#474: Loyalty in Russia, Russian Loyalty Awards and UAE Loyalty Conference

Hello and welcome to today’s episode of LTL and Loyalty TV.

My guest today really opened my eyes to the massive loyalty market in Russia, including the breadth of programs there, in what sounds to be quite a sophisticated market.

Vlad Treves and his team have built over sixty programs in Russia, Europe, The Ukraine and Indonesia across retail, hospitality, banking as well as coalition programmes in many of these markets.

Now they run an international community of marketers offering loyalty and CX events, research and training courses, as well as the Russian Loyalty Awards.

In this episode, Vlad shares insights from his loyalty career, and announces the details of the Loyalty and CX Conference and Global Loyalty Awards event that his team are running for the first time in Dubai in January 2024.

We hope you enjoy listening to these loyalty marketing insights from Russia.

Show Notes:

1) ⁠Vlad Treves

2) Spectrum350

3) The Global Loyalty & CX Awards


5) LTL #254: Loyalty Innovation in the Railway Industry

6) Russian Loyalty Awards

7) Watch this episode on Loyalty.TV

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.

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Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. As many of you know, we’re really passionate about including a truly global perspective on loyalty marketing on this show, given our global audience. My guest today really opened my eyes to the massive loyalty market in Russia, including the breadth of programs there. And what sounds to be quite a sophisticated market. 

Vlad Treves and his team have built over 60 programs in Russia, Europe, Ukraine, and Indonesia across a variety of sectors. Now he’s the Founder of Spectrum350, an international community of marketers that create events, research and training courses, and who also run the Russian Loyalty Awards, which I have to confess, I was totally unaware of. We’ll make sure to link to that for you in the show notes. 

Spectrum350 are running their first event in the UAE in January, 2024. So I hope you enjoy listening to these marketing insights from Vlad Treves from Russia.

Vlad, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty. Welcome to Loyalty TV and welcome to Dubai. 

Vlad: Hi, Paula. Nice to meet you. Yes. It’s wonderful. 

Paula: I think we reconnected recently after a long time ago. We talked, I think on LinkedIn, and then I think we realized that you were in the same city. So wonderful to have another loyalty professional in Dubai.

So really keen to hear about everything that you have done, particularly first and foremost, as you know, we have a global audience in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and of course, plenty of other countries. And I have to say, I had no idea how advanced and I suppose interesting the Russian loyalty market is. So you have incredible experience there. So we’re going to talk all about that. And of course, talk about your upcoming event for loyalty professionals in Dubai which is happening now in early January. So quite soon. 

So before we get into all of the the chat about loyalty in Russia, as you know, we always start this podcast trying to get a sense of our favorite loyalty programs as professionals. So kick us off, Vlad, and tell us what is your favorite loyalty program?

Vlad: You know, I was thinking about lots of programs almost couple of thousands, but I decided that maybe the best one is the program of the Best Western hotel chain. Because on one side it’s quite easy. And the rules are for, understandable for me as a client. And it, it’s quite rewarding. We would like it by our family to use it during vacations and to have it additional stays after it.

Paula: Okay. Okay. Super. Yeah. It’s funny the hotel programs are coming up so much and I’ve noticed my own behavior now is really changing as I’m, I suppose, traveling to more conferences and I have more of a I suppose a frequency and opportunity to engage. And even some of the credit cards in this country, of course, as well are connected with hotel programs. So I’ll have to check out Best Western. I haven’t seen that one as yet, but I think you mentioned your wife was involved in the the thinking because she’s also a fan of, best Western you said, yeah from a family perspective. 

Vlad: Yeah. 

Paula: Yeah. Super. Okay. So listen, kick us off by talking about how did you get into loyalty? Tell us about your own career, because as I said, I know nothing about loyalty in Russia and I think you’ve spent most of your life in that country. Although correct me if I’m wrong. Tell us about your whole career. 

Vlad: It started about 25 years ago. I worked for one of the first loyalty programs on the Russian market. It was the whole retail chain. So, they had about 200 restaurants over the country. And they decided to make the first loyalty program and based on banking cards.

