#249: UAE Telecoms Giant "Etisalat" Leverages Customer Loyalty for Growth

In today’s hyper-competitive environment, telecommunications companies around the world are increasingly looking to customer loyalty mechanics to grow and succeed.

Etisalatheadquartered in the UAE is the most valuable brand across all consumer categories in the Middle East and Africa, with a market valuation of over $41b.

The Group recently rebranded to e& as part of its strategy for constant evolution and innovation, which includes a long and impressive history of developing propositions focused on driving customer loyalty.

In today’s podcast, Let’s Talk Loyalty is joined by Antonio Ricciardi, SVP Consumer Intelligence & Engagement at Etisalat by e&, who’s responsible for leading their Smiles Program, and he shares their learnings as they evolve from simple loyalty concepts to become a compelling consumer marketplace achieving even greater customer engagement and loyalty.

Show Notes:

1) Antonio Ricciardi SVP Consumer Intelligence & Engagement at e&

2) Etisalat by e&

3) e&

4) Smiles Program

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.


Cheetah Digital is the relationship marketing platform to build thriving customer relationships from acquisition through to loyalty. With one platform, deliver personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty programs that add value to every customer relationship across the entire life cycle. Head to cheetahdigital.com to reimagine your relationship marketing strategies, and learn how brands such as Starbucks and American Airlines are working with Cheetah Digital to forge long-lasting profitable relationships with their customers. 


Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty featuring another great story in the telecommunications industry, which many of you will know is very close to my heart as it’s that industry that I first began working in loyalty. The program we’re featuring today is a homegrown success story operating here in the UAE. And it’s the phone network that I am a customer of myself. Etisalat is in fact, the most valuable brand across all consumer categories in the middle east and Africa, and the company is the UAE and middle east leading telecommunications operator with a market valuation of over 41 billion us dollars. As you will hear in the discussion today, Etisalat is on a path of constant evolution and innovation. Including a corporate rebrand and a long history of developing propositions focused on driving customer loyalty. My guest is Antonio Ricciardi, Senior Vice President of Consumer Intelligence and Engagement at the company, Which is now known as E plus. And he joins me to share the story of their Smiles Program and its role in the strategy of the newly named company as it repositions itself as both a TechCo as well as a telco.


So Antonio, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty. 


Morning, Paula. 


How are you doing today, Antonio?


I’m doing okay. Thank you. How are you? 


I’m extremely well, it’s always a privilege, particularly to be, uh, having a conversation about loyalty in the UAE, uh, the country that we both live in and love. So super exciting time for me to be talking to you. Before we get into your company, um, under its two, uh, names, it’s previous name, of course, Etisalat and the wonderful new brand of E& of course we always start Let’s Talk Loyalty talking our favorite loyalty programs and you as an industry professional, I know you’ve studied this extensively. So let’s start with asking you exactly Antonio, What is your favorite loyalty program? 


Yeah, sure. I was expecting this question actually. And as a consumer, I love, uh, Amazon Prime. I find it, uh, you know, very simple to understand great benefits, reasonably priced, then never think about unsubscribing. So it does the magic to me. That’s actually a very good point. You know, I think with the particularly anything that’s done on a subscription basis, there’s always this risk of churn.


It’s the single biggest challenge, I think with the business model and with almost everything, whether it’s my gym subscription or a newspaper subscription, um, and sometimes dare, I even say it in the telecoms industry that we both there. No one loves so well. There’s always a retention challenge, but Amazon prime just doesn’t seem to have that problem.


Absolutely. Absolutely. And then I think, uh, we all, uh, have read the statistics at their end in terms of repeat customers and spend per customers, you know, prime really, you know, uh, delivers very well to them. And I think nowadays subscription model is a very power model also. Loyalty that we have a lot of prime, uh, premiums, premium models.


And, uh, for me, what really worked very well for them is they made it simple. So while they’re still adding great benefits yeah. As a customer, you don’t get tangled in too many, you know, business rules or complexity and that’s, you appreciate benefits and you keep, uh, yeah. Riding on those. Absolutely. Yeah.


And you’re absolutely right. I mean, purely on the delivery proposition, my prime subscription price more than pays for itself. So I never think twice when I need, you know, even one item, I will instantly order it. It will be delivered. And I feel very reassured that obviously it’s covered under my prime subscription.


