Episode 1  |  43:38 min  |  04.28.2021

Why is Loyalty the Key to Surviving the Death of the Cookie?

00:00
00:00
This is a podcast episode titled, Why is Loyalty the Key to Surviving the Death of the Cookie?. The summary for this episode is: <p>Loyalty isn’t a technology product you can just buy and implement. Loyalty is an experience, the heart of your strategy that gives life to the consumer’s journey.</p><p><br></p><p>And it has never been more important. Brands and retailers have been able to hyper-personalize content and advertising at scale through Facebook and Google, using a coterie of third-party data integrations. Disruption brought about by privacy is fast ending this era of fast and loose data. Now marketers need to know their customers and offer a value exchange to consumers to incentivize long-term engagement. </p><p><br></p><p>Both Google and the IAB recommend brands of all shapes and sizes prioritize building up direct-to-consumer relationships to survive this disruption. The IAB has recommended that loyalty programs be used as a way to structure the ongoing value exchange to ensure this direct customer engagement flourishes. And 79% of consumers wish brands would invest in loyalty offerings rather than run more ads to them on Facebook.</p><p><br></p><p>CMOs will be investing more into customer loyalty programs to survive this disruption and power economic recovery from the pandemic. The problem is, too often, the industry gets caught up in the marketing speak, which tech is shinier, and who has more buttons, regardless of whether you can actually use them, or if you need a team of astronauts to make it work. This ultimately leads to frustration, for you the marketer, and for the customer who is sitting at the other end of a disjointed experience.</p>
Takeaway 1 | 01:50 MIN
Google's going to phase out the cookie -- and won't be replacing it
Takeaway 2 | 01:19 MIN
79% of consumers want less Facebook ads, more brand loyalty offers
Takeaway 3 | 00:42 MIN
45% of consumers buy from email, less from paid media
Takeaway 4 | 01:08 MIN
Brands invest too little in loyalty, direct to consumer relationships
Takeaway 5 | 00:58 MIN
There's a real and true cost if you fail to implement a loyalty strategy.
Takeaway 6 | 00:35 MIN
36% more consumers want more loyalty offerings in 2021
Takeaway 7 | 00:57 MIN
How Loyalty360 is more in-touch with brands about loyalty, as well as vendors.
Takeaway 8 | 00:53 MIN
Are analyst reports pay to play? If you pay more do you rank higher?
Takeaway 9 | 01:01 MIN
Brands know what to do but once they get the technology they don't know how to use it. They get lost.
Takeaway 10 | 00:57 MIN
Analysts do a disservice to technology providers because they rank them improperly -- they're comparing apples to oranges.
Takeaway 11 | 01:31 MIN
Customer loyalty is a bigger picture approach that will require a foundation in the right type of data.
Takeaway 12 | 01:44 MIN
How do you embed loyalty into the heart of your customer engagement strategy?

...and how you can select the right partners to invest in customer loyalty programs.


In this webinar, Cheetah Digital’s CMO, Richard Jones, and Mark Johnson, Founder of Loyalty360, the world’s largest loyalty association will discuss:

  • Why investment in Customer Loyalty Programs should be top of the CMOs shopping list
  • What marketers should be looking for and asking about when investing in Loyalty
  • What reports and tools are available today for marketers to use as resources
  • What reports may be missing, and what marketers should be looking for reports to include.


Guest Thumbnail
Mark Johnson
CEO and Founder of Loyalty360Visit Loyalty360
Guest Thumbnail
Richard Jones
CMO, Cheetah Digital Visit Cheetah Digital

Richard: Welcome to today's webinar where I am pleased to be joined by Mark Johnson from Loyalty360. Welcome, Mark.

Mark: Thank you. Great to be here.

