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Bridging the Gap Between Investor Relations and Customer Loyalty
Fifty percent of Americans own stock in a publicly traded company. Of those stockholders, 80 percent support the companies in which they own stock by shopping the stores, purchasing the products or using the services. It’s naturally built-in brand loyalty. So, why aren’t those most loyal customers being rewarded?
Jeff Lambert set out to do something about that. With two decades of entrepreneurial experience in marketing and investor relations, Lambert spent many a moment thinking not only about how he could replace the word “pivot” in the dictionary, but also how he could bring those two industries together. While “flip-turn” has not quite made its way into everyday language, Lambert did succeed in his other endeavor. TiiCKER, the platform to connect companies to investors, was born.
Loyalty360 CEO Mark Johnson spoke with the Founder and CEO of TiiCKER to discuss the under-tapped shareholder audience and his company’s unique customer loyalty platform.
Unlocking the Largest Untapped Market
130 million Americans own individual stock. Rewarding investors for their support is not easy for public companies as it is difficult to identify individual investors and verify stock ownership levels. TiiCKER was created to bring together public companies and loyalty leaders to unlock the largest untapped market: retail investors.
While a public company may have a million subscribers in its loyalty program, the same company could potentially have five or ten times that number of shareholders. This seemingly overlooked market segment is an audience that has not been able to be identified in the past as marketing and investor relations have traditionally worked independently of each other.
“We build that bridge that every investor is a consumer,” explains Lambert.
TiiCKER helps companies design shareholder rewards programs that make customers feel valued. By connecting public companies with their shareholders, it allows for personalized communication and fosters a more genuine, loyal connection. Through its platform, TiiCKER enables public companies to offer their shareholders perks or rewards based on factors such as the number of shares owned and the length of time they have been held.
The loyalty program not only rewards stockholders for their patronage, but it also has the potential to raise the value of the stock. When users connect their brokerage accounts to the TiiCKER app, they can discover the perks and benefits offered by other top companies and may choose to invest with those brands to collect on the valuable benefits.
Users create a profile and connect their brokerage accounts to begin earning and redeeming perks they qualify for based on the number and duration of stocks owned. Users can view their stock portfolio, trade for free, and invest in new companies while viewing perks in one place. If a user does not have a broker, TiiCKER also offers commission-free trading through its partners.
Creating Privileges for Ownership
Loyalty comes in many forms, but ultimately the consumer is looking for a connection. According to Lambert, loyalty begins with how connected a person is to a brand or a company. “That is why we believe owners are the most loyal audience,” he says. “They bought a piece of the company. Ownership should have its privileges, but it doesn’t because of how regulations are set up to make most investors anonymous.”
Eight in ten investors shop the brand of stock they own. That is built-in loyalty that has not been tapped before in the industry. TiiCKER works with its clients to build deeper connections with their audience through perks, rewards, and experiences.
Like most loyalty programs, TiiCKER clients offer standard discounts on products, with shareholder discounts accounting for the most effective way to build connections with the brands. Lambert cites one example with Whirlpool. Shareholders are not only eligible to receive discounts on Whirlpool products, but any product within the Whirlpool house portfolio, including KitchenAid and Maytag.
The second most effective strategy has been awarding shareholders with experiences, such as VIP access to special events and movie premiers, or early access to new products. The platform even allows users to earn points toward traditional loyalty programs. The app easily integrates into existing loyalty platforms, so that shareholders can earn points by shopping at the stores where they invest.
For example, a Lowe’s shareholder not only earns rewards in the TiiCKER app for owning stock, but can earn extra perks for shopping at Lowe’s such as increased tier status. Users connect their brokerage accounts to the platform so there is no question as to whether they qualify for the discounts, rewards or experiences.
Says Lambert, “The key is we validate ownership. This is not just saying ‘I think you are a member.’”
Creating a New Metric: Shareholder Lifetime Value
Because users are linking their brokerage account to the app, TiiCKER receives information on all stocks in the user’s portfolio. This added data allows the brand to personalize communications based on customers’ interests.
Lambert explains, saying, “There is a high correlation between ownership in stocks and the brands that people shop and love.”
The customer data gathered in the TiiCKER app allows for targeted messages, promotions, and offers. The app not only shows the companies how many shares a user owns, but also how much they spend. “That is a new metric that we are creating,” says Lambert, “Shareholder lifetime value: how much stock they own, how long they have held it, and how much they spend over time.”
With this in mind, there is a direct ROI for a campaign with TiiCKER showing direct sales for those brands.
Experiential Rewards Develop Connectivity
Today, brands are searching for ways to obtain first-party data. For companies within the TiiCKER platform, it is simple. Stockholders are invested in the company. They are the owners. They want to opt-in for perks and discounts. There is a presumption that companies know who their investors are, but the fact is, they need a platform like TiiCKER to show them. The technology is here now for brands to tap into the first-party data from millions of investors by finding them and building a relationship.
Now that the effects of the pandemic have been waning and there is a return to in-person events, brands can capitalize on this by offering VIP experiences to build deeper connections and brand loyalty. This pertains to not only publicly traded companies, but to any brand looking to gain affinity. Granting loyal customers personal access to sports teams or celebrity spokespeople and special events are experiences that are highly coveted and very valuable.
These experiences give customers the feeling that they are special, they are appreciated, and they develop a connectivity between the brand and the customer that cannot be generated through discounts.
“This is a growing opportunity for people who want VIP access,” says Lambert, adding, “It’s not just the upgraded seat on the airplane, it’s the added experience the airline can offer. We are all micro-influencers, and those VIP experiences cause a ripple effect throughout the entire network.”
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