Deloitte has built a multi-functional business for over 100 years, primarily focusing on consulting, tax, and audit assistance. With a global presence of over 400,000 employees, the organization has established itself as a powerhouse in name and brand recognition.
Deloitte’s loyalty practice and consulting services support brand clients in any stage of their customer loyalty efforts, whether a client is looking to launch a loyalty program for the first time, relaunch an existing program, or enhance any number of touchpoints within a customer journey.
When it comes to loyalty, Deloitte’s team has noticed some changes in the industry, with many clients concentrating on broadening the geographic scope of their loyalty programs and learning and utilizing innovative tools in order to stay ahead of the technology curve.
Mark Johnson, CEO of Loyalty360, spoke with Oliver Page and Adrian Trzaskus of Deloitte about a number of current customer loyalty industry trends. Page has 18 years of experience at Deloitte and has been a partner for the past 5 years. Both Page and Trzaskus worked for various marketing and loyalty technology departments before settling into their current roles at Deloitte. They are passionate about finding new ways to improve customer engagement and brand connection using new loyalty management technologies.
Read the full Q&A interview here: https://loyalty360.org/content-gallery/daily-news/loyalty-live-deloitte-q-a-on-the-state-of-the-industry-build-vs-buy-decision-making-and-the-futu
Good afternoon, good morning. It's Mark Johnson from Loyalty 360. Hope everyone's happy, safe and well. Welcome back to Loyalty Live. In this series, as you know, we speak with leading agencies, technology partners and consultants and customer channel and brand loyalty About the technology trends that's practiced, that impact a brand's ability to drive unique experiences, enhance engagement. Most importantly, augment customer loyalty. Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Oliver Page, and Adrian Trzaskus, AT, who are two loyalty leaders at Deloitte. As you know, deloitte provides industry leading consulting, audit, tax and advisory service to many of the world's most admired companies. Deloitte's loyalty practice supports companies throughout their loyalty journeys and today we're going to discuss the importance of selecting the right technology partner vendor for your customer loyalty program. Welcome, Oliver and AT. How are you today?Oliver Page:
Awesome, Mark. I appreciate your time. Thanks for having us on. It's good to spend a few minutes with you.Mark Johnson:
Absolutely. First off, we'd like to start these on a more personal level, so we'd love to know a little bit more about each of you, your current role with Deloitte, and maybe a little bit about your background as well. So go ahead and start with you, oliver.Oliver Page:
Sounds good. Oliver Page. I'm a partner at Deloitte. I've been at Deloitte now 18 years, which is starting to get a little scary to say. I might start defining my career at Deloitte in terms of how long I've been a partner soon. I've been co-leading our loyalty offering for the last four or five years, but grew up very much in the digital practice and the digital space at Deloitte, helping brands innovate around their digital experience for customers, for employees, and over the last number of years we saw loyalty as an accelerant for digital in a lot of cases. So my pathway into the loyalty space came primarily through customer engagement, digital activation and using loyalty as an accelerant for channel shift. That way, and then over the years, have continued to kind of build out our end to end offering from strategy all the way through to implementation and operations of loyalty platforms, and that's my focus today.Mark Johnson:
Okay, great. What about you AT?Adrian Trzaskus:
Yeah, mark, fantastic to see you. So my whole entire career has been loyalty and digital transformation and Mark proud to say that loyalty 360 has been a part of that my entire career. So thank you for everything that you do. So I grew up working with Kobe marketing and Merkel on their loyalty teams and at Deloitte. My focus is all about digital, all about loyalty technology. You know what does that mean globally, with bringing in advanced features and capabilities to help these loyalty programs. So we're so really excited to tap into that topic today.Mark Johnson:
Okay, excellent, and obviously Deloitte, a reputable company of a very established name and presence. But for those who may not be familiar, can you give us a brief overview of Deloitte and specifically the loyalty practice that you guys are leading?Oliver Page:
Sure, yeah, I'll kick us off here. So the only large multifunctional organization. We're about 400,000 people globally now in kind of four primary disciplines of consulting, advisory, tax and audit. For us that's actually a huge boon for loyalty. We actually bring a lot of our accounting and audit capabilities with our consulting capabilities together. About six, seven years ago we started to spot a major trend within the space around how programs are being revamped and modernized or new programs are being created. So we started to form and mobilize what was a fairly unofficial practice into a much more official practice. Our loyalty practice now is about 250 people globally pretty dedicated to the space, spending all of their time in the loyalty space, and it spans I mentioned this just a moment ago but from upfront strategy and definition, creating and defining programs, implementing technology and standing up those operating models to run those programs, but all the way into creating and designing what the user experiences are like, managing the financials. I mentioned that the accounting side. So what are the rules and compliance and laws that you need to abide by bringing in some of our accounting colleagues into that and just providing that end-to-end suite of services so you can be a light touch refresh all the way to run your program with the support of Deloitte.Mark Johnson:
Excellent. I think it's been a while since we've had Deloitte on Loyalty Live. We'd love to know more about what may be new with your organization, most importantly, maybe some of the things you're seeing with regard to customer loyalty. I think you touched on a little bit, but what's top of mind for Deloitte now when it comes to customer loyalty?Oliver Page:
Yeah, I think there's a couple of major trends happening. There's obviously I mentioned this concept of the refresh People are taking and modernizing some of the legacy technology that programs have been running on for years, decades. Even so airlines, hotels have really started to make pretty significant investment in that space over the last couple of years. And then, as another major trend, we've seen a significant geographic shift Companies rethinking programs that may be started in a certain geography and now they're broadening them out to be more global as their businesses have evolved and changed. And then, lastly, innovation has been top of mind, probably top of mind for all areas, but especially in the loyalty space. How do we take advantage of next-gen capabilities? Gen AI is obviously a major topic across all industries. But within loyalty, how do you start to embed that into the process? How do you create new flavors and enable that through the technology such as subscription models and integrating new experiences into their programs? So it's a gamut, but I would say those are the three major topic areas that we're advising clients on day in, day out.Mark Johnson:
Interesting. I think I had a lot of things that we see from our brand members. When you look at loyalty tech partnerships, how is that changing? We know that many brands are looking to augment add functionality or completely redo the program from a customer value proposition. What are you seeing with regard to loyalty tech partnerships, or the technology and the standard itself?Adrian Trzaskus:
Yeah, it's a great question, Mark. So I think it's more to say the precipice for everything that we're seeing that OP sort of talking about in tech or strategy is that our research shows that loyalty leaders are growing two and a half times faster than their industry peers. So loyalty is a big focus on the strategy and technology side. So I would say top of mind trends. Number one CDO's chief digital officer, cmos are looking to modernize their platforms, so SaaS is very important. A lot of brains are switching technology vendors, so they're assessing what's going to make sense for my ecosystem and my program. Number two, I would say, is this concept of intelligent decisioning. So these manual, static mass offers or experiences don't really work anymore. We want personalized experiences. When I get an email from my loyalty programs, I expect them to be talking about my history, what I've done, what I want, so kind of creating those experiences. Those next plus offers are really critical. And then this concept of CDPs are really taken over. The integration between CDPs and loyalty programs, this concept of a living loyalty profile that allows us to really drive these real time experiences. I think those are the three things top of mind for me.Mark Johnson:
Okay, when you look at the state of the industry, what are the tradeoffs that brands should consider when building versus buying their loyalty tech? A couple years back we saw a big trend in insourcing and building centers of excellence, and now a number of brands like that may not be working. So what should they consider in the build versus buy discussion?Adrian Trzaskus:
Yeah, I love that. So the trend that you're talking about, we're kind of feeling that now, because we're assessing so many homegrown programs, that kind of got stale. We feel like businesses need to stick to what they're really amazing at, and trying to build and manage and innovate on the loyalty program might not be what they're going to. So I think you have to look at the tradeoffs. Or do you have a dedicated development product QA strategy team that's going to focus on that loyalty platform and if you don't go in with an expert that's going to maintain it for you, innovate, manage it for you is more than likely the best positioning you can make, and at that day, it really comes down to innovation. The capabilities that you have today are not going to be the capabilities you're going to have tomorrow, next year, especially with everything with GNI, all of those capabilities are just completely being accelerated, as well as things like global deployments and localization. If your team isn't specialized in deploying things overseas in Europe, china, asia then you probably want to leave that to someone that doesn't specialize in it. So those are the some of the things that are top of mind.Mark Johnson:
Okay, what are some of the implications for the loyalty organization on the operating model?Oliver Page:
All of this stuff is changing and evolving. So AT was just talking about and Mark you're just talking about like there was the trend of insourcing. Now we're looking at taking some of that loyalty tech and potentially moving it off homegrown to SAS. All of that's going to impact the op model and loyalty is at the center. It touches, obviously, marketing and digital and the operations of a company, because it's where often loyalty shows up at the front line. If you're at a hotel, it's talked about at check-in. If you're at an airline, that's also at boarding. If you're at a retailer, it's as you're scanning for checkout. So it's showing up at critical points of these businesses. So that op model it needs to be encompassing, needs to be broad, it needs to take account for the fact that you're going to be integrated in matrix, to cross pretty much every function within the business and not to leave off finance, obviously on the back end. How do you manage it? How do you manage to the margin? How do you manage to make sure that you're driving profitability within the business? So we're seeing significant impacts specific to technology. Obviously, if you're going to go with a cloud-based provider versus maybe an in-source model, that's pretty dramatic shift, like you're going to go to a situation where you're working with another provider depending on their roadmap, their schedule, and you have to integrate and manage that and maintain it with your core back-end technology. So we're seeing a kind of an evolution there across. What's the linkage between design capabilities, app web dev capabilities, loyalty tech, integration capabilities and that integration. It's going to vary from company to company but those disciplines need to come together very seamlessly. And then that part of the operating model, the loyalty tech app model how does that play in with the business implications of loyalty, both from a marketing, from an operations, from a finance perspective? So there's definitely a shift there from owning all of your own tech to starting to work with partners and then being really good at integrating that into the rest of your business.Mark Johnson:
And we had a meeting a while back with some brands talking about the state of customer loyalty reporting structure, organizational buy-in. I think is that a big consideration as well, because what we see from brands who have successful loyalty programs, who do it well, who win awards, they have a very aligned organizational structure, they're bought in, they understand the metrics, how they talk about it internally, externally, is very much aligned. But some brands don't have that organizational structure that they don't have a chief customer officer, chief marketing officer, kind of holistically aligned to focus on the customer. I know this is what do you see in that regard, because I think that's a big consideration for brands too, having that alignment or is, as your focus, correct?Oliver Page:
Yeah, yeah, I think our most successful clients bridge that gap really tightly. So one of my clients that I've worked with for years they had loyalty rolled up under the marketing function, which is pretty common. You see it quite a bit. It rolls up in various spots but having that closely aligned with the customer experience, that was what made it super successful. Those two work together, collaborated together like best friends and that worked exceptionally well. What's interesting is that model evolved and loyalty actually came in and now lives under the experience team. All customer experience, employee experience and loyalty now lives in that example within one team to have a more direct control and influence. Still, marketing owns a lot of content so that they continue to be a tightly matrixed part of that relationship. But the actual experience of loyalty and the way it manifests and the way it's presented and all the rules and capabilities that's now owned with the customer experience team at that example, I think that's going to be a little bit more common. As it becomes a closer, tighter relationship with the experience, I think you're going to see more of those org shifts moving around.Mark Johnson:
Okay, excellent. When you look at expectations for customers when companies are transitioning from in-house built-to-act to third-party tech, is there some expectations that should be addressed or that may be disparate?Adrian Trzaskus:
Yeah, mark, many expectations because it's a critical move. Loyalty touches so many channels that's definitely omni, so you're going to be connected to everything. That decision is critical. I would say at Deloitte, we have a 10-pronged approach with how we assess it, but the main three things I would say is one you need a really clear understanding of the technology and what it means for you specifically. So asking those questions, multiple demos, understanding what it means for your industry, how will your partners connect into the ecosystem, getting into an implementation and having to do custom builds as our brands get into trouble? So it's this first layer of understanding the technology at a really significant level is critical. Number two, it's meeting the team that's actually going to be assigned to your project that you're going to be working with. Where are they based? How are they going to be available? How are they going to be supporting you? What are those roles? Really creating that environment for innovation and partnership is critical, where we see a lot of companies do a great job. And last is, don't be surprised by the ongoing operational model, and I think that looks at costs, resources, implications for training, ongoing management, road map how does your brand's needs impact the road map if it's a SaaS solution, so that ongoing operating model is also very critical. So, mark, those are the three that jump out.Mark Johnson:
Great, excellent. I want to wrap this up with a fun question. Can each of you share a recent fun loyalty, customer loyalty moment with us, something that kind of stands out?Oliver Page:
All right, I'll pick us off. So we've been doing this thing. We've been calling convenings, where we get a bunch of brands together so non-competitive brands, three, four and bring them together to share moments about what's happening in loyalty and in their space and one of our kind of, I guess, favorite moments. First off, that whole concept has been great. Right, you get in deep, you spend some time, you get to talk a little bit about what's happening at your program and how you're looking to evolve it in a kind of a safe setting. But what was exceptionally convenient, we planned this a quarter in advance and the day we had our session, actually two of the brands announced their partnership. So it was a pretty cool morning to wake up and get together and have these two brands who were in our session and then that afternoon announce that they're doing a partnership between them. So that was my most fun recent one.Mark Johnson:
That's awesome. And what about you? AT?Adrian Trzaskus:
Yes. So I would say last weekend I had a moment that mattered to me. It is with a hotel that we're working on and we've been working with them for several years. So my cousin just flew in from Europe. It was his first time in New York City. We went to check in. He was ecstatic. I mean I think he cried when he landed because he was just so happy to be there. We're checking in and we're talking to him. I'm like, hey, this is my cousin. It's his first time here. What do you got for us at the desk? So they looked me up. They're like my status. They're like you know what, since it's his first time, we're gonna give you the biggest suite that we have. He was so ecstatic. I was excited that that. You know. The love and energy was in the air and I think you know that was a moment that really mattered for me.Mark Johnson:
That's awesome. It's great to. Did you end up crashing in the room with him, or did you just let him have it yourself?Adrian Trzaskus:
No, no, we had like maybe like four rooms. Mark, you could have even joined us if you wanted to.Mark Johnson:
Yeah that'd have been good. Next time you invite all, I'll swing up to New York. That'd be good, very cool, it's great to hear. Well, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today. It was very insightful, I loved again. How are you looking at customer loyalty, how you're helping brands kind of make that transition, because you know it's a very pivotal time in regard to customer loyalty, especially from a transition perspective? We talked with some of the financial opportunities, but you guys do an amazing job. We have a number of brands that work with you guys and then they brave to what you do and how you help them. So thank you for everything you do for supporting industry. It's great to hear Appreciate your time, mark, and thank you everyone for listening today. Make sure you join us back for another edition of Clotula and have a wonderful day.