#420: Loyalty Academy Announces FOUR Scholarship Prizes for Aspiring CLMP's

Today’s episode celebrates our 4th birthday in Let’s Talk Loyalty, in partnership with our friends in The Wise Marketer Group, where we are together announcing an incredible competition.

My guest is Aaron Dauphinee, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer with the Group, which includes The Wise Marketer.com website and The Loyalty Academy.

The Loyalty Academy was established in 2015 and offers global loyalty education. Since then, it has gone on to certify 739 loyalty marketing professionals in 46 countries.

In celebration of our fourth birthday and our partnership, The Loyalty Academy is offering FOUR lucky listeners a scholarship to their CLMP program online and become a certified loyalty marketing professional.

Each scholarship is worth up to $2,000.

Listen to hear all the details and then enter on www.LetsTalkLoyalty.com/competition.

I really hope you enjoy my conversation with Aaron Dauphinee from The Wise Marketer Group.

Show Notes:

1) Aaron Dauphinee⁠, Chief Marketing, and Business Development Officer

2) The Wise Marketer Group

3) The Wise Marketer.com

4) Loyalty Academy

5) UK’s First Loyalty Academy CLMP™ Certification Workshop

6) 2023 Certification Workshop – Toronto, Canada

7) Join the competition now! www.LetsTalkLoyalty.com/competition

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.

Capillary’s loyalty solutions offer AI powered next generational technology. Making them a catalyst for enabling meaningful human connections across the globe. The platform is deep and wide, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of any company looking to take its customer loyalty to new heights. 

Visit capillarytech.com now to see how they can transform your loyalty future.

Hello and welcome to today’s episode, celebrating the fourth birthday of Let’s Talk Loyalty. In partnership with our friends in The Wise Marketer Group, where we’re announcing an incredible competition together. My guest is Aaron Dauphinee, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer with the group, which includes thewisemarketer.com website and The Loyalty Academy.

The Loyalty Academy was established in 2015 to offer global loyalty education. Since then, it’s gone on to certify 739 loyalty marketing professionals in 46 countries, including me. In celebration of our fourth birthday and in partnership with The Loyalty Academy, we’re today offering four lucky listeners a scholarship to the CLMP program online with the opportunity to become a certified loyalty marketing professional.

Each scholarship is worth $2,000, and you can find all of the details and enter the competition on letstalk loyalty.com/competition. Entries are open until Sunday, September 17th. I really hope you enjoy my conversation with Aaron Dauphinee from The Wise Marketer Group.

So Aaron Dauphinee, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

Aaron: Hi, welcome. Thank you. 

Paula: Great. Great, great. I’m super delighted to be here to celebrate a big milestone actually for Let’s Talk Loyalty and of course our partnership with The Wise Marketer Group. You guys have been absolutely extraordinary to work with over the last four years and long may continue.

We’re here to share the backstory and some exciting news about a competition. And I know it’s your first time on our show, so super excited. I think you’re a bit of a pro at this stuff actually, aren’t you? 

Aaron: Well, I don’t know if I’m a pro, but I certainly have spent enough time in front of people talking about myself, I think in the past. I’m just teasing. 

Of course. No, yeah, I’m very happy to be on and thank you for having us. As you said, it’s been a longstanding partnership that we’ve had in place, and we’re looking forward to many more years. But, let’s dive into some of the content because I think you have some, exciting things brewing that we’re gonna help support, so we’re really excited about that.

Paula: Absolutely, Aaron. Well, listen, it wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t start, of course, with our usual opening question, which our audience has come to expect. So as somebody with a stellar career in the loyalty industry, Aaron, please do tell us what is your favorite loyalty program? 

Aaron: So, this one is often asked of me at dinner parties. So this is a regular question that I get. And the way that I, or the opposite is, you know, which program should I invest in? And, and I always open with, well, what is it that you want out of that particular program? So if you know what you want, then you can reverse engineer into what you program you should be involved in.

And for me, that always ends up with travel. So travel is my hotspot for redemption. And you know, there are some strong programs in everyday spend, but for me, the Meritt Rewards program has really started to rise up. And, you know, for many, there’s gonna be some groans. I can hear it from the industry already on this one.

But when you think about how they’ve evolved that program from the heritage of bringing Starwood together plus their original Marriott programs, you know, they had really had an uphill battle because the Starwood program was one of the best values for redemption in the industry. And so they had this collection of individuals that very much were on this, you know attain and earn, and receive type men mantra.

