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InComm has been busy lately. In June, the organization acquired Hallmark Business Connections, and in July, it acquired Meridian Loyalty. In addition, InComm partnered with luxury travel retailer DFS to launch barcode payment solutions in Japan. To discuss this exciting activity, Loyalty360 recently spoke with Dave Etling, Senior Vice President & General Manager for InComm.
“There’s been some consolidation in the space,” Etling said. “Historically, InComm, within B2B, has been very well positioned and continues to be in position to support loyalty and incentive channels. At the end of the day, where our business is headed is, increasingly, the direct account space, because we have the best alignment in that space.”
Etling added that his company approaches the market from a rewards-agnostic stance Toward this end, InComm is focused on consumer loyalty programs, sales, and channel-incentives. Given the Meridian acquisition, the company is well-positioned to achieve these goals. The organization also has “a big focus on employee engagement and recognition,” which has been bolstered by the Hallmark acquisition.
In addition, Etling stated that InComm is currently involved in “end-to-end engagement and delivery platforms.” He stated that these have seen “a tremendous amount of success in the health and wellness space.” Overall, InComm has amalgamated a wealth of technology and technological expertise, enabling it to serve a broad range of clients with various needs.
As for the rewards-agnostic approach, Etling defines that as “giving clients and consumers choice.” He said, “If you look at the loyalty and incentives space, it’s been largely dominated, from an economic perspective, by merchandise and travel. What we believe is, by offering true choice and doing things like promotions around store value (where InComm has been very successful), we can give clients a one-stop shop and give consumers the best experience.”
He continued, “We’re able to offer a broad range of rewards within a portfolio, but we’re not necessarily disadvantaging one over the other, not making one more attractive (unless the client wants this). Essentially, we’re talking about a situation where a consumer is disadvantaged from getting a particular brand of a gift card versus a particular golf club, as an example. We’re really creating an experience that’s data-driven, based upon what the consumers and the client want for their program, rather than being very prescriptive about why we want them to redeem a particular thing.”
The rewards-agnostic approach therefore offers a significant amount of choice and flexibility, and InComm’s acquisitions give it the capacity and agility to make that possible. Loyalty360 asked Etling what InComm’s competitive set will be going forward, now that it has increased its capabilities. He replied, “It depends upon how you define a competitor. In some cases, there could be someone that we deem as a competitor of a particular focus, but we’re providing tremendous value in other areas, and therefore, we’re not necessarily deemed as a competitor.”
Overall, he said, “We’re squarely going after a very broad set of verticals with a particular focus, direct accounts where we have a very natural alignment to do promotions, provide and share data, and ultimately, have best outcomes for the client and InComm.”
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