#465: The Ford Motor Company Celebrates 120 Years of Loyal Customers!

This episode is also available in video format on www.Loyalty TV.

Today’s episode is the first time we are featuring an automotive brand as our guest, and we are delighted it’s such an iconic brand.

The Ford Motor Company has recently celebrated 120 years in business, and is truly a pioneer of modern transportation.

Their approach to loyalty is super exciting, so we were thrilled recently to meet Beth Leverton at the Comarch User Group conference in Poland.

Beth is the Director of Rewards, Loyalty and CX for the Ford Motor Group, and she joins us on the show today to share both the benefits and challenges of driving loyalty for such a huge organization that sells cars in over 126 countries globally!

Listen / watch to enjoy this conversation with Beth Leverton from the Ford Motor company.

Show Notes :-

1) The Ford Motor Company

2) Beth Leverton⁠

3) www.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. Today is the first time we’re featuring an automotive brand as our guest, either on Let’s Talk Loyalty or Loyalty TV, and I’m delighted it’s such an iconic brand. The Ford Motor Company has recently celebrated 120 years in business, and they truly are a pioneer of modern transportation.

As you can imagine, their approach to loyalty is equally exciting. So I was thrilled recently to meet Beth Leverton at the Comarch User Group Conference in Krakow. Beth is the Director of Rewards Loyalty CX at the Ford Motor Group. And she joins us on the show today to share both the benefits and challenges of driving loyalty for such a huge organization that sells cars in over 126 countries globally. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Beth Leverton from the Ford Motor Company.

So Beth Leverton, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Beth: Paula Thomas, it’s such a pleasure to be here. I feel like it was just a moment ago when we met this spring and now fast forward to later in the year, and I’m here with the Queen herself, Loyalty Royalty, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Paula: Thank you, Beth. Right back at you. I think Loyalty Royalty for sure. We were very blessed to be brought together in Krakow. You gave an extraordinary presentation about what’s going on from a loyalty perspective in Ford, and I’d often thought, my goodness, you know, it’s the perhaps, you know, second biggest purchase of all of our lives. And yet I hear so little about loyalty in the car industry. So I am thrilled to have you here. And we have a big story to talk about today, both, I suppose, in terms of your personal loyalty to Ford which definitely has to be recognized, but overall what you’ve created with this rewards program.

So, as you know, Beth, we always start our show trying to get a sense of what our loyalty professionals really admire and appreciate from a personal perspective, but as a loyalty professional. So let’s get straight into it. Beth, what is your favorite loyalty program, please? 

Beth: Absolutely. Well, first of all, it was hard to choose because I realize I participate on a lot and I know on a previous podcast you can confess, you focus on, you’re very loyal to the most, the ones you use the most.

But I participate in a number, but I travel a lot for work and for professional life as well. And I, there’s no way I could skip saying Delta Airlines and the list is so long. Why I would choose Delta Airlines? I know a number of people have, which explain why they’re so successful in this space. But some of the things I think about they’ve literally had to me change my behavior. I’ve changed my behavior to stay a part of their program. 

And I’m just going to give a quick example. I was looking for a tropical vacation. I was pretty excited about it, but then I noticed that Delta didn’t fly to that unique destination. So I changed my destination so I could stick with my coveted beloved Delta Airlines. And I thought, Oh, I stepped back and thought, Oh my goodness, the program’s so strong. They changed my vacation destination and so many things, they own my wallet. I love their program and in entirety. And when I think about the you know, on a day to day basis, how much I use it and appreciate, the rewards and the recognition and the perks that they offer. 

And as a loyalist in this space, I still appreciate some of the cool things they’re doing. Delta is a hub in Detroit, which is close to where I live. And I was at the airport one day and it was a delayed flight from weather and a lot of, you know, some people were getting a little frustrated and enrolls this sunshine and welcome wagon of snacks and a wheel and all sorts of activity. And it was a Delta team. They didn’t want folks to be unhappy while they’re waiting.

And they brought in this whole experience. Like, gaming with a wheel of gifts and handing out treats. And I spoke to the gal that was running it and I said, this was really nice. And she said, you know, it’s something we’re piloting and I’m glad to see that you like it. And I thought, very cool. And we pilot a lot of things at Ford too. And to see them provide that really great experience like that. It’s, you know, it’s always, they always impress me. They always impress me. 

