Published September 10-20, 2022
Four transformations will shape marketing in the coming years:
- the shift from continuous new customer acquisition to focusing on existing customers (Martech 2.0),
- the creation of differentiated experiences for Best Customers (Velvet Rope Marketing),
- the building of hotlines via email for two-way engagement (Email 2.0), and
- the use of Atomic Rewards to solve the twin problems of attention recession and data poverty (Loyalty 2.0).
Taken together, these trends will lead to better brand-customer relationships and less “AdWaste” to drive “profit-centric marketing” via exponential, forever, profitable growth. Half of marketing spends (about $200 billion annually) are drained by reacquisition of churned or inactive customers, and wrong acquisition. The key to controlling rising CAC (customer acquisition cost) is by deepening the emphasis on existing customers with the 5 Rs: retention, repetition, referrals, reactivation, replenishment. Otherwise, marketers run the risk of constantly pouring money into a leaky bucket which can have a negative impact on profitability and can threaten the brand’s existence against a backdrop of a slowdown in consumer spending.
All of these are themes I have explored in my writings over the past two-and-a-half years on the blog.
Martech 2.0: Focus on Existing Customers
- Marketing: Disrupted and Simplified
- The Coming Martech Era: Driving Exponential Forever Profitable Growth
- Martech’s Magicians: Microns, Micronbox and µniverse
- The Subscriptions Future: Customer Retention Forever
- Progency for Martech: The Missing Link
- Martech 2.0 and Web3: Solving Advertising’s 50% Problem
- Profit-centric Marketing: Start with Email 2.0 and Loyalty 2.0
- Extreme Retention = Profit-centric Marketing
Velvet Rope Marketing: Focus on Best Customers
- Velvet Rope Marketing
- Becoming Chief Profitability Officer
- The One Number to Predict Profits
- Rethinking Referral Marketing
- How Velvet Rope Marketing can transform Customer Loyalty
- Best Customers and Velvet Rope Marketing
Email 2.0: Build Hotlines to Customers
- Microns: Making B2C Emails Better [Ems]
- Microns: Theory and Economics [Ems]
- Microns and Brands: Made for Each Other [Ems]
- Micron-verse: The New World of Brand-Customer Communications
- Microns: Solving the Customer Reactivation Problem
- Microns and AMP: A Powerful Combo
- Micronbox: A New Inbox
- Email2: Energising Engagement
- Email 2.0: Making Email Cool Again
- Hotline: The Crux of the Brand-Customer Relationship
- Building the Hotline Right
Loyalty 2.0: Tokenise Attention and Data
- Microns and Loyalty: Gamifying and Rewarding Attention
- Imagining Mus: An Attention-Action Currency
- Micron-verse: Making It Happen
- Attention Messaging: Bridging Adtech, CPaaS and Martech
- Stop Loss: The Power of Attention Messaging
- Imagining µniverse: The B2C Metaverse
- Atomic Rewards: The Solution to Attention Recession
- µniverse and Bharatverse: Web3 Explorations
- Constructing the µniverse
- Loyalty 2.0: How Brands can Tokenise Customer Attention and Data
- The MuCo Future
- MuApp: The Brand-Customer Hotline
In this series, I will explore the new world that these coming changes will create, centred around the use of Atomic Rewards to tokenise attention and data. Attention is upstream of transactions, and data is the oxygen for personalisation. Tomorrow’s world is about omnichannel personalisation and the Muniverse (what I have also termed as the µniverse) is at its core.
Here is a glimpse of what the Muniverse looks like (from “The MuCo Future”):
Think of it as a two-sided system. Consumers have time, personal information, their social networks, and their recommendations to offer – attention, data, network and voice. Brands can benefit from all of these. But they have no easy way to compensate customers for these. They could use points as part of their existing loyalty programs, but there are two constraints: rewards for these non-monetary actions need to be much smaller than what is possible via the loyalty programs, and not all businesses have loyalty programs. The way to solve this problem is to create a pan-brand solution delinked from money – that is where Mu as points or tokens comes in. Micro-incentives for small, in-the-flow actions all add up to enable a meaningful aggregate for consumers who can now be offered an array of ‘priceless’ experiences by the brands at close to zero cost.
