Loyalty Strategy

Celebrating the Loyalty Academy’s 5th Anniversary

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The Loyalty Academy™ is giving away 5 full professional scholarships to celebrate

To honor the 5th anniversary of our loyalty education platform, we have created a series of events and promotions during the month. One of the most compelling is our plan to award 5 complementary CLMP on demand course series. There are multiple ways you can enter to win, and you can find more information here.

The idea of creating professional education for professionals in the customer-centric, loyalty marketing business had been percolating with Mike Capizzi, Dean of the Loyalty Academy, for several years. Thinking and planning turned into action as Mike continued to receive requests from his global network of colleagues, clients, and friend for training.

The hard work of creating a curriculum and building courses began and the effort was supervised by a Board of Regents who remains active today in keeping the Loyalty Academy the premier educational offering in the industry. Don’t forget that we were first in this game as well.

There’s no one better to tell the story of the Loyalty Academy than Mike Capizzi. We interviewed him recently and share his comments and insights with you here.

How did the Loyalty Academy start and who was behind it?

A formalized loyalty education program was first put together by members of the COLLOQUY Group in the late 1990’s. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in the US was the first sponsor. I had led that effort and worked with both Bill Hanifin and Mike Atkin during this time. Atkin and I later extended the loyalty workshop effort to the Executive Education program at Oxford University (UK).

Through the Oxford connection, we met Graeme Thomson, owner of Premier Group in New Zealand. Graeme was exposed to the material through the Oxford course and is now a member of the Board of Regents.

Staying in touch over the years, a group including myself, Hanifin, and Thomson acquired the Wise Marketer. This was in late 2015, at which time we started building courseware. In mid-2016, we launched the full curriculum which leads to participants earning the Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™ (CLMP) certification.

What was your vision for loyalty education?

The team always felt that loyalty marketing was a formalized marketing discipline heavily influenced by foundational principles and best practices that were not widely known or recognized.  There were no academic programs or majors in loyalty from the world’s leading universities.

Managers from other marketing disciplines — brand management, communications and advertising, market research, analytics, even sales — were thrown into positions designing and running loyalty programs without any training or foundation. The best teachers were “been there, done that” types.

The team decided to change the landscape and offer “Education by Loyalty Marketers, For Loyalty Marketers.”

How are the individual courses developed?

Courses are developed by faculty who are selected as subject matter experts in topical areas. They are responsible for building the course using research, experience, current marketplace cases, and best practices as a guide. A Board of Regents member and/or the Dean review each course for content and consistency. Faculty come from all regions of the world and are very accomplished loyalty marketing professionals; nearly all are CLMPs. The combined loyalty experience of this group is well over 150 years.

How are the individual courses delivered?

Individual courses are all offered online. Participants can engage via live faculty presentation and discussion at scheduled times or ON DEMAND via audio/video recording at a time of their choosing. Many participants just take a course or block of courses in a specific area of study. The rest goes for full certification.

How does the certification program work?

Certification can be done in a public workshop setting; a private workshop setting that is typically customized to the sponsoring company; or it can be done 100% online, ON DEMAND.

Certification online can be achieved one course at a time or a participant can buy the entire package upfront and achieve their credentials in about 2-3 weeks. We have conducted public workshops in 5 countries (Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the US) and have plans to add 2 more (Ireland, India) when the current travel restrictions are lifted.

Groups, whether public or private, offer lots of discussion, collaboration, and different points of view. Individual education is much more convenient, and self-directed.

How many Certified Loyalty Marketing Professionals (CLMP) are there at present?

The community of CLMPs has grown to 175 across 21 countries. Markets as diverse as Vietnam, Jordan, Czech Republic, UAE, Honduras, Hong Kong, and Poland are represented. There is a healthy contingent from Canada, US, and UK.  The profile of these professionals — as individuals and in aggregate — represent the most accomplished loyalty marketing people in the world.

What type of loyalty marketing professionals attend the Loyalty Academy?

The certification program has been successfully applied to both brand side and vendor side professionals. Brand people are represented by financial services, travel & hospitality, all kinds of retail, B2B, gaming, petrol, CPG, and restaurants. Vendor representatives come from loyalty houses, agencies, consultants, software firms, analytical shops, and rewards/incentives providers. 

Both individuals that are new to the profession and experienced loyalty marketers who seek CLMP credentials and on-going professional development are participants. Our “fast track” program has been specifically designed for veteran loyalty marketers who don’t need to take all 14 courses because of their experience level.

What does the current curriculum look like?

We currently have 12 required courses in the CLMP curriculum. The individual may then select any 2 electives of their choice from an offering of an additional 12 modules. To complete the certification a final examination is required. Most modules take one hour to complete.

We currently use a retail case study for the final — a real study with real data. The participant must design a program from scratch, justify the value proposition, and complete a thorough financial analysis with projected ROI. We administer the case online or in-person both individually or in groups; we have a presentation version and a multiple-choice exam version.

What is the Board of Regents?

The Board overseas all educational requirements associated with certification plus advises on new courses, new programs, pricing, faculty credentials, and overall business conduct. It is a 6-member group representing 4 countries. Members come from both business and academic backgrounds.

What are you doing to celebrate this anniversary?

We have announced a month-long celebration to coincide with our 5-year anniversary. We will be offering a fully paid scholarship to 5 individuals drawn at random from a list of registrants. This scholarship will enable the chosen individuals to complete the entire CLMP program on demand and earn their credentials with out any cost!

It is our way to say thanks to the global loyalty marketing industry for their tremendous support over the life of The Loyalty Academy.

Throughout the month, we’ll also be announcing special events, a free course offering, discounted pricing, partnerships with a variety of organizations and other promotional vehicles to support the anniversary celebration.

What’s next?

New courses and new programs are always under development. We are in the process of updating several courses at this time and you will see at least one newly updated course announced during November.

We are part of the Wise Marketer Group, known as the Global Voice of Customer Loyalty, and are building additional synergies to serve the global audience of loyalty marketing professionals more completely and at a higher level. Stay tuned… we’ve just started and we cannot wait for the next five years!

Celebrating the Loyalty Academy’s 5th Anniversary
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