As more brands and vendors reflect on their experiences at the 2021 Loyalty Expo, Loyalty360 can coDonSmith_Brierley.jpgnfidently say each attendee enjoyed their time at the conference.

Perhaps none were more satisfied than Don Smith, Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer at Brierley. 

Smith discussed his thoughts with Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson on his KPIs and Metrics Workshop at the Expo, his overall experience connecting in person again, and the trends and topics he hopes to see further utilized. 
 




Reunited and It Feels So Good

Smith cannot contain his excitement when asked how it felt to be back among loyalty professionals yet again.

“I think everyone has missed that face-to-face contact, and there have been some great virtual conferences – there’s no question about that,” says Smith. “But there is nothing like the real thing.”

Smith, discussing the energy in the room when there’s a good presentation, lists his two favorites of the conference: the “Loyalty Innovation” and “Program Partnerships” category presentations, citing Ryan Mitchell’s Hertz and Mayasa Al Hezaji’s Ooredoo Qatar talks as specific highlights. 


Workshop Success

According to Smith, speakers often worry about whether their topic is too basic for the audience. However, this thought quickly disappeared during his and Brierley’s “KPIs and Metrics” workshop on Day 2 of the Expo.

“There’s always an insight beneath the KPI, strong programs, and data,” explains Smith. “We had a healthy, technical, nerdy discussion about those things, and we spent a lot of time talking about how to measure the engagement and specifically, measuring rational and emotional loyalty and the challenges therein in that practice.” 

Attendees loved the presentation, with many showing Smith their reports and wanting advice on calibrating their topline metrics and tackling emotional loyalty. 


Looking to the Future

On the topic of something he would’ve liked to see at the conference, Smith is confident in his answer.

“I thought we were going to see a lot of folks talking about the adoption of emerging technologies,” he admits. “I’m still waiting for the conference where people start showcasing facial recognition!”

He also believes brands must focus on propagating and expanding choices for consumers, offering reward constellations to better power consumers. Finally, Smith implores brands to use their programs to help customers participate in philanthropic, sustainable, diverse efforts to build positive outcomes and meet the brand value promise. According to a 2020 report by Brierley, at least 1 in 2 consumers are willing to spend more to buy from a company that drives positive environmental impact, further proving Smith’s point to improve programs from a charitable standpoint.

With people and organizations like Don Smith and Brierley pushing loyalty onward, brands have the tools necessary to further their programs and impact each of their respective sectors in a positive and innovative fashion. 

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