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We discussed consumer loyalty with Roberto Muñoz, Head of Travel at Puntos Colombia. In this insightful interview, Muñoz shares ideas and learnings about loyalty programs.

 

By guest contributor Alejandra Velazquez

 

Consumer Loyalty: Can’t Buy Me Love

Customer Loyalty Reward Programs have become a necessity in this fast-paced world of marketing. Thanks to e-commerce, consumers have a thousand different choices at arm’s length, each claiming to be better than any. But the only way for consumers to marry your brand is by offering them something greater. Something beyond just added value, more significant than the menial transaction of purchasing a product. A prize for choosing well.

Roberto Muñoz knows how to keep consumers engaged and coming back. He is the former strategist for Club Premier, Aeromexico’s loyalty program. It was so successful it became a company of its own. Today he’s the Head of Travel and Banks for Puntos Colombia, an ambitious nationwide implementation whose motto is granting you points “for living.” It’s an alliance of dozens of restaurants, banks, gas stations, clothing and apparel stores, and lifestyle companies.

PC effectively lets users accumulate benefits by purchasing virtually anything with either an affiliated card, or any card at the right place. Joining takes a simple online registration, and the points are redeemable as cash. Simply put, it’s a powerhouse venture, with the power to engage and captivate an entire country. “Getting benefits and rewards for everyday activities is the single most important thing to unify frequent customers with newcomers and infrequent users,” says Muñoz.  In this article, he shares a few of his insights and experience with Portada.

Getting benefits and rewards for everyday activities is the single most important thing to unify frequent consumers with newcomers and infrequent users.

From Frequent Flyers to Frequent Buyers: How to Make Consumer Loyalty Programs More Inclusive 

One of the barriers of loyalty programs is that people often consider them to be an elite benefit for privileged customers. They come off as unattainable. Consumers feel like they’ll need to travel once a week in exchange for a free local flight. The benefits seem like they might be a long way down the road, and not worth working for. So Roberto Muñoz had to figure out a way of making all consumers know not only seasoned millionaires get rewards. “Loyalty programs such as Club Premier used to be focused on elite 40-50 y.o. consumers with spending power,” says Muñoz. “The type design was a fancy-looking cursive and everything was designed to look exclusive. However, the younger audiences never felt a connection with the brand. They felt like the program was not meant for them. We had to develop a rebranding without losing the elite feeling but inclusive for lower-profile, younger audiences.”

customer loyalty expertFor Club Premier, the key was rewarding not only frequent flyers, but also frequent buyers. Muñoz explains: “We thought, how do we incorporate a travel rewards program into people’s daily lives? By offering them a very accessible credit card without minimum balance or positive credit history requirements. Users get points every time they purchase anything with it. With that execution, we went over 300% card affiliations and incorporated many new clients into the airline.” But it’s not just about the card, it’s also about the places willing to offer something in return. Just like Puntos Colombia and its partnerships, it’s important to find the right allies for your program. For example, bookstore Gandhi is one of Club Premier’s greatest allies, offering premier points just by purchasing books.

Latam: The Market of Immediate Rewards 

Puntos Colombia offers points you can use as cash, just like BBVA does with its credit cards. Many users redeem their benefits just as soon as they’ve gathered enough to purchase anything. But why won’t people wait until they have enough points for something much bigger? The answer lies in the cultural differences between the U.S. and Latin American markets. Muñoz explains: “We’ve done much research on the subject of savings culture. The U.S. market is really mature in terms of loyalty. Customers are very aware that the goal is traveling for free by accumulating miles. They see the big picture and understand the value of saving. However, the Latam market doesn’t share the same mindset. They want to know what prize or reward they’ll be getting, and they want it immediately, by tomorrow.”

The U.S. market is really mature in terms of loyalty. […] However, the Latam market doesn’t share the same mindset. They want to know what reward they’ll be getting, and they want it immediately.

According to Roberto Muñoz, when people get as little as 200 points, they immediately try to use them on a quick run to the convenience store. Once again, this responds to the fact that the Colombian market is—or was—used to seeing consumer loyalty benefits as something unattainable. They’re not used to the rush of receiving incentives. So, they become eager to spend whatever they get, whenever they get it. “In Puntos Colombia, I learned the Colombian market doesn’t even know banks and retail stores also have loyalty programs, they think it’s just for airlines,” says Muñoz. Only time and effective implementation can contribute to getting consumers more used to the exchange of benefits.

