#186: Loyalty Programmes as Media Owners (Short Summary Show)

In this short summary episode, I am looking back on a fascinating episode I conducted with Jonathan Hopkins of Sonder Media, all about the revenue potential for loyalty programmes to leverage some of their customer relationships and permissions as media channels.

From American Express to Virgin Australia, I learned about some of the incredible work that is being done to unlock the billions of dollars of media value that is often left untapped.

If you are not yet aware of the inherent media value within your loyalty programme, this episode will share insights on how these assets can be used for commercial gain.

Show Notes:

1) Episode #62: The Value of Loyalty Members as a Media Asset

2) Jonathan Hopkins, Founding Partner, Sonder

3) SonderMedia.com

Audio Transcript

#186: Loyalty Programmes as Media Owners (Short Summary Show) (7m)

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. The Comarch 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 this week’s episode of Let’s Talk a Little Loyalty today. I’m looking back on my interview with Jonathan Hopkins, the co-founder of a unique company called Sonder, which is based in Australia. Sonder helps brands to assess the value of their permissions and marketing platforms from a media perspective, with care and a specific focus on loyalty program assets. And at the time of our conversation, Jonathan told me they had already unlocked over $7 billion worth of media value for the brands that they’ve worked with, their idea is that the owned media channels that many brands have, do create consistent, compelling content for the audience, but in some cases, they can also be considered for direct monetization.
For example, the company’s digital channels such as websites and email databases, and even physical assets in stores, such as leaflets, posters, and other platforms can sometimes be used to market your partners, who of course will pay marketing fees to access your trusted relationships. And from my side, I can certainly say I’ve seen this happening in markets like the US for example, with Walgreens, when they launched the Walgreens media group to commercialize their assets and permissions, Jonathan and his founding partner had realized just how much time and money brands spent advertising in both above the line and below the line channels, and yet loyalty program channels didn’t always get the same level of attention.
One great case study that Jonathan shared was a client of theirs in Australia, which is well known around the world. American Express had previously been giving advertising placements to their partner brands without either valuing or charging them correctly, and also not monetizing other spaces, for example, on their website and in their global lounges with Sondra support, American Express successfully commercialize their owned media channels and created considerable additional revenue and expanded this concept worldwide.
We then discussed retail brands, which Jonathan actually thinks are quite sophisticated media brands, because of course they know their customers in much the same way the TV channels know their viewers and these retailers often already use these media assets to directly drive sales for their partners. So for example, supermarket wobblers banners, social channels, apps, and digital screens are all that he refers to as retail media. And once they correctly value those assets, retailers can earn and do earn direct revenue from partners, such as FMCG brands and even digital screens in stores are extremely powerful as they are, of course, relevant directly at the point of purchase.
Now with these seemingly easy ways to create new revenue streams, Jonathan was careful to point out how carefully this must be done. Otherwise, customer relationships can easily be damaged if members feel that their privacy is not being respected. And over time, if they’re not enjoying the partner or sponsored content that a brand might choose to promote, that’s it for now, guys, please do listen to this highly innovative idea. It’s simply Let’s Talk Loyalty.com/62, and I’ve no doubt it will provoke some interesting ideas and considerations for your program.
And lastly, I invite you to join me again on Thursday when I’m chatting with Adam Grupp, the director of Microsoft Rewards to hear some wonderful insights about Microsoft’s successes and strategies in loyalty. This show is sponsored by The Wise Marketer. The world’s most popular source of loyalty marketing use 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. 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 LetsTalkLoyalty.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 favourite podcast platforms. And of course, we’d love for you to share your feedback and reviews.
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