And so I love Delta, but again, I have so many, it was hard for me to choose like the pragmatists and the sometimes would say Costco because I use them every single week. I fill up, you know, I appreciate the rewards for my filling up my gas tank. But also traveling so much National. National through Enterprise Holdings have just, they’ve made life so frictionless for me when I travel. And again, change my behavior. I will pay a little extra even sometimes to make sure I have that National experience.

A little bit earlier in my career learning about loyalty I read the book Driving Loyalty. I’m not sure if it’s a really great one. And in that book, it talks about the enterprise story and how they purposefully have their three different brands and how they come to market for their guests. And I feel it, that they know that I’m a business traveler and they are giving me that frictionless, you know, get to the airport really nice experience of grabbing that car and going and bringing it back with ease and so you really appreciate, I think the more you travel and I know you have a lot of experience in those spaces through your business background, as well as the loyalty space. But in traveling, but I really appreciate those from a consumer perspective and through the lens of someone who works in loyalty.

Paula: Oh, wonderful. Thank you, Beth. I mean, Delta is an airline we haven’t yet had on the show, I will confess. So again, of course, extending an open invitation if anybody’s listening from Delta. I know there’s a lot of change going on for them at the moment, and it’s a little too soon, of course, to see how that impact somebody like you as a frequent traveler.

But you know, at the end of the day, you know, the fact that you changed a tropical holiday destination in order to stay and fly with one airline is off the charts bonkers. And I seem to recall you also did a dedicated, I think it’s normally called Mileage Run, but you did a Diamond Run to retain status.

Beth: Yes, I sure did. And yeah, I called it a Diamond Run. I may, I will fully confess. I flew to Miami with myself on December 31st because I was at risk of not being a Diamond and that was not an option. And I was slightly embarrassed, Paula, until I ran into a number of other people also on Diamond Runs that day. And I thought this is a company that has loyal members who will do whatever we need to do to make sure that we enjoy those perks all year. So, busted, I’m busted. 

Paula: Totally busted. I think the only thing more extreme than actually doing that and again, spending your time and money to retain your status is when you sometimes hear about brands where people make, you know, put a tattoo, maybe like a Harley Davidson or something, you know, so someday we must have a story from maybe a member of a program who’s done something like that. So I hope you’d know. Delta tattoos, but anyway.

Beth: Well done you.

Paula: On practicing what you preach. And I suppose even sharing the story of what they did at the airport that day. So, it really is sometimes the small things that count. So, it’s a really good example. 

So let’s get into your career, Beth. As I mentioned, I think your actual loyalty to Ford, which is, of course, an iconic brand. And again, the first automotive loyalty conversation that we’ve had. Tell us about both your career and also your family history with Ford, because that’s something that is truly exceptional.

Beth: Absolutely, happy to in honor that we’re the first automotive company here. You know, you said the the tattoo of Delta, if I would get one it would have to be the Ford Oval because not only if I spent my entire adult career here with 30 years with Ford Motor Company, blessed and honored to have had that opportunity. But Ford Motor Company this year celebrating 120 years. And I’m so honored to say that my family I’ve married into, we have the Leverton family, we have been at Ford for all 120 years. And so, working for Elena Ford in the office day to day, I told her the Ford family has been supporting our family for all 120 years. And I’m eternally thankful for that.

So, so yes, all 30 years, but I do have to say my, I feel like my kind of passion for this space of being a servant leader to the customer really understanding the benefit and value of amazing experience started with when I was in college and worked for Disneyland. And I think one would argue, could argue that they’re just amazing at providing those magical, those magical experiences throughout your day and they go to the utmost lengths to make sure customers have that really amazing experience. And some of those early memories of seeing that and being trained by them and their very specific ways that they’re so successful at. I’ve taken throughout my throughout my years at Ford. 

And well, you know, 30 years have been in a number of different roles throughout assembly, manufacturing, marketing, tech. And now really fortunate to be a part of this customer experience team at Ford, you know, and it’s the customer experience team. Well, well, all 120 years of Ford, we’ve really dedicated to you know, serving these, our customers meeting their needs, providing fabulous products for them.

