Last month we talked about the ways that companies can engage customers after a purchase, and while optimized customer service can help keep customers satisfied should they have questions or need assistance, many companies are also experimenting with rewards programs in an attempt to win customer loyalty.
PunchTab allows publishers, retailers and application vendors to deploy tightly integrated rewards programs to its users in minutes with no development or marketing costs, while giving consumers the opportunity to earn loyalty points that are redeemable for exclusive offers, gift cards and custom rewards.
What is PunchTab?
This week, PunchTab announced that its platform was powering nearly 15,000 active loyalty programs that reach over 22 million consumers every month. We wanted to take a closer look.
Chances are you may already be engaging with PunchTab. If you've ever entered a contest via Facebook for Arbys, eBay or another commercial product, you may have signed up using the PunchTab app. Whether online, on mobile, via social media or your blog, PunchTab provides companies the opportunity to set up a campaign or loyalty program designed to deepen engagement and drive customer loyalty. From badges, to to give-a-ways, to rewards points and more, PunchTab helps gamify the user engagement experience.
How Does it Work?
PunchTab’s Giveaways lets companies increase their awareness and build a following by offering entries to a giveaway in exchange for social sharing. Companies can set up and install on any website, blog or Facebook page. Every time a user visits, tweets, +1’s, Like’s or comments on your blog or website they earn points towards earning that next badge. Companies can customize giveaways, loyalty programs and badges so as to better leverage traffic and drive meaningful user behavior, purchases and social sharing while building brand awareness.
In return, users can choose to join a company’s program by signing in with Facebook connect, email or an eCommerce log in through which they’ll be able to earn badges, points or entries right away for taking specific actions, while a company gains access to important user demographic information.
The Perils of Social Media Integration
Social media users care about their privacy. Just as consumers have fought back against having the information tracked online, social media users are now just waking up to what it means to be engaged with brands on Facebook and other social media networks. Still, recent surveys suggest that most consumers don’t really understand how much of their information is being accessed by companies and what exactly they’re agreeing to when they consent to playing games or participating in contests via social media and mobile apps. Even more, the era of big data has made it even harder for companies to ensure that the data they collect remains safe and secure.
Still, research has shown that customer loyalty programs have merit. Because companies need information about their customers to understand their intimate behaviors, loyalty programs afford them opportunities to collect this type of information relatively easily. In his article "Loyalty Reprogrammed" Al Urbanski, senior writer for Digital Marketing News reports:
That reality has resulted in a loyalty overload in the marketplace. “The Billion Member March: The 2011 Colloquy Loyalty Census” counted more than two billion loyalty memberships in the United States, or 18 programs per household. That's double the numbers that were on the books in 2000.
Two billion memberships can provide a lot of information to companies. However, big data is just data unless you know how it can add value to your company's goals and how you can provide customers with valuable experiences.
As we tackle marketing automation this month, online social rewards engagement platforms like PunchTab can provide great opportunities for companies to add a social channel to their lead generation. Yet, companies are behooved to understand the leads they generate from within a social context. If consumers are interested in engaging with your company socially, they may not want to engage with you through more traditional channels, like email or phone.
Marketers have lots of great reasons to take advantage of platforms that help them engage with their consumers online, but just like anything on social media, transparency is key and trust isn't a given. Brands must earn it by demonstrating their commitment to the consumer by adding value to their experiences, not overwhelming them.