… Think of MuCo as a Mu factory. It takes fiat currency as input and produces Mu. The Mu can then be distributed by the buyers (brands) to their customers – MuCo has no control over that process. MuCo maintains a centralised database which tracks the flow of Mu (from source to destination). End consumers have to come to MuCo to use the Mu – they begin by activating it by identifying themselves (email address, mobile number) to claim the Mu that has been given to them by brands. Thus, brands and consumers have “wallets” and transactions are stored in a database. This is almost identical to how current loyalty programs work.
Consumers will then want to redeem Mu. For this, MuCo will need to run a market of offerings from brands. This can work in two ways: either MuCo ‘buys’ the products from brands and ‘sells’ it to customers (like a Mu Shop) or brands can themselves sell directly to customers (in a Mu Marketplace). In the latter scenario, brands get Mu in return for their ‘experience’ offerings.
… MuCo is thus running a 2-sided marketplace between brands and consumers. The challenge such marketplaces face is the ‘cold start’ problem – creating enough demand on both sides to get activity going. To overcome this problem, MuCo may need partners who can help accelerate the process of getting Mu in the hands of consumers. It will also need to create an attractive shop to get consumers to see the value and utility of Mu before brands start coming in with their own offerings.
… Making MuCo as a Web3 entity is important for multiple reasons: governance is not in the control of a single ‘centralised’ entity but is decentralised, which in turn should lead to an increase in trust in Mu; Mu creation is decided by rules and is either capped or the increase is pre-planned, which should then lead to appreciating in the value of Mu over time creating an alternative to simply spending it; and the creation of a Mu Exchange, which allows trading of Mu without a central intermediary determining the price.
… In the new world of two-way engagement where customers are digital and can engage in myriad different ways with the brand, Loyalty 2.0 and MuCo provides for a deeper and better relationship – a true, long-lasting ‘friendship’ that transcends money. Web3 elevates MuCo to beyond the control of a single entity; it makes the community central. Brands (with their marketing managers) and customers can come together to create a better relationship without Big Tech as the intermediary. A trust platform based on Web3 principles and the blockchain can serve as the perfect foundation.
… What is exciting about MuCo is that it can solve a real problem (or perhaps two): for brands, attention recession and data poverty; for customers, the soft-touch multi-dimensional engagement with brands beyond just the transaction. And at the intersection is a $200 billion ‘AdWaste’ opportunity. In a world where profits are once again coming centrestage, MuCo is an idea whose time has come!
A key component of the Muniverse will be the MuApp, as I wrote in “MuApp: The Brand-Customer Hotline”: “[T]he MuApp [is] an inbox for brand messages linked to a customer’s email address and mobile number, a wallet to store Mu tokens and XRTs, and an interface to the Mu marketplace and exchange. The MuApp enables the easy flow of Mu between brands and customers, thus enabling the monetisation of attention and data. It integrates Email 2.0 and Loyalty 2.0. It is the hotline that creates a win-win by enabling brands to cut their AdWaste by building better relationships with their existing customers, who can in turn become promoters to assist with better new customer acquisition, providing a Big Tech bypass and an entry point to the µniverse.”
So, what does life in the Muniverse look like?
Arun and Jeni
In the first two parts of “Constructing the µniverse”, I had introduced Arun and Jeni. Arun is a consumer, and Jeni is a marketing manager. I had written about a day in their future lives. In the rest of this series, I will go deeper into how they both benefit from the Muniverse and how their lives change for the better as the Muniverse evolves from its startup phase to its Web2 and Web3 avatars. Let’s begin by revisiting what I had written to get a glimpse of tomorrow’s world as seen through the eyes of Arun and Jeni.
Arun checks his Micronbox for brand messages. 20-odd messages that have come in overnight vie for his attention. There is no spam because every one of the messages is from brands he has opted in to. That is why he switched his brand interactions from Gmail to Micronbox. The Subject lines prefixed with µ tell him what brands are willing to pay for his attention. He opens the email from A1 Books – there are 5 recommendations for him. Micronbox has interactive emails, so he can click on a book and read more right inside the email. A1 Books offers him 5µ for reading more about each of the books. He checks out two of them, earns 10µ and adds one of the books to the shopping cart. He doesn’t need to leave his Micronbox at all.
… An email from the telco wants to know more about him – “zero-party data” as it is called. He answers two questions and is rewarded 30µ by the telco.