It was just about five years ago that the company recognized that experience, that customer centricity, that we, customers want us to know them, show that we know them. Provide show up to them in a personalized manner. That is so important. And so rather than being as much as a product focused customer company, we are a customer focused company. 

And through that Elena Ford one of the many things she’s pioneered and trailblaze lays at the company was creating this customer experience organization. Where we provide loads of experiences to differentiate ourselves to, to to help set Ford apart in this space and really to continually look for ways in my space, of course, like we get to look for ways all day to love on and reward and thank and show our appreciation to our millions of people who own Ford vehicles and been buying them for all these 120 years we’ve been in business.

Paula: Incredible. Incredible. And you make a good point, Beth, I think, I suppose, about getting the basics right, first and foremost. And you told me when we were preparing, I guess, for today, about just some of the basics about, for example, like the servicing facilities that Ford offers that no other motor company does.

So, you know, we’ll come on, of course, to talk about your Structured Loyalty Program, but just in terms of you know, taking that customer feedback, which I hear you mention every time we have a conversation, so I can feel it’s in your heart, your soul, your work, and it’s your ethos, but tell us some of those practical things that Ford does in terms of helping people enjoy owning a Ford in a simpler way.

Beth: Absolutely. I’m proud to because again, I think sometimes we, we’re so focused on loving on and you know, providing great experience for our customers. We don’t always talk about ’em as much as we should. So for example one of the within our customer experience area in partnering with our 3,200 dealers throughout the, throughout the US. Most of what I’m talking about is US centric and happy to talk about some of our global plans, but our 3,200 dealers in the US, we really focus together on delivering things like mobile service. 

You can’t get to the dealership? No problem. We’ll come to you. We’ll drive a mobile van or a more mobile transferred escape and we’ll bring that right to your door and service your vehicle. Saves people so much time and effort and free service that we offer. In addition pick up and delivery, pick up your vehicle, bring it into the dealership anything that we can do to just. Remove the day to day friction of life, help take a, you know, take some of the burden. We want to be a total, a part of the total vehicle ownership and making sure that anything we can do to make that an easier experience, a fabulous experience. And our rewards program is just one of those many things that is a part of our customer experience, full ecosystem that we offer our members.

Paula: Yeah, you know, it’s actually quite breathtaking to me that you are the only company doing that because it’s so obvious, you know, how on earth are any of us supposed to get our car serviced if we’re leaving our car there, though we got to get taxis and it’s just a whole palaver. So thank you for doing those simple things. I know, as you said, you’re US focused. I’m not sure globally, where all of that’s at, but clearly once it starts, then of course, it’s going to roll out around the world. 

So take us then through the history of the structured loyalty program, Beth. I think the important thing that you shared with me, of course, previously is, you know, first of all, that dealer relationship you’ve already mentioned 3,200 dealers across North America. They’re obviously intrinsic to your success and essential that you could build those relationships, and then there’s obviously the people who buy the cars themselves. So how do you go about building loyalty? Do you have one program for both audiences or two different programs? How do you manage loyalty in a structured way?

Beth: Yeah, fabulous question. And you know, you highlighted some of the blessings and the challenges, you know, we are so fortunate to have our dealer partners that we can you know, they’re the face of our company. In many instances, the local Ford dealership and the area that is serving our customers so well, that is the face of Ford Motor Company to them, not the folks here in Dearborn and the tall office buildings. Right. And so we’re so thankful to have them. 

And, but then also preparing them and sharing as we roll out corporate changes. It’s of course a lot, you know, a lot of times in these podcasts, we talk about the challenges and it can be a challenge to get all of that information rolled out and shared throughout our entire ecosystem, including those 3,200 dealer partners. It’s as well as communicating it through multiple channels of marketing. 

But the program itself, you know, and we’re always thinking about how can we benefit of course, our customers, they’re the, what keep us in business for all these years, and they’re the heart of us. But how are we also benefiting our dealers? They have businesses to run families. If you don’t benefit, what’s going to benefit them and have while our members are enhancing their ownership experience through our program, how are we doing that by pulling them back into the dealers who take care of them? 

But then of course, how are we benefiting Ford? Because let’s be honest, it’s a business as well. And how can we benefit? But really, we found that if we do right by them, it all works out. Right. If we are giving them the appreciation and the recognition and helping them feel what we’re offering to them the financial stuff work itself out as the, as we run a business.

