Should you consider using Blockchain to fuel your customer loyalty program?

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The technology of the distributed ledger, commonly known as blockchain, is a technology that has received a lot of attention in recent months, in particular because the underlying technology powers cryptography currencies like Bitcoin.

However, outside the crypto-currencies many entrepreneurs, large organizations, governments and technologists are exploring other blockchain technology applications that include anything from digital voting to registration and protection of both formal and informal property. [19659001] Given the wide range of possible applications of this technology, I recently wondered how it can be applied to the sphere of improving customer service, experience and commitment.

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So, I was intrigued to see an article, in March of this year, by Jeremiah Owyang and Jessica Groopman, industry analysts and founding members of Kaleido Insights who asked : Analysis: should Blockchain Power Your Customer Loyalty Program?

Their research had identified about a dozen companies from around the world who had announced their intention to launch both blockchain-based loyalty programs and brand-name crypto-tokens to encourage the involvement of clients.

Speaking with Owyang and Groopman they believe that blockchain technology, thanks to its distributed and secure nature, offers a solution to many of the problems that many great customer loyalty programs are facing right now. Issues such as complexity, integration and alignment of a vast network of suppliers and partners, the calculation of budgetary responsibility as well as data protection and security issues.

As such, they see great potential with blockchain in the customer retention space but pay attention to the fact that in this space there is a lot of hype and that the tools to manage blockchain and the technology itself are still immature.

With these words of caution in mind and assuming that many of these underlying issues are addressed in the next 2-3 years, here are three areas where blockchain technology could help provide an improved customer experience: [19659001] 1. A global customer loyalty program

Research sources suggest that the average customer is a member of of 14 different loyalty programs but is active only in a handful . In addition, many customers express frustration at not being able to redeem points earned with a brand loyalty program elsewhere. Therefore, it seems clear that a customer loyalty program that uses a universal (cryptographic) currency, based on blockchain technology, in which premiums can be earned and redeemed through many brands, is likely to be a compelling proposition for the customer.

the challenge is that it does not seem unlikely that such an initiative will be guided by any individual brand. How Howard Schneider, VP of