And then as you said, they keep adding extra benefits. There’s the whole, you know, Amazon prime content channel. So that’s actually one I need to spend more time with. So. Yeah, a great example and absolutely a global, uh, brand that I suppose we can all celebrate and learn from. And who knows in the future, maybe we’ll be talking more about, uh, paid loyalty programs.


I think it is absolutely one that we both admire. So let’s get into, um, the work that you are doing. Um, as you know, our audience is global Antonio, so they may not be familiar with either, uh, the previous brand of ETLA or the rebranded business of E. And so can we start with you just telling us a bit about the company that you work for?


Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, here in the UE and, uh, in the middle east and Africa, it’s a lot is known as a brand and it’s always been a synonymous of telecommunication and connectivity when, um, 20 19 20 20 came with all the complications that we are all aware of. The top management, uh, went on, um, uh, project or a journey of transformation just to make the company more resilient.


Uh, better performing and while doing so we realized that we actually had the capabilities and ambition, which were much bigger than that. And, uh, our new brand, which is eend. Symbolizes exactly that, you know, we have the transition from being a traditional telecom, uh, organization yeah. Into a, a, a technology and investment group mm-hmm  and, um, which is primarily focusing and delivering, uh, seamless and, uh, digitally first experiences to our consumers.


So that’s what, uh, uh, the direction we are. We are, we are, uh, uh, aiming for. And that’s, uh, and I think the new brand, the symbolizes that very well because it’s, uh, it keeps it open and it actually explains very well, or just very well that there is something beyond what we have been traditioning on for, in the region we operate, uh, Absolutely.


Yeah. It’s a big promise Antonio. And certainly I would say probably the reason that I live in the UAE is exactly one of the words you mentioned, which is ambition. So for me, absolutely, the UAE has extraordinary ambition and, uh, pride and belief in itself as a country. So I can feel that coming through in this rebrand for eand.


So, you know, definitely wanna start by wishing you every success. With that, uh, project. I know what it’s like. Yeah. It’s, it’s a big one, actually big decision and does come from a place of wanting to do more. So, uh, very exciting times. So from a loyalty perspective, then Antonio, I know you’ve been with the business now.


I think it’s, uh, is it almost 10 years? You’ve been there. Yeah. Almost 10 years. Yes. Okay. So maybe tell us about your, your journey with them, you know, driving customer loyalty under its various gues, because I know it’s evolved a lot, um, most, uh, popularly, I guess, with the, the current smiles program. So we’ll definitely be excited to hear all about smiles, but maybe would you take us on the journey of, um, the evolution of loyalty within the business?


Yeah, absolutely. I mean, what, um, I’m mostly busy with and passionate about lot is, uh, analytics in general and, uh, analytics that can be leveraged to drive engagement, which, you know, at the end brings, uh, all sort of, uh, positive impact on the business. And, um, within that engagement, uh, sphere. We had a number of, uh, practices and framework already in place.


And one of them, you know, was, um, a loyalty program, which I think was introduced back in 2007, when competition was introduced here in the, our own market, in the UE, which was called, uh, more, the more program, it was a program primarily focusing on, uh, On, uh, uh, let’s say the world garden kind of, uh, benefits.


So primarily, you know, evolving around the telecom telecom benefits. Mm-hmm  because of the size of, um, uh, the company here in the U was extremely popular for a lot of people, you know, were we had, you know, I enrollment mm-hmm  and, um, and that, you know, served the purpose well for, for, for a good number of years, however, Few years after maybe more around 2014 or 2015.


Obviously there was a lot of evolution in the, in the, in the royalty space and our consumers were also coming up with, um, bringing up some pain points in the experience. So for example, they were lighting, uh, lack of some gratification. They wanted to be, um, exposed to a larger number of rewards. So what we did at the point in time, we.


We, we, we, we, we changed our name in 20 rewards mm-hmm  and, um, we made it much more digital. So we, and so we, we unlocked this and gratification and we open up, uh, avenues for earning and redeeming primarily redeeming at the time across, uh, a number of non telecom related, uh, category merchant. Nice. And, uh, so that’s been, let’s say the, the history pre miles miles was launch in 2017.


So, um, if you wish I, I can. Thank you beyond seven 17, unless you have, uh, other questions on what was the, the era please smiles. Not at all. Smiles is absolutely the key topic now for today. Um, I do love the fact that, you know, it was launched what I’m hearing as. Essentially, I suppose, a unique selling point, as you said, competition was launched in the UAE.