Arun then engages in “Word Play”, a Wordle-like game that gets delivered to his inbox daily. He guesses the word on his fourth try and earns 3µ. (A guess on the third attempt would have gotten him an extra µ.)
… Arun’s µCount has reached 4500. He goes to the µExchange and offers 4000 for sale. He sees that the price is a bit higher than it was a month ago when he had done the last trade. The sale is done, and he is happy to see the extra cash in his crypto wallet.
The Micronbox and wallet referred to above are part of the MuApp.
Jeni is the marketing manager at A1 Books. She handles the µProgram as part of her responsibilities. Besides overseeing the email program, she also has responsibility for ensuring an adequate supply of µ for rewarding customers. She uses the µExchange to make periodic purchases of µ, which are in turn then given to customers for their attention and engagement. She has seen a multi-fold increase in transactions after A1 Books joined the µniverse ecosystem.
… Jeni could buy µ from the µExchange and reward her customers for their time, attention and engagement. The price was set by the trades being done – much like the stock market. End customers earned µ and could either use it for vouchers and special discounts in the µShop or sell their earnings on the µExchange. Since the absolute µ in circulation was capped and there was no single centralised entity who could potentially debase the value of µ, it was up to brands and customers to determine the fair value in the marketplace.
… For Jeni, µniverse helped solve the biggest problem she faced – attention recession among her existing customers. She could now use variable rewards to incentivise the actions she wanted. Her customers also were happy that their time was valued. This win-win relationship helped Jeni get more from her existing customers, reduce her new customer acquisition spends, and put A1 Books on the path to sustained profitability.
How did this wonderful, win-win, almost magical, future happen for Arun and Jeni?
Phase 1: Startup (Arun)
It is early 2023. Arun wakes up and checks his Gmail inbox. He sees something different in his inbox. There is an email from A1 Books with a ‘µ’ in the Subject. Intrigued, he opens it. A1 Books has a brief explainer. The µ is a signal that the email has rewards for Arun. By opening the email and engaging with it, Arun can earn µ which can then be redeemed for various fun activities.
The email that Arun opens is interactive, coded using AMP. It allows for in-place (within the email) actions, without the need for clicking through to a landing page. The email reminds Arun of the book that he had checked out on A1 Books’ website a couple days ago. There is an accordian which expands the “Table of Contents” about the book. A carousel shows Arun some of the reviews about the book. Arun decides that he wants to buy the book. Since an AMP email is unique for every recipient, A1 Books already knows his identity and has his tokenised card info as part of their database. All Arun needs to do is to enter the OTP (one-time password) he just received in the text box in the email, and the transaction is done. No need to visit the A1 Books website; all his actions were done right in the AMP email that he received.
Arun is not yet done being delighted! He scrolls down to check out the email footer. What used to just be an “Unsubscribe” option is now a collection of AMPlets. Arun can provide an NPS rating for his experience on A1 Books (he gives it a 10) – for which he receives 3 µ. He can also do a search right in the email itself. A1 Books is keen to know if he will attend their book discussion with an author of a new thriller; he can get 5 µ for replying, and another 50 µ when he actually attends. A1 Books is keen to know more about Arun’s interests – would he mind answering a few questions in return for some µ? He likes this gamification and goes ahead and answers a couple of profiling questions.
He scrolls down further and sees his tally of µ at 13. Would he like to play roulette, bet a few µ? A few seconds later, he is at 23 µ. And what’s this? There is a cryptic crossword clue? He spends 5 µ to answer; his incorrect guess provides him a learning moment.
And right at the bottom he sees an ad from Netflix which has a promotion about their new OTT series. Is he interested? Yes! Would he like to add it to his watchlist? Yes!!
And as he exits the email, he realises he has part of something new. What a collection of experiences! He has earned and spent some µ (“Atomic Rewards”), and it was fun. His engagement (and excitement) quotient just shot up! A “delete” mindset changed into “delight”. He is now eagerly waiting for the next email from A1 Books, and hoping more brands offer the µ for his attention and data.
Phase 1: Startup (Jeni)
Jeni at A1 Books was intrigued when her email service provider (Netcore) came to her with an exciting offer. Netcore had partnered with MuCo to provide its enterprise customers free Mu credits if they agreed to reward their customers for various actions in the emails they sent. (The credits got converted into Mu points when consumers did the relevant actions.) It was a no-brainer for Jeni. She had been thinking about ways to get her email open rates up from 12%. Even though that was better than the industry average, it meant that 7 out of 8 emails A1 Books sent were being ignored.
