#340: Loyalty Insights from Italy, featuring Cristina Ziliani, Professor of Loyalty Marketing and CRM at the University of Parma

Cristina Ziliani is the Professor of Loyalty Marketing and CRM at the University of Parma, Italy, where she has been leading the “Loyalty Observatory” for an incredible 20 years.

In this episode, she shares the work they do for the Italian loyalty community, which includes loyalty research, consulting and education across the entire field of loyalty, CRM, CX, and analytics.

Tom Peace, from The Loyalty People, shares his thoughts on the great work Cristina and her team do, and showcases the insight and conference available from the Loyalty Observatory

Show Notes:

1)  Cristina Ziliani

2)  University of Parma

3)  Loyalty Observatory 

4) #171: Loyalty Insights from Italy 

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an Industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the Founder of Let’s Talk Loyalty. Today’s episode is hosted by Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People, a strategic consultancy with a laser focus on Loyalty, CRM, and Customer Engagement.

The Loyalty People also runs a free global community for anyone working in the loyalty industry. If you are working in loyalty marketing, make sure to join. Let’s talk loyalty every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to hear the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.

This episode is brought to you by Collinson, worldwide leaders in customer engagement and loyalty, creating an orchestrating customer engagement and loyalty initiatives and programs for some of the world’s biggest brands in travel, retail, and financial services. Doing it globally for over 30 years. Want to know more, go to collinsongroup.com.

Tom: Hello there, and welcome to this week’s five minute summary show on behalf of Let’s Talk Loyalty, I’m Tom Peace, Managing Director of The Loyalty People and presenter of Let’s Talk A Little Loyalty.

This week, my five minute show summary showcases Paula’s interview with Cristina Ziliani, Professor of Loyalty Marketing and CRM at the University of Parma in Italy, where she’s been leading the “Loyalty Observatory” for over 20 years.

This show is very interesting to me, as I previously did not know about the Loyalty Observatory and the work that Cristina and her team have done over the. If you’d like to know more, I’d recommend the main show, which can be found on www.letstalkloyalty.com and first aired on the 23rd of December 2020, episode number 171. For those of you that don’t know who Cristina is, she’s an author, professor and head of Parma University’s Loyalty Observatory. Cristina has contributed to around 70 academic papers and written five books on customer loyalty, CRM, and customer experience. The Loyalty Observatory supports the dissemination of knowledge and best practice on loyalty to an international audience, through training, consulting, research, and yearly conference.

Cristina talks about how the conference has now been running for over 21 years, and every year they achieve over 600 participants. And over the years have met something like 160 speakers from Italy and abroad. Cristina talks us through some of the research the university performs around the penetration of loyalty across Italy with respect to keeping track of your customers through a database.

It’s very interesting to hear their findings here, especially that two thirds of the companies surveyed are active and investments in loyalty are increasing even more as a result of the pandemic. Cristina also talks us through the dramatic changes to the utility sector in Italy, post privatization, and one brand’s move to a fully digital customer engagement platform focused on sustainability. This is a strong move for an energy company, as many customers are looking for more environmentally friendly behaviors, which aligns perfectly with an energy supply.

Cristina goes on to talk about the five types of customer loyalty programs in Italy, as well as research they have done on B2B solutions.

Cristina is obviously very passionate about loyalty and provides some great insight into the reasons for loyalty within a business, especially with respect to gathering and using data to drive business decision making. Loyalty can also be a vehicle for gamification, sustainability, distribution, marketing, and communication strategy among other things. I love to hear this from Cristina as it’s so true that loyalty drives data, data drives insight, growth, and innovation.

Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed my summary. I’d highly recommend listening to the main show, all the best and speak soon, Tom.

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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