So very much, um, etat or, or E and was, was the first the innovator. I think it was, uh, four decades ago that that business was launched the. But it was actually only quite recently then that, um, another telecoms company was launched as well. So am I right in understanding then Antonio, that there was a need then I guess, to focus from a differentiation perspective, more in, I suppose, giving extra reasons to be with, with etat, I guess, um, as distinct from the, from the new ENT.


Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. I mean, at the beginning there was more like, uh, uh, it, it was, you know, on the back of the competition, we opened up here in the UE more recently, if we look at the last five years, I think the, the process was more looking at, uh, how we can diversify  become more relevant in moments of consumer lifestyle.


  1. So we know that, um, As a telecom organization, typically we tap into customer moments in different times of the day, but when it comes to customer ownership or owning the consumer, um, there is an extra layer needs to be added. Normally that comes by developing a certain platform, whether those platforms are already platform or messaging platform or, uh, marketplace platforms.


Yeah. You need to have those on top of your, let’s say your, uh, your traditional. Kind of proposition and that I think was what, uh, brought us to make that, uh, initial step in 2017 when, um, introduced miles as a, as a, as a standalone digital, uh, asset. For a, for, uh, for consumers to enjoy the real benefit, as well as enjoying a wealth of benefits under the marketplace front.


Mm. And that was, uh, what, uh, what worked well on that particular, uh, uh, step is that we, it allow us to take away this concept of, uh, long marathon that sometimes, you know, members of the loyalty programs have to. Yeah. Or they can get, they can get to something, right? Sure, sure. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And yes, absolutely.


I know from my own background in telecommunications, Antonio, there is this, um, expectation, as you mentioned already about instant gratification, there is very little patience for the long marathon. So I think you’re absolutely right. So, so will you explain for our listeners then Antonio? The smiles proposition as it is currently.


Now, here we are in the middle of 2022. Um, you’ve had a wonderful journey and there’s definitely a couple of key highlights that I will want to understand in terms of getting to where we are now, but just exactly, you know, if I was literally to sign up today for the first time what’s available through the smiles program.


Yeah. So that is been an interesting journey, as you said. And, um, in fact, I believe, you know, there’s been a lot of evolution within the platform. What we consider ourselves now is we are more like a marketplace rather than loyalty program. We’re still very fond of the, our currency. And we still make sure that our currencies, uh, is, can be used on any inventory item that we have on the platform.


Mm-hmm  but we are in marketplace. We are primarily into the everyday kind of needs of consumers. Mm-hmm  so initially we launched focus more on, um, on, uh, focusing more on, on the go needs of customers. So you might be going out and you’ll be looking for. Some deals or rewards when you are, for example, dining out or when you’re shopping out.


However, more recently revolution has, uh, has taken us through focusing more on the hundred percent online marketplace. Back in the beginning of last year, we had, uh, our first category launch in that space, which was our food delivery. And, uh, this year we acquire one online grocery platform, which, uh, we’re now working very closely with.


And, uh, you know, and there’ll be more in the future as well. Mm. And I’m right in understanding then I think Antonio, that El grosser is the name of this. Uh, again, a wonderful UAE success story. You know, food delivery, as you said, grocery food delivery. So there’s an earn and burn proposition there is there, or is it purely an earn proposition for, for earning smiles points for, for shopping through El grocer, there is earn and burn and it was launched just a couple of months, uh, months ago.


So just for the, for the listens. Yeah. Um, um, you know, a transaction happened at the beginning of this this year. Yeah. The first hundred days you can say were primarily. Focusing on, uh, developing a lot of, uh, synergies on the tactical front. Sure. However, now we made our very first step into a more deep, uh, integration, which came as you said, by exposing the currency into the growth platform.


Mm-hmm  and it comes to both earning as well as redeeming. Mm. And, uh, you know, very soon, you know, in Q3 and Q4, you’ll see, you know, more steps into this, uh, yeah. Into a deeper integration between the two, the two platforms. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s a clever move Antonio, because as you said, you know, moving from being a telecoms service provider, which we all know is absolutely essential to our everyday life, but I don’t think we give it much head space.


You know, it’s, it’s a small part of our, you know, of our mind in terms of how we live our. But obviously our groceries and how we live our life, you know, week to week, day to day, I think there’s an opportunity to be much more present there. So building a, a powerful, I would say lifestyle proposition and would love to know, I suppose, just in terms of, you know, how many members, uh, can you say you’ve got using smiles program?