The Marriott program was fine. It was doing well. And what they did is they took the two and combined them. And so for someone like myself who was a staunch Starwood fan, I, you know, I was really quite skeptical. And so when Marriott came out, I went in. I gave them the benefit of the doubt with Bonvoy launching.

And what they’ve actually won me over on is the engagement and the experience side of the equation. So I wouldn’t suggest it that the strongest program out there from a redemption perspective student and certainly aren’t like the old Starwood program. But from the experience side, they really have won me over. And that’s what’s made me loyal and true to them and, and invest in and hunger down on Marriott. That’s probably the top program. 

Paula: Wow. Well, well done Marriott. Absolutely, Aaron. And thank you for the clear articulation because you know, I remember when Bonvoy launched, and it was probably before my kind of days, of course, in the broadcast side of the industry. 

Aaron: This before actually. 

Paula: Yes, yes. 

Aaron:  Right before.

Paula: Exactly. Yes. But I was blown away. I remember by the actual spend above the line, Aaron was what caught me as a consumer. So the depth of conviction that that business obviously had in terms of launching, relaunching and consolidating, as you said, replacing a very much loved program, particularly with the Starwood preferred Hotels group.

So, yeah, that was absolutely, a big challenge and they have absolutely nailed it. And I talked recently as well, you know, my husband just got a new co-brand card with Marriott Bonvoy, and I’m actually now inspecting his spend to make sure that he reaches his thresholds.

Aaron: Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s one. See, this is what happens when you start to invest, you know, particularly from an individual and then, then the householding starts to come together. If you’re both invested in that redemption that you’d both want to get to, in this case, the luxury of redeeming for a hotel and on your vacations. For me, it was a function of just the individuals that I’ve had in my lifetime on a personal side. Typically, often we’re in the airline industry, so for Matt, our household would divide spend where one would actually go in and earn rewards or have access to flights.

Well, then myself would then pick up on the other side of redeeming. To create this, you know, holistic view of how we would reward ourselves for the spend that we were accumulating together as a household. So that’s how, so that’s interesting that you say that with your husband that you’re monitoring his thresholds versus, you know, we kind of divided the house into two to, to get us to where we wanted to.

Paula: Indeed. I feel like we need to have a dinner party now together, Aaron, so we can, you know.

Aaron:  Yes, I’m loving it. 

Paula: Consolidate all our knowledge. So, super fun. 

Aaron: For sure. 

Paula: So listen, let’s get into The Wise Marketer Group. Aaron. It’s an extraordinary organization and again, I was admiring it from the outside long before I got involved in our partnership.

So I thought for people around the world listening who may not be familiar with the depth of content, I suppose, and the breadth of expertise that, that spans across the group. Would you take us through the origin stories, Aaron, of where did The Wise Marketer Group come from and where has it brought us to today?

Aaron: Yeah, for sure. That’s, thank you for that. I mean, many people don’t realize that The Wise Marketer brand itself is, I guess it’s wow, over 25 years old and nearing closer to 30 years old. Started out the United Kingdom. And, and we, at The Wise Marketer group, the partnership picked, up and, and purchased The Wise Marketer brand, just in late 2017, so early 2018, so about five and change years ago. 

And since then we’ve evolved, from that, into a media and education company. So you see The Loyalty Academy brand in behind me as well too. That actually is not a purchase brand, but that was something that was built from the ground up, by our dean, Mike Capizzi, as the forerunner and, and involved in that.

And that’s certainly my other partner, Bill Hanifin, involved in both sides of the equations, as well as a few other partners in the business, in addition to myself. But, but, but really what we’ve done is, we’ve created this nice marriage to create this media and education company. The Wise Marketer brand, a consolidator of news and information for, you know, literally all close to three decades. 

And we’ve continued that. That’s what we see ourselves as is the voice of global loyalty. You know, as the source for news, information, insights, and research so that individuals can be educated about the industry. 

And we come at it from a perspective of being unbiased, right. We want to carry all points of view. We, not just our own point of view, but, but many of the contrarian views as well as those that come together to create a lease and, and create strength around our industry and become the voice against other marketing tools that are out there. And it’s not a us versus them in terms of marketing tools, but because large l loyalty we do believe is ingrained behind all marketing aspects and all business aspects.

