, you know, convenience, retail, particularly, I suppose, as exploding in terms of the potential for loyalty programs with exactly those very tangible benefits, because yes, then I’m extremely grateful to not have to go into the store, as you said, to pay for the fuel. And if I can do it quickly and easily in my own car, happy days, it’s, it’s a much nicer customer experience all over. 3 (39m 9s): Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, with, with all the data that we can capture and the capabilities to personalize all those experiences and offers, yeah. It just all makes those customer journeys so much more nice for the client. 1 (39m 30s): And in terms of the other, I suppose, plans of evolving loyalty programs in the next five years, Lucas, there was a couple of things that struck me and, you know, we talk a lot on the program of course, about subscription and that came through and quite even the, actually an even stronger for B2B. So that was a very interesting insight to see coming through. And what did surprise me though, and I’d love your experience or perspective on this. There was almost equal interest in embedding cryptocurrencies, for example, into the program, as there is for subscription. And I would have assumed there would be much greater difference. 1 (40m 10s): So let me just check the numbers. So the subscription-based intention overall was 14% and cryptocurrencies straight behind at 13%. So that was amazing. There’s a lot of ambition in that area. 3 (40m 23s): Yeah. That’s, that’s true. So actually, yeah, the number three, four and five, I would group them as exactly, you know, like something that, that connects with what we’ve been talking about. So, so those marketers, they want to improve the overall experience. So they are not focusing that much on, you know, what type of rewards are going to be there in the program or, you know, a specific activities, but they rather want to make it a bit broader. So if we’re talking about the subscriptions, there are those two types of those of those mechanics here that we see markets are swans to implement. 3 (41m 3s): So there’s either a subscription to a specific service. Like for example, a good example is, is BP here. It’s also our client and they are using the subscription quite widely in us and for different reasons. So there is a subscription for a service. So this is like extending the way how you can use the application. So actually you can subscribe to the price matching feature of the application, which means that actually you can very quickly compare the prices, all of the fuel in a specific distance from the fuel station that you’re at currently, we will reward it if actually the lower prices are found. 3 (41m 57s): So this is, this is quite a mix of, you know, subscription to the new service, which is a paid service, which also kind of improves the ad ROI of the whole loyalty program or the application itself. It’s fun. You know, it is exciting. It gives those positive moments. So, you know, it combines all of that while the other type of subscription is it’s, you know, it’s more responding to how behaviors are changing behaviors off consumers. So we’re getting youth to actually pay for something once and then consume as much as we want, like with Netflix, Amazon prime, you know, it’s like, it’s all about that. 3 (42m 44s): So here are four cooking about, okay, so what do we do with, with fuel business here? But you know, like the subscriptions, like subscribe to one coffee a day, it’s way cheaper than buying those 30 coffees. But that if you’re a professional driver or if you just arrive constantly then, and you’ll like that coffee, then it might be a very nice thing. Like you’re just passing by instead of just, you know, buying that coffee somewhere else, you just, the buy, you, you take that coffee and then you just buy one once you don’t have to, it’s even smoother for them because it’s like, you just, you just take it, you have them even need to pay for it, which is, which is very cool. 3 (43m 27s): So we, so we feed those different ways of, of using that. Then there, there are also experiential rewards. So again, like we see that, that people, that behaviors are changing and also degenerations are changing. So the consumer, or we are starting to have gen Z as consumers, which are much more about the experiences, not owning things. So also the marketers need to think about like how to please them, how to make the loyalty program interesting for them as well. So basically that’s also very interesting that they are also looking in the direction of those experiential rewards, much more than the tangible reward. 3 (44m 11s): And that might be some kind of like competitive edge as well. But then as you said, the cryptocurrency is quite high. I would say, this is for me. Or of course I can be wrong, but my personal opinion is that this is a very much high base. So today there is a lot of interest. It looks very nice on the slides for, for the board of directors sends out. So I believe that it’s going to be in the space and like people are going to be excited about it, but it’s only gonna work for couple of early adopters, you know, like they will have this benefit of being the first ones, build a lot of marketing around the five Raul marketing around them because everyone keeps talking about like, like Starbucks with NPF recently. 3 (45m 18s): So obviously it gives a huge benefit for those who are the first ones. But then is, is it like a really mainstream thing? Is it really responding the majority of the program members? I don’t believe that, you know, probably there are going to be services that are gonna allow you to quickly and easily connect to, to those, you know, places where you can exchange different taverns using to, into cryptocurrency. So it’s going to be easier probably to offer cryptocurrencies as a reward for the currency in your loyalty program, but will that change the warrant of loyalty? 