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It was a loyalty revolution ...

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on March 12, 2018

Or, what happens when you get 100 customer loyalty marketers in a room together?

By Wise Marketer Staff

This past Thursday one hundred of the world’s best loyalty marketing thinkers and doers convened for a one-day, all-day event to explore and discuss the future of our craft. The day had been designed intentionally to be intensive, thought-provoking, forward-looking and ultimately, actionable.

What happened though, was much more than that.

Sarah Phelps, SVP of Rewards Management at Wells Fargo delivered the opening salvo. “The loyalty revolution is real. It’s here. It’s now. It’s never going away and it’s always, always changing – and challenging us to move ahead of it.” Phelps is at the center of Wells Fargo’s complex reward ecosystem and has a unique view to the behaviors and the trends they form over time.

Matt Garrett, EVP Strategy & Implementation at rDialogue brought compelling evidence of the oncoming collision of loyalty and CX. Indeed, that unification is well under way. Matt was the first of several presenters to shed light on the idea that the customer experience needs to be viewed holistically and from a data-proof position. “Loyalty-infused CX doesn’t come easy. Success involves customer touchpoints that are wrapped and architected in a deliberate customer journey.”

Dr. Rachel Royal, Director of Growth Intelligence & Strategy at Owens Corning asked us to look into the very near future and see how artificial intelligence (AI) will be transforming customer relationships from the ground up. “The last revolution in marketing analytics was segmentation. The fact remains: segments are still overgeneralizations. And worse, they are static.” What happens though, when machine learning can move beyond hyper-segmentation into truly personalized marketing?

Ali Aidi and Timothy Myers, both working consultants and blockchain advocates, helped us to see over the next hill at a series of technologies that are already disrupting some of the most entrenched business models in the history of commerce. Coming from very diverse backgrounds, both Aidi and Myers were completely aligned on the revolutionary effects that distributed ledgers will bring to the world of customer expectations and the technology that enables them.

Joanna Brandi, Chief Inspiration Officer at Return on Happiness, brought important clarity to what motivates – and de-motivates humans. Beyond the ideas of carrot-and-stick gamification, Brandi offered a neuro-science-based view into the psychology of loyalty and customer experience.

Echoing other presenters’ admonitions, Barry Kirk, VP Loyalty Marketing Solutions at Maritz Motivation, challenged the room to think about loyalty through an entirely new set of lenses – with an entirely new vocabulary. The customer experience can no longer be evaluated simply as a journey. Customer loyalty can no longer be evaluated simply on risk, shift and retention data.

"What’s required is a re-wiring of our mindsets to focus on the entire Loyalty Experience (LX)"

The Loyalty Rockbreaker brought 3 innovative companies before 3 seasoned customer loyalty judges to pitch and evaluate 3 revolutionary platforms that are already beginning to disrupt their respective worlds. vPromos, Bridge2 Solutions, and NanoSurvey presented bold new approaches to solving some of Loyalty’s big rock problems.

We left challenged. Entertained. Enlightened. A little frightened. A little pushed. A little pulled. Provoked. And more than a little moved.

Someone once said a little revolution is a good thing. To that idea we would only add frequency. Maybe an occasional revolution is even better. Thursday’s very much was.

A special thanks to this year's conference sponsors"


Maritz Motivation Solutions


Hinda Loyalty Group
Ellipsis & Co.


Bridge2 Solutions

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The 2019 Loyalty Academy Conference is already forming up. Join us next year in South Florida. Details to come.