And that’s what you start to get in terms of when we talk about The Loyalty Academy in terms of education. We educate individuals. through the course curriculum that we have and our certified loyalty marketing professional designation. So CLMP, you’ll hear us say that as a short acronym. But that’s what it stands for. 

And you know, and we’re rising up in terms of that particular group of, and that community of individuals and specialists.  We have the baseline understanding around what loyalty is and what the discipline of loyalty is. Because it really is a discipline. You’ll hear that very many times from our Dean Mike Capizzi. Talk about that as a discipline. And so that’s the, that’s the origins as we came together. 

The group in and of ourselves were a motley crew of individuals that have been around the industry, which is very typical, I think of many organizations, of practitioners. And I think that’s important. We are practitioners, you know, we’re building this business, as practitioners for practitioners. And so the applicability of what we’re putting together, whether it’s on the media side or on the education side, you know, typically is, is what rises up in terms of those people that have engaged with us that throughout the number of years, that we’ve been in business, particularly as we brought the business over to the United States. 

But yeah, but we do have that global reach, as well too. And so that’s why we say we are the global voice of educ educate global, global LED education. Pardon me. And the global voice of loyalty. So that’s kind of the, the bit of the heritage. 

Paula: No, thank you for that. And I’ve often borrowed your tagline, by the way. I think you guys know that I do that always with that. 

Aaron: Absolutely. 

Paula: With credit to you guys. So when you talk about the global voice of loyalty, I’m like going, I wanna be part of that gang because that’s definitely what we’re doing.

Aaron: I love that you said that, Paula, because we, you know, because of our partnership over the past number of years, we kind of think of you as in the family. So, I think that’s perfectly fine and reasonable to be utilizing that tagline for us as well. 

Paula: Fantastic. Great stuff. So, listen, you guys have been around a long time and certainly if anyone isn’t already subscribed to The Wise Marketer, there are literally thousands of articles there. I know you guys encouraged me actually originally to write for the website, and I discovered actually I had a love of audio instead of writing. I just couldn’t get my head around doing all of those wonderful, clever articles that you guys do. So I have my own role and my own place on the website, but definitely want to encourage everyone to make sure that they do stay up to date. 

And I think it’s important just to pick up on those values as well, Aaron, because you mentioned, you know, education. And that’s exactly the purpose of these conversations that we have. It is about how can we educate ourselves, how can we inspire people and all learn from each other. Because at the end of the day, we’re all on the same side. We’re all trying to build wonderful, loyalty programs. And loyalty outcomes. So very exciting times.

Aaron: Yeah, I totally agree with that. A hundred percent. And if I could add on one other thing, it’s that we become that trusted advisor and that resource, right. 

Paula: Nice. 

Aaron: You know, the whom do I speak with that can help me with the issue of the challenge that I’m facing in my own organization that has a loyalty element to it. You know, yourself at Let’s Talk Loyalty and the individuals that you bring onto the program, which are top-notch, right individuals, in from the loyalty industry are the same with ourselves.

You know, the individuals who write for us, the individuals who have their podcasts such as yourself, and then those that you’re bringing, plus also the executive interviews that we are putting into place. So we’ve got this level of not just writing content but dynamic content, which gets us into the media world as well.

Paula: Amazing. 

Aaron: It’s we learn from a lot of individuals, not just the, in the sole, you know, us at the partners at The Wise Marketer. We expand beyond to bring the full view. not only from the United States, butcertainly from around the world.

Paula: Amazing. So listen, tell us a bit about your background, Aaron. I was, of course, stalking you on LinkedIn in preparation for today. And, clearly you could have, you could have had a career as a copywriter. That would be my first observation. I really like how you wrote, particularly you describe yourself as a realist, a pragmatist with a healthy twist of futurist.

So I thought that was super clever. And, and super relevant, I guess, in terms of what it takes to be successful as a professional in the middle of our, you know, crazy, chaotic career. So tell us, you know, I suppose, a brief synopsis of what you’ve done over your loyalty career to date. 

Aaron: Sure. And I think the realist, pragmatist, futurist comes from a natural curiosity. And so my favorite question is why? And I don’t ask for the why as it in a challenging state. It’s more for the, literally, I’m seeking more information, and that’s kind of, you can get the realist and the pragmatist side. But the futurist is a natural curiosity to say like, what’s happening here? Let’s discover more. What more can we do? How, how can we build and grow or innovate in a lot of ways. 