Experiences: The Future of Consumer Loyalty Rewards

Not everything is about points for cash or free flights. On the other side of the Latam coin, mature markets have become jaded. High-profile consumers with spending power have little or nothing to gain from a the occasional freebie. So, what do you offer someone who has everything? Many consumers have been earning and accumulating rewards for decades. Is there room for innovation? Muñoz comments: “We discovered many clients had a common issue: they had too many points and didn’t know what to do with them anymore. It’s like “I travel so much, I couldn’t travel any more”. So we started offering them something they didn’t have: exciting new experiences.” According to Roberto Muñoz, offering experiences as rewards is a very underdeveloped area of consumer loyalty programs. The field is ripe for exploration.

Muñoz developed some of the first experiences for Club Premier some years ago. “We planned an exclusive trip to Vegas in a private jet for clients. There was an Elvis impersonator and karaoke on board. They had a limo waiting for them at the airport with Moët and other drinks. There was a special welcome dinner at the hotel. High-profile customers look for differentiating experiences, and this really added value for them and the program.”

We started offering them something they didn’t have: exciting new experiences.

But are experiences limited to high-end consumers, or can regular users also participate for fewer points? Is there a way to include and rank users at the same time? Now there is. “At the beginning, they were focused on a very, very exclusive target,” comments Muñoz. “Now they’re more massive. I classify experiences into micro and macro. Users can exchange fewer points for a day at the spa, or dinner planned especially for them by a chef.”

 

Roberto Muñoz’s Best and Not-so-Great Loyalty Strategies 

Like in anyone’s career, not everything has been smooth sailing for Roberto Muñoz. Here are a couple examples of his most and least successful strategies. It’s always good to remember the greatest learnings come from seemingly terrible mistakes. In Roberto’s words:

Our most successful strategy has been letting users complete their points with actual money. It’s one of the best new options on the market. That way, customers don’t have to wait until they accumulate all necessary points for the reward, they can just pay the difference in cash. Maybe you only have half the points and you can pay to complete the other half and collect the reward.”

And the least successful?

Our least successful strategy has been trying to push the wrong routes onto the wrong target. We released “fly to Europa” campaigns because it was aspirational and exciting. But many customers that didn’t fit the profile to go to Europe also received the ads and the effect was very negative. We had comments like, “how can you people offer me a trip to Europa if you gave me a credit card with a 5,000 pesos limit?”. It was one of our worst moments. We learned so much about segmentation strategies and cross-marketing with the bank. They should’ve let us know whose profile wasn’t right for the offer. This was about two years ago.”

Roberto Munoz, Head of Travel at Puntos Colombia, will be one of the dozens of brand marketing innovators present at Portada Miami on June 4, 2020. If you are interested in participating in Portada Miami and/or in Portada’s networking and knowledge-sharing platform with brand marketers please contact us here.

GDQ was January’s most-watched e-sports tournament. A look at the streaming figures also reveals that longer airtime does not always mean fans will spend more hours watching. We are introducing this monthly esports data column to provide a quick update of the most important esports consumption behavior, particularly as is relates to streaming. 

For prior esports updates, click here.

Ranking: Last Month’s Most Popular Esports Tournaments

esports airtime
Foto via @gamesdonequick

In January, Orlando was home to the global Awesome Games Done Quick (GDQ) 2020 tournament, a semiannual video game speed run charity marathon held in the United States. Held since 2010, this year’s tournament raised US $3.16 million, according to data provided by StreamHatchet. This represents a new  donation record for a GDQ event.

But GDQ is not only popular for raising big amounts of money, it also was January’s most-watched e-sports tournament. The event reached 38.4 million views through streaming platforms. This is more than double the views Method – Race to World First: Ny’alotha Event reached, which came in second place in this month’s ranking in terms of views. The next GDQ tournament will be played at the end of June, in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Also relevant in this month’s data is the fact that time played does not necessarily translate into hours watched. Method – Race to World First: Ny’alotha Event was the longest tournament, by far, with 5,498 minutes. GDQ went on for only 989 minutes. Race to World First: Ny’alotha Event reached 12.375 thousand hours watched, while GDQ almost doubled it with 22.095 thousand hours watched.

