#559:The Value Exchange - Mercenaries are not US

This is another week of the Wiser Loyalty series podcast, which is hosted by Aaron Dauphhinee, CMO of the Wise Marketer Group, and the CEO, Bill Hanifin. These leading loyalty marketers unveil constructs form the Loyalty Academy™ curriculum which leads to candidates achieving their Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP™) designation.

In this episode, they explore constructs for “How to Create a Winning Value Proposition” (course #106) and building upon last week’s discussion on the importance of knowing your customer – in the sense of understanding the macro cultural trends that impact customer outlook, including considerations you need to take into account even before you get to data segmentation.

This week explores the basic elements of creating a solid CVP at a top level. Noted are the “must haves” to creating an offer set that will engage customers and keep them interested over the long term in the opinion of these tenured loyalty experts.

Show notes:

1) Bill Hanifin

2) Aaron Dauphinee

3) The Loyalty Academy™

4) The Wise Marketer

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m Paula Thomas, the founder and CEO of Let’s Talk Loyalty and also Loyalty TV. If you work in loyalty marketing, you can watch our video interviews every Thursday on www. loyalty. tv. And of course you can listen to our podcasts every Tuesday, every Wednesday, and every Thursday to learn the latest ideas from loyalty experts around the world.

Today’s episode is part of The Wiser Loyalty Series, which is hosted by our partners, The Wise Marketer Group. The Wise Marketer Group is a media education and advisory services company providing resources for loyalty marketeers through the Wise Marketer digital publication and The Loyalty Academy program that offers the certified loyalty marketing professional or CLMP designation. I hope you enjoy this weekly podcast, The Wiser Loyalty Series, brought to you by Let’s Talk Loyalty and The Wise Marketer Group.

Aaron: Welcome everyone to the Wiser Loyalty Series on Let’s Talk Loyalty. We are your hosts, Aaron Dauphinee, the CMO of The Wise Marketer Group and Bill Hanifin, our CEO from the same organization.

And on this episode of the Wiser Loyalty Series, we’re going to talk to you from, about the curriculum that we have from our Loyalty Academy Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional Course the CLMP as we call it for short, and we’re going to be focusing on course number 106 again, we’re in the month of July, and we’re focusing on how to create a winning value proposition overall.

So last week, we went into discussing the importance of knowing your customer from the sense of understanding both the macro cultural trends that impact the customer’s outlook and other considerations that you need to take into account before you even get into sort of a data segmentation situation.

So, this week we’re transitioning and we’ll talk through the basics of creating a solid CVP customer value proposition for those of you who run last week that is the definition, and will focus on the must haves, quote, unquote, to create both an offer that will set and be engaging to customers and really keep them interested over the long term.

So, without ado, let’s hop in and and our title for this particular series is called Mercenaries Are Not US with capital US. And the reason we’ve done that is really a function of making it clear and aware to the brands out there that us is not the focus here. It really should be the customer.

Less about us and more about them. And so that’s when I think about we’re creating the fundamentals of building a solid customer value proposition. It really needs to start with the customer orientation or customer mindset first and less about the brand. And that seeing where the brand can layer into it from a niche perspective and creating a differentiated experience.

That’s what I think, Bill, how about you, maybe you can hop in on this.

Bill: Yeah. Yeah. Well, no, that’s exactly it. In fact, that’s a really good point to make it, it’s not about us, meaning the marketers, it’s about, you know, the collective, but the mercenary is really jumping ahead to the conclusion, so you, you’ve always heard, you’ve heard the same thing about we need to have a balanced blend of reward and recognition.

We need to balance the elements of a value proposition that’s tangible and rational, you know, the points versus all the recognition and everything. But I don’t know what it is. Marketers, loyalty marketers, we keep going back to the currency, the hard currency, that, that tangible part of the, of the value proposition.

And so, you know, we feel like mercenaries after a while. And I thought, no, it can’t be, we can’t allow this to happen. You know, I’ve said to many people, like we, I don’t think we could ever bribe customers into loving our brand, but we sure can’t do it today. Maybe if we ever thought we could get away with it in, you know, the year 2005, we sure can’t do it today.

So that’s why I was really looking ahead to what’s the conclusion of all of this is to to make sure you really make sure that you keep that focus and keep it balanced and don’t allow ourselves to ever fall into that trap of just, you know, points, points, points, miles, miles, miles and think that that’s going to win the day.