And that’s what I found myself, doing, or being most happy in the course of my career. And it did start way back in, oh my gosh, 1999. I’m gonna date myself a little bit here ’cause you know, I’m 20 plus almost 25 years in the industry now. And it started with moving into Shell Canada, using the Air Miles rewards. Coalition rewards is an everyday spend program up here in Canada. 

And from there, I migrated actually into the belly of the beast, so to speak, at Alliance Data Systems at the time, which owned and operated the Air Miles Rewards program or a division of it that, you know, run, ran that consumer program, and started to look at how we could bring coalition loyalty into the United States was my first foray, into there.

So, I spent a number of years around the coalition construct and, and happily to watch it evolve to what it is now because it certainly is not what US traditionalists would think of way back then, which is a good thing. I think it’s a very positive thing in terms of how it’s evolved. 

But from there, grew up, you know, in the structure of Alliance Data Systems, moving through a number of different roles, from biz dev to corporate development. A little bit of M&A activity on, on the side there, which, led me to meeting Bill and, indirectly, Mike Capizzi are my two main partners at The Wise Marketer group.

And from there, you know, we’ve had a long tenured history of working together including when I went over to Aimia to work with Rick Ferguson, who was at the COLLOQUY Group heading up it, which was how I met him at, when they were at Frequency Marketing out of Alliance Data System from a project that I was working on,way back then.

And we’ve all kept in touch. And as we were trying to build out a bit of a proprietary type system called the Aimia Institute at Aimia. Which was very much similar to COLLOQUY , but different. More so evolving to what we have at The Wise Marketer group, but, trying to expand and be that unbiased view within an organization.

You know, we found that there were some challenges with that. And so we, you know, we, we, we then separated. And lo and behold, about a year or two later, Bill phoned me and said, hey, I’ve made this purchase of this product called The Wise Marketer. Do you remember it? I said, yes. I was talking with Peter Clark as well too. When I was at Aimia thinking about purchasing it, you know, to try and think we could bring it into Aimia,

So, yeah, it’s just been a bit of serendipity in terms of my career. As I’ve evolved, but by and large, in those large marketing services organizations, I’m very much in that large big B business development through to corporate development, through to marketing as a B2B structure in terms of how we, go to market for marketing service providers, which naturally led me to a spot here in Wise Marketer.

And, and for a while I was the guy behind the scenes. So this is nice. I’m coming out more in front to, to be the, the front face along with, Bill and Mike, who have previously been, you know, one and two on Wise Marketer and then Loyalty Academy respectively.

And for myself, because I was at Bond Brand Loyalty, where I had a terrific job and a terrific team. Developing and building out the loyalty report which, still to this day is, in my opinion, even before I joined Bond. I used that report as the stakeholder main report that exists for the industry. On, on which programs are rising to the top and which are evolving and innovating. And which will be there at the top, you know, in years to come. And so, you know, had a, had a great four year career there developing. And, and working with that team and, and have, you know, so much respect for that particular report.

But then decided that, you know, we would, we’d move in and, and take a bit more prominent role here with The Wise Marketer Group. ’cause I’m just at that point in our career where, you know, we start to look at other things that you know, you value across the equation of beyond, just beyond just work, personal and professional.

Start to combine and mix and the alchemy starts to change a little bit. And so I’m very happy to be, you know, sitting now and working as the CMO of The Wise Marketer Group. Which is the overarching parent, I should say of The Wise Marketer brand and The Loyalty Academy brand.

Paula: Of course. 

Aaron: So that’s kind of the background for me. It was mostly strategy planning, business development into now, what is clearly B2B marketing, as a whole. 

Paula: Absolutely. And it is wonderful to see the group starting to really flourish, Aaron. So, you know, the fact that you’re bringing all of this new energy, I suppose, and as you said, that incredible career into really driving the whole group forward is certainly something that we’re excited to be a part of. 

And you and I first met in person, actually I was just reflecting as you were saying that in Ireland, when you came to present The Loyalty Report, and again, we’re huge fans. We’ve had Bond Brand Loyalty on the show as well recently to talk about this year’s report. So again, it’s a small industry, and it’s wonderful that we’re all.

Aaron: A hundred percent.