Uh, you know, as we stand in 2022. Yeah, sure. So we have, uh, uh, more than, uh, 3 million members who are ING to the.  and, uh, what has happened, Paula in the, you know, when this evolution that has happened over the, over the years is that, um, we, you know, couple matters that we focus very closely is, uh, aside from the number of monthly active users, which is obviously very important.


Yeah. We also look at, um, the time that, uh, customers were coming on the app spend on the app. Okay. And, um, As the, the marketplace has been expanding and just being focusing more and more on the everyday kind need for, for consumers that metric has, you know, very nicely improved. And that gives us an opportunity as we have, uh, a multi-category marketplace, obviously, to do a lot of cross pollination across, uh, different categories.


I mean, that’s, uh, I believe team for us, but we have a lot of, uh, super powerful insights. We have customer spending time. So that’s definitely something that, um, can be achieved. Yes, definitely. And I’ve seen that you’ve, you know, certainly introduced a couple of the, um, more innovative, uh, loyalty tactics.


Um, two of them that I, I always of course love to explore are personalization, which I think you launched your recomme. Engine in 2019. And also, I know gamification has been a core part of the platform for a long time. So I’d love if you would share any insights around, you know, the, obviously there is, you know, a certain amount of complexity in, uh, developing such sophisticated loyalty, mechanics and tools.


So can you share anything about the journey or the impact of those particular tactic? True. True. Yeah. I mean, definitely the past two personalization is never ending and there is always more and more that can be done. Yeah. And we have a section on the, on the, our app, which is called deals for you. And this, when we launch it, it was, uh, a business rule driven.


So there was no much intelligence behind it. Okay. And, uh, in 2019, as you said, we power that particular, uh, You know, real estate on the app with, um, with some intelligence they’re even by certain models. And we saw that, uh, they click through and the purchases increased massively. I think the purchases, if not mistaken, increased the five X or even more wow.


In, uh, the, the moment it became, uh, it became personalized. Gamification is also very powerful because, uh, we all know that, uh, apps are also. At times used for, uh, a bit of killing the time. So we it’s also sometimes, uh, what worked well for us is that rather than let’s say pushing directly consumers toward the transaction, sometimes it’s good to give them an easier or software slide into the app.


Maybe adding some element of giving communi. Um, so this definitely, as we all know, as being marketers, these are two elements will work very well, which together with, uh, being contextually relevant, which is also something that we are doing. At the moment and we wanna do better and better and better, which is, you know, trying to be specific, looking at the location of the customer and providing things which are relevant, uh, to where, to him at the particular moment in time at the particular venue generate, uh, recurring usage, more time spent on the app.


And that’s all positive for the, for the ecosystem. Yeah, I’m interested in your location relevant piece because I know again, you’ve got the data and, uh, absolutely wonderful to be able to offer something that is completely relevant in the moment. Is there any example of, of how you’re doing that, that you can share with us?


Yeah. Yeah. So one of the challenges we had is that obviously we, at the moment we have, uh, 4,000 plus partners into the, into the ecosystem. OK. We always have a, you know, this number. Earlier was less, but still quite there were our approach at the beginning was more. Trying to develop some visibility at the counter of those merchants.


Right. Okay. So we were engaged in a number of conversation with the merchants to build that visibility. We’re still doing that. However, that one, you know, brings in, uh, some good challenges sometime, you know, the merchants are not open to show any other brands into, to the properties or there are like, uh, yeah, there’s a bit of a clutter.


Yeah. So we thought that, you know, being in, uh, in 2020 and, you know, with digital, we can leverage on intelligence and make things in a bit different way. So we started, you know, unlocking, uh, a lot of, uh, uh, messages. Which are geo based. So whether it’s, uh, uh, these are notification, which are, uh, based on a certain location or, or even we experimented on the, on beacons, we built an network on beacons.


Okay. Certain, certain venues to be more specific. And we thought that that, uh, obviously drove, uh, uh, quite a lot of interest, uh, to customer because at the moment, for example, you were walking into a specific mall, you were walking into a specific. You get, um, let’s say, uh, poke by, by something which is relevant to yeah.


Which might be relevant because you are that particular venue. And obviously in of opening up notification, the results were than just relying on standard basic, uh, um, UN segmented or UN personalized notifications. For sure. And can I ask, did you get any feedback or have you researched with your customers or, or the members Antonio?


Because I, I always think it’s such a fine line that we all want the benefits of personalization and yet people also talk about privacy. So it’s a very fine balancing act to provide the benefits and also make the customer feel comfortable. Um, so yeah, just any experiences that you have in terms of how do the, the members themselves feel about it?