So I came without almost knowing nothing about loyalty. And it was a challenge for me. As a marketer to go deep in details, to understand the techniques, the the instruments the ideas of loyalty and yeah, it was very nice that I found the internet colloquim, and it was my first contact with the loyalty industry and just an opportunity to get some experience from the world known brands from the United States, from Europe how they work with the customers and how they develop such  projects.

Paula: Of course. 

Vlad: And since that time it, the market was growing very fast. We we’ve just did this program after that we decided to launch the first coalition program. So I was in the team that was developing MALINA. It was the first loyalty coalition in Russia. 

Paula: Coalition?  Yeah.

Vlad: In 2001. 

Paula: Oh, wow.

Vlad: Quite old. So we, we had a team members from New Zealand that helped us with the concept of this program. 

Paula: Great. Yeah.

Vlad: And we enrolled it and it turned out to be very successful. But after that, when I saw that we have lots of requests from different count, from different companies working in retail from banks, from telco to develop their own loyalty programs. And they were looking for professionals. So we decided to establish the consultancy and we was the first player on the Rikershaw market that developed the concepts of loyalty programs it’s operations, help with analytics and so on.

Paula: Okay. That’s incredible. So starting in restaurants, which isn’t typically the first sector in the country. I would say it’s normally the airlines, the hotels, as we’ve talked about. So I think HoReCa is a term for hotel, restaurant and catering. Am I right? 

Vlad: Yeah.

Paula: Yes. Okay. So I love to make sure I understand the jargon. So forgive me. So starting in restaurant chain, then coalition and what kind of, I suppose industries, was that being led by a bank or a grocery store, or was it literally equal partners? How did the coalition start? Because sometimes there’s a dominant partner and then they bring others in on the journey. But then sometimes it is a case of saying, actually, no, they identify the market needs it and everybody’s equal. So how did it happen in, in Russia? 

Vlad: You know, it’s quite hard to get equal partners for, from all the industries. Because mainly if some of them has their own databases, some of them doesn’t know their clients. And you need to understand how they are just what chains people are using, how their wallet is shared between the partners. Will it give them any additional value for, from participation of the loyalty program? So in, in that case we did it with for the retail, with non food retail, with petrol stations, and it go further. 

Paula: Okay. Exciting stuff. And then the consulting side, I think you said to me in total, you built about 60 loyalty programs in the time you had the consulting firm.

Vlad: Yeah. For 15 years, it was about 60 projects. We did in Russia, in Ukraine. In Western Europe and in Asia. Okay. 

Paula: Wow. So you got as far as Asia as well. My goodness. That’s incredible. 

Vlad: Yeah. It was a long way in different industries and it was quite interesting to work with different software, with different hardware to connect with the accounting systems in different countries to understand the difference and the difference in behavior and so on.

Paula: Of course. I’m sure you, you learned a lot about local behavior, culture, and all of those nuances. But tell me, first of all, like of all of those sectors, because they are so varied. Which would you say would be your favorite to work with? Because for me, for example, I’ve worked in telecoms, I’ve worked in fuel retail, and a little bit on the airline, a little bit in banking. So which would you say was your favorite and the most exciting to work with? 

Vlad: I think that the one I like the most is Petrol. 

Paula: Petrol? Okay. Yeah.

Vlad: Although you don’t have too much contact with the customer, but it, it gives a special challenge for you to understand that the next connection with a client should be not just, common discussion. It should be valued for the customer, and you should get as much information as possible. Cause for the telco company or for the bank, they see the transactions, they see the for gear information of your phone. They understand what application you use. How frequently? What’s your just spendings and so on. 

When you contact in petrol stations, it’s just from, one purchase still another one. Just one or two per purchases per week. And you need also to think over what of the customer because you just only have a petrol and some stuff in your food market and that, that’s all.

