#256: Loyalty Innovation in Financial Services - Old Mutual Earns Loyalty by Educating

How can a financial services firm like Old Mutual compete against a powerful market leader, in an industry that consumers often find confusing and expensive!

The answer is by adding incredible value and being loyal to members so that they learn to trust your brand, even before they need to buy your products.

In this short summary, learn the ideas and insights that are driving growth, connection, and financial wellbeing with Old Mutual’s members and customers.

Show Notes:

1) Brett Cameron – Head of Rewards, Old Mutual

2) Old Mutual 

3) #106:Intense Competition Driving Loyalty Innovation by South Africa’s Old Mutual

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.


Hello and welcome to this week’s short episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and this week, I’m looking back to spring 2021, when I met with Brett Cameron, who is Head of Rewards at Old Mutual, a financial services group with operations in 14 markets across South Africa. I loved this conversation as it started by going back to basics in terms of comparing the fundamental purpose of a loyalty program, should be.


It sounds so basic, but as we all know, if the mission and vision of the program, aren’t crystal clear to both the brand and the consumer, then the whole program’s performance will suffer as a result. Many of us in marketing used to think that the purpose of our loyalty program was to increase sales or the lifetime value of various customer segments.


While in fact, customers are increasingly telling us that our loyalty programs should first be a way for us to demonstrate value to them before they buy. And that’s certainly the case in this wonderful organization with its unique loyalty program. Old Mutual offers, financial and insurance products. And as many of you know, these are typically grudge purchase. And that really makes it hard to both communicate and convince customers of the benefits of the various options available to them. In addition to that, this industry tends to have very limited contact with our customers. Maybe just once or twice a year. Old Mutual found a really unique way to address both of these business challenges with the creation of a program that truly puts the needs of its customers. And even non-customers at its heart. The program is based on providing basic education for financial planning and offers tools that can help people better understand their own personal financial situation and how they should manage it. Most impressively members also earn rewards for watching and learning. So they benefit in multiple ways by engaging with the Old Mutual brand. 


The idea of rewarding non-customers for non-transactional behavior is truly unique. And to me, it shows incredible integrity, especially in countries where there’s no guarantee that many of these customers will ever have the means to become profitable customers as they offer remain totally unbanked. Brett shares with us that up to 20% of his program users are not in fact customers. But because they trust all mutual to help them learn and earn rewards at the same time, this builds up incredible trust throughout the community they seek to serve. So for me, this episode and the model that Old Mutual has developed is truly inspiring. And Brett did a super job showcasing these amazing ideas and leveraging loyalty mechanics for non-transactional behavior. In this way, a loyalty program can actually become an acquisition tool and a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers even before they realize they’re in the market for your services. 


It’s a wonderful approach. And of course, I love the idea of providing powerful content. Those customers will love, but even more. I loved the idea of rewarding them for paying attention to it. So if you are looking for new ideas for your loyalty program, maybe you can consider creating compelling content that educates your market and attracts prospects even before they need your products. I have no doubt that by listening to Brett, you can find some inspiration on how to create the business case to reward them even if they never buy from you, if you’d like to hear more, you can listen to the full interview with Brett Cameron from Old Mutual on letstalkloyalty.com/106. 


That’s it for today, tomorrow we’re joined by Mark Ross-Smith, a well-known thought leader in the airline loyalty sector. So please do join me for that. And then, of course, make sure to listen again on Thursday for another exciting interview. This time, all about web 3.0, the Metaverse NFTs, and some wonderful insights from another industry thought leader, Stuart Evans. 


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 245 executives in 27 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals. For more information, check out thewisemarketer.com and loyaltyacademy.org


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