Yeah, you’re right. I mean, when we, when we go, let’s say there is this term, I don’t know if it’s a familiar weight of carpet bombing that know you go and this mass market kinda approach. Yeah. Maybe, maybe gives you some results in the short term, but then you see the number of customers, something out, you know, shoots up quite massively.


So there is definitely, and, um, there are a lot of, um, insights and researches showing that, uh, for, uh, a large, you know, for good number of, uh, segments of customers, they value a recommendation. More, they value a provider is able to provide the recommendation, which is contextual and more than a provider who was just giving discount.


So, okay. For us, this is absolutely essential. So that’s, that’s the learning and. Our, uh, our, so the feedback for the customer has always. We are willing to listen, as long as you give us something which is relevant. And, uh, for us, it’s very important because it’s, um, it’s a rich proposition. We have so many categories yeah.


Span from entertainment to travel, to dining home and, and more and more. And. One of the challenges that we are having is that awareness of what we do is, uh, can be improved. And, um, what is the right time of doing? So when is the right time of, uh, what is the right venue to let, uh, you, as a user know about something that we do on top of what you already know us doing for you?


It’s very vital. Yeah. And I’m, I’m, I’m really pleased to hear that feedback in terms of that the consumer understands that there is a value exchange that it’s not simply, you know, that, uh, that EDIS salat or E and of course, um, is wanting to, as you said, carpet bomb them. Um, and certainly when I was in the telecoms loyalty industry, Antonio.


There wasn’t that level of savviness. I would say that people were very clear that the, you know, that the data was being used of benefit. I don’t think we had the technology to make it, you know, really be felt by the consumer at the moment in time. So the fact that your consumers are able to say, there’s absolutely no problem.


They understand exactly what’s in it for them. And what’s in it for you. I think that that’s wonderful to hear. Yeah, it’s a, it’s, it’s a long journey. And I think it’s a, uh, for us, we have a principle within the smartest drive of getting 1% better every day. And that applies for sure to the person on personalization side.


Yeah. Um, however, you know, the concept of next best action is very well known in other industries. So it’s um, so it’s very well also the marketplace is like, Yeah. And I remember you used that term last time, Antonio. I love it. This smiles tribe. So tell us a bit about your smiles tribe. Yeah, no with pleasure, actually.


I’m, uh, here on, on there. So this is like, uh, it’s a group of, uh, very diverse people working, uh, across different organizations. So it’s not only yet. There are also other organization working across geographies here in the UE and abroad, very diverse, however, very much, uh, similar when it comes to certain aspect of the DNA.


And there is a very strong sense of belonging. Ownership is, uh, to the very high level. Mm-hmm  we like to see that we have, uh, leaders with no title within the tribe, which means that, uh, no matter what your background is, you’re very much welcome to come up with recommendations or ideas on strategic side commercial.


Yeah. And, um, so there is this, uh, this good gel and we have those principles that we also share. Mm-hmm  I spoke about getting one person better, every. We also, uh, love to make data king and queen . And, uh, the mission is to become insanely good with customers and, uh, everything that we do, we do it by dreaming big and starting small, not just experiment and see where we really okay.


Need to put more investment into. Yes. Yeah. And I will definitely compliment your colleagues in terms of being insanely good. Um, I am an etat customer and I have a wonderful, uh, store nearby where I go anytime I have a question and actually it’s just extraordinary, you know, I just know in 10 minutes, everything will be sorted and I’ll be out the other side.


So definitely want to acknowledge you for that as well. Thank you, Paula. And the credit, the, our retail team. Good. For sure for sure. And the other piece that I think does come through as well, Antonio across the whole business is, um, what seems to be this philosophy of innovation. And I know last time we talked together, you mentioned something about a blockchain powered exchange, um, to empower customers.


So would love to learn a little bit about that. Is it still at the pilot stage or what are you doing with blockchain? Yeah, sure, sure. We it’s not in the pales stage anymore now. It’s um, it’s well launched. So we had, uh, a few insights that, uh, brought us, uh, to that, uh, to that development. And on the consumer side, we, we understood that, um, there is a proliferation alert program that consumer are exposed to what our intelligence tells us is that, uh, between eight to 10, uh, membership are in, uh, with every consumer review, which is also over than.


Some of the developed market in the, in the west. Yep. Even if it’s lower, it’s still, we can all, uh, agree that it’s, um, it brings in a lot of inconvenience for consumers to manage all those, uh, all those memberships. Yeah. But that was one of the insights. The other insight that we had is that, um, While you might be appreciating the currency for a certain loyalty program.