Paula: And fuel is such a grudge purchase as well, I find, you know, it’s just something that nobody actually ever wants to buy petrol. Like we might wanna buy flights, we might wanna book our hotels, but there really is that important element, I suppose, of trying to find a way to make it at least a little bit less painful. Now, maybe that’s just my Irish example, but would that be fair to say for Russia as well? 

Vlad: Yeah, it’s almost the same. 

Paula: Yeah. Yeah, I would guess so. And you mentioned to me last time that gamification has become quite sophisticated in Russia. Tell us a bit about that as one of the, I suppose, mechanics that you’ve seen. It seems to be one that’s maybe more sophisticated than here in the UAE. Cause I think we’ve done a little bit here, but I definitely think other markets have done more with gamification. So tell us a little bit about what you’ve seen with that mechanic.

Vlad: Okay. It is the sector that was always quite experienced in Russia. So many people, they are working with IT and they like to to make a software and to develop it and so on. Just maybe you don’t know that but many of products present in the United States or in Europe they were developed as white label in Russia, like in India, it’s all, it’s almost the same.

So that’s why when the trend to gamification appeared many local players in Russia, they decided to develop their own their own projects. And we had a huge quantity of such products with augmented reality, with quizzes and just interactive mechanics. They are the connection of real world and imagination with challenging for for different teams and so on. 

Paula: Okay. Yeah. 

Vlad: It’s still very fast growing. 

Paula: It is indeed. Yes. There’s so many Russian people here now in the UAE. It’s amazing. And you’re absolutely right. I suppose I hadn’t realized how sophisticated the IT sector was on the development side. So certainly now it’s incredible. There’s so many people here, even actually in my own family, my husband’s working for some incredible people that also have come from a background similar to that. So you guys are doing incredible work and very inspiring. 

And I know one of the things that you did, I think, because of all this inspiration was you set up the Russian Loyalty Awards. So tell us about the history. When did you set those up? I still can’t believe I didn’t know they existed and we have to make sure now, of course, that you start maybe entering with The International Loyalty Awards with some of those winners, but tell us about how the awards work in the Russian market?

Vlad: So about 11 years ago, we were thinking that the industry needs some, some award to let the companies working in different sectors to, to share their vision and experience to understand what their competitors do and to simply to understand their position on the market. Because nobody was ready to share the information, and to say, okay, we have such quantity of clients, the frequency of purchases. So, the the spendings for our, for example, for our retail chains is so, per month. And but they were ready to share it with independent company. 

So as, as far as we worked as an independent provider we offered them the same. We said, okay. If you’re ready to share this information with us, let us initiate this award. So we completed the judges and now it’s 11 years on the market. 

Paula: Wow. 

Vlad: We have about 250 winners from different companies. So we are proud of Ikea. That, you know, MasterCard. Then for Peugeot, Honda, and many other international brands that were taking part in this competition.

Paula: Yeah. The one that caught my eye actually, I was telling the team earlier, and I’m not sure if other loyalty awards around the world have them, but I think it’s brilliant is the Best Employee Loyalty Award. So that seems to be one that I think. I was talking to somebody who works in company culture recently and they were saying like post pandemic so many of us are working from home and almost getting detached maybe from the company culture.

So it sounds like that’s a sector that you’ve identified that needs to be again, you know, really focused on. The likes of Ikea, I’m sure, do an amazing thing for their employees all of the time. Lots of brands with their loyalty program do a version for employees. But what’s it like in Russia? Would it be something that they would typically do by default? Or do you have to, I suppose, remind them and encourage them to consider the employees when they’re building their programs? 

Vlad: It’s one of the main growing sectors in the world. 

Paula: Is it. Yeah.

Vlad: So as we started, it was mainly just loyalty by sectors retail, telco, banks, and so on. After that, we had the employee loyalty, gamification inside, and after that moved to customer experiences. As far as loyalty is a part of customer experience and they couldn’t just leave separately. 