Aaron: Yeah, I love that. And that’s a, that’s a huge message. In fact, right? Like, and so it kind of takes us back to the beginning of what loyalty is all about. Right? And if the true essence of a utopia for loyalty would be that we would give all the miles out and all the points out, and they would be rewarded completely.

And the reality is, we don’t have those structures in marketplace today because of different reasons we won’t go into today, but the idea is, in fact, that, you know, if you’re giving back to your customers, all that they’ve earned in terms of the reward mechanism, then it should suffice. But because that’s not there, you need to think about the holistic experience that they’re having and all the other things that come into it.

So, so from that perspective, it goes beyond just the currency. Where should you start to build your CVP?

Bill: Yeah, sone 1 word objectives. I mean, to me, it’s always at the very top of that food chain. It says to just to make sure you really understand your objectives because I have a friend, you know, the same person from the UK, and he used to say, some of the worst loyalty programs are born in the competitors boardroom.

So, you know, it’s just the idea of, like, we need to have one we’re going to copy it, and there it is. But objectives are important and you need to think about objectives for the business. So, in the context of the business, what are you trying to achieve? Yeah. Are you you know, are you on a retention?

Are you losing customers? Are you trying to build or are you supporting the launch of some new products? So there’s some big macro kind of business objectives. But then the other thing is, well, so what exactly do we want the loyalty program to do? So you can map out really 2 levels of objectives there that are complimentary.

One, building brand, one for the loyalty program itself to get it to perform really well, and I think once you have those in hand, you should be able to move on, and I think this is something that we didn’t do as much in the past. I don’t know about you, but customer journey mapping seem to be owned by other parts of marketing, but customer journey mapping is really important, important for loyalty marketers because we need to understand.

How customers become aware of the brand when they first become engaged with their experiences, like on a website or walking in the store. All those touch points all the way through, you know, everything from what they see what they get to how they interact with technology and communications, but mapping that whole thing out and then taking your objectives matching to the journey and starting to say, okay, how can we bring value to individual points along this whole way?

So that you can start to build some momentum with your customers. And I mean, if I had to. I guess the place starts enrollment. So that’s the other place that start after you do all the objective setting and the customer journey mapping and so on. I’d probably go to that or anything.

Aaron: Yeah. And to build on that.

I think there’s a host of considerations that really fall here. Like, it’s not just about onboarding and getting them on. Like, I mean, the organizations that we know from a number of different industries tend to focus on that acquisition mindset that set and forget once you get them into the, into the system.

And that’s just. Yeah. Want to then expand and make sure that you have two packed and you can gain engagement. And what I mean by impact is that there’s a proper earn velocity that’s in place for them to actually accumulate and then to a tangible benefit and reward of some of some sorts. There’s other things that obviously you need to take into consideration as well, too.

We talked about currency strategy. You know, people like to be able to do the math if that components in there, so you want to make it simple and clean and easy for them to understand the element of give and take in terms of harsh hard dollars but there’s other things that come into this, right?

Like, your partnerships, like, what do the partners such a layer? And we talked a little bit about this last week in terms of your partner strategy really needs to align, to your loyalty value proposition, as well as the brand value proposition, those 2 are, you know, symbiotic in terms of how they should flow together.

And, but your partners need to tie through and have some logical understanding for the, the, the member to be able to say, hey, this is where I can get added to value as a part of the structures of the brands that you put around that I can engage with through this particular program. There’s other things like paid tiers or paid levels, pardon me, and tiers come into place you know, targeted bonusing and over and above baser and whatnot.

And then, but ultimately, it really probably comes down to the big payoff, which is, you know, what are the rewards that we use and how you position them? And to some degree where we talked a little bit again about last week, because we’re building off of these constructs in this particular topic around CVP, which is how do you curate and provide relevance and meet a need for the For your member in terms of what it is you’re providing back to truly be reciprocal and and showcase that the relationship is balanced to some degree.

So that’s, that’s kind of my thoughts. I don’t know. Maybe you can offer a few more to wrap up.

Bill: That’s really good. I think there is to be fair. And in the course, there’s a kind of a list of 8 or so key points, a bit of a formula that you checklist that you can make sure that if you’ve covered all these things, you’re, you’re going to pretty much have avoided some major floor missing a critical step in the process.