3 (46m 5s): I don’t think so. I feel, I feel like it’s going to pop up. It’s going to be very hot and it’s just going to disappear at some point. That’s fine. 1 (46m 14s): Yeah. Thank you for your honesty Lucas, because that is my experience as well at the moment. It is, it’s a hot topic. It’s important as an industry. And I suppose as a loyalty professional within the company to show that you’re aware of the potential for all of these opportunities, but to use the experience we talked about earlier, given the challenges of resources and everything else, we rarely get to build everything that we want to. So I think we’ll be having this conversation again, maybe hopefully next year or who knows in two, three years time and we can reflect back and see if we were right. But yes, I think that the proven business models that we’ve talked about, like subscription and are really going to be much more beneficial, I suppose, to the user and therefore will ultimately change behavior in a way that’s profitable for the business. 1 (47m 9s): So we’ll definitely, I expect to get much more attention so glad to see we’re totally aligned on that one as well. I guess my last question then for you, Lucas, is there’s so much in here, as we’ve said for the audience listening today and for them to think about, and obviously we’ll make sure that they can download this FRS to report on the Comarch website, but obviously you had some wonderful objectives yourselves as a software company in terms of understanding, you know, what your new cloud-based platform could offer and what would be important to add to people considering moving or adopting a cloud-based solution. 1 (47m 51s): So from all of the things that suppose you learned from this Forrester research, and what’s important to people, and I suppose how you’re going to be developing your own product going forward. Is there anything that you wanted to mention that really struck you from doing all of this work in order to inform, I guess, your own kind of product development for the next few years? 3 (48m 12s): Yes, definitely the three port was having this kind of objecting to let us understand, you know, what’s the, what are the real market needs? What are the real struggles that the people are having? Because we want to really deliver the solution that solves the problems, the real problems, not the imaginary problems. So definitely what comes out of this report is that the loyalty is going to be growing as a concept is going to be much more mainstream. That’s what we believe in. So which means that, you know, even if you’re w what I said at the beginning, any type any size of the company might start thinking about building a loyalty initiative. 3 (49m 2s): That is, that is that they are able to, to deliver at the moment, because there are tools, there are mechanics, there, there are proven examples of how to do it. And then if we want to survive, especially in the digital business area, then those companies need to start doing that. What is also important from our business or product development perspective is that we have three assured ourselves that our strategy to the lever, not the loyalty tool, but the loyalty marketing platform it’s right, because the loyalty marketing cloud, as well as loyalty marketing editor price version is a set of loyalty management solution, marketing automation solution, and data analytics powered with, with AI, plus all of the touch points, slides, mobile application, website, service agents, application, and so on and so on. 3 (50m 9s): So the ability to deliver a complete package of tools that are needed by marketers to run a successful loyalty strategy seems to be a very important factor. So the fact that we are able to deliver not only the loyalty tool, that you need to connect with all of the other silos inside of the organization, but actually a platform that could simplify the hell loyalty operations within your organization could be a very important factor of selection, I believe, and also simplification. 3 (50m 54s): And, you know, the speed up of the, of the implementation process, because if we’re talking about delivering that loyalty strategy, then having a single platform that’s covers both big whole analytics part, understanding of the client connection of the data from all of the sources, then also appreciation of those clients, reacting to different activities, rewarding those people, but then also the whole omni-channel communication building, designing those journeys and so on. And so on. This makes it so much easier to deliver the whole concept if we can run and operate it on a single top firm. 3 (51m 38s): So currently, yeah, we are reassured that that was a right decision. So to go that way, and yeah, we’re even footing much more emphasized on making sure that all those areas of, of the platform are working perfectly together. And also those integrations, you know, like the connectors native connectors with other tools, this is something that we are going to be strongly focusing on in the further months as well, just to make sure that we can respond to the real needs of the market. 1 (52m 21s): Yeah. And I know you already told me all fair as well, Lucas, for anyone listening incredibly impressive that there’s already 15 clients who are, you know, starting to use this new product. So hopefully as we said in the months and years to come, we’ll be able to bring all of those clients onto let’s talk loyalty, talk about the case studies and hear all of their direct experiences. And so that’s a wonderful start for you guys. And also, you know, you’re obviously incredibly technical. I’m definitely not, well, what I do love is the human side. So we talked about managing expectations. We talked about expertise and for me, it’s very reassuring when I talk to you guys to know that there is all of that support available for anybody who’s looking at building changing or launching their loyalty program, that there is so much expertise available. 1 (53m 16s): I think your 15 years alone, Lucas, in your own career with Comarch aren’t you, 3 (53m 20s): That’s true. It’s already 15 years all the time with loyalty. I really enjoy. 1 (53m 26s): Fantastic. Wonderful. So listen, Lucas Wilensky business unit, director of the loyalty marketing cloud for Comarch. Thank you so much from let’s talk loyalty. 3 (53m 37s): Thank you so much for having me. 1 (53m 41s): This show is sponsored by the wise market here. The world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing use insights and research. The wise market tier also offers loyalty marketing training through its loyalty academy, which has already certified over 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out the wise market tier.com and loyalty academy.org. 1 (54m 22s): 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 let’s talk loyalty.com. 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.