Paula: Yeah. That is a core belief of mine. I will absolutely say that I feel like now if I was working in a brand, in a loyalty role, I would probably start to position myself as the CX director, not just the loyalty director, because first and foremost, I think it’s understood by the C suite so much better, but I think it’s actually more of an accurate reflection of what we’re trying to achieve as loyalty professionals. So it sounds like you’ve also decided it’s not just the currency or the structured program, it is the entire customer experience. Would that be fair to say? 

Vlad: Yeah, we would just say that the loyalty card is a instrument to get as much information about the customer and his behavior. About his feelings and his ideas, his dreams and so on. Just to have a contact with the customer, but you get the data and you need to use it. Unfortunately, many companies, they are just only gathering information, but they are not just taking any decisions out of this information. 

So the customer experience gives us an opportunity to to analyze this data and to to initiate the digital transformation of your business, to change the business process. That’s why when we come to the company, we say that okay, you have a loyalty program. You want to make a loyalty program. Okay. Do you understand that loyalty program will change all the landscape of your IT and your processes? Because it just, it couldn’t leave separately. We just start with the, just first contacts in, in, in the shops. And after that we will go to back end of systems and the call center, the processing, the banking cards, the way they get these cards and so on how you just proceed the day of the delivery of the goods for the others to the home and so on. 

Paula: And what do they say when you ask them, you know, if they realize the, I suppose, the breadth and the scale of what they’re undertaking? Do you think the senior management have that understanding or are they a little bit shocked when you explain what’s involved?

Vlad: I think that mostly they are afraid. At the first stage. 

Paula: Afraid. Yeah. 

Vlad: Yeah, cause they say we our process are perfect or almost perfect. And we’ll try to for check as less processes as possible. But when you go inside and you go first half year but then one year, two years, three years, different spirit. You see how the company is changing. It’s changing very very much. And finally you got another company with another product.

Paula: Okay. Yeah. And I guess the fact that CX has become quite a separate discipline, I would say at the moment. And again, I don’t know about Russia, but maybe that’s elevating the idea that loyalty is a pan company initiative rather than just a currency. As we’ve said, you know, it is something that as a, you know, for me, honestly, I would much rather work in customer experience now that I think about it, because then yes, there’s the operational piece of running a program, but you get to, I suppose, improve influence and build that love that you want from your customer by considering it much more holistically. Would that be your understanding and your appreciation as well?

Vlad: Yeah, I think so.

Paula: Yeah. Okay. And even your awards, I think you said also now are Loyalty and CX Awards. Yes. 

Vlad: So we just transferred or decided that it’s necessary to connect it because for a long time I don’t know about the whole world, but in Russia customer experience was some kind of a new toy. For many companies, they were thinking how to use it and what is it? But it was for a very just attractive to, to say that we’re thinking about our customers, we are thinking about the processes, we are just trying to find the touch points and change the the opinion of of the customers. But many companies, they were not just ready to change. And this way it helps us to connect loyalty with customer experience and to pressure them for transformation. 

Paula: Oh, interesting. Okay. Pressure for transformation. That’s absolutely right. And that’s what customers are expecting too. The next piece I wanted to ask you about, you referenced a very interesting idea that I think you found in South Korea. Which talked about a card that you found the ability to change the surface of the card, to change the communication with customers. And I think you took that to the Russian market as well. So will you tell our listeners all about that idea? 

Vlad: Yeah, it was quite a long clue but anyway, it was on the time the first iPhones appeared. We were looking for some additional communication channel with the customers. And so we found these cards in South Korea that it was possible to go through, to terminate and to change the information during the transaction, just based on their behavior or based on their current purchase. To promote a special offer for the customer at the point of sale. So, we took these cards, we took special equipment from Japan.

And we realized this case in Russia. It was it seems to me the first or the second in the world and the first in Russia. And it was a golden price in the International Exhibition of Advertising Agencies for this case.

Paula: So it was obviously very successful. 

Vlad: Yeah. It was very nice. 

Paula: Was it a payment card or purely a loyalty card? 

Vlad: Pure loyalty. 

Paula: It was pure loyalty.

Vlad: Yeah.

