The three innovations that form the kernel of the marketer’s new map are Atomic Rewards, Martech 2.0, and Progency.
Many brands have loyalty programs linked to transactions and money spent. Atomic Rewards can be thought of as a loyalty program linked to attention and time spent. (It can later be extended to transactions also.) It is about incentivising customers for attention and engagement, and prodding habit creation such that they do not ignore incoming brand messages. It builds on a simple idea: to get customers to pay attention, pay them for their attention (else you will pay Google and Facebook 100X more). Atomic Rewards gamifies attention, and lets marketing change customer behaviour. For example, marketers can reward customers for their email actions like opens, clicks, providing rating/feedback, streaks, and proffering zero-party data (preferences). Atomic Rewards can be linked to existing brand loyalty programs, but a better way is to use a Web3 platform to ensure the earned points in the form of crypto tokens also become a useful investment over time.
As I wrote in a previous essay which offered a futuristic view of the success of the Web3 tokens: “The turning point came a few months after the launch of the tokens when an independent research study confirmed what the early adopters (brands and ESPs) had started to sense: tokens were driving changes in behaviour and solving the attention recession problem. This kickstarted the flywheel for tokens adoption: more brands started using them in emails directly and via email service providers, the exchange started buzzing as brands needed to buy tokens in the spot market leading to a steady increase in value, and consumers started wanting to earn more tokens by doing the actions desired by brands… Tokens embedded in emails helped drive meaningful actions. Brands controlled who could earn tokens, and thus had some measure of control on preventing fraudulent and frivolous behaviour. Consumers liked the fact that their attention (time) was no longer being taken for granted.”
Martech 2.0 Stack
Martech 2.0 addresses the problems of present day point solutions by creating a full stack. The chart below from an earlier essay captures the shift.
As I wrote then: “Martech 2.0 will be the “real thing” – what marketing should always have been with its focus on maximising lifetime value by building deep, engaging and rewarding customer relationships. The transaction is an outcome, rather than the only goal. With the focus on retention, reactivation and referrals incentivised at the right times with rewards, revenues will rise and so will profits.”
Progency is an agency built on top of a Martech 2.0 product platform; it is a product-led agency. It combines platform, people, and process into a unified offering priced on performance. It makes martech as simple as adtech is: identify a goal and outsource it to an agency. In this case, the agency is powered by tech. As I wrote previously: “The progency is actually a very scalable tech powerhouse with the full stack martech platform as the machine. Brands can either buy the machine itself (in effect, rent a version of it, since it’s all delivered from the cloud) or hire the machine developer to deliver the outcomes… Its pitch is simple: we will deliver the outcomes you need, we will get the job done for you. We have the machine and the operators. No one knows the machine better than we do. We constantly make the machine better. You don’t need to worry how it works. (No marketer knows how the targeting machines of Google and Facebook work.) You can of course buy the drill, but we are here to give you the hole that you really desire. You pay based on the performance, so we are on the same side.”
We are now ready to drill down and construct the marketer’s map with its three stations: pipe, partitioning, and prospecting.