Q&A: Adrian Hado, head of insight and analytics at Avios

Ahead of his presentation at Marketing Week Live 2013 Avios insight chief Adrian Hado discusses customer behaviour and loyalty


Marketing Week (MW): Thinking about customer rewards programmes, what do you think customers want from them now?

Adrian Hado (AH): There are two things customers really want. Firstly, they want something that is valuable and something that is relevance. Customers are getting a lot of communications products coming at them from different directions so you have to stay relevant to them to cut through that. The key to be innovative in this space. We offer travel rewards, which is relevant and you can get good value out of it.

MW: What interesting insights have you uncovered through research and how have you channelled them into what you offer?

AH: We do a lot of work in customer experience around working out what they want and don’t want. What is interesting is looking at what they want versus what they say they want.You can collect Avios points doing things you do anyway like buying petrol and we find the customers are very much hooked on the reward. They want to redeem them and to go travelling. We focus on that redemption message and then our collection message: you want to get to this destination and these are the ways you can do that. These are more relevant ways to speak to our customers and also fits with research we have done.

MW: Can you talk about any recent campaigns you have done at Avios?

AH: The microsite for our recent brand campaign launched in December 2012. We were sending customers to Avios.com/fly. There they could actually tell us the destination they wanted to go to and we would calculate how many Avios points they would require. They could then input how much they spend on their petrol, how much on grocery shopping, how much they spend on their credit card. It was a really nice tangible way of showing customers where they could go, how they could get there and how quickly. Some of the research on the back of that showed customers were very surprised at how quickly they could get places and also for not behaving a lot differently.

MW: How valuable is it to balance the practical and emotional and how do you do it?

AH: A lot of the everyday spend is very rational. People make decisions based on budget. On the flip side the reward is emotional and the value you get out of the scheme is multiplied. We are looking at customers in a more innovative way – and I will be talking about this at Marketing Week Live – in terms of tying together customers’ value (how valuable they are to us) versus what behaviours they exhibit. There are lots of things we would like customers to be doing like collecting through all of our partners, visiting our Facebook site or downloading our app. We have divided all these behaviours and mapped them. We can work out which is the best customer to get the app, which is the best for the credit card and so on. It is relevant and rewarding for the customer and for us we are more targeted.

MW: What will be the takeaways from your conference session?

AH: Three things: One, an understanding of what Avios is, how the programme works and how it can provide value; two, how you understand customers from collating data from lots of different touchpoints of your interactions with them. Finally, how you use that data to drive value and the right sort of behaviours from your customers.  

Marketing Week Live takes place at London Olympia on June 26 and 27. It is free to attend and Adrian will be presenting in the Customer Loyalty Zone. Register and find full programme details here