Netcore offered Jeni ideas for combining AMP and Atomic Rewards, as part of its Email 2.0 initiative. AMP made emails interactive, with engagement taking place within the email itself. No waiting for clickthroughs and no need for creating landing pages. Netcore’s AMP editor would help Jeni construct the emails easily. The Atomic Rewards idea excited Jeni. She could now offer micro-incentives within the emails for various actions she desired from the recipients: faster conversions, feedback, and additional data to help her martech system do better personalisation. She signed up for Netcore’s Email 2.0 program.
Her first campaign had just gone live. The data was off the charts. Opens (helped by the µ in the Subject) were up 3X. Conversions for those who got emails like the one Arun got were double the normal rate. Many of those who had opened up the emails had also engaged with the email footer, providing her with a 4X increase in NPS inputs and a 7X increase in the data collected. The best thing of all was that the campaign was a money spinner with the AMP Ads at the bottom. Advertisers like Netflix paid A1 Books for the actions and leads generated. A “confidential clean room” had matched A1 subscriber data with Netflix subscribers to ensure there was no ad sent to someone who was not a subscriber – without compromising on privacy and making ads useful for recipients.
For Jeni, this partnership with Netcore and MuCo opened up a new world of possibilities. Her email program could now go beyond just 1-way despatch of messages; it could become a micro-store capable of not just transaction revenue but also advertising income. She was already thinking ahead. What kind of unique experiences could she create for the soon-to-be-launched MuCo Marketplace which would let her earn Mu from product sales? She could then reinvest the Mu into her email program to drive more actions. She was especially keen to test our referrals – offer µ in return for names of three friends from customers like Arun who could be potential future buyers. This would help Jeni cut the ad spending that was going out of hand on Google and the Meta properties.
It was just Day One, but Jeni could sense a new future being birthed. The Muniverse could help her build hotlines to her existing customers. And she was right on the frontlines!
Phase 2: Web2 Scale-up (Arun)
It is a few months later. Arun now gets many emails from various brands in his inbox with µ in the Subject. There is a suffix with a number – his Mu Count. This lets him identify the real emails with Atomic Rewards from the spurious ones. One of the first things Arun had done after accumulating some µ was to activate his account. It was a breeze. All he had to do was confirm his mobile number in the email itself. This gave him access to the Mu Marketplace with a lot more goodies. (More on that soon.)
The incoming “microns” (as the emails with rewards are called) have made Arun look forward to opening his Gmail inbox on a regular basis. In fact, a few of his friends switched from the Apple default mail client on their iPhones to Gmail because AMP was not supported by Apple and they were missing out on the rewards!
Arun now knows the typical format of the microns. The Subject has µ followed by the Mu Count. The body of the email has the main email message – it could be a transaction confirmation or a promotional message. In either case, he is seeing brands work to make the message interactive. The transactional emails now have NPS feedback in-place – and he has started responding to them, since he doesn’t have to clickthrough to a different page. Many marketing emails from email companies offer much more product information in-place with expansion links. Increasingly, he is seeing payment integration so the purchase friction has reduced. Finance companies are offering calculators and real-time stock updates, travel companies offer search, media companies offer the latest headlines every time he opens the email; many offer chat (as a push towards conversational commerce).
He thinks of the footers like the comics and puzzles page in a newspaper; the “real thing” as he likes to call it. There are three containers of AMPlets in the footer: what the brand offers, what MuCo offers, and the Ad. The brand footer helps him earn µ, the MuCo footer lets him redeem µ with its casual games, and the ad’s personalised content makes him not want to miss it.
What Arun has been most excited about has been the recent launch of the Mu Marketplace. Brands have started offering many “priceless experiences” which he can redeem for his µ. Just recently, he signed up for an online interaction with the author of a bestseller by purchasing a ticket with µ from A1 Books.
Of late, Arun has also been seeing µ in some of his other push channels: SMS, push notifications and WhatsApp. He has been paying attention to messages which he otherwise would just ignore! While the µ still doesn’t have a trading price attached to it, he has heard that there is a Web3 Mu token coming soon. The gamification and fun element the Mu have brought in his life has been great; could asset appreciation be next?
