I travelled from Mumbai to Delhi recently – my first flight after 19 months of staying at home. At the airport, there are many big ad displays. Why don’t most of them have any engagement option other than a URL? I flew Indigo from Mumbai to Delhi. A couple days after the flight, I got an SMS asking me to fill out a survey about my experience. I ignored it. What could Indigo have done to nudge me to fill the survey? In Delhi, the hotel I stayed at did not even ask me about how the experience was. What could it have done to engage me better and convert a one-off transaction into a longer relationship? I went to a QSR (quick service restaurant) for lunch with a couple colleagues. While one of them paid, could the restaurant have garnered my attention to know more about me and thus possibly reduced future new customer acquisition costs?
What I have described above is commonplace – that’s the way it has been for as long as we can remember. But our world has changed. We have a persistent addressable identity. We also have a smartphone in our hands all the time – with a camera and QR code reader. By not factoring these two big shifts, brands are missing so many moments to add a layer of attention and engagement with their present and future customers. This is the opportunity that atomic rewards offers brands.
It was not possible in the past to offer these persuasion points to a mass of unknown users. But now, the ‘anon’ (as in anonymous) is ‘known’ and atomic rewards offers a micro-currency to make exactly these nudges possible. What brands need to do is to segment the customer journey and identify moments where a small nudge in the form of an incentive can change behaviour.
Let’s go through the same moments I experienced in my Delhi travel. At the airport, big ad displays could be brought to life with a QR code with an offer of 10 Mu (equating to one rupee) for me to act and provide some information for follow-up. Indigo could have offered me 20 Mu for filling the survey. My Delhi hotel could have incentivised me 50 Mu for feedback. The QSR could have offered 30 Mu for me to share which food items I liked – along with an offer of 100 Mu to download their app so I could get alerts when I am in the vicinity of the same QSR chain in my travels.
For a brand, these are small investments – because the alternatives in each case are to spend many times more in reaching the potential customer again. In fact, compared to some of the spends that they are already doing for ads, this is an incremental add-on which can have very big benefits.
Atomic rewards are not limited to B2C brands. They could even be used by businesses for providing micro-incentives for their employees. It becomes a fun, gamified experience. Incentives work, and we can all be nudged with the right rewards. It is up to us with our innovation hats to create these magical moments.