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    “Our session is for business leaders of loyalty programs who perhaps have a CFO who is saying ‘I really need you to clearly articulate the financial risks and benefits of the various program managements,’” explains Senior Consultant for Willis Towers Watson, Leg Llaguno. “We’ve designed our session to give you the tools you need to have that discussion and position you well to convince this key stakeholder to continue to invest in loyalty initiatives.”
    Llaguno, along with his colleague Senior Consultant for Willis Towers Watson Manolis Bardis,
    will present “3 Ways to Convince Your CFO to Invest More in Loyalty.”
    “Any business leader who is part of a financially-minded organization where understanding financial risks and benefits is a key component of decision making will certainly benefit from the session,” says Llaguno.
    “Justifying potential financial risks and benefits is particularly tough for loyalty programs,” he continues, “because it involves trying to predict and anticipate member behavior far into the future.”
    He gives an example. “We know that a member that earns points today may not redeem those for several months. That means a program management decision made today could impact how redemptions are going to be made into the future and that could have serious financial implications for the loyalty program.”
    He adds, “we’ve seen some loyalty programs where there was a small change in redemption rates for some of the larger programs that could have a $10 million impact on income, sometimes as large as $100 million. So, it’s really important that you understand the financial risks and benefits at play because they can be very material.”
    Of course, building a crystal ball and being able to see that far into the future is very, very tough Llaguno points out. “No crystal ball or predictive tool is going to give you complete certainty about what’s going to happen, so understanding the variability within that crystal ball is also going to be something that must be given consideration. One of the things that we’ve found is that building these predictive models takes a lot of expertise.”
    Llaguno and Bardis, in their session, plan to give attendees some of the basics around how to go about building some of these models and navigating some of the lessons Willis Towers Watson has learned from over a decade working with some of the largest loyalty programs.
    “First and foremost is seeing the problem from the perspective of the CFO and really understanding why the CFO cares so much about the loyalty program and its financial impact on financial statements,” Llaguno states.
    “Second, we want to make sure attendees leave the session having a good grasp of the best practices in terms of building models that quantify financial risk,” he says, “and third we’ll talk a little bit about how to optimize loyalty programs and leveraging financial analytics, to put loyalty professionals in a position to drive the most value you can out of the loyalty program and drive that value to your organization’s bottom line.
    Loyalty Expo, the true Voice of the Customer-driven and best practice-focused customer loyalty conference, will be held May 2nd through the 4th at the Caribe Royale Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. 

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