Paula: And the information on the surface, I can’t even visualize what that must look like or how it worked. 

Vlad: The surface of the card was just equal to the paper that is used in the POS machines when they print your bill. So, the card goes inside the machine, the temperature changes the surface.

Paula: Wow. 

Vlad: It terminates the information that was previously on it and gives another information on the surface. 

Paula: Oh my goodness. 

Vlad: So until the next visit to the shop you have it the special offer on the surface of the card. 

Paula: Okay. That is quite breathtaking. I would love to see any case studies, if there is any research out there or anything you can share with our audience. Later, I think you said it’s a long time ago though. So maybe the the case study doesn’t exist, but one, I think we’d love to explore a little bit more. So sounds like something you were super proud of. 

Vlad: Yeah. I looked. 

Paula: Yeah. I think you liked the innovation would that be fair to say?

Vlad: You know, when you work in the loyalty it’s always you always need to look through the innovations to understand how you can differentiate from your competitors and what you could offer your customers. So that’s why you just live in the information stream to understand what’s happening on the market and what will be your next step in, in a year for, in two years. 

Paula: For sure. And because I suppose we as content creators are really passionate about communication, I’m interested in what type of communication might be popular with Russian loyalty programs. So that’s obviously a very unique example of very innovative, what you’ve just talked about. 

And for me, I think that the industry is so reliant on email and of course, social media. But I’m wondering whether you’re starting to see again, even here in UAE, the likes of chatbots, messaging applications, or for us, I’m really starting to think about the role of audio, of course, and video for the purposes of, I suppose, storytelling, engaging with members. So I just wondered, is there anything beyond, I suppose, email and social media that you’re seeing with Russian loyalty programs? 

Vlad: Unfortunately, no. 

Paula: No. Okay. Not yet. 

Vlad: Yeah, I think that markets in different countries, they develop in different ways. In some countries we see more digital instruments and more digital technologies and some companies, they are just a hundred percent based on mobile. And other ones they go with the mails. Some people say that the males already died, but they are working and some of them that this thing push. Or geomarketing or some other technologies, it’s a huge market and each time it’s changing.

Paula: It is. Yeah. And my own behavior, I don’t know about you, Vlad but, you know, as I get, you know, increasingly marketed to, and you know, here in UAE, we wouldn’t necessarily have the same level of privacy legislation, for example, might be in UK, but I find that I’m automatically, first of all, feeling very like I’m being intruded upon if I get like a WhatsApp notification for marketing no matter in what context. So I think that’s really becoming something that could be very useful, but at the moment is not being done well in terms of certainly from a loyalty perspective.

I feel it’s an opportunity because if my loyalty program is messaging me, then I know I’ve given that permission, but I feel like there is this kind of gap. So again, push notifications, I’m, you know, turning them off, emails, I’m unsubscribing. So I’m finding that I’m trying to stay away from communications myself, even as a communicator.

Vlad: It’s always a problem because we are living in a world of information noise. And it, it’s almost impossible to terminate this communication. I’ve seen the research that e each of us contact with 300 prints per day. In different channels in outdoor advertising, in mobile phone, in video of subway and so on. And, for each brand, it’s a challenge to to bring his information to the customer. So they’re just trying to increase the frequency of communications and to use as much channels as possible. 

We could see it on the local market here in Dubai cause it really sometimes they really just frightened me ’cause I receive almost each day for communications from Carrefour , just through WhatsApp and additionally through email. And for if it’s possible for them, they also just to push me with the information through Facebook or something like that.

But what’s happening in pharmacy? It’s a huge problem. Because they, they go with the communications twice a day or three times a day. 

Paula: Wow. Oh my goodness. Yeah. 

Vlad: I think that anyway, it’s necessary to, to some kind of use some laws to to stop it, but I’m not sure that it will be possible. Cause I never seen on any market that any laws could, any laws could change the situation. Even if you are unsubscribed from the, from the communications, you will receive it. 