Not necessarily you value it the same way throughout the year throughout, you know, all your, uh, there are moments where you value a program more than others. Sure. And then also, as we spoke earlier, we know the consumer love instant. Uh, they want to see the immediate result on whatever action they’re taking.


Yeah. And finally, They hate when their points expire  so those, those, those were some of their insights on the, on the consumer front. And when it comes more to the, to the business side, to the loyalty manager side, we also know that typically loyalty manager like to have simple integrations, they like to have large range of, uh, uh, partner network and also.


Uh, real time, uh, monitoring as well as seamless kind of settlement. Right. Rather than to those, uh, reconciliation, which take take a lot of time. So then our, uh, uh, technology teams within the tribe, they came up with idea of building this reward exchange, uh, Powered by blockchain by doing so we, we, we managed to, to, to let’s say address some of those pain points because the, this platform basically allows you to instantly transfer from program a to program B.


Okay. And, uh, it allows you to have, uh, a sort of a loyalty wallet where you can track all your loyalty. Uh, wallets in one in one shop mm-hmm  people also refer to as internet of loyalty. And from, from the business side allows you for, uh, for, uh, let’s say settlement, which no require any, any reconciliation.


So there is a lot of, um, saving on the overhead side. Yeah. And, uh, we launched it in 2019. Okay. That was our, uh, our, our initial step. And. I’m happy to say that we have been joined by some, uh, tier one, uh, organizations operating here in the, in the UE mm-hmm  just to mention a few, we have, uh, gems, which is, uh, the largest schooling network here in the UE.


Yeah. With the, their gems rewards program, we have Aden rewards a is the largest. I dunno if the largest, uh, Fuel distribution company in the UE. Yep. We have, uh, sugar, which belongs to the landmark group, which is a large, uh, regional, uh, shopping conglomerate. Mm-hmm  we have Islamic bank, which is a large, uh, Financial institution here in the UE and there’ll be more to come.


Wow. Wow. Well, I always love when there’s more to come. Uh, Antonio, so, um, literally my next and probably final question was, you know, what does the future hold for? Smiles? What I’m hearing is a lot of growth, a lot of ambition, a lot of innovation, but is there anything else that you can tell us is coming up or what, what, what can we expect?


Definitely. We wanna make our marketplace stronger and better and give more reasons more revenues for our customers to use their points, whether it’s earning points or redeem points on the platform. So we spoke earlier about that is definitely an exciting agenda when it comes to that particular space.


Mm-hmm , aside from that, there are like, Two or three themes that we are, um, heavily studying. And we want to prove one, one, we already about personalization. That’s, uh, it’s a very, it’s an imperative, obviously these days to, to be relevant to consumers. Yeah. Conversation also something that we are excited to study and wanna see how we can bring the communication with the customers to be more like a two ways kind of communication rather than lovely.


Only. Yeah. Only one way. Yeah. Yes. And there are also other models Paula, that we are, uh, we are studying. I mean, the, um, for example, on the group buying side is something which has worked very well in certain, uh, you know, other geographies, not sure whether it’ll be relevant here in the UA or not, but it’s something that we are studying.


We, we, we find it interesting as a model mm-hmm , uh, we, our story has been very much a story of transformation over the last five years. Yeah. And, uh, I think it’ll continue being like that also for the, the. Yeah. Yeah. And I do love that you look globally as well. Antonio, I know you are very aware of the oh two priority program that I, uh, led in the Irish market for many years.


So certainly I think that appetite to be the best in the world and to understand the opportunities is, um, is, is really wonderful to hear. So, so that’s definitely all of my questions, um, with all of those exciting idea. I think the communication one is one obviously very close to my heart as somebody who, you know, spends my life communicating about loyalty.


So I will definitely hope that you’ll come back and join us again, um, in the future maybe in 12 months or something to give us an update on what Smiles is doing. Uh, but is there anything else that you wanted to mention from your side Antonio before we finish up? 


Absolutely not just, uh, thanking you for, uh, for the opportunity in, uh, you know, I’m an avid listen of your podcast and it’s always, you know, refreshing and there are a lot of insight and it’s, uh, it was, um, and a pleasure to, to be part of it.


Wonderful. Well on that note, Antonio Ricciardi, Senior Vice President of Consumer Intelligence and Engagement at Etisalat. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.


Thank you. 


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