Phase 2: Web2 Scale-up (Jeni)
Jeni has become a star at A1 Books. Her early adoption of Mu and innovation in the use cases has made her a mini-celebrity inside and outside the company. Within A1 Books, her adoption of Mu has meant that business from existing customers has skyrocketed, helping them reduce the spends on new customer acquisition. In fact, her referrals and reviews program (incentivised via Mu) has helped reduce the dependency on constant spending on Big Tech platforms to meet internal targets. This has boosted profitability at A1 Books.
Externally, Jeni has been recognised for leading many of the innovations in the Muniverse. She worked with Netcore to make Mu omnichannel – expanding it to the other push channels. Her response rates on the other channels are up more than 10X. She also created Mu differentiation – with rewards for A1 Books’ best customers being significantly higher than the regular customers. She led the creation of casual games linked with books which made the brand footer a must-see, thus ensuring the body of the email was also perused. She used AMP Ads for reactivating some of the dormant customers – she had their email IDs and last purchase and invoked the nostalgia of the previous book bought to ‘awaken’ customers.
Her demand for Mu has steadily increased. Realising that Mu could not yet be bought in the open market, she deepened her relationship with Netcore beyond just email because Netcore, as one of the few distribution partners of MuCo, offered her additional Mu linked to her spending. She now uses Netcore for all her push messages and its Martech full-stack. When the Mu Marketplace opened, she immediately saw the opportunity to get more Mu. She crafted online events where tickets could only be purchased with Mu. She calls this “Mu Mining.”
Jeni improved her app retention by using Mu to drive behaviour in the first few days after downloading. She rewarded A1 Books app users with Mu if they opened the app three times in the first week, and browsed through five books. This was one of the first uses of Mu beyond the push channels. It worked wonders: the 7-day uninstall percentage fell by half.
With Mu usage growing, Jeni’s team now tracks innovations being deployed by other brands. Her team identifies the good ones and runs experiments to see the uplift. If significant, she is quick to deploy to the full base. One of the ideas she is toying with is to see how A1 Books could use Mu in the offline stores that A1 Books plans to open in the coming months. The Web3 migration that MuCo is planning also has her excited. Mu points in the Web2 world have done wonders; what will Web3 Mu tokens bring?
Phase 3: Web3 Launch (Arun)
Arun is excited. Today is the launch of the Web3 version of his favourite loyalty program. Through the past year and some months, he has accumulated a lot of Mu points. He sees Mu in many places beyond his Gmail inbox. In fact, just recently he earned some Mu at the newly launched offline store of A1 Books. There was a QR code on the book which he scanned and was taken to a page where he had to answer a question based on the first chapter in the book. (The minutes he spent reading nudged him towards the purchase.) Some of the ads on TV have now started carrying QR codes with Mu as rewards. He realises that one thing about Mu has not changed: Mu is not linked to spending money, it is only about his attention and data. It is a loyalty program that fills a gap. He is much more open to sharing info with brands in return for Mu; this transaction helps both the brand and him. The brand can now send more relevant information, and he gets offers that are useful enough for him not to ignore the incoming communications.
Arun has just downloaded the MuApp. He logs in with OTPs sent to his mobile number and email address. He opens the app and sees four tiles: Inbox, Wallet, Marketplace and Exchange. He starts his exploration.
The Inbox (or Micronbox as it is called) lets him pull all the microns (emails with Mu) from his Gmail inbox. He likes that and agrees to provide his credentials to let this happen. He has always wanted a “WhatsApp for brands” – an inbox that separates the brand messages from his personal messages. It also does the same for SMS, so now he has a unified brand messages inbox.
The Wallet is a secure Web3 crypto wallet. This provides him with a full statement of his points (and tokens). It’s a so-called custodial wallet in that MuCo is securing his tokens on the back-end, making Arun’s life easier. He has an option to upgrade his Mu points to Mu tokens at a 1:1 ratio. If he does so, his points will move from a centralised database and become tokens recorded on the blockchain. He decides he needs to read up a little on this before he makes the call. He watches a couple explainers from MuCo that convince him this is a good idea. The tokenisation of his points will allow him the ability to trade on the Exchange. In effect, his tokens become an “asset” which can potentially appreciate in value based on supply and demand. For this, he will need to create a Web3 wallet address which will anonymise him and protect his email address and mobile number.
