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To catch up the latest innovations in loyalty, insights, and sustainability, we asked Brandon Logsdon, President of Consumer Engagement at PDI, to share his thoughts. Read on to discover more about the newest offerings from PDI.

Q. What are some of the biggest challenges the industry is facing right now?

A: One big challenge is loyalty, because loyalty isn’t just a program. It’s an outcome that must work equally well for both retailers and consumers. How do you make your loyalty program successful? How do you choose the right platform and optimize it?

Should you think about loyalty as a penetration of sales volume, transaction volume, or even gallons? Today, it’s clear that the greatest challenges and opportunities revolve around how effectively you can achieve scale with your loyalty program—especially in such a dynamic market.

Q. How is PDI addressing those issues from a consumer engagement perspective?

A: At a macro level, PDI has the two largest platforms in the industry with our Fuel Rewards program and GasBuddy app. Together, they provide deep visibility into the actions of more than 15 million consumers. That’s first-party data and insights about what promotions are working, which products are selling, and what consumers are doing immediately before or after a c-store visit.

We can leverage that unmatched scale and depth of visibility with consumer-centric solutions to optimize loyalty and payment programs for retailers. In other words, we simplify a complex undertaking so you can focus on what’s most important to your business. We help you acquire customers efficiently, show you how best to engage with them, and then help you make more informed business decisions.

Q. What are some of the latest updates in terms of new products or innovations?

A: We have a couple exciting new functions that create opportunities for both retailers and consumers. The first is Loyalty Connect, which gives retailers and their loyalty programs access to seven million active monthly users of the GasBuddy app, which PDI acquired in 2021. Loyalty Connect also gives all those app users a chance to opt in to a wider range of loyalty programs without having to install yet another app.

Similarly, PDI Deal Alerts helps retailers engage more effectively with consumers by delivering cents-off-gallons offers at the pump via the GasBuddy app. Again, there’s tremendous opportunity with access to millions of potential consumers.

One other unique offering enables age verification for promotions and offers in the digital realm. Retailers want to access alcohol- and tobacco-related offers—which account for up to 35% of purchases—but they need to do that responsibly. PDI is now partnering with a third-party data provider to verify age in near-real time for digital offers. That’s a big win for brands, retailers, and consumers.

Q. With all the growth at PDI recently, what has changed for the consumer engagement business?

A: There’s a lot of discussion around green initiatives these days, and we’re actively working to bridge the gap from the legacy carbon world to a more sustainable future. For instance, even if a consumer doesn’t own an electric vehicle, they can still make a difference at the pump. PDI now offers a loyalty program where retailers can offer their consumers carbon offsets with each fuel purchase.

Q. What key trends do you anticipate for the rest of 2022?

A: In the past two years, c-stores had to become more like the hospitality and restaurant industry in areas such as digital ordering, food delivery, and curbside pickup. They had to adapt quickly, and they relied on technology to become more agile at everything from loyalty and offers to digital expansion.

Over the next six to twelve months, I think we’ll see a transformation with many c-stores right-sizing those pandemic-related decisions and identifying what makes sense for the long term. The bottom line is that you have to match the speed of innovation in terms of industry consolidation, globalization, and rapidly changing consumer behavior. Investing in the right digital solutions is the easiest way to modernize and adapt.

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