An innovative digital e-commerce platform, designed and developed in South Africa, has uncovered the Holy Grail of business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. Consumer brands that adopt Brand Hubb’s unique customer loyalty solutions will go down in history as pioneers in marketing for the digital age. “We are challenging leading brands to rethink their digital marketing strategies in favour of meaningful customer interactions through our Brand Rewards solutions,” says Rob Anderson, CEO of Brand Hubb. He believes that brands are presently directing their digital advertising spend to the wrong recipients.
Leading brands are responding to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) by pumping cash into digital marketing channels that promise to place their brand in front of customers in the Millennial and ensuing consumer demographics. They spend millions of rands on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube to achieve fleeting exposures to these consumer segments. Success is measured based on how many ‘clicks’ or ‘views’ the campaign achieves, but to what end? These campaigns have the unintended outcome of linking brands to customers’ negative perceptions of invasive digital marketing. Besides, fleeting exposures no longer cut it in the fast-paced digital world.
An April 2019 study by the Denmark Technical University suggest that our collective attention span is narrowing. Each rand spent on securing a fleeting interaction from a prospective customer is a Pyrrhic victory. Yes, you had ‘eyes on’ your brand, but you offered nothing of substance to grab and keep the customer’s attention. “We believe that brands should repurpose their digital marketing budgets in favour of loyalty campaigns that are tightly focused on building direct and lasting relationships with customers,” says Anderson. Brands that engage with their customers through brand loyalty programmes are rewarded by lasting relationships that convert into lifetime sales.
There are countless studies that support the value of customer loyalty. Bain & Company and Harvard Business School report that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%” while Marketing Metrics, a 2011 text by Paul Farris et al, suggests that the probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than selling to a new customer. Imagine the benefit of redirecting your marketing expenditure towards increased customer loyalty rather than fishing for new leads in an increasingly crowded digital universe.
Brand Hubb has a four-year track record in building customer loyalty in a digital world. Anderson has supported and funded the business since its establishment, with early backing from ex-CEO of Dimension Data, Brett Dawson. The firm is leading innovation in the digital market space from both a ‘marketing fundamentals’ and systems perspective. “Fundamentally, we propose redirecting the flow of marketing expenditures to the end-customer and expanding campaign reach via customer networks,” says Anderson. “On the systems front we have introduced an e-commerce platform plus application programming interface (API) that allows brands to offer Brand Rewards on their own online properties”. Brand Hubb will soon announce the ‘Chip In’ programme, aimed at expanding the reach of the programme among family, friends, and followers of customers.
The Brand Rewards solutions are structured around measurable loyalty reward programmes that allow brands to pay customers for a range of real-time interactions. A customer will receive Me Bucks for viewing digital content, referring friends, or participating in online surveys that can be linked to from any digital or print (through QR codes) marketing campaign. These Me Bucks can be used to purchase merchandise from participating Brand Hubb brands. An important spin-off from the Brand Hubb B2C loyalty programme is the amount of data the programme generates. Brands can use data gained from customer interactions for product design; market research; and accurate measurement of ROI on marketing spend.
Brand rewards enables brands to compensate their loyal customers for interacting with them, instead of bankrolling Facebook, YouTube, and other digital marketing agencies. It is long overdue that brands stop doing things simply because everyone else is doing them, and ask: What makes sense in a new, digitally connected world? “Loyalty is priceless,” concludes Anderson. “We believe that Brand Hubb’s B2C solutions will change the digital marketing paradigm forever – it is a solution built for the new reward world where a renewed focus on customers will reward visionary brands with growing loyal customer bases and improved sales”.