CrowdTwist, which provided the underlying platform for the Miami Dolphins’ recently announced loyalty program and provides the platform for a loyalty program for Zumiez – a program that’s been launched regionally and will be launched nationally later this month -- blending consumers’ online and offline brand engagements to drive loyalty rewards programs.
Loyalty programs have come a long way since the S&H Greenstamps debuted in the 1930s, moving from stamp collecting to punch cards to electronic programs, says Adam Trisk, CrowdTwist’s head of marketing. All of these programs were largely focused on customer spending on company merchandise, but didn’t go deeper into customer engagement and customer influence on other consumers' interactions with customers.
“Those programs don’t measure how a customer impacts a brand,” Trisk says. “We help brands recognize and reward every customer for their engagement, social influence and spend. If an activity can be measured, it can now be incentivized and rewarded."
“Influence and impact are critical differentiators and are the holy grails of relationship marketing,” Trisk adds. “What we’re able to do is help provide brands with the information that defines those customers with the greatest social influence and impact on a brand’s bottom line. This knowledge allows them to think about not only ways they can make those consumers feel appreciated but also allows them to look at the patterns of brand behavior that are indicative of leading to positive impact for a brand.”
The company concentrates in the retail, entertainment, sports, music, packaged goods and lifestyle industries, but is looking to expand into other areas.
A person who spends $45 on a one-time purchase with Zumiez on merchandise as a gift does not represent the same value to the brand as a person who spends the same amount or maybe even less, but also discusses Zumiez online, follows the brand on Twitter, is a Facebook fan and is otherwise engaged with the brand, Trisk says.
CrowdTwist helps its clients recognize and reward these brand engagements with white label, Software-as-a-Service technology that measures and rewards a brand’s customers based on all their online and offline engagement and spend.
Companies can in turn use this information to better target their marketing programs, Trisk said.
Trisk said that some marketing articles have mis-classified CrowdTwist as a gameification company. But those firms focus on enabling companies to recognize people with badges or similar symbols for their level of engagement with a brand. But for the most part that’s where those programs end, according to Trisk.
“Companies using gamification aren’t focused on providing customers with any real long term value for engaging with their brand. They are able to drive short term lifts in engagement but miss the opportunity to reward people for the value they drive every day and across every channel,” Trisk says. “We actually spoke with a well known analyst in this space the other day who also expects companies will begin moving away from gameification and toward more meaningful ways of building relationships and recognizing people’s value.”
CrowdTwist’s platform allows each client to customize their programs' rewards providing unique recognition for the customers with the most positive brand impact. For example, among the rewards members of the Dolphins Fin Club can earn are hosting a meeting in the locker room and running out on to the field with a Dolphin flag.
Rewards for other CrowdTwist partners are similarly unique.
Beyond Zumiez which will be in beta for a little more than another week, Trisk could not divulge any yet-to-be launched partnerships, though did say “we are actively involved in discussion with every professional sports league and numerous teams.” CrowdTwist is also looking to expand into financial services, travel and hospitality and other industries.