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22 January 2020   (0 Comments)
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In this regular item we catch up with one of our members...

Charlie Hills, MD & Head of Strategy of Mando-Connect in London tells us what they’ve been up to over the past few months, their thoughts on what’s new in loyalty and partnerships, and what she’d say to a senior new business target if she had 30 seconds with them in a lift.

IPM: Hi Charlie, thanks for talking to us. How are things going at Mando-Connect at the moment?
CH: Thanks for asking! It’s been an incredible 12 months for us. Loyalty and Partnerships is big news in marketing at the moment as brands are realising how important it is to prioritise engaging and delighting their existing customers. We’ve seen all the big programmes changing. For example, Tesco Clubcard launched its subscription tier, Clubcard Plus, Boots launched Boots X – designed specifically for Generation Z, Shell ditched points in favour of focusing on rewards and is now enabling drivers to carbon offset their fuel too, Vodafone VeryMe is going from strength to strength. The list goes on... And these brands have also recognised how much more they can achieve by working in partnership with other brands rather than going at it alone. We are seeing even more focus on Partner Rewards in loyalty, as well as partnerships for member acquisition and engagement too. We are now working with some incredible brands including Vodafone, TK Maxx, British Gas, Accor, VOXI and Domino’s to name a few.

IPM: How is your business developing and evolving – any interesting plans you can share with us?!
CH: We are really focused this year on understanding what’s new in loyalty and getting under the skin of what British people really want from loyalty programmes and how brand partners and rewards can play an even bigger role in delighting and engaging them. In 2018 we did our first research and data-fuelled white paper on the subject with YouGov and in March this year we are publishing the next one – not only looking at what Brits think of loyalty programmes but what they want from them, how rewards can be designed for maximum impact and what’s changing.

IPM: Tell us more about your new loyalty research; what does it tell us about what people really want from loyalty and rewards?
CH: The research is now complete and we are knee deep in the analytics phase – interrogating the data to find out what’s changed and what matters to people now. The good news is that the majority of Brits are huge fans of loyalty programmes still; 76% are currently members of programmes and 73% think that loyalty programmes are a great way for brands and businesses to reward customers. But it isn’t all good news – programmes are failing to engage 18-24 year olds, a key audience for many and men are also significantly less likely to engage than women. We also have a load of great insight into what types of reward mechanic work best, and what types of rewards and partner brands people want most. But I’m not giving away that insight yet! We will share all on March 3rd at the IPM’s first event focused on loyalty, Loyalty Dynamics at Sea Containers House.

IPM: You find yourself in a lift with a new business target, you've got 30 seconds to make an impression on behalf of Mando-Connect - what would you say and do?
CH That’s an easy answer. I’d do what I always do – smile, say a big hello and introduce myself as the MD of Mando-Connect – the UK’s most exciting results and data driven partnerships agency. Then I’d ask about them and see what happens. As a partnerships agency we are always on the look-out for new connections and opportunities.

IPM: Thanks so much for your time Charlie – have a great day!
CM: You too!
If you’d like to get in touch with Mando-Connect, drop them a note at

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