DateTournamentPrize PoolHours Watched*Peak CCV**AVG CCV***ViewsAirtime
Jan 4th 20
Jan 4th 20
Awesome Games Done Quick 202022,095,216261,042119,44838,421,190989:0
Jan 18th 20
Jan 26th 20
DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major$1,000,00012,896,190316,783133,59714,204,743614:0
Jan 28th 20
Feb 8th 20
Method – Race to World First: Ny’alotha Event12,375,006105,31246,03117,633,6505,498:0
Jan 24th 20
Mar 21st 20
LEC 2020 Spring Season11,974,014470,138203,59313,493,603468:0
Jan 25th 20
May 25th 20
LCS 2020 Spring Season10,182,510381,637176,2509,931,718264:0

*LIVE HOURS WATCHED: The Total live hours watched for a specific event across all major NA streaming platforms

**PEAK CCV: The Time-dependent maximum concurrent sessions that watching the top moment of the broadcast across multiple streams

***AVG CCV: The Time-dependent average concurrent sessions that watched a broadcast across multiple streams

YouTube Gaming was the clear leader in the esports mobile streaming space in 2019.  Although gamers tend to use highly sophisticated hardware for their training and tournaments, mobile gaming has grown more than any other platform.  In fact, mobile games made up 60% of revenue for the global video game market in 2019 and are expected to grow annually by 2.9% until 2024.  This monthly esports column provides a quick update of the most important esports consumption behavior, particularly as it relates to streaming.

Data provided by StreamHatchet shows that the top 10 mobile esports events of 2019 accumulated over 75 million hours watched.  YouTube Gaming got an overwhelming majority of that viewership. The numbers make sense when comparing them with App Annie’s findings. The mobile market data provider shared in a study that “mobile gaming is on track to surpass $100B across all mobile app stores in 2020.

There are many pocket consoles in the market. Still, mobiles are much more accessible to the grand majority of the global population. In gaming, mobiles have sort of democratized gaming. No wonder Call of Duty: Mobile and Mario Kart Tour launched their mobile version in 2019.

Here are the top ten mobile esports events of 2019:

Overall, the top 10 mobile events of the year accumulated over 75 million hours watched. The data shows that YouTube Gaming had the lead, followed by Facebook Gaming. This finding is particularly relevant, because Twitch is the definite leader in non-mobile esports streaming, with a 78.1% market share (and almost insignificant when it comes to mobile streaming).

In terms of the games themselves, PUBG Mobile is ahead of the game owning 2 of the top 5 events and 3 out of the top 10 in total. Combined, PUBG Mobile generated about 30% of the total hours watched across the top mobile events of 2019.

Radisson Anápolis, GM Bets on LatAm Market, Fazenda Futuro©´s Vegan Sausages & More Sales Leads LatAm

For prior Sales Leads LatAm editions, click here.

 

  • Radisson Anápolis

Radisson Anápolis: recognized hotel brand Radisson announced the opening of Radisson Hotel Anápolis at Avenida Oscar Mohn, No. 250, Anápolis, Brazil. This upscale hotel is perfectly positioned in one of the fastest-growing cities in Goiás, providing a convenient spot for guests interested in checking out the Brasil Park Shopping, or business travelers visiting companies like Vitamedic orLinea Alimentos. The hotel is also conveniently located near Terminal Rodoviário Josias Moreira Braga bus station and Goiânia Airport (GYN).“Our partnership with Atlantica Hotels allows us to bring the bright, inviting and balanced feel of the Radisson brand into vibrant cities like Anápolis, Brazil,” said Frances Gonzalez, vice president of Operations for Radisson Hotel Group in Latin America.Atlantica Hotels is a licensee for Radisson Hotel Group’s brands in Brazil, including Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED and Park Inn by Radisson. The two companies have enjoyed a longstanding relationship in Brazil that now includes 16 hotels in operation.

