Friday, May 13, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD:Offermatic users opt-in to receive targeted offers through their credit cards

The online targeting industry is built on the idea of "opt-out" – that users are participating until such time as they make an effort to opt out of data-based advanced targeting. Assuming a clear and prominent disclosure of practices and a genuine means of opting out,

I think that's fine. I mean, something has to pay for 24/7/365 free access to the Library of Congress we call a computer that is sitting in our laps. Most targeting companies insist that if we moved to an opt-in model – in which consumers had to act to participate – then we’d have tremendous challenges driving revenue and profit that powers digital. I agree.

But a start-up called Offermatic breaks with the herd, using a model in which consumers receive rebates, rewards, discounts, and other offers by linking their credit cards anonymously with the service. In other words, they OPT IN to connecting their purchase and browsing history in exchange for great values.

It works like this. You join – without, BTW, providing any PII beyond an email address, and then connect your credit card(s) to the service, giving consent to your bank to provide transaction information to the service. Based upon your purchase patterns, you receive offers geared to your interests, favorite stores, location, and so on. Discounts and offers are STEEP – 50% - 90% is the range for initial offers.

Offers are delivered in emails. The user clicks on an offer, visits the site, and loads it onto their credit card. Provided they take the desired action within the specified time frame, they receive the discount or whatever without having to clip or print coupons or send in mail rebates.

More than just transaction data are used for targeting. Offermatic also measures browsing history, searches, site visits, and other metrics to develop a more precise targeting model.

Here’s a video that serves up the concept for consumers:

So here’s a totally cool dimension for retailers – Offermatic can use the transaction data to serve offers ONLY to people with desired characteristics. So, let’s think back to that infamous Gap offer through Groupon. Remember the one? $25 for $50 voucher. 440,000 takers. Certainly drove store traffic. But how many of those people were already Gap customers. It stands to reason A LOT. After all, a 50% discount is even more likely to appeal to a current customer than a nonuser. So a lot of that 50% was basically profit thrown into a fireplace.

Groupon, mass. Offermatic, precise.

With Offermatic, Gap or Target or YOU could make the offer only to non-users, or lapsed users, so that the deal drives new business into your stores. OR, you could reward current users who make incremental purchases. The point is, the choice and precision are yours to control.

Post purchase, Offermatic can send reminders to drive additional actions, or reward users who publicize their purchases in social media. Plus, Offermatic can deliver reports that tell you who your users are, what impacts the program had on loyalty, and other great data that any marketing org would want. You also get benchmarking to show how your metrics compare to purchase patterns of competitors.

In my view, Groupon's gonna have a tough fight on their hands when retailers get a close look at this outfit.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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