Paula: Well, fear is a very strong factor. I can tell you, I vividly remember getting a phone call from the data protection commissioner in Ireland very early in my career, pre loyalty. And honestly, It was quite terrifying and the fines are very high as well, certainly in the UK and I think across Europe as well. So I think that focuses the business mind around the permission side. But again, different markets, different behaviors. So yeah, just interested to hear what’s happening in Russia and your perceptions of UAE.

The other one that you mentioned to me when we were talking before was the difference in the malls, for example, particularly again, here we have, you know, all of the world’s best brands, but not necessarily loyalty programs across all of the tenants. And it seems that Russia seems to have got that done pretty well. So tell us what your experience is within that, I suppose, quite a coalition style of program. When you have maybe, I don’t know, hundreds of tenants? And so tell us, how’s that working both from a, I suppose, a commercial perspective, like who’s paying for the points and the technology perspective, because there’s so much variation in a shopping center.

Vlad: You know, it’s always a change to develop such program. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it something like that here but we’ve developed about it seems to me three or four projects for different operators. The last one from force for trade malls of email finance. It’s an Austrian company that were buried in trade malls in Russia before the the situation with Ukraine. 

So, we’ve tried to make the joint coalition program that will be working for all tenants inside the mall. And the main change was to connect 25 up to 30 for different accounting system that were used for retailers into one into one operational center that will just get the transactions analyze it and give rewards. Cause it, it’s always a task for the company if they are ready to share the information. 

Paula: Of course. 

Vlad: About the quantity of transactions and the purchases. 

Paula: Okay. But they were ready to do it? Did you find them willing? 

Vlad: Yeah. Step by step. Yeah. Yeah. It was working. Cause you know, it’s it gives you additional possibility to get the rewarding program.

Paula: Of course. 

Vlad: Cause each person that comes in the trade mall, they, they mostly just visit from three up to seven shops per visit. So it’s the possibility for them to get some points. But when you just go with the different loyalty programs, like here, for example, in one shop you use sour and another one you use another loyalty program or just you get some Blue Rewards or something like that. It, it’s quite hard to get the necessary quantity of points. 

Paula: Of course. 

Vlad: To redeem them something. 

Paula: Of course, yeah. 

Vlad: But when you make the joint loyalty program for the trade mall, yeah. It’s a possibility for the customer to reach it much faster. 

Paula: Sure. 

Vlad: And that’s why it’s more interesting for the final customer to, to take patents such program.

Paula: And I like the simplicity of that as well, Vlad, because again, in this region there are so many big family group companies. And again, they’re investing in wonderful programs, but sometimes I can’t remember which brand belongs with which program, like, you know, marketing the loyalty program name becomes a separate challenge, you know, as well as the solution.

Of course, it’s an opportunity, whereas I guess if it’s at the mall level. Then it’s like everything in the mall is on one program. So there’s that instant understanding, but commercially, how did it work? Was it something that in your experience, the malls themselves would want to fund in terms of driving people in driving the footfall or did the merchants have to contribute?

Vlad: Mostly a joint project cause any one of the trade malls he’s interested to, to get as much visitors on the trade mall as possible. The loyalty program especially if it’s connected with beacons or something some other geolocation instruments, then the possibility to analyze the streams of the customers that is going through different floors.

You could understand their points of entering the trade mall, how they move where they do purchases. How just they visit or not visiting the food court for the cinema and so on. And to, to use the push notifications, for example when you see that the customer is near the for example, VOX Cinema or something like that, to, to invite them to make a purchase and give them additional points. So in this case, you have a quite a good instrument to influence the behavior and to to get as much possible share from the wallet of the customer as possible. 

Paula: Of course. 

Vlad: But it, it won’t be possible if you will not just share this information with another tenants. 

Paula: I can imagine the negotiations were complicated.

Vlad: Yeah, it’s always a long time negotiations. Who is ready, which information to give what, how you will use it, who will just be responsible for the data protection and so on. 

