17TH APRIL 2017

Quick Insights, Quick Incentives

Contributed by Michelle Regalado

Advertising plays a vital role in enticing customers to try your brand. Promotions do wonders in ensuring your customers keep on availing your services, even if they don’t find the need to. UBER does this quite intelligently. On the surface, there are price-offs for first time users and referrals. But UBER goes further by giving customers different types of promos based on their level of loyalty – to get you to use the app again, increase your frequency of use, cater to your preferred payment method or encourage you to choose the app despite the surge. For many in Marketing, it is a trivial concept: learn about your customers and offer something that will make them pay attention, stay loyal and spend more. But the steps that brands go through in order to make that simple concept happen is much more complicated than it sounds. There’s analytics, social listening, customer feedback management, competitive analysis, customer behavior, interests, market analysis, industry growth and attractiveness, economic health, etc. Making sense of all these information is another thing, and so is translating that into action that will help achieve brand objectives.

On top of that, the recent Data Privacy Act prevents brands from using and sharing customer information to a consultant or third party supplier (anyone basically) without the customer’s consent. That makes it a bit more difficult for brands to use their earned customer data for necessary analytics to make smart business decisions. That means, customers literally have to say ‘yes’ or that they ‘agree’ that they knowingly allow the brand to use their information for analytics, marketing, etc. This also means that customers can choose not to.

Enter ‘Rewards for Customer Feedback’. This is a silent business trend behind loyalty programs, information for promotions, sign-up for eNewsletters and now surveys. With the customers’ go signal, brands can get more information about new product, imagery and interests to help catch attention and spend of customers. How do they do it? They offer a win-win business model for brands and customers. Brands get quick market research results and customers get incentives for their feedback. Some of the partners of Gifted.PH are doing just that. CWikWin, an app based in Dubai, makes use of gamification to entice customers to join. Happi encourages participation with a specific gift or incentive in mind and a charity or cause that also earns based on the customer’s activity. Compared to time-consuming and very costly market research studies, it is a good solution especially when you need superficial results fast. Granted, it can’t offer you in-depth results and drill downs. It also only reaches internet users in mobile, but with multiple mobile ownership in the Philippines and increasing internet reach especially in urban areas, you practically have a good sample to start with.

So why would you consider these solutions for your own brand? For one, your target market may be long-term but your customers’ behavior is dynamic. A campaign that worked last quarter may already be overused by now. You can also use it to find out if customers have noticed a big-budget ATL advertising launched last month. You can even figure out how a competitor’s bad PR has affected your brand’s positioning. Next question in your mind, what’s stopping you from doing this on your own. Putting together an information gathering and rewards platform is costly and customers will hesitate to give you honest feedback about your brand if the questions are coming from you.

By now, you’re looking at your marketing and insights budget to see if this is something you can do. But just remember, when you get the findings, do not hesitate to use digital means in engaging with your customers. Rewards for Customer Feedback is a growing industry because internet and mobile use reaches out to customers in real time at the moment of their convenience. It reduces the process of gaining customer feedback to mere minutes. Also, the industry teaches us to incentivize customer’s loyalty and participation intelligently. Almost every category is saturated and it will benefit your brand to show customers you value them.