We really to, I think you had alluded to it, we really stepped back this year to as you mentioned, we’ve been, we opened our doors for this program just a few years ago, but as all good programs do, we continually learn and pivot and what was built was great. There were so many great things about it. 

But we just stepped back and we, of course, by direction from our customers and our dealer partners, they said, you know, we have some changes to make. It’s a little too complicated. It’s a little too confusing to communicate and even understand fully. And that sometimes things like that friction will inhibit participation and we want the most amount of people we can possibly get to feel to, to pull in these rewards that we’re giving them and to feel that appreciation. We want them to enjoy. 

And so we just simplify the program. It was just announced to our members could not be more excited. And it’s so easy. I think a kindergartner can explain it now and that’s good. Right? So it’s so simple. We still are a currency based program. And so we have points that you earn through different activities that you do with Ford. And then we, and we also still have tiers. 

And we love tiers because you know, in this business, it’s so important to know our customers, and tiers help us know we very clearly understand that things that are important to someone, perhaps early in their Ford journey, or even maybe out shopping for a Ford, the persona and the things that are valuable are very different rather than someone who is, maybe has their, 15th F150 and this one has 300,000 miles on it and they’re so proud and they only service through Ford, you know, they’re looking for different things from us. And so we want to make sure that we’re offering those different those different things. So we do have a tiered program, to it’s free for everyone to join as well. Everyone can join our program. It’s completely free. You can sign up through our FordPass Rewards app on your phone.

And we know that 80 percent of our members prefer to you know, often use that experience or online through our web pages. But so it’s completely free to join. And there’s many benefits that you get as a base member, which we call Bronze. And then as, once you complete two activities, and it could be, there’s a long list to choose from. You can buy a vehicle, you could buy windshield wipers, you could get a warranty plan, but just two activities, you bump up to Silver, and if you complete five activities, you bump up to Blue. And it’s our hope that Blue, which is our top tier, that blue is so rewarding, exciting that all of our members are chasing that goal because they, that’s, they see the value in that.

And so a lot of what we’re doing over the next 12 months is adding really great value and benefit and rewards into the program. And so, whatever members see today, it will continually iterate and grow and become, become more more rewarding, which is so fun. Like, how lucky are we that we get to spend our days thinking about how to reward people and recognize people? Like, so lucky.

Paula: Yeah, Yeah. That’s exactly why I fell in love with loyalty the first time I ever got involved, Beth. So I think like you, it was just like, oh my goodness, this is so much fun. 

Beth: Yes. Yeah. 

Paula: So there’s so many other things that we do in marketing, but this particular one, and because then of course we can measure the commercial benefits, it’s like, oh my God, everybody’s winning. So.

Beth: I know. 

Paula: Super cool. 

Beth: And, you know, sorry didn’t cut you off there, but I get so excited about the program. I I get so excited about the opportunity. I only told you about half of it. So, we can, we can, there’s two different ways to get through the tiered status through those activities. We also augment our program with a Ford FordPass Rewards Visa program.

And so we have a credit card. We have cool ones that say Ford on them or one with a Bronco. We have a lot of Bronco enthusiasts who love our Bronco credit card. And that’s another way to bump through our tiers. And so with the credit card in hand, and once you make that first purchase, you automatically become a Silver, and with the credit card in hand and larger purchases, 25,000, you become a Blue member.

So the numbers are easy to remember. Two activities are five, a purchase are 25 000 but that’s kind of our program in a nutshell. And we are, we’re just really thankful that we feel like more people are going to be rewarded more. And that was our goal. And of course, we measure all of that to understand and make sure that we’re delivering things that they find valuable.

Paula: For sure. Well, honestly, you know, I think you’ve nailed it. You know, it totally, I will say that, you know, to have such simplicity coming through that you can explain it in two minutes, literally on a show like this is wonderful. You know, I think you’re absolutely right. Loyalty professionals, we can often overcomplicate our programs and simplicity drives loyalty. Like there’s just no question, you know, when you look at other industries, you look at Google or McDonald’s, you know, it’s sometimes the less you do, the happier the customers are. 