Paula: Close friends, and everybody supports everybody. So, so exciting times. But listen, when we talk about gold standard, Aaron, education wise, I really do believe that the CLMP, the acronym we’ve already referred to, the Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional is the gold standard.

I remember, yeah, for sure. When I did it, I had been, I’m going to say probably already working in loyalty about eight years before I actually found the CLMP and found the time of course, because it does take time, of course, to get back into the, the mode of studying as an adult. I’m not something I, I’m, I’m too comfortable kind of committing to, very often. But my abiding memory of it is, the sense of reassurance that I felt that, like before I did the CLMP, I just had this idea that everybody else knew more about loyalty marketing than I did, so.

Aaron: Oh, interesting. Okay. 

Paula: Yeah, totally. Because I think we’re all thrown in at the deep end. Like to me, that’s how this industry works. Like my background is in digital. I’ve been, you know, a startup entrepreneur.  I’ve done some things I’m so proud of. But still, the specific discipline that you talked about is something that I’m just like, oh, there’s a whole world here that I just haven’t been educated on.

So to have access to this, kind of global expertise to kind of apply my brain to working through all of the various modules gave me that sense of, okay, yeah, I actually feel like I know what’s going on here. So tell us a bit about, I suppose, the entire way that The Loyalty Academy and the CLMP specifically is structured because we’re here to talk about a competition, and a huge scholarship opportunity for anybody who’s listening and might want to, to, I suppose, avail of this education. Which, you know, again, is worth, like literally every single certification is worth in around $2,000. So a very valuable piece of education. 

But just give us a sense of what’s involved. Mike again, has been on the show a couple of times, but tell us for anybody who’s not familiar, what’s involved at becoming a CLMP?

Aaron: And be, and before I hop into that. Well, I would, I love the fact that you talked about it being reassuring and reaffirming the things that you knew, and then also the idea that you got thrown iintothis in terms of loyalty. 

I think, you know, 20 years ago as direct marketing was coming into place and then loyalty was evolving. It was that a lot of the direct marketers who all of a sudden became, you know, the director of direct marketing became director of direct marketing and loyalty. And so we had to kind of fumble through and figure it out, many of us, and, and not, maybe not just figure out, but start to create the foundations.

You know, some of these, you know, of, of the core courses. We have strong foundation elements in each of the core courses in the curriculum set. And so these, these inherited truths that that came to place were oftentimes from the early days of loyalty. 20 plus years ago that are still holding, firm today.

You know, constructs like reciprocity as an example, you know, the, the giving back, in an equal way. As the brand does to the, the actual customers as then in return the customer to the brand. So, you know, that’s just one of many, as an example, but the point being that we were thrown all into it and, but now it’s risen up and there is an expected standard that we can have in place.

Where if you’re gonna be in the loyalty sector or utilizing loyalty or just even as a marketer, on mass. You need to understand the idea of what’s in the customer’s mindset and, and how to get them to engage and interact with your brand more, more, more for more frequently, more often, buying more goods, those frequent, traditional elements.

But even now, expanding into, well, what, how do I get the individual to talk about my brand in a positive way? The advocacy component is becoming much stronger. You know, that element of influencers has certainly version and, and become exponential in terms of importance of expressing loyalty to a brand beyond just the tangible of what the, the harder and cash exchange could be.

And so, from our perspective, you know, with the CLMP, you know, it is a, is a sturdy curriculum of sound. Like you said, it is a discipline. You go through 14 courses. 12 of which are standard core courses, curriculum that you have to go through, expanding everything from the origins of loyalty. Where it started, what it is through to very technical, operational, and financial alchemy in terms of understanding the, you know, how you put the numbers together for loyalty program. 

So the, by the end of. for those who haven’t been in the industry, you’ll be able to, effectively evaluate and or build in and start to, you know, put together the pieces of, of a customer multi program. So it’s kind of, you know, soup to nuts as they say. 

But for individuals such as yourself that are, you know, been in the industry, have that experience, it is exactly that. It’s a validation of the things that I know to be true. Still remain true. What are the things that have shifted and adjusted so you can get a realignment of and become more current?

But then also the, you know, the final thing, really from the way in which we’ve just structured is, is that, you know, when you take the course in the workshop format.  You know, which is where we have another individuals in the room, not the on demand. And there are the two different ways that you can take the course.

