Airpoints is the loyalty programme of choice for many Kiwis, and has grown significantly in recent years to more than 1.9 million members.
BNZ had been a financial partner of the Airpoints programme for 17 years. With the contract up for renewal, Air New Zealand and BNZ openly discussed Air New Zealand seeking interest from other parties to check whether better earning rates were possible for members.
In early January 2015, Westpac put forward a proposal to become a financial partner in the Airpoints programme. To ensure a seamless transition, Westpac would need to go to market in mid-March – just 10 weeks away. A plan of this scale would typically take 12 months. However, Westpac embraced the challenge.
BNZ’s GlobalPlus customers made up a valuable segment of the Airpoints member base. As credit cards are the fastest way to earn Airpoints Dollars, Air New Zealand risked losing the engagement of these customers if they chose to stay with BNZ and didn’t switch to another Airpoints credit card. Would Airpoints engagement, combined with the strength of the Westpac value proposition, be enough to shift customers’ loyalty from BNZ?
Air New Zealand built propensity models (using SAS and SAS Enterprise Miner) to predict the likelihood of a customer to move to a Westpac Airpoints credit card and overlaid these against segments of contactability. Extensive analysis enabled compelling and relevant offers to be highly targeted to individual customers that could also be supported with a pre-approved credit limit. And a purpose-built portal enabled Westpac to offer GlobalPlus cardholders conditionally approved credit cards that could be accepted in less than 60 seconds.
Results have been outstanding. Within one week of launching, 89% of people and 97% of BNZ GlobalPlus cardholders were aware of Westpac being a new partner of the Airpoints programme.
Importantly for Air New Zealand, the exceptional ROI results mean the continued engagement of these customers with the Airpoints programme.