So, and I think it’s amazing as well, because I know you shared with us before that, like the average transaction time, of course, for buying a vehicle is lengthy compared to any sector, airline, retail or whatever. So I think you mentioned it’s about five years would be the average. So a very infrequent purchase. So to have something as simple as buying the windshield wipers as the second activity to get me somewhere is brilliant. It means it’s achievable and powerful. And again, five doesn’t feel like too many. So feels like you’ve done an awful lot of research. I know that’s how you base everything that you do. And I know like verbatim feedback is something you said that you absolutely live by. 

Beth: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s we listen and we record and we dissect every ounce of feedback we get from the customers. Some of it is offered up through our call centers. We have an amazing call center that, that listens and records and captures opportunities and things that we can do. And as well as we’re continually doing customer research whether it’s our, we have an amazing usability lab at at Ford where we can bring customers in and get that, you know, raw feedback and test things as well. Versus we focus on the net promoter score and how we show up to customers and how they offer and recommend us. We, we listen to all of our all of the feedback that comes in and continually seek it out. And then and then making sure that we use every ounce of it. 

They’re all golden nuggets. It’s a problem to solve. Oftentimes a I love the saying that from Carlzon’s Moments of Truth, finding those moments of misery and turning them into a moment of magic, but looking for all of that feedback that we can take and learn from. We also have not shied away from our, you know, artificial intelligence and, you know, sometime with thousands of rows of data, it’s the quickest way to say, what do I work on first? I want to move fast and serve our customers. Take a look at this data and tell me where to start. And so, that’s just money. Money. One of the many ways that we’ve worked to use the latest technologies to continue to to iterate. It’s so fun too. I was just out in a dealer visit and I said, what can we do to help you? What do you think this program needs? And he gave us a couple of suggestions and it was so fun to go back and say here you go And you know very quickly iterate and deliver for them. And so again, our customers are the people who buy our vehicles are our customers that we’re serving. But we’re also serving these our ford dealerships and our dealer partners.

And so it’s important to listen to all of them gather up all of the data make sure that we’re making smart decisions and a lot of times it’s about, it’s tough. We have a lot of tough decisions to make, you know, we can’t do it all. We like to say, we say no, a lot. So we can say yes to the best and continually look at what we can do and how quickly we can do it to benefit the most number of people who are buying our precious  vehicles.

Paula: Amazing. Amazing. And before we leave the tiers, I did also just want to, I suppose, compliment you on the brand association because obviously blue is the Ford brand color. And just to have that as the aspiration for the program tier as well, I think is a subtle thing, but actually at the same time, very powerful. Because again, sometimes there’s things like diamond or whatever, but Ford is all about that that, that identity of being, you know, a blue colored brand. So, yeah, I think those kinds of details do come through in the intention of a program. So.

Beth: Yes.

Paula: There you go. Tell us some of your successes, Beth. I know there’s some amazing numbers you shared with me in terms of membership numbers and awards redeemed in terms of the value that’s been accrued. So give us a sense of what’s been achieved so far. And of course, as we go into 24, as you said, I know it’s going to be much more ambitious, which of course means you’re just going to have to come back on the show every year to share the updates. But where are we starting from, given that you said you had a relatively complex program, but still managed to achieve a lot?

Beth: Yes, absolutely. We’re always focused on the future numbers, but happy to share today’s. We’re just under 13 million members today. So that’s, in my mind, again, 13 million people that are so critical to listen to and serve them with the best possible experience we can.

We, as I mentioned, it’s a points based program and we, reward points today for activities and always have and it’s so fun to see how people use them. Some for things like a Sirius Satellite Radio. They can use it to make that a free experience for them. Some people have used their points to buy a new vehicle.

Not a lot. It’s a lot of points to buy new but it has happened can you imagine walking into a dealership and saying this one’s on Ford because i’ve been a loyal member using their credit card or servicing through them. And I have enough points for a brand new free vehicle. So a wide array and it’s about 1.5 billion dollars in points that we have awarded. And I feel really great about that because that’s every one of those dollars is an appreciation dollar that goes back into somebody’s hearts and mind that they know that the company that they’re buying their vehicle with vehicles from appreciate, appreciate their business and are coming back in. And giving that to them. 

So, so yes, we continue to grow and learn. We add a couple hundred thousand members each month and we’ll continue to continue to grow and serve more and more folks. 

