A guest post by Dror Ceder, CEO and Co-Founder of Wibiya
At Wibiya we’re fortunate enough to be adding new publishers all the time. But I’m particularly excited to be writing my first blog of the new year for my friends at Punchtab.
You see, we share a similar spirit and passion. My partners and I created Wibiya so that publishers of all sizes can take advantage of the social revolution. In seconds, they can copy and paste a magical bit of code. And ta-da, their users can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, without even leaving their site.
It’s gratifying to see others innovate in parallel ways. Punchtab is a great example of a new company that gives small and mid-sized publishers another powerful advantage, one that’s absolutely critical in today’s world.
Whether users are visiting a blog, or making a purchase on an ecommerce site, there’s a constant drive to for site owners to capture their users’ loyalty. Users are multi-tasking like mad, they’re omni-curious and with so many exciting places to visit on the web, maintaining their attention can become a challenge.
I’ve become really interested in loyalty marketing – which, of course, precedes the Internet by decades. The idea behind it is basic to human nature – you can change behavior by rewarding people in positive ways. (Remember Pavlov?) How old is it? Well, back in 1793, a “U.S. merchant started giving out copper tokens which could be collected by the consumer and exchanged for items in the store. This practice caught on and was used by many merchants throughout the 19th century.”
The most successful loyalty concept – the one that changed the game in many ways, and many industries – was the airline frequent flyer program. Most people think it was American Airlines who created the first program. They launched theirs back in 1981, and all the others quickly jumped in. Today, it’s become a giant industry.
The real story, though, is that the first program was actually developed by Texas International airlines. Except they didn’t have the computer resources of American, and could only offer a punch card program.
In case you thought I was just rambling, the old-school punch card program brings me right back to the PunchTab innovation. PunchTab makes it possible for small publishers of all kinds to implement loyalty marketing programs for their blog, brand or business – even reaching their customers on their mobile phones.
Think how hard it is for small businesses to compete against giants who have massive databases that can analyze customer intelligence and create loyalty marketing programs based on that information.
PunchTab instantly shrinks the competitive advantage. Thanks to these guys, sophisticated loyalty marketing tools aren’t the exclusive province of the big guys. Small companies don’t have to worry about suffering the fate of Texas International.
And I’m sure PunchTab isn’t going to stand still. They will continue to innovate and add new features, new layers of customer data and “taste map” implications. Because there’s a natural correlation between loyalty and recommendations. The more you know about your customers’ tastes and sensibilities, the better your recommendation algorithm can become, and the more sales and loyalty you can generate. Which is why eBay bought Hunch. http://dthin.gs/t3RVQQ
So we’re going to be hearing a lot from PunchTab, I bet, as it becomes an expanding platform for customer intelligence. The future, as many say, is Big Data. And PunchTab is quietly going to own vast amounts of it, as their embedded loyalty programs capture information on millions of consumer purchases.
Smart guys, smart company.