Impact’s Vern Rodriguez, Partner Success Director, asked Prodege’s Joshua Kopac, Director of Sales, to share innovations and insights from Prodege. Prodege consists of four different consumer reward programs: Swagbucks, MyPoints, ShopAtHome, and most recently, adding InboxDollars earlier this year.
Vern: What types of consumers use your programs on a day-to-day basis—what keeps them coming back and how is this beneficial to your partners?
Joshua: All four of our properties have a range of unique opportunities for consumers to earn rewards for everyday activities. This innovative engagement strategy keeps our users coming back, often on a daily basis, because of the variety of engaging content we offer. This includes interactive hosted live trivia games, videos that keep consumers up to date with food and entertainment trends, and play and win games such as Bejeweled and Bingo. For our partners, our members explore new and unique offers, a variety of retailers, and other rewarding activities. We focus on always evolving our offerings to keep delighting and engaging consumers.
Vern: There must be some overlap among the four programs. How do you account for consumers who participate in all four? How do you maintain data and security for such a large audience?
Joshua: Despite the fact that we have four reward programs under one corporate roof with similar engagement models, we surprisingly have very little overlap among our consumers—I believe it’s under 4%. This specialization becomes a huge benefit to our partners—they gain access to a large, diverse audience with just one point of contact.
In addition to each platform having a distinct audience, our rewards currency can also serve as a differentiator between platforms. For example, on Swagbucks and MyPoints our members earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards from a wide range of retailers, while at InboxDollars and Shop At Home, you earn cash back for your everyday online activities.
Understandably, we place a strong importance on compliance and support of these programs, along with providing top-notch customer service. We have a team of 20+ people working all the time to keep things secure, verify member identities, and answer any member questions or concerns.
Vern: Prodege empowers its partners to gather consumer insights through a variety of solutions both online and offline, including shopping, offers, surveys, receipt upload, and browser extensions. Which of these solutions works best for different industries, and why do you think that is?
Joshua: All of our channels can work in conjunction or singularly for different industries. Our team is well versed in understanding the benefits of our four consumer platforms. When provided with a client’s pain points, we can direct them on the path that will help them hit their target goals, KPIs, etc. For example, we empower leading online retailers to better understand the path to purchase online via our browser extension, while offline retailers can get purchase data from receipt uploads to better target future promotional campaigns.
Vern: Prodege’s mission to“Create Rewarding Moments” is evocative. How do you work with partners to help them create their most rewarding moments with Prodege’s services? Do they come to you with already formed ideas or do you actively help them generate ideas? Can you provide examples?
Joshua: It is our mission to ensure that everyone who crosses our path—be it client, consumer, or employee—can benefit from “Rewarding Moments.” We get to know the goals of our partners, and we help them find the right path to reach the consumers who are most likely to convert on their offer, product, etc. For the consumers, we hear stories every day of how the time spent sharing their opinion, exploring content on our site, etc. pays for special family trips, holiday gifts, and other memories that last a lifetime. To date, we’ve given out more than $700M in gift cards and cash back to our members.
Vern: How do you typically work with brands on the Impact platform? Can you outline the process for brands that are keen to work with Prodege?
Joshua: We enjoy using the Impact marketplace to interact with brands. There’s a diverse offering of opportunities, and great reporting attached to the system. A lot of the time, we’ll find brands in the marketplace, or even reach out to a brand that we see actively advertising and ask if they are using Impact. As to how our process, personally, I like hopping on the phone with clients/advertisers, and take a more personalized approach when talking numbers, explaining who we are, what we do, and setting goals and expectations.
Vern: Rewards sites and apps have proliferated over the past 10 years. What do you see as the future of this popular way to connect with consumers (and gather vital data about them)?
Joshua: I actually started a reward site back in 2007 and that was my entry into affiliate marketing. I’m amazed to see how this space has transformed over the past 12 years, the value it has created for brands, and also how it keeps members engaged and excited about interacting. As we move toward the future, I’m confident brands will continue to see the value of consumer loyalty and how it can help to build trust with consumers. Giving back a percentage of what a user spends is a simple way to have a happy, engaging, and potentially lifetime customer. Look at the recent news focusing on the launch of Target Circle as an emerging program. I know I’m a Delta Medallion and their frequent flyer program made me a loyal customer for life. There are examples all around, and these partnerships will be leveraged more and more.
We know our millions of active members respond to loyalty, so this offers an inherent benefit to our partners—they know consumers are prequalified and more apt to purchase and try out new brands and offers.
Vern: I see you have a new product Shoply, can you explain more about this property and how it differentiates from the others?
Joshua: Shoply, yes! This consumer app is a very exciting development. Essentially, we can drive in-store traffic for brands. So, let’s say Hum Kombucha (I’m drinking one right now so it came to mind!) wants to offer $1 back for each customer who buys two of their beverages. We can put them as a featured deal in the Shoply app, and our member shops at, let’s say, Whole Foods or Kroger, checks out, then uploads proof of purchase (their receipt) to the app. We verify it and give them the $1 in their account.
Or we can have a deal with a major chain, let’s say Kroger once again, or even Macy’s. Our app allows hyper-local push notifications where, for example, someone within a few miles of a geo-fence around a physical store would be alerted of the deal via a push notification to the member’s device, i.e., “Spend $100 at Kroger and earn $10 cash back” or “Earn 3% cash back on your entire purchase at Macy’s”. The possibilities are endless.
As we see big box retailers struggle to compete with Amazon and the online ecosystem, this is a way we can provide measurable foot traffic and sales. We believe this will set us apart from others in the space as we influence user behavior both online and offline across all of our properties.
Vern: Thanks so much for sharing all this insightful information—and for being a great partner! We love creating rewarding moments with you.
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