He checks out the Marketplace. This remains as it is. It provides him the ability to redeem Mu for products, services and experiences from brands. He can either use points or now, tokens. He does notice one thing: he can now gift points to others. He makes a mental note of that – perhaps one day, Mu could serve as a nice birthday gift for some of his family members.
He then goes to the Exchange. This opens up a new world for Arun. He can now trade his tokens. There are some offers already for the purchases of tokens. For the first time, there is a real monetary value being placed on the Mu that he has earned. He hopes that over time the value increases, making it even more rewarding for him.
Arun exits MuApp and smiles. A new future beckons. He wonders how brands will react with Web3 MuCo.
Phase 3: Web3 Launch (Jeni)
Jeni at A1 Books has been looking forward to MuCo’s Web3 launch. There had been many online webinars explaining how this would be an exciting upgrade and the new things Jeni could look forward to. She mentally checks out the benefits.
First, the Web3-ficiation of MuCo would create a better and more transparent governance architecture for Mu. One thing she had worried about was that MuCo could at any time flood the market with Mu and that would debase the value. Now, there are clear rules which prevent a single “ruler” from determining the future of what has now become one of the most successful loyalty programs. There is a clear roadmap that has been published on how the Mu in circulation will grow – balancing the need for price stability that brands would want and some value appreciation that consumers would like.
Second, the Exchange now gives Jeni a third way to acquire Mu. So far, she had been relying on the free Mu credits given by Netcore for the use of its platform and the Mu Marketplace where A1 Books sold experiences for Mu. The Exchange now meant that she could pay fiat currency and buy Mu at the prevailing price – exactly the way a stock exchange works. Now that she had seen the power of Mu, she decided she would allocate a budget for Mu and expand its usage across A1 Books’ customer base.
Third, Jeni could now create a new form of token, the eXtreme Retention Token (XRT), for its most loyal customers. The XRT, a non-fungible token (NFT), would allow the best customers access to many additional benefits: priority access to new books, fast shipping, express checkout in stores, a longer return period, and access to exclusive author events. Jeni had been keeping on creating a differentiated experience program for the best customers ever since she had read about “Velvet Rope Marketing.” When she had analysed the transaction data, she had found that 15% of her customers were responsible for 65% of revenue. These were her best customers, and they needed to be treated like “royalty.” The XRT now identified them. XRTs are stored alongside Mu in the MuCo wallet. Both are tokens: Mu transferrable; XRT identified with a specific user and a brand.
Jeni thinks back to the early days of Mu, and is amazed at its mass adoption and evolution in such a short time. Partners like Netcore onboarded a large number of brands for distribution of Mu. They were incentivised for performance: the speed of conversion of credits into Mu points which were activated by customers. Mu solved two genuine problems: attention recession and data poverty. With Mu, Jeni had been able to substantially reduce her ad spends on new customers and simultaneously grow revenue and profits at a faster clip. Jeni’s rapid rollout of Mu had helped her become CMO at A1 Books. Her CEO in fact called her the “Chief Profitability Officer.”
With the Web3 launch of Mu, Jeni is now happy that the loyalty program has become “institutionalised”. This will be good for brands and customers. There is one thought that she is excited about: can Mu become the anchor for A1 Books’ transactions loyalty program also?
Phase 4: Web3 Scale-up (Arun)
Arun opens his MuApp. It has been a few years since the first email with Mu landed in his inbox. Through the years, he has amassed a lot of Mu, a mini asset-class in itself. He checks his MuCo Wallet and sees the Mu tokens balance. At the current Mu exchange rate, it is a tidy sum. Gone are the days when brands took his attention and data for granted. In fact, his attention and data was being monetised – not by him, but by the Big Tech intermediaries. He now had full control. He could decide what data to share with which brand. They did not need to stalk him on various sites he visited. If they needed additional data about him, they could just ask him on the email hotlines he had established with many of them. All they had to do was to offer him an incentive in the form of Mu, and he would then decide if that was good enough. Of course, he knew that the more data he shared, the better the recommendations that the brand could make for his future purchases.
Arun had also accumulated many XRTs from his favourite brands, creating better experiences in his brand interactions. Previously, a brand had no easy way to identify him as a best customer. Now, at offline stores, all he had to do was to open his MuApp and scan the XRT at the entrance and the store was alerted of his presence. The XRT was an asset in its right. He had just seen the A1 Books XRT value on the Exchange, but he preferred to keep the XRT rather than trade it for cryptocurrency or fiat money.