When you take the workshop format or through our public or you know, in some cases, organizations take us in privately and have corporate training, behind the curtain. You get this opportunity to work together. And so by talking with others, what you realize is, you know, my discipline, and I’m working in loyalty, but I’m working in the operations component. And so I know operations very, very well.  

But what I’ve never maybe had exposure to is the marketing side and the, and the, the way in which you need to, structure a campaign design. And all the thinking that goes into it before it actually has to be operationalized. And so we find that there are experts in the room. And then start to help each other. And that no individual is an expert in all of the core curriculum. Right. They’re a good portion of it. But not all of it. And so then, and you know, that helps sharpen it up and level the playing field so that we all have this base understanding, of knowledge, or at least are at a certain level for the discipline, to then take, you know, an exam which of course, you know, we are, a sort of by our Board of Regents and have a accountability to be at a certain level. You know, everyone becomes equal in that regard in terms of the base content. 

And now we have a flourishing community of 750, I think is the mark. We just passed the other week with a workshop that we were doing. And getting in and running close to, by the end of the year, we’ll be into the, probably the eight hundreds. And certainly either later this year and or early next year, we’re hoping to break that mark of a thousand, which would be a really big win for us.

Because, it wasn’t too long ago that we were thinking 500 was, you know, kind of the marker of, of critical mass and And now we’re getting close to doubling it about two, three years later. So we’re really quite proud of it. I’m really quite proud of the individuals that make up the community of CLMPs that we have around the world. Absolutely in 46 different countries, I believe now is where we’re at. 

Paula: I was just looking at the stats, Aaron, so congratulations on that success and that milestone. It is absolutely incredible and for people listening to this in August, I suppose there’s two things that I would, I suppose let people know.

One, I know our friends in Zenith Marketing are of course, running a workshop led by Mike Capizzi in London. In September, I think it’s about the 19th. So we’ll make sure in the show notes for this episode. We can link directly to that workshop for people who perhaps want to go and have that in-classroom experience.

And as you said, have those conversations, you know, directly over two and a half days to cover all of the kind of core content modules. But particularly On-Demand is where I did my training. So at the time, there was nobody in Dubai, running the course or even I think in Asia, which of course there are now.

But for me, again, it allowed me to, you know, self-pace and work through the entire curriculum literally as and when I had the time available. And so I guess I’m just thrilled to announce today. You guys have been so generous. Because it’s Let’s Talk loyalty’s fourth birthday, you guys have agreed to give us FOUR On-Demand training courses worth $2,000 each, so it’s absolutely amazing.

Aaron: Yeah, we’re very happy to that. And we’re very proud of the work that you’ve done and we wanted to celebrate with you the success because it’s not only your fourth birthday, if I recall. You, you’ve just over the mark and 400 episodes as well too, so you know, to, on an average basis of putting out a hundred a year, that’s impressive. That is really, really quite impressive. And so, we’re more than happy to celebrate. But we’re also wanna say that we’re really proud of you, Paula, doing a really great job. 

Paula: Thank you, Aaron. Thank you. I’ve definitely got more gray hair than I did in.

Aaron: I’m similar as well too. Excuse me. 

Paula: But thank you actually, because I was reflecting actually on what I am proud of. You know, now that we’re coming to this next milestone, like every year when it comes around, I’m kind of going, oh my God, I can’t believe there’s another year of this tiny business that I started back in 2019. 

But a couple of things I will just kind of, reflect on very briefly is, as you said, we’re actually, this is episode 420, so we have definitely been, you know, committed to creating wonderful content, quantity, and quality. I will say, a couple of other things, we literally are about to cross 250,000 plays of our podcast. Would you believe? 

Aaron: Fabulous. That’s wonderful. I can’t, I can believe it actually. Then that’s just absolutely tremendous. That’s wonderful. Congratulations. 

Paula: Thank you. Thank you. And the other one is a global ranking of podcasts. And we’re on the top 3% of global podcasts as well. So honestly, we’ve got a lot.

Aaron: No problem.

Paula: A lot to be proud of. So I wanna say again, thank you to you guys as our partners. Thank you to my team. So John and Pooja, behind the scenes doing some extraordinary work, and our trustee editor, of course, James as well, just give them all a shout out.

So let’s just recap then on the competition, Aaron. As we’ve said, 

Aaron: Sure. 

Paula: This is the global voice of loyalty. There are four scholarships available. We have a dedicated website, or pardon me, a page on the letstalkloyalty.com website, which is again gonna be linked in the show notes so people can just go there to enter.