So, you know, if somebody takes the course, they’ll see all those, but you, you, you hit the highlights there really well. And the one thing that I would add. I just had an experience on an airline and I was, you know, everybody talks about customer experience, but what does that mean when you say I want my loyalty experience to impact my customer experience?

So it’s almost like taking this because I’m a loyalty program member. Does it really matter? To me, when I’m actually on your website or in your store, like, how does it change my experience with your brand? And so I was sitting on this airplane and I don’t know, you tell me if you think this is unfair, but I’m sitting in the airplane.

I’m in a cramped seat, and I’m sort of like, deliberating or whether I should eat this awful snack that I’ve had, because it’s the same one of what they offered on the same airline for about the last 6 months, never changes. And, and then there’s some person who’s sort of encroaching on my personal space. So I’m thinking, okay, I’m tight.

I can’t work. I don’t want to eat. Everything about this is just kind of awful. Can’t wait till I get home. And meanwhile, the flight attendant who’s tasked with pitching the co brand reward is coming down the aisle with all these folders in hand. And they’re saying, you know, 60, 000 miles. If you do the application, and I thought, this is a great example of how I don’t care.

You could give me a million points. Like right now, I don’t even want to be on an airplane and especially I’m kind of tired of your airline, but but it does make a big difference. Doesn’t it? Like, if you go on a website, they can have a great offer, but if, if the shopping carts wonky, or if maybe, or this happens on eCommerce sites all you have to do nowadays is go in and look at a product happened to me recently too, and you’ll get at least 1 or 2, if not 3 over the course of a few days, reminder, text messages saying, you know, Hey, we saw you on our site looking at this item.

Are you sure? You know, are you still interested? You know, and so they’re trying to, it’s just almost like, you know, don’t make me feel like you’re tracking every move, you know, so it’s, it’s making me feel a little reticent about your brand. And so you might even tell me it’s 20 percent off, but there’s a chance that what outweighs me wanting to get 20 percent off is just me feeling like.

Would you let me go at my own pace, please? Would you let me make a decision on my own without this constant prodding? So that’s where I feel like customer experience is a critical part of this whole value proposition discussion. And maybe we haven’t spent enough time on it.

Aaron: I love that last, I mean, I like both of those examples that you put into place, but in particular, the last one, because that really showcases the mercenaries are us mentality, right?

Like, it’s do you want to buy for me? How about you buy for me? Do you want to buy for me now? Well, the actually actuality is I was just perusing, I caught my eye, but I might not satisfy my need now or in a bit. And now, because you harassed me, potentially, you lost the opportunity where the brand is thinking, Oh, my gosh, they, they made an interest.

They, they must, therefore we absolutely want this. You need to go a little bit deeper and, and it’s those broader connections to the brand and the experience in other venues that, that need to tie through and be connected to the loyalty promise, like we talked about. So that’s, that’s really a apropos in terms of bringing today’s a topic home.

So, which is great.

Bill: That’s good.

Aaron: Cool. Yeah. Why don’t we keep it there? We’ll keep it tight this, this group of things. So as always, we, we certainly hope you enjoy these podcasts each week. We try to bring together or string together is probably a better way to bring in string perhaps together episodes in some way throughout the course of the month.

And, and, and certainly we hope that you take away a lot of knowledge and your help to be a stronger, smarter, loyalty marketer as, as you grow in terms of your career. And and your profession and work with your, the companies that you work with. As a reminder, of course the CLMP designation from The Loyalty Academy is nearing a thousand individuals across 53 countries.

We’ve got a few public workshops and some corporate stuff that’s coming up soon. So that number will soon be cracked this year. We’re really excited about that. But the point that I make on that is that it’s a really a community of professionals in the loyalty marketing space. That you can get connection with and understanding and then have help along the way and additive learning beyond just what we provide in the original curriculum.

So I want to keep that in mind, but for more information, certainly don’t hesitate to contact us or visit theloyaltyacademy.org. With that, I’ll say I do, and we look forward to having you next week.

Bill: Yep. And next week, by the way, you’re in topics going to be talking about the most valuable loyalty currency today.

So that should be fun.

Aaron: Oh, that’d be a good one. I’m looking forward to it.

Paula: This show is sponsored by Wise Marketer Group, publisher of the Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news, insights, and research. Wise Marketer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals.

For global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty, check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education for individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org.

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