Paula: Absolutely incredible. You know, I actually hadn’t even thought it would be possible to get a free car. That’s unbelievable. 

Beth: I know.

Paula: Wow. What a great example. So that is the ultimate loyalty. And I can only imagine the level of advocacy of the NPS scores from people who’ve managed to redeem a free vehicle. So, at some point, I mean, certainly again, as a show we’re interested, I suppose, in exploring, I suppose, those customer conversations that you as a loyalty professional get to have maybe with those type of members who really have managed to, you know, enjoy the benefits of their own loyalty to you. And so at some point, hopefully, we’ll be able to share those kind of stories directly with our audience as well. 

Because there’s learnings there, you know, again, for loyalty professionals to understand how somebody starts on that journey and then believes it’s possible to ultimately achieve something that’s so valuable, like way beyond what our airline and loyalty program managers, et cetera, would be thinking about. So unbelievable stuff a great example. I suppose I don’t want to, you know, spend, you know, go through all of the details, Beth. You know, I want to keep this, you know, nice and clear and simple again for our audience. 

But you did mention that you have four Ps, which are the principles of your success with your loyalty program. Again, I know they’ve led to this simplification and the relaunch. So just maybe in brief, I’d love if you would share them, and just so people can start to understand how you think about the various aspects of what to focus on. 

Beth: Absolutely. It’s, you’re right. When we talk about what makes what’s working for us and what’s helping to drive this continued success at first, it’s always starts with the people. And we not only have a strong and really diverse group of folks that some really creative and coming up with the next new exciting thing to offer and ways to rewards. Where others are focused on process and keeping us you know, marching at the correct pace everything from the stakeholders who support us to the leaders who allow us, who give us that that leash to say, run like a startup you know, pilot new things and and move quickly and and build this program. So the people are what’s really strong.

As well as, you know, we have a lot of partner help too. We have our VMLY&R agency and Lacek as well as others who help us on the, you know, the people’s side and support our support our program. And which leads me to the program and that is just making sure that you have a program in place that is serving your customers. Well, we’ve talked quite a bit about that. And as I mentioned, we just made it more simple but making sure that you have a program. 

And there was a really great session you had with Cades, Bess Cades from McDonald’s when she talked about putting the plumbing in place for a global experience to go more broadly. And we’re doing a lot of that right now. So making sure this program has some components that can have global applicability and really again, ensuring that the program is serving our customers and representing our brand as we want it to be the platform, is my third P and and making sure that the platform can scale and support such a venture globally, right? 

And so, we have really great tech talent within Ford Motor Company who who move fast alongside us using agile delivery practices. And we all sit together, work closely together. And as we’re on this journey and all working towards these KPIs together. And we augment that our tech talent with Comarch. And Comarch is, you know, they’re, you know, they’re the geniuses in the loyalty space and couldn’t have other partners along this journey with us. And they bring us new experiences and new opportunities all the time that we can then again, pass on to our customers. So that platform, you know, the Ford tech talent combined with the masterminds at Comarch really help augment and help us move really fast. 

And the fourth P, I always think about is prioritization. And I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but we want to do it all. We want to try all the new shiny things and make everything better that we’ve already built. But rigorous and data-driven prioritization is it’s so important. And every decision we make is run through data models to make sure we’re making the right decision. We wanna know the outcome, expected outcome before we make the call. And, and so just prioritizing, as I said earlier, you know, making sure we say no a lot so we can say yes to the best. 

And the some of the tools we use so many tools to help us with that as well. For example we had a a tile on our site. And we are measuring the clicks. We flipped it to a different spot. It triples the, you know, triples the click throughs. And so just continue to use data tools to be able to measure and help us with those prioritization decisions is really important. And so those are kind of some of the things I think of as the the four P’s making sure we have the right people in place. We absolutely do. But making sure that you have a program that can scale and support your customers to the best of to the best way possible, the platform and then the rigorous prioritization. 

Paula: Very comprehensive, Beth. Very impressive. And yeah, I guess because it was Comarch who brought us together at that User Group Conferencing in Krakow. I’m glad you’ve mentioned them. 

