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Valuedynamx is a global provider of curated data-driven omnichannel purchase rewards. As a part of the Collinson Group, Valuedynamx empowers its clients to reward their consumers for their loyalty and commitment to the brand in various ways, including targeted and card-linked offers, personalized experiences, and an expansive partner network and catalog of reward and redemption options.
The Collinson Group established itself as a valued travel ecosystem and has delivered its innovative expertise for over 30 years. Recently, Valuedynamx was founded and has since leveraged its resources and customer loyalty and engagement experience to provide innovative loyalty solutions.
The brand has leveraged its expertise across payments, card-linking, affiliate marketing, and redemption opportunities to enhance customer loyalty and drive transactional engagement for some of the world’s largest airlines, banks, Fis, and hotel groups.
Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson sat down with Kelli Hobbs, Vice President of Business Development at Valuedynamx, to chat about the brand’s diverse clients, massive transactional data, and customer research to learn what perks their customers want in a loyalty program.
Could you tell us more about you, your background, and your current role with Valuedynamx?
Hobbs: I’ve been in the loyalty space in various capacities for 20 years. My loyalty journey started with Connexions Loyalty, with the legacy Carlson Leisure Group. I’ve been in the Twin Cities for about 20 years, and my experience has also taken me into the prepaid space, where I was with Blackhawk Network for 10 years. I was with a couple of different startups establishing their presence in the U.S. market. My specialty is working with financial institution loyalty programs on the earn and the burn side. I’ve taken the culmination of my overall experience in travel, hospitality, and financial services and brought that to Valuedynamx about six months ago. It’s been an exciting time.
Can you give us a brief overview of what Valuedynamx does for brands and how you do it?
Hobbs: Valuedynamx is an operating company of Collinson Group, and we provide ways for consumers to earn for their everyday shopping. The Valuedynamx sweet spot is financial services and travel and hospitality, but we also partner with our solutions in other categories, such as grocery. We help companies by supporting them with our suite of APIs, which we can host on the front end or the back end of their business. We analyze consumers’ everyday shopping habits to determine how to make shopping more rewarding. The Valuedynamx platform is built on a global network that generates a great deal of behavioral data from multiple sources that support tracking, potential attribution, and targeting efforts.
How does this data set help the brands you work with develop relevant earning and redemption opportunities that increase customer engagement?
Hobbs: We support client success on the merchant side of the business (card-linked offers and affiliate offers) and the program side, where we work with financial institutions. We leverage transaction data to help grocery, travel, hospitality brands, and other verticals to put the most suitable offers in front of the right customers at the right time. We’re sitting on billions of transaction data points that we can leverage to help enhance either an existing loyalty program or a new one. We’re able to come in and leverage our data, our reporting, and our tech stack to support that.
When you look at the opportunities brought by a 360-degree view of the customer, how do you work with brands to help actualize that and bring value to that brand?
Hobbs: We have a customer-first approach where we consult with strategic partnerships, potential clients, and current clients about their existing customer base and what goals they want to accomplish around accelerated engagement and commerce-driven rewards. Some brands don’t have a firm grasp of their customer persona and try to leverage data to understand customer behaviors, but they need assistance. We can take our entire ecosystem and use our APIs to provide travel solutions, a rewards marketplace, and ways to earn and burn points or card-linked offers. It’s identifying the primary goal of the client and then being prescriptive and looking again at our stack and our overall capabilities to see how we can augment what exists today. We can also stand up something new when clients need a totally hosted front-end and back-end support.
How does Valuedynamx look at personalization? How does your team help your financial and travel clients with their personalization?
Hobbs: Personalization is absolutely a hot topic. Our offer recommendation feature provides incrementality testing and reporting to prove the efficacy of a campaign or a promotion. We support our clients and our merchants to be where the customer is. When working with a multi-generational audience of consumers, where we have credit unions and grocery partners in a lot of different verticals, we want to reach the next generation of power buyers — Gen Z and Millennials.
They are living on their mobile devices, behaving in different ways, and looking for something much more rewarding in a loyalty program. They seek out merchant brands that align with their emotional ties to how they shop. For instance, we know that Millennials and even Gen Z look for brands that are aligned with their beliefs and values. How does the company treat their employees? Are they an eco-friendly brand?
Valuedynamx uses technologies that include AI to process the data to get the right offers in front of the right people. This gives end customers a more personalized experience, improving the overall customer experience and the flow of the site, which is equally important in terms of personalization.
Are you looking at pay-with-point solutions? How does that enable enterprises to be unique in their offerings to make them more impactful?
Hobbs: Pay with Points is something that we’re very focused on as part of our full redemption capabilities. This new offering, which is based on digital gift cards, is leading us down a road map to a fully integrated model where customers can pay using loyalty currency at the point of sale.
