2 minutes of your time: Kate Bird

Kate Bird

The Sun is launching a loyalty scheme this month (March 2017) with the launch of a new initiative offering regular readers cash every month simply for buying the UK’s favourite newspaper. Chief Marketing Officer Kate Bird explains how the scheme works, and why it’s great news for retailers.

Factfile

Kate Bird was appointed CMO of The Sun in November 2016, having worked as Betting and Gaming Marketing Director at The Sun from December 2015, where she successfully launched the brand’s own bookmaker, Sun Bets.

Kate joined The Sun after building a career working at The Times, Coral, and the BBC, and a stint in the USA at the Wall Street Journal, in various marketing roles.

Based in The News Building in London, she is responsible for marketing The Sun in print and digital, and its betting and gaming products.

So, tell us what the new Sun Savers programme is all about?

Sun Savers is the brand new loyalty scheme from The Sun, that rewards our regular readers with £5 cash every month. It’s the richest loyalty scheme in the country and one that rewards with cash, so they can spend their reward on whatever they like.

How does it work in practice for shoppers?

The mechanic is very simple. Shoppers just download the Savers app, or visit the website, and enter the code that appears in the newspaper every day.

Once they reach 28 codes, a fiver goes straight into their digital Sun wallet and can be withdrawn at any time. Shoppers can keep saving their cash up every month, or withdraw it every time they reach 28 codes. It couldn’t be simpler.

And for retailers?

The good news for retailers is that no action is required on their part at all. Everything is done via the app or website so retailers can go about their day with no changes and no extra work whatsoever.

What are the three biggest things the new scheme will deliver?

First and foremost, very happy customers! The launch of Sun Savers allows The Sun to become the home of value to our readers, putting a bit of extra cash back in their pockets every month.

Secondly, we will also expect to see a sales impact, with our readers keeping or increasing their momentum in buying The Sun.

Lastly and most importantly, Sun Savers will allow us to have a more personal relationship with our readers, so we can offer them more value that is actually relevant to them.

How are you communicating Sun Savers to consumers?

The Scottish Sun newspaper, as the most widely read newspaper in the country, is where we will inform our customers about the programme. Everyday Scottish Sun readers are our target audience, after all, so it makes sense to talk to them via the newspapers they’re reading every day anyway.

This activity will be amplified however with large scale email communications programmes, heavyweight social media activity and a substantial direct mail campaign. All of this activity will be geared towards reminding readers to download the app or visit our website and scan the daily code every day.

Sun Savers is going to be the richest reward scheme in the UK for customers, but how is this going to benefit local retailers in Scotland?

The whole programme has been specially created to encourage habit. It incentivises our readers to come back to buy the paper every day.

This will clearly be hugely beneficial to Scotland’s local retailers as we are encouraging people not to forget to pick us up every day!

We also hope that customers who perhaps don’t buy the paper seven days a week but only, say, buy it Monday to Friday, will be encouraged to pick it up at their local store on weekends too. This will help to drive footfall and drive basket spend for retailers. It really is a win-win programme that benefits customers and retailers.

Do you think the introduction of Sun Savers will increase sales of The Scottish Sun?

The programme isn’t specifically designed to see massive uplifts in the newspaper sales; it is there to maintain our current readers, by rewarding their purchase behaviour. But we wouldn’t be surprised to see sales rise!