  • Urban Juve 

Health and beauty consumer packaged goods company The Yield Growth Corp. announced that it ships its first products to OMG Colombia, the subsidiary of Organic Medical Growth OMG3 Inc. (“OMG3”) in Latin America, based in Colombia, as part of a 5 year distribution deal for Yield Growth’s Urban Juve skin care line. Today, 1,800 products are being shipped, in partial fulfillment of OMG’s first product purchase order in anticipation of imminent completion of regulatory approval to sell Urban Juve products in Colombia and progressively in other parts of South America.According to Goldstein Research, the Latin America cosmetics market reached a value of USD US$31.98 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.49% during the forecast period 2017-2025.OMG3 is in the process of distributing Urban Juve skin care products in Colombia and other countries of Latin America. Through its Colombian partner Ortix, OMG has access to a distribution channel of over 44,000 pharmacies in South America and has partnered with on-demand delivery giant, Rappi, to sell products through its e-commerce platform. 

  • GM 

US carmaker General Motors has decided to exit Thailand market.The brand will withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of 2020, and said that China’s Great Wall Motor (GWM) has agreed to buy over its manufacturing plants in Rayong.GM’s co-ordinated retreat is part of the company’s plan to exit unprofitable markets including Europe, while focusing on North America, China, Latin America and South Korea. With the planned sale of its Thai plant, GM has essentially given up on the rest of ASEAN as well, as the Land of Smiles is the company’s regional hub.GM is “focusing on markets where we have the right strategies to drive robust returns, and prioritising global investments that will drive growth in the future of mobility,” especially in electric and autonomous vehicles, GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. 

  • Collinson

Interpublic Group agency Golin announced a new client partner to its international roster. Leading travel loyalty and benefits brand, Collinson, appointed Golin the global PR and communications Agency of Record (AOR), following a competitive pitch. The partnership will be led via a dual hub model from the Golin London and Golin Hong Kong offices, and the work will begin immediately.As AOR, Golin will head up PR and communications for Collinson with particular focus in  Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, UAE, the UK and the US; with further markets to be activated in Europe and Asia. The agency’s first charge will be to build awareness of Collinson’s integrated expertise in loyalty and travel experience, showcasing the group’s breadth of capabilities under one single brand voice and messaging.

  • Fazenda Futuro© 

Brazilian plant-based startup Fazenda Futuro, recently valued at US$100 million, will launch vegan sausages made with a seaweed skin for crispiness next month. The sausages are made with a blend of pea, soy, and chickpea protein with beetroot added for a “rosy color​”. The products are free from GMO ingredients, food colorings, artificial flavors, or enhancers and the pork flavor comes from natural flavors and spices. They are coated with a neutral-tasting seaweed ‘skin’ that emulates the crispiness of traditional pork sausages.The sausages, which will launch in April in Brazil and the Netherlands, have a 17% protein content and add to Fazenda Futuro’s portfolio of products consisting of its Futuro Burger, ground meat and meatballs.Although Fazenda Futuro is a newcomer – it was founded in May last year – it has quickly made a name for itself in the plant-based category. In July last year, the startup received its first round of investments with Monashees and investment firm Go4it Capital acquiring an 8.5% stake for US$8.5 million. The transaction valued Fazenda Futuro at around US$100 million.The company was founded by Marcos Leta, a Rio de Janeiro-based food entrepreneur and investor. 

JOIN PORTADA’S KNOWLEDGE-SHARING AND NETWORKING PLATFORM: To find out about Portada’s new networking solutions targeting the decision makers of the above campaigns, please contact Sales Director Leslie Zambrano at Leslie@portada-online.com.

  • MasterChef

Endemol Shine North America has appointed award-winning licensing agency Tycoon Enterprises to serve as its exclusive licensing agent for the “MasterChef” television property in Latin America. MasterChef’ is one of the most successful food format in the world with over 60 localized versions across the globe including 10 in Latin America alone.Tycoon Enterprises will expand the “MasterChef” franchise in key categories including food and beverage, cookware and live experiences. Endemol Shine Brazil will continue to represent the brand in their market independently.In addition to “MasterChef,” the partnership will also look to explore opportunities in all categories for Endemol Shine series “¿Quién es la máscara” (“The Masked Singer”), “Te la Juego” (“Deal or No Deal”), “Fear Factor” and “Wipeout” in Mexico.