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stm2.pngWe’re only 4 weeks removed from the 2014 Winter Olympics closing ceremony. Unfortunately, this means that I’m 3 years and 48 weeks away from getting my next fix of short track speed skating. Aside from awkwardly sliding around the hardwood floors in my socks, I’ve been turning to unlikely places to inject that excitement back into my daily routine.

 

While they didn’t necessarily have the same razor thin margins of victory, and they were relatively devoid of dangerous maneuvers, Loyalty 360 offered up its inaugural awards earlier this week. To loyalty and marketing professionals, this was their Olympic games. It was a chance to get recognized by 24 industry experts that applied a score of 1-10 based on how well the brand performed against a number of quantitative and qualitative criteria. [Feel free to insert your favorite Olympic figure skating judging joke here.] The Loyalty 360 scoring, however, was on the up-and-up - an objective and unbiased ranking of loyalty leaders.

 

Unlike with Eddie the Eagle, or the Jamaican bobsled team, this time the underdog walked away a winner. Although there wasn’t an actual medal podium, I am very proud that SAP customer Société de transport de Montreal (STM) picked up hardware in the following two categories:

 

  • GOLD for Customer Experience & Engagement
  • SILVER for Use of Technology in Loyalty Marketing

 

STM was an underdog, because it's a government organization that was competing against many well respected consumer brands. Plus, it’s typically a challenge to find any government organization delivers a superior customer experience, or is a leader when it comes to using technology in marketing. However STM - North America’s 4th largest public transit organization - has a secret weapon on its team, its CMO, Pierre Bourbonniére, who spent decades running Air Canada’s loyalty program. When Pierre was faced with the challenge of increasing ridership 40 percent by 2020, he knew that the team would need to enhance STM’s brand image and engage with riders in order to:

 

  • Provide a better user experience based on increased information and greater value
  • Shift ridership to off-peak hours (daytime, evening, weekend)
  • Increase the frequency of public transit use

 

Click here to find out more about STM, and how it co-innovated with SAP to create STM Merci, its award winning mobile app that leverages the latest innovations in big data, analytics and mobile to deliver precision marketing. In real-time, STM is now able to analyze its 1.3 million daily riders' situational context (who, where, when, what), and preferences, along with their interests in order to deliver them highly personalized and relevant offers and recommendations in the moment.

 

While Pierre and team truly relish the accolades from Loyalty 360, and others, their primary desire is to deliver the best possible experience to the riders. Therefore, they were ecstatic to become the #1 app on Apple’s Canadian App Store under the lifestyle category within 2 days of launching. Equally as important – this has proven to be a powerful tool that enables STM to successfully reach the riders and affect their behavior in a way that puts STM on a path to achieve its aggressive growth targets. In fact, 24 percent of Merci members have increased their usage of public transit since using the app and 57 percent have used public transit to discover new shopping and event related destinations throughout Montréal. There’s also a viral component, as 47 percent have taken a friend along for the ride (pun intended), sparked by the offers they receive from STM Merci.

 

Congratulations to Team STM! We look forward to your continued innovation. In the meantime, I’ll be working on my Apolo Ohno form - speed skating throughout my house.

 

To stay up-to-date on my latest speed skating exploits, follow me on twitter @BrentCohler

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