And I do like that, I suppose, mix between the internal, as you said, Ford, you know, technology capabilities, but then supplemented by industry expertise. So you know, co market great friends of our show as well. So I’m so delighted you’re on the journey with them and that they’re supporting you. It sounds like from what you briefly alluded to there, that global expansion is something that is on the priority list. As you said, McDonald’s, I think you know, absolutely demonstrated extraordinary results there in 50 countries. It is absolutely amazing. 

So I guess my final question is what does the future hold for Ford from a loyalty perspective? Clearly, global expansion is one, and I’m sure there’s a plan for that. But anything else that you can share that you’re thinking about as we go into 2024? 

Beth: Great question. We’re thinking about it every day. We again, it’s always fun to leap forward to some of the future to see where we can go. We do have a strategy team that worked in a lot of work to put together a five year plan and a lot of what we’re doing in the next, the next couple of years is I alluded to a little bit earlier, but really doubling down on the benefits and rewards. What else can we do? What else can we offer? And curating some special experiences. So that is for sure for sure an area of focus that we’re excited about. 

Another thing that I’m excited about is we have some, we’re a really big company, you know, almost 200,000 employees throughout the globe, all working on really important things and looking, continually looking for ways to help shine a light on those other areas of the company. So, so we can perhaps, you know, spread awareness and help learn. And it’s really our goal that we as a company present ourselves to the company. I’m sorry, present ourselves to our customers, our members as one oval, right? This one one blue oval and looking for ways continually to help weave in our program throughout the other areas of Ford.

We know some of the areas that there’s no, no question that electrification is a big part of our future. So next year, another priority will be how might we continue to amplify experiences and rewards for those early adopters of electrification and those that are using this as the means.

So I won’t give it away any secrets, but we have exciting things coming, but always looking to learn and do better, always looking to serve our customers to the best way we can. And, and just continuing to to grow as a team so we can support even more. 

Paula: Amazing. Yeah. And I think you articulated it super well. Last time we met Beth as well, that I suppose your intention is to be loyal to your dealers, to your customers, to people who drive Ford. And I think that is the way the industry is going, because that is the only way that the loyalty does come back and it does have to start with the brand. So I’m really inspired to hear that Ford has taken it so seriously and doing such a beautiful job.

So I don’t have any further questions for you today. Beth, is there anything else that you wanted to share before we wrap up? 

Beth: Boy, I just so appreciate the opportunity to be here today. I have deep love for the oval. As you can see, I wear it on my heart. I wear it close by every day. I I love that the ability to be able to bring the best of this company to our customers and serve them in the best way we can.

And so I’m really thankful for the opportunity to be here. I also, I feel like I get so many tips. While I listened to your podcasts. And I had a tip I wanted to pass along because it’s something that’s really working well for us. So if I can?

Paula: Really. Yes.

Beth: The hundreds and hundreds of 435 or so recordings you already have, there’s so much great information out there. And so what we have been doing is just pick two. So each team member picks a couple of podcasts to listen to each week, and then record a couple of nuggets of really insightful things that you learned or heard that you think that the team would be interested to know or benefit. And then in our standups at the end of the week you share out what you’ve learned.

And so, there’s, people are so generous with their information and sharing. And so that’s my, my tip to pass the line, pick a couple of podcasts a week, listen to them to be able to learn from each other. We’re on this journey together. Are you loyalists? So we’re on the journey together and people are so giving with their information, make sure folks are taking advantage of that for sure.

Paula: That is an amazing tip, Beth, and absolutely. Thank you for sharing it. You know, I think, yeah, for me, of course, you know, we love creating this content and there are so many amazing podcasts in the world, but what I think particularly podcasts do that other marketing media might not do, it’s just that authenticity of hearing a conversation.

That I think people kind of connect with and it really, they get it, you know, it’s intentional. The listening is intentional. So, absolutely extraordinary to hear that’s what your team is doing. So please make sure any tips that we’ve missed on this show that your team pass them on. I feel like we’re going to be having to stay very closely in contact with you, Beth, following your journey and your story.

So, yeah, I think I will just say on that note, Beth Leverton, it’s been absolutely extraordinary. Congratulations on the 30 years in Ford. Congratulations on the relaunch and the simplification. We will be super excited to hear how it goes. So Beth Leverton, Director of Awards Loyalty at CX at Ford Motor Company.

Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV.

Beth: Thank you. Thank you so much.

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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