So the correct place to enter the competition, you literally need to go to letstalkloyalty.com/competition. You’ll see The Loyalty Academy there and everyone who enters and joins our newsletter or is already on our newsletter, of course, will be entered into, the competition for one of those scholarships.

So super excited. And it’s open for one month. So between August 17th and September 17th, we’ve got the opportunity for anyone to enter. And after that, of course, we’ll make sure to pick the winners and announce them via The Wise Marketer as well as the letstalkloyalty.com newsletter. Yeah.

Aaron: That’s fantastic. Yeah. And then certainly from our perspective, for our subscribers, we’ll be making sure to push this information out to them through our weekly newsletter. But also, excuse me. Pardon me. We’ll also we’ll, have individuals who, or sorry, we’ll have,advertising on the site to push individuals to this website so that individuals can join.

Paula: Fabulous.

Aaron: And then the, just to recap real quickly, that is the Online Demand, the four scholarships that we’re providing. So just to be clear on that, because we do have the September workshop coming up, which certainly go to our website loyalty academy.org to find out more information.

And the details for that, if you were choosing to register, which is the 19th to the 21st, as you said. And actually, I can, probably officially announce that we will be coming back to North America for a Canadian workshop. The week of October 23rd. I think the dates are about the 24th to the 26th. Still don’t quote me on that, but it’s in and around that time, so. 

Paula: Great. 

Aaron: You know, we’re very excited to capstone the year here in my home country, Canada.

Paula: Wonderful. And again, I always wished I could do it in person, Aaron, so I’m very envious of anyone who can get to the workshop version. So we’ll make sure the up-to-date information for the Canada workshop. And again, of course the London workshop is available again in the show notes so anybody can check out all of the options.

So I think we’ve done, a wonderful job, I guess in terms of talking about our partnership, Aaron. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention that you are, I suppose, super proud of in terms of, you know, what you guys have achieved and maybe where you’re going, as this industry continues to flourish?

Aaron: Yeah, no, I think, for us it’s been a heck of a fun ride, in terms of what we’ve done and we’ve seen, extra, extra, enormous growth. I mean, that’s really the thing that, I get most proud of. It’s both on The Wise Marketer side in terms of our subscriber base nearing into around 14,000 individuals, you know, as a subscriber around the world.

I think touched close to 120 plus countries, obviously have a core that’s, you know, there’s a bit of a long tail on that as we say in the business. But, you know, from that perspective, you know, it’s not just North American, it is European. It is, APAC region, as kind of the 1, 2, 3 punch in terms of the core, group subscribers.

And then on The Loyalty Academy side, I already alluded to this, like, it’s just, it’s amazing to me personally, and I know to the rest of the partnership group as well. That you know, we’re nearing close to a thousand individuals in our CLMP community across, you know, nearly 50 countries around the world like that.

If you had asked me that two years ago or even three years ago, I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have had expected that. And so I’m really, really proud of our team in terms of the, the, not only the size of the community that we’ve created. But certainly in terms of the reach of the community, and that’s evident, not only in the US starting to do and get out at events. 

You know, we have a number of partners that we go to multi conferences with. We have worked with you at Let’s Talk Loyalty which has a global reach in and of itself with the people that you bring together. And then certainly our, you know, the CLMP workshops that we’ve been doing in public forums with our partners.

And there’s a number of them. There’s a bit too many to list here because I don’t wanna miss anyone. But, you know, working from a North American base moving into Europe with Amsterdam, we were, I was recently in Casablanca, you know. We in Dubai a number of times, partner Bill just literally got back from India, a week or so ago. So, you know, we’re hitting, you know, Mike Capizzi was over in Singapore and in Melbourne, Australia. So, you know, we’re broadening our reach and getting our exposure out there and coming to individuals. But, really, one of the things that we’re proud of is, again, the Online Demand.

And we are looking to, you know, upgrade, upgrade and refresh that content as well too, so that it becomes much more easier to consume. Because as you said, Paula, it is a time commitment. Because you want to go through all the curriculum but we know that it’s value add in terms of helping people to expand their professional career.

Particularly if individuals are at kind of that senior director or mid-career to want to move into being able to talk and speak at a C level around the constructs of loyalty.  You know, this is the path to helping you to do that. 