We’re in a unique spot because we can empower our clients with a variety of redemption solutions — from travel to shopping and gift cards, which ultimately keeps their clients closer with redemption activity. We are a hub that can empower and support all of that.
When you look at the solution, how does it benefit brands, loyalty programs, and program members? How does Pay with Points solve some pain points for the market?
Hobbs: One example that comes to mind is our work with a particular grocery partner and Pay with Points for them. We’ll leverage their gift card brand and drive traffic back into their stores. Clients that we speak to regarding payments ask us, “How can we drive more traffic, reach a higher visitor frequency, and how can we have that top-of-mind approach to engage customers?” Ultimately, paying with points should be a seamless experience for merchants and clients alike. The experience should drive more brand relevancy and customer retention, especially for financial institutions. Keeping their product front of mind and driving more engagement on the commercial banking side and driving behaviors is crucial to future success.
How does Valuedynamx integrate with other technologies that help leverage an existing technology platform with any particular brand?
Hobbs: We have multiple programs that clients will leverage to support their ultimate goals. We have our offers platform on the earn side, and then we have the redemption solutions, including travel, shopping, and eGift cards. We work with clients to understand their goals and present them with options that will help them achieve success.
Partners choose which APIs from our entire stack that can help support them. Due to the richness of our transactional data and our ability to utilize detailed modeling and AI, we can support those features and functionalities that are big goals for our clients and us.
In terms of overall integration, the fun thing about my role, in particular, is that no one client conversation is the same. No one client program is alike. We offer bespoke and customized solutions, which are huge benefits. With that flexibility, we can support clients and meet various requirements. The way we can support the front end or the back end with an aggregated network of content and capabilities offers a multi-layered approach.
Consumer behaviors are changing. How do you envision the future of customer loyalty? How do you see it evolving?
Hobbs: Customer loyalty is absolutely evolving. We have a lot of conversations internally as we look at our road map to determine where we want to be as an organization and how we can bring the most value. Loyalty is evolving, and we must help our clients in a prescriptive way to identify where they want to be in that customer journey and how they can present the most meaningful and bespoke rewards to make their loyalty program a true marketplace and destination for their customers.
Gamification and artificial intelligence (AI) are big topics — that’s absolutely where the loyalty industry is headed. We work with NCR, which supports hundreds of sub-clients and credit unions, but we also work with issuers, airlines, and banks — no conversations are the same. What is consistent is everyone knows they need to be along for the ride when it comes to the evolution of loyalty and how customers are behaving. Customers want instant gratification, and they are engaging much more than before. Younger loyalty members will engage with the surprise and delight that comes with gamification in a program by earning badges, stars, and micro-rewards which matches how they lean into other engagements.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a brand that seeks to adapt or innovate its customer loyalty efforts? Are there any quick wins or consideration points a brand could implement into its current program to enhance the customer experience and keep customers coming back?
Hobbs: Do your homework and survey your customers. Doing a survey sounds old-fashioned, but if it’s done the right way, you might be surprised by what you will find out about your clients and their customer base.
Ask a lot of important questions. Our clients survey their customers to determine customer voice or collect general feedback and adjust or evolve their program based on that valuable input. I recommend identifying the direction you want to go through data and analytics and who’s best suited to help you get there.
We have all these levers, data, transactions, and campaigns that we can access. We are not an ad platform. We can help leverage this data and bring it to something actionable so that clients can identify either how they want to get started in a loyalty program or how they stay top of mind through marketing and campaigns and identify that incrementality. Those are all the things I think about when we’re talking about brands and where they want to go.
What’s next for Valuedynamx in 2023 into 2024?
Hobbs: We have an exciting road map. Valuedynamx is branching out into several new verticals and doing a great job of fostering the ones in which we have a legacy. Grocery is a recent one that’s been exciting for me with my background, especially with Blackhawk Network, where I gleaned a vast understanding of the grocery space.
What’s interesting about Valuedynamx is that not only do we build close relationships but we’re always establishing new ones with merchants and partners. We are at the intersection of the consumer, the merchant and the program. We have some unique strategic alliances where we work with uncommon partners where it’s better if you lock arms and provide services mutually. This is evident in our aggregated network of content.
There are always those strategic alliances and loyalty that absolutely exist — even in the merchant and the gift card spaces. That’s something we will see continue. One of the last thoughts I have is when we talk about the evolution of loyalty, we don’t ignore it. That is reflected in our road map, and this is demonstrated in our use of AI and getting to SKU-based data to help programs engage with their customer on an even deeper level. We’re constantly enhancing our existing programs on a global scale to bring more value to our clients and reach customers where they are in their loyalty journey.
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