Arun’s MuApp inbox is also a delight to scan. There is no spam. Only brands that he has authorised can send him microns (messages with rewards). His Gmail inbox is also much cleaner since most of the brand messages now are in the MuApp. He loves those little surprises in the email footer. Just the other day, he had subscribed (using his Mu) to a service which showed him a cryptic clue in every micron that he received. It brought back memories of solving the Times of India crosswords when he was in college! The one thing he has noticed is that most brands now only need a single email in his Inbox. Whenever they have a new message for him, the MuApp shows an indication. He then checks the message which is dynamically constructed for him on the fly via AMP.
Arun has been able to build better relationships with brands. Mu has rewarded his time. In fact, some brands have now replaced their own loyalty programs with Mu because of its popularity and ubiquity. Mu’s DAO-like governance ensures that tokens never expire and cannot be debased, the two biggest banes of proprietary loyalty programs. In addition, the redemption options are many – the Marketplace and the Exchange. Gamification and asset appreciation have been two additional attractions for Arun. Also impressive was how Mu began in the Web2 and seamlessly bridged the Web3 world. As an early adopter of Mu, Arun truly believes that the Mu innovation has been one of the best in the 2020s, akin to Google’s Search in the 2000s and WhatsApp in the 2010s.
Phase 4: Web3 Scale-up (Jeni)
Jeni has just taken over as CEO at the newly rebranded A1 SuperStore. She credits the success of the Mu initiative as helping her reach the apex position. Mu helped A1 Books build a huge customer base. Jeni’s email innovations with Netcore and Mu helped build a huge fan following. Open and engagement rates for emails from A1 Books were off the charts. With existing customers powering A1 Books, profits had soared because the AdWaste had been eliminated. The hotline had helped drive exponential growth, which had given A1 Books the ability to expand into a wider array of merchandise. The omnichannel experience had also been uniquely crafted – with the XRTs of A1 Books becoming widely coveted. The only way for customers to get the XRTs was by moving spending to A1 Books. A1 Books grew with the simplest (and most forgotten) in business – get your customers back for more, and make sure they get their family and friends. The Mu Rewards program with its points and tokens was at the heart of A1 Books’ (and Jeni’s) growth.
MuCo’s Web3 transition has worked out very well. Jeni has put in place a program for periodically purchasing Mu from the Exchange. The price is set by the interactions between the participants. MuCo has put a transparent program for the sale of Mu to ensure that the price inflation is not substantial. (Of course, its own $MUCO token has risen in value very fast as the usage of Mu has expanded dramatically through the years. Jeni had made a small investment and it’s worth a nice amount now.)
Jeni is preparing for a keynote on “How Mu Power Propelled A1 Books” at an online marketing summit. She mentally checks off the key points: how Mu filled in an existing gap in the time-based loyalty marketplace; how it had combined the four emerging marketing trends (Martech 2.0, VRM, Email 2.0 and Loyalty 2.0); how MuCo’s focus on attention and data helped brands cut their dependence on rapidly rising ad spends at Google and Meta properties; how A1 Books drove many of the early innovations in the Muniverse – omnichannel expansion, use of QR codes linked to Mu in the offline world, XRTs linked to customer lifetime value; and, how A1 Books created a transactions-linked loyalty program with Mu. She had been prescient to spot the potential of Mu early on, and had leveraged the partnership with Netcore and its CPaaS and Martech platforms to personalise Mu first in the emails, then in SMS, WhatsApp and push notifications, and later on the website and app. Mu had helped A1 Books build a data flywheel: the more the customer actions, the more the data Mu collected; AI engines then used the data for better personalisation and recommendations which in turn drove more customer actions. Mu had levelled the playing field for a small player like A1 Books to rise above competition and had helped drive its expansion into offline and now beyond books.
Jeni jotted down a few ideas of her hopes for the Muniverse for the future which would help brands like A1: how would Mu work in the metaverse, how Mu could be the single loyalty program to replace all loyalty programs (even the highly popular airline frequent flyer programs where customers still had to deal with expired points, blacked out dates which made use of the earned points difficult, and the inability to transfer and gift points), and how MuCo could help with new customer acquisition (still a significant Big Tech spend). The Muniverse had come many miles, but it still had many more to traverse to make the brand-customer relationship even better.