Richard: Today, we are going to be discussing why loyalty is the key to surviving the death of the cookie and how you can select the right partners to invest in customer loyalty programs. So let's provide a little bit of context to this issue. So now we all know that swipe type speak and shoot these days, there are literally a gazillion ways that marketers can actually connect directly to consumers to learn about them, and then use that data to power personalized engagement. The problem is that we are living in this new age of privacy, right? Consumers want better experiences, but they also want control over their data and things like privacy legislation is really impacting how brands can actually personalize their experiences and things like browsers and operating systems are all starting to restrict tracking. So the question is, what should we do? Now, we all know that the answer is to market to individuals and not cookies, but that's easier to say than do. Now some things are obvious, right? We know that we need to turn the unknown consumer into known and build the first party database. We need to seek data with consumer approval to drive personalization. We need to learn from all of our interactions with individuals across all channels and we know there's great business benefits if we can actually do personalization properly. But the issue that we're facing is that Google, IAB and the others have basically reinforced in the last few weeks that there is going to be no magic solution to some of the major impacts of this privacy disruption and the largest of all of course is the death of the third party cookie. Now, let me just go over what Google has actually said in the last few weeks. So this is from the Google blog. It's from David Temkin who's the director of product management, ads privacy, and trust. And this was published on March 3rd, 2021. " Today we're making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternative identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products. We realized this means other providers may offer a level of user identity for ad tracking across the web that we will not, like PII graphs based on people's email addresses. We don't believe these solutions will meet rising consumer expectations for privacy, nor will they stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions and therefore aren't a sustainable long-term investment and we wholeheartedly agree." Now, Google states it pure and simple in terms of what marketers need to be focused on to get through this period of disruption. "First-party relationships are vital," the blog goes on. " Developing strong relationships with customers has always been critical for brands to build a successful business, and this becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world. We will continue to support first-party data relationships on our ad platforms for partners in which they have direct connections with their own customers, and we'll deepen our support for solutions that build on these direct relationships between consumers and the brands and publishers they engage with." You can't have it more simple and straightforward than what Google is telling us all in a marketing and advertising ecosystem, and that is first party relationships are vital. The IAB building on the same theme in their IAB Outlook 2021 Digital Ad Ecosystem poses these questions. And this is, " Are we operating in a way that provides a clear value exchange to consumers in the long term?" Now, what do they actually mean by value to consumers? And the IAB defines this we've three main pillars of how brands may offer this value exchange to consumer to incentivize this direct relationship building. The first is free services plus, right? And people have been doing that for a long time so I'm not going to talk about that. The second is personalized discounts, right? So the example they have is things like the consumer believes that a required action e. g. sharing additional data is a fair trade for a discount on the product and service. And this is actually there's a zero party data use case that many of us in the industry have been talking about as being really important for marketers' brands, retailers to actually get through this privacy disruption. And that is us data usually in return for value exchange from consumers in return for their data, for them to tell you about their motivations, their desires, their purchase intent, and then use that data to drive better personalization. So 100% wholeheartedly agree with what the IAB is saying here. The third is actually really quite interesting for anybody in the loyalty space and that is they are telling marketers and advertisers to build contextually differentiated and improved experiences. What they're really saying is that the consumer needs to get a desirable bonus for a certain action, and they're talking about loyalty programs that provide that value exchange to the consumer in return for that action. And that's building personalized, unique and hazed experiences that have a value exchange right at the core and that's basis for loyalty. Now, what does the consumer think about this and why does this actually matter? And how are they going to react to brands and advertisers actually putting the overdose on this value exchange to deliver these personalized and enhanced experiences? Well, there are some good news. In the 2021 digital consumer index study that Econsultancy did in partnership with digital, 5, 000 people were surveyed across five different markets and they came up with some stunning data. 79% of consumers would prefer it if brands spent less time on hitting them up with Facebook advertising and instead invested more into their own loyalty programs to reward me for my business. That is a stunning stat that we all need to take careful consideration on. They also say 77% of consumers look positively on brands pulling ads from Facebook over concerns about the things like the rise of harmful content. And there's issues around 74% of people think that Facebook doesn't do enough to delete harmful content, also worried about the polarization of political opinion on Facebook and what Facebook does with their data. So there's lots of issues with some of the main proponents of this era of fast and loose data that has really powered the internet economy for over the last decade or so. So loyalty has a massive part to play in actually solving many of these issues because it is the clearest way to structure a value exchange to reward consumers for their data that they share with you, which of course is data that you can use to drive personalized messaging ads, content, et cetera, to reward from their engagement with you, to become closer as a consumer to you as a brand, and thirdly, to get rewarded for their repeat purchases. And actually talking about kind of purchases, we actually know that if you're running loyalty programs, you're actually you building up your own direct-to-consumer channels for you to be able to offer things like offers. And the data in the 2021 consumer trends index also says when customers were asked or consumers were asked, " Have you ever made a purchase from any of the following in the last 12 months?" The largest response was email. 