Paula: Yeah, of course. And in fact, you mentioned beacons there. I heard as one of the mechanics for me, I’ve never really seen a successful use case with beacons. You know, I think they were you know, heralded as one of the big solutions, one of the most exciting technologies that was going to be available. But again, I only saw them, I suppose, in a, you know, a high street type of execution where it was just not working very well. 

So it sounds like because it was in a shopping center, I guess, first and foremost, that at least means you’ve got a little bit more control of the environment. And again, shared data, privacy practices. So do you think beacons still have a role or were they just at a point in time? 

Vlad: It’s one of the technologies I saw cases that were just quite interesting. We also used it in a couple of projects together with cellular communications with just analyzing the data of Mac addresses for the Apple equipment. And so it’s possibility to direct the customers. But you always just on some challenges, for example, if you are trying to work through mobile the customer should should have activated Wi Fi on the mobile phone. 

Paula: That’s true. 

Vlad: And not everybody’s ready to make it, to keep it open as far as it’s not quite secured. So it looks like a game when you try to develop a program, you try to make it usable and quite comfortable for the customer on the backend you’re thinking about the company and you need to balance the interest of the company with the interest and just the readiness of the customer to share his personal data.

Paula: For sure. For sure. So you’re taking all that knowledge from Russia. You’re here in the UAE and you’re running an event as we alluded to earlier on and some awards. So tell us what’s happening in January.

Vlad: As I saw, the current market has grown very fast, but I haven’t identified here the community of loyalty managers. So we were thinking to establish it here, like we did 10 years ago in Russia. And to give them an opportunity to share their experience working in banks, and telco, and retail to unite for their just knowledge for joint cases and to give them the possibility to develop themselves and to grow themselves like professionals.

Because all the, all markets, they have their difference. The North American market it’s one story that the market of Vietnam, it’s another one. China is a separate story. Europe is also just. It’s not possible to go everywhere and just. So we need to establish this communication here on the local market and invite experts from another countries also to share their experience.

Paula: Amazing. Well, we’re very much looking forward to it. I know you’ve got an amazing lineup of speakers, so certainly we’ll make sure it’s linked to the show notes. So anyone interested, of course, in coming to Dubai for the event on the 9th of January to hear all about loyalty in this region. And we will very much be looking forward to taking part in that.

So Vlad, that’s all of the questions I have for you today. Is there anything else that you wanted to share with our audience before we wrap up? 

Vlad: It seems to me that we were talking about the railways. 

Paula: Okay. Yes. 

Vlad: The railway loyalty and railway customer experience is very fast growing sector of loyalty. Although we have not too much people in this area. We’ve did a quite a big project just analyzing the customer journey of the clients in Russia for the Russian railways. And it was very interesting to understand how the person goes from the idea of making some journey through purchasing of the ticket coming by taxi, to the railway station. Just contacting different retail and food stores inside the arrival was station, and after that, he goes to the to the train.

Paula: Of course.

Vlad: To give him the best experience of suitable sittings and so on. And onboarding. And after that for just to, to finish his journey on the final stage. So, the railways hope so will soon also be in in UAE. So I hope that.

Paula: That’s very true. 

Vlad: It’s a topic to discuss.

Paula: It’s definitely a topic to discuss and any case studies where we can do further, of course, interviews and discussions about loyalty and railways. We did one in Spain, so I’ll make sure again to link to that one in the show notes because you’re absolutely right. It’s a very different sector and one I think that is emerging even in Europe, in fact, where, you know, certain amount of travel by air is being forbidden if there’s a railway option. So I think loyalty in railways is definitely something you’re very passionate about. And one we’ll continue to talk about on this show.

So listen, Vlad, we’re coming to the end of our time together. As I said, I’m looking forward to the event in January. I want to congratulate you on everything you’ve done in the Russian market and to thank you for everything that you’ve done to, I suppose, inspire us and educate us for what’s happening in Russia so that we can listen and learn.

So with all of that said, Vlad Treves, Founder of Spectrum350. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Vlad: Thank you for inviting me, Paula. 

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 has already certified over 500 executives in 38 countries, a certified loyalty marketing professionals. 

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

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