Paula: For sure. And, it would be remiss actually, Aaron, if I didn’t make sure that the audience also was aware of, on top of the basic core modules, of course, for The Loyalty Academy.

There is ongoing new content constantly being added, which I just actually think is extraordinary because the industry is changing so quickly that there are new ideas, new topics, whether it’s something to me quite complicated, like the financial modeling, for example. There’s an elective content that people can go back to over the years of their career and choose to tune into a new module just to supplement their knowledge. So I think that’s something that’s important to mention as well. 

Aaron: Yeah. No, I thank you for picking up on that. That’s actually a great add-on. And I, and I should have also myself mentioned it too, because I was focusing on the base curriculum as well as, you know, there’s two electives that you take to just earn your CLMP designation.

But yeah, and we’re always looking with individuals, experts from around, the globe to partner with, to become part of our faculty. And teach these, because we know we’re not necessarily experts. We’re, you know, we are good at our own individual skill sets, as I said. And so we’ve localized and specialized on talking about those key areas in our elective upper year courses.

But, you know, in certain other, other areas, you know, you think about gamification, you think about, liability rewards or liability management. Pardon me. There’s a number of expertise or another areas of their expertise, which Just aren’t our top-notch area. And we know about them, but, so if there are individuals out there that want to think about becoming faculty members, please do reach out as well too. And we can have some conversations to see what can work. 

Paula: Absolutely. Yes. Well, it’s on my wishlist as well at some point, Aaron, that I might even.

Aaron: Fabulous. We’d love to have you. 

Paula: I’d love to. So, yeah, we’ll add that to the to-do list. But actually, and my final point there is one other piece that I think is probably underappreciated, by you guys because you’re, again, you’re busy creating all of this incredible content.

And before I had a profile, for example, creating content and putting myself out there when I felt a little bit like maybe below the radar. I always found being able to, you know, contact somebody on LinkedIn who had a CLMP designation. Once I had that CLMP designation, I can tell you for sure that there was automatically a connection and a respect where I felt like I could reach out to somebody to ask a question and they would respond because we’re in this same community.

So I think that’s something that’s really beginning to take off, and anyone who’s considering doing the CLMP should never undervalue that. 

Aaron: Paula, that’s, thank you for that share. You can see I’m beaming here that is exactly why we started The Loyalty Academy for global loyalty education that we knew to stand beyond us and become bigger than us. And so for, to know that, firsthand from yourself and your own experience. We’ve heard it from others, anecdotally, but to, you know to kind of reinforce it again. That individuals, when they reach out, because they see those four digits behind, it is like we’re all in together to help each other, and there is this level of understanding that, you know, you can have a conversation easily have to like start to worry about jargon or, or you know, or the different constructs that, you know, might be misaligned.

Because, you know, different region of the world, there’s a common base understanding and, and, and language that we’ve all known and understand and to have that safety net of other individuals able to, go to when you have, questions or, or, you know, just even curiosities. Or want to, you know, get others onsite to help you with a project. 

You know, we have a lot of practitioners that you are able to create some scale, by bringing in other CLMPs and they know that the quality of the individuals that they’re bringing on task is strong. So thank you for that share. I really appreciate that. 

Paula: No, problem.

Aaron: That’s a good refining moment for me to take into the day. That’s wonderful. 

Paula: There you go. So listen, that’s all of my questions, Aaron. I think it’s been, as I said, an absolutely sensational partnership for both of us. We’re thrilled with your support with the On-Demand scholarship that, we’re launching today. Is there anything else that you wanted to mention before we wrap up the conversation? 

Aaron: No, I think we’ve done a good job of promoting the competition. I think that that was kind of our key gore was to come in and celebrate your birthday and the successes that you’ve had with Let’s Talk Loyalty. And then talk a little bit about the CLMP designation to get more and more individuals into the community. You know, we’re always looking to add to the ranks. 

Paula: Fantastic. Well, listen, I hope we can continue the conversation, Aaron. I’m delighted you are. Again, back full force with The Wise Marketer group. 

So just wanna say Aaron Dauphinee, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer for The Wise Marketer Group. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty. 

Aaron: Thank you, Paula. Have a great day. 

Paula: This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer, the world’s most popular source of loyalty, marketing, news, insights, and research. The Wise Marketer also offers loyalty marketing training through its Loyalty Academy, which is already certified over 500 executives in 38 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. 

For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org.

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