45% of consumers said they made a purchase from an offer in an email. Compare that to only 43% that made a purchase from a post on social or 33% who made a purchase from a banner ad on a website or app. So email, that direct-to-consumer channel that you get by building up a loyalty program is the number one way that people who have made a purchase in the last 12 months. Now think about the amount of money that most brands, advertisers, and retailers spend on digital ads to drive revenue versus what they spend on their loyalty program building up those direct-to-consumer relationships. There's a massive mismatch in the amount of money that's being spent. So what we can take from this data is that marketers aren't spending the most amount of money that they should be on channels which actually build that direct relationship to consumer. Now people like Google and IAB are saying you've got to do it, which is great for anybody in the loyalty ecosystem. We also saw that when thinking about a consumer's favorite brand that is communicate with them a lot over the last six months, we saw some really interesting points. We saw that 83% said that a favorite brand provides a consistent experience regardless of where they interact with it, which is really important when you're thinking about where does loyalty sit. It needs to be right at the core of heart of your customer engagement strategy and not run as a sort of service silo off to the side. We also saw that 80% said that that brand keeps them coming back for more when communicating something new and 76% of them said that that brand rewards them for their loyalty. 74% of them said it strives to develop a relationship, and then 73% says that it uses their data in a way that makes them feel comfortable. It's the zero party data, having trust in that brand when you tell them about yourselves and they're not snooping on you, they're not buying third party data, not pervasively tracking you across the web. You don't need to do that if you actually got your consumers in a loyalty program. And then 73% said that that brand, that favorite brand treats them like an individual, not a segment, not a cohort that is typically the way that many people have been doing personalization in the past. And then lastly, 61% of people said that brand makes them feel a VIP. So really, really interesting points when we're thinking about how to embed loyalty, right at the heart of our customer engagement strategy. And it's really important that we do that because consumers are loyal by nature. 64% of consumers, almost two thirds, said that they're prepared to pay more to purchase a trusted brand. We've got work to do, but there's real opportunity here because 81% of consumers are loyal some brands, but we'll buy from a competitor if it's cheaper or more convenient. And what's more, 74% of consumers buy frequently from the same company, but are not actually loyal to that brand. And there is a real cost of failing to implement a loyalty strategy. 24% of consumers are not loyal to a given brand because the brand did nothing to encourage their loyalty even though they're a frequent shopper. So there are real opportunities here by actually taking loyalty and embedding it into the heart of your customer engagement strategy. And we know from the consumer trends index that loyalty is on the rise, certainly in terms of what consumers want to participate in. 36% of consumers say they're more likely to take part in a loyalty program than they were last year. A 9% increase in consumers were more likely to take part in a loyalty program than last year which also had a big rise. We know the consumers really want to participate in loyalty programs, but we also have to think about what is a loyalty program in 2021. And when we ask people thinking about the rewards and loyalty programs, what should brands offer to keep you coming back for more? And when you compare the results from 2020 to the same research that Econsultancy ran in 2019, what we see is actually less people be concerned about discounts on their products and services than last year, about 5% drop. And we see the same drop, actually a larger drop in points and rewards being the thing that got people to come back for more. What instead we saw was an increase in people saying things like, actually exclusive early access to products, events, and services were the reason that got them coming back for more, or suggesting products or services based on my preferences or recognition or things like contests and sweepstakes and community. So loyalty programs by nature, this doesn't have to be just this kind of points for purchase or discounts for purchases programs. What we're seeing is a growth in consumers looking at loyalty frameworks as a way to bring them closer to the brand, to participate in brand experiences. Really, really interesting points that many brands in many different verticals can start to think about now. And a little bit of a shout out to one of my favorite customers, Vans, who created a video with us for our signals conference really talking about their program and the Vans family is very much a program... It's not a program about discounts, it's a brand experiential program that really gets consumers to sort of have that VIP access to the brands. And they reach nearly 12 million members in just two years. Nearly 50% of their North American direct to consumer revenue comes from loyalty members so go check out that case story on cheetahdigital. com, Frank Newman, very, very interesting way to think about loyalty programs outside of just points for purchases. And also, on cheetahdigital. com. There is a ton of other information. If you're thinking about loyalty programs, if you perhaps already started to do a kind of basic 101 loyalty program, and you're now thinking about how can you really take it to the next level and embed it into the heart of your customer engagement strategy, lots and lots of information that you will find relevant, top tips, stuff from other brands, things that you can think about. Now let's get to what is, I think, a really exciting part of the webinar which is talking about the technology today rapport with Mark Johnson that Loyalty360 have actually just published. So Mark, before we dig in, tell us a little bit about Loyalty360.

Mark: Loyalty360 is the trade association for customer channel and brand loyalty. We have an amalgamation of about 125 brands who are members of Loyalty360 and about 40 to 45 technology providers. So we are a fulcrum between those who are looking for technology to enhance their customer loyalty efforts and those who obviously have technology that can address the challenges that brands are seeing and/ or having in this time of need. So we do research we just started our formal analyst process. We've been doing industry reports, analyst briefs for about three years. So we just launched our first industry report in the end of March and the goal there was really to help those marketers who have customer loyalty programs understand the technologies that they should use in an objective manner.

Richard: Yeah. And it's great that we're able to sponsor a copy of that report for any brand marketers that are attending this webinar. So they'll get that report after we've finished discussing the subject, but let's take a look. So obviously, you've embarked on the analyst process, you've created the technology today report, could you give us a sort of a background of why you think this report is actually needed and maybe touch on some of the shortfalls that you've seen in the way that other analysts bodies have actually been covering the loyalty space?

Mark: I think there are a couple. We are very focused on the brands that are running programs. So as I mentioned, we have about 125 brands, all different kind of industries from retail, travel and entertainment, restaurant, convenience stores, gas, B2B, and we actually meet with them weekly sometimes twice a week on different topics. And it could be the challenges of technology, we had a meeting recently what emotional loyalty may be, we talked about metrics and measurement. We also do a lot of introductions between them and other brands so they can talk to each other about what they like, what they don't like. We do interviews with different markers as well to talk to them about their customer loyalty programs. And through that process, they are pretty frank and open with us about the technologies they're using, the challenges they're having and what they would to see from a technology partner. So I think when you look at that, I think our approach is unique in that regard. Also, we also speak with organizations like yourself and other providers on a consistent basis. We're not coming in every 18 months to look at technology, we're talking to you and other organizations in this space on a monthly basis. We have content we're getting from you. We're always asking you about trends and best practices you're seeing as a partner in this industry and as I said, 40 to 45 others, maybe close to 50 now who we have a consistent pulse with and from. So that allows us a unique perspective. We don't have to go out to the market and ask every 18 months, we're getting that pulse on a continual basis. We know who your clients are, right? We don't have to come ask you, " Richard, give me three of your clients," and obviously we would like to have that as you go through different processes, but we can go out and talk to some of your clients because we know them, right? Because they're members of our association and they tell us the good, the bad and the in between. So I think that gives us a very unique perspective. And our goal, we believe that a lot of the technology providers or most of them do things very well, but the challenge is finding them with inaudible. It could be a large provider, they could have a great strategy offering, they could have an enterprise platform. And to compare them all under one umbrella, one rubric, I think it's very challenging and it gives a disservice to those who are continuing anyway and driving change within their respective organizations. Comparing a huge enterprise grade platform to someone who has great technology, who may just wants to sell it to you as a license and you go with it, I mean, that could be two different brands, how they could actually engage with those. So I think there are challenges. And when you look at some of the reports, there's a belief that the more you actually pay for the report the higher you may be ranked and that's just something we've heard. We've spoken with a number of partners who are in the report and there's some challenges. There's a lack of objectivity, I think, in some of these reports. And also when you look at them, their process by which they rank and/ or judge is very myopic, I think. It is myopic and it's almost obtuse because they really don't tell you how they judge. And I think there's an opportunity to make kind of a different approach, to form a different approach and we have a number of partners who want to do that. At the end of the day, I think it's most important, at the end of the day, I don't care who brands end up picking, but I want them to pick someone that actually helps them, that pushes their process forward, that is aligned with that organization. And that's the thing that challenge with the reports that are out there today, they're very difficult to find an objective solution for them and these markers. They're challenged as they are right now. They have different technologies, COVID, they have to perform ROIs on programs. They're looking at not only the programs, what is AI looking at? What is machine learning? How are fraud impacts? What should I be doing around zero party data or declare data? There's so many challenges right now, they have a hard time keeping up. So having reports out there that don't do the industry justice, I think it's a big challenge, it's something that we're concerned with. I'm very passionate about this industry. I'm not coming in every 18 months, but there's tons of technologies that feed into a great customer loyalty program that I don't think the reports out there actually enable brands to find the best part.

Richard: Now there's no question that as the loyalty association with such a broad membership of different brands, that you do have an unrivaled window into what's going on into the loyalty space. And I wholeheartedly agree that many of the analysts they do, it's 18 months two year cycles pop in, take a look, write your report, off to the next subject, whereas you guys live and breathe loyalty with your members. So love that you're coming to the table with more analysts at work. So give us a little bit of views, how is the technology today report structured and why did you structure it that way?

Mark: Well, so when we looked at the report, the methodology, we took a number of different touchpoints into consideration. First off, we talked to a number of different brand marketers who are members. We asked them what they like about the analyst processes that exist and they gave us some pretty candid feedback, what they like, what they didn't like. And our goal is to really be objective and make sure that this first report, which is kind of a higher level report, breaks it down into four different areas. It really kind of addressed that. And I think one of the first things we did is listen to the brands, understand the challenges they're having and understanding the technologies and processes they're looking for. So we wanted to understand the challenges that exist and we heard a number of different challenges. The customer's expectations are changing, we know that, right? But to tell a brand or yell at a brand and tell them they need to do something, they know what they need to do but they're challenged to do that. Brands also have an inexperience and a lack of internal experts to manage some of these technologies, right? So looking to organizations like yourself that not only have the technology, but could get the technology to work. And marketers tell us consistently it's all great during the sales process, but once we get that SDK, and once those APIs don't work and we really have to get an integration things start to fall down. And then we've got a three- year contract, we're on the hook to our CFO for a big investment, and it's not working. There's complexity around these technologies, the terminology, and there's a lack of clarity. And then the procurement process, as we've talked, about can be very difficult as well. One of the things that we run RFIs and RFPs, now we're doing more and more of that, or even just doing referrals if a new brand joins and they are looking for two or three or four suppliers to talk to, we help facilitate those but based on alignment, right? So I think there's a lot of challenges in that procurement process where again, not only the people run the programs, don't know the technology, but the procurement guys, it's a very check the box process and it may not allow for kind of optimal solutions either. So we looked at the challenges that brands have and we listened to them. They have challenges with current suppliers. Going back to the example, if you've got a three- year deal with a large enterprise provider, and they don't know a 500 location community stores, they're going to be challenged, right? They may not have the reports, they may not have the flexibility, they may not be able to dashboard, they may not be able to guide you to that next level, which I think is a huge challenge. So then what does the brand have to do? It has to go out and get an agency. One of the agencies out there that come in and get millions of dollars for a year to kind of help them create some advocacy in the program. I think if you truly listen to the brands, and that's what we do, they have challenges around it. And I think you have to truly understand technologies like yours and others that do a good job, but what industries are you doing? What are your clients saying about you and how do you simplify that process to make it better for them? So after listening to that I think we all also understand the challenges, but we also have data points that just are unmatched in the industry. Say we interview a large grocer and they talk to us about the customer loyalty program, they'll tell us who they're using for VOC, who their agency may be, they tell us this unfettered, right? What they like, what they don't like, all the words. But we also have an award process, right? We have industry reports or industry briefs that we've been doing for three or so we know the technology. And what's unique about our process? We want to have people side by side. So you're compared to another technology provider or compared to another agency that you can look at as consistent. When you look at some of the reports now there's inherent incongruities in them. You read one after the other, they look a marketing pitch to me between the two of them and there's no way to compare them. And that's what brands tell us, it's so hard for us to discern which one is doing. Which platform does what and what is the objectivity? So I think there's a great opportunity to do this in a way that reflects different data points, a consistent pulse and touch with the market and to help brands pick the right providers. So they don't have challenges, they don't have to move every three years, they're not frustrated.

Richard: Yeah. I mean, one of the striking differences, I think with the technology today report from Loyalty360 versus other reports from Forrester and other analysts that we've seen out in the marketplace is the sheer breadth of vendors that you're evaluating. I think we counted up 55 vendors in the Technology Today report that you've evaluated whereas all of these other reports, it may be 10, 12, 14 vendors, which is only a very small segment of the overall set of vendors across technology and services brands can actually or should be looking at to say what's best for me if I'm a SMB or enterprise retailer versus a restaurant and bar or chain or whatever it may be. So you've taken it to that level of granularity.

Mark: Right. I think if it's needed to do that. And as you mentioned earlier, there's a lot of great technologies out there. There's a lot of great up and coming and even legacy providers that are doing some great work. And I think it's a disservice to exclude some of the others that may have been in past reports because they may not have been a high enough sponsor, I'm not engaged with process. And I think there's a challenge with us who our foul report, which will be much more involved, these are members, right? But we know them differently. We know you to a level of Nth degree. We know what you're doing for restaurants, we know what you're doing for some of the fashion clients that you have because we know them and we know you. So I think that's what the market looks for, is that objectivity, and I think there's a great way to do that. Our first report we did almost 55, 56, something like that. There was a neutral, notable, and preferred. And again, the more information we have on them, the better we can objectively assess. We don't go out and say anyone's in the lower left quadrant, or someone's in the upper right quadrant. Again, I think that's a disservice to these technology providers. It's just like comparing my Raptor to the Corvette I want. They're both great cars, I don't have the Vet, right, I have a nice old Camaro, but you can't compare the cars, right? There are great driving experiences, I love driving my Camaro, I love driving the top end, I loved riding my Raptor, but they're not the same, right? And I think that's a challenge for marketers right now, they can't make those objective decisions. And there's frustration. The frustration comes from the technology writers that we hear from and then also from the brands, they want to have the best program possible, they just don't know necessarily, always how to get there.

Richard: So stepping back, you've created this report which is really looking at the full sort of ecosystem of suppliers that can be looked at in the loyalty space. As we've gone through in this webinar, we've looked at some of the statements from Google and IAB and the others, and the importance of building these direct to consumer relationships and thinking through a value exchange with the IAB recommending loyalty programs as one of the main pillars that brands can use to incentivize that long- term engagement with consumers. With all of this disruption that's going on in privacy and this push by players like Google and IAB, are we potentially entering into a golden age of customer loyalty programs?

Mark: I believe we are. I think there's always been an importance around customer loyalty. I think there's a dichotomy and you and I have talked about this a number of times between those who view it as a loyalty program, or a focus on customer loyalty. So customer loyalty is a bigger picture approach, right? So even look at your organization, right? The organization you founded way in all the surveys, your party data, that declared data, that's going to be more important than ever before. Zero party data is the way to go, third- party data, that's going the way the Dodo bird, right? Because people are getting more control over their data files. And at the end of the day, if you can get 1000 customers who you know to the Nth level, they've given you so much, and you're using that in the best manner, you have a trust with them, you engage them with the right personalized message offers and content, you are going to have advocates that are so important. And you see that, you talk about what Google says. You talk about the IAB. And even McKinsey has said recently, in three years, you're only going to be able to identify 10% of your customers online. And in Facebook right now, the walled gardens, they don't want to know their customers, right? Because it's the agency conflict that we've heard about and we know about from business schools. They want to keep you coming back, right, they're always going to push business to you, but they're never going to give you the flat file who those people were, because then that disintermediates them, right? They don't have to come back to Facebook. And I think there's a huge challenge. I think brands want to engage with their audiences in a new and unique way, but they're looking for the technologist to get there.

Richard: Yeah, no, very good, very solid points. So for anyone in any markets or any brands, any retailer that's out there, that's watching this webinar, whether they have taken steps to sort of really embed loyalty into the hearts of their customer engagement strategy or not and they're looking to evaluate what are the next steps or potentially, how can they augment their existing program and up level it given the importance of how loyalty should sit in marketers and brand strategy right now, what can Loyalty360 offer to those marketers that are really looking to sort of take the next steps in the evolution of their strategy?

Mark: One of the things that I think that we offer that's very unique is the community. So, as I mentioned, we meet weekly with different brands on different topics. Sometimes we'll have 10 brands on the call, sometimes we'll have 20. We have working groups on next generation customer, we have a working group on international loyalty, we have a working group on metrics. And what is amazing, what we've seen over going through COVID, our membership has doubled and you can have three hotels on the same call and they're pretty open, right? They know IHG may be on the call, Hilton may be on the call, Best Western maybe called, but they'll talk, right, because they know that sharing is very important because once you give there's reciprocity, you get back. And that's the powerful thing and I got goosebumps when I was just talking about it. They talk, right? They're candid. And you see somebody, you kind of sit back and not talk more. They want to know, right? McDonald's will talk to support about what they're doing, or ask air Canada a question. And I think that is very unique. We have a community and they want to do more, they want to elevate the discussion. And I think that's very powerful to hear from these brands where they can be totally candid and open up about what their challenges are, what they're doing, and they're doing it in a network of others. They like knowing that there's five, 10, 20 other people that they can reach out to about privacy and/ or whatever it may be. Some of the fraud issues. Fraud is a huge concern right now. Fraud, and being able to make sure that you still have an optimal customer experience with the customer. So I think that's very unique for us and that's what we see is continue growing by one or two members a week and they love having that community.

Richard: No, it completely makes sense. And that's why we're proud to announce that we're going to be doing another webinar with Loyalty360 in the next couple of months which we'll really focused on so how should loyalty be integrated into a brand's customer engagement strategy? And for that webinar, we're going to be focusing on the stories from the brands, the marketers themselves. What worked? What didn't? Top tips, things to look out for, et cetera. So I really interested in doing that with you guys in the next couple of months.

Mark: Absolutely. Looking forward to that as well. And I think one of the things that we try to do is listening to you listening. We would love to have feedback from others, right, about what they like, what they don't like, what they would like to see. And much like the brands who are doing it very well. It's not a top- down approach anymore, right? And I think that's one of the things that we've done a really good job over the last 18 months is listening to organizations like yourself, but also the brands. What do they want? We may not be able to execute on everything, but you can't just push out content or thought leadership or analysts processes that they don't want. And I think if you can tailor your message again, entail the content and truly listen to and understand, I think there's a great opportunity.

Richard: It's a great rapport so go check it out. Now, one of the things that I wanted to reinforce, we've mentioned quite a bit about personalization in this webinar because obviously that's one of the things that's most impacted by the death of the cookie. But actually, when we look so the 2021 consumer trends index report, we actually ask consumers about their attitudes to a lot of traditional approaches to personalization that marketers, brands, retailers have actually been doing. And actually embedding loyalty into the heart of your customer engagement strategy can actually help negate some of these common issues. 42% of consumers say that they get irrelevant content or offers from brands and retailers. 30% of consumers say they get messaging based on information about me that I hadn't shared directly with the brand. 30% of them say messages don't relate to my decision making. And 28% of them say messages didn't recognize my shopping history. And then 27% said messages don't understand my wants and needs. So these are the types of data points that well executed loyalty programs, when embedded right at the heart of your customer engagement, MarTech stack and your strategy, you will avoid. So really, really important because personalization has been falling short for quite some time. So when we talk about embedding loyalty into the heart of our customer engagement strategy, how is it that we can actually do that? Well, the first thing to say is that if you're running your loyalty program via a traditional marketing service provider and it's sitting off as a silo away from the rest of your customer engagement MarTech stack. It's going to be very, very difficult for you to realize some of the benefits that we've talked about today about surviving the death of the cookie by really embedding loyalty into the heart of your customer engagement stack. So to digital, the way we've actually got around this issue is we've actually put loyalty right into the heart of our customer engagement technology. It's not a silo, it's not an application, it's not a service that runs off to the side. And that's really important because it allows you to think about what's that value exchange that you need to offer to consumers to engage with you right across the customer life cycle. Now from a technology perspective, the best way of doing that is by making sure that you have one data model across all of your customer engagement applications. So for us, that's our engagement data platform. This is a fully fledged CDP, so you can start to bring in all the information about how individuals connecting with you across your channels, POS systems websites, emails, common storefronts, et cetera, et cetera, to really understand everything you can about that individual so that you can market to them as an individual. You also need to understand where that individual is in their journey with you. And so we have Cheetah personalization which is our journey orchestration which really lays on top of all of that data in the CDP, the engagement data platform, to understand the context of every individual on where they actually are in that journey with you so you can understand what is the right message to send at the right time on the right channel, given the context of that individual. And so embedding Cheetah messaging into the customer engagements allows us to ensure that all of those messages, all of those interactions, leveraging that data around that individual and where they are in the customer life cycle with you. We also allow you to offer a value exchange to collect data into the CDP. This is Cheetah experiences so this is everything from quizzes, sweepstakes, instant wins, surveys, you name it, that allow you to actually build that direct connection with the consumer and have them tell you about their preferences, their motivations, and desire, and offer them a value exchange in order for you to do that. That's the zero party data, and that feeds into the engagement data platform as well. And then most importantly, we have Cheetah loyalty, which is really sitting on top of all of that infrastructure where you can define what kind of rewards, what kind of points, what kind of value exchange you want to give the consumer for engaging with you over the long term. And these programs can be points for purchase type programs if you want, but they can also incorporate elements and be more experiential like we've talked about with Vans. So really trying to think about broadening out what a loyalty program can and should be. So that's how we do it at Cheetah Digital. But however you're thinking about embedding loyalty into the heart of your customer engagement, you really need to think about what is that personalized path to customer engagement right across the life cycle. So how are you going to turn the unknown consumer into a known consumer? How are you going to grow your database and build your consumer profiles? What kind of zero party data collecting experiences do you want to offer across multiple channels to actually do that, to build a database and to build those consumer profiles. And then you've got to be thinking about how you unify your data sets across the PRS, ERP, web email, et cetera, so that you can start to really understand your known customers and segment and analyze and discover opportunities to build audience segments and orchestrate data with real- time interaction management. And then for the retained customer, how do we actually treat that consumer as an individual with a consistent experience however they engage with us across different channels and at different times of the customer life cycle to deliver that content and offers off that information, knowing that unique perspective of who that individual, where they are to drive revenue, right, and to turn them into retain customers. And then how do you activate all of this data to deliver personalization at scale with messaging and journey orchestration, right? To deliver higher rates of engagement. Then lastly the focus of our customer engagement strategy has to be able to turn that unknown consumer, not just into a known consumer, but into a loyalty member and foster the advocacy and reward their loyalty. Think about, as the IAB say, what's that value exchange we're going to give the consumer to incentivize direct connections with us as a brand over the long term. And this is where loyalty programs when they've delivered right at the heart of our customer engagement strategy will really help us survive the death of the cookie. So thank you very much for watching. Thank you very much, Mark, for participating and sharing your knowledge, and we will share this, the Loyalty360 technologies today report to every brand marketer that listens to this webinar. So that brings us to the end of today's webinar. I would to thank Mark Johnson from Loyalty360 for sharing your wisdom on this call. Thank you very much, Mark.

Mark: Thank you very much for listening and it's always great to talk about the industry. It is an amazing industry to be in and as we mentioned, I think that the focus on customer loyalty is only going to continue to.

Richard: So stay tuned for announcement of the upcoming webinar that we talked about a little bit earlier in the call. We'll be sending you more information about that and thanks very much everybody for tuning in.

More Episodes

PULSE Podcast: Special Edition

Platform Vision for the Cheetah Customer Engagement Suite

Innovation in Action at Cheetah Digital, A Panel Discussion

The Customer Engagement Suite Difference with Torchy's Tacos CMO

The Power of Humor to Drive Organizational Change

Clarity in an Uncertain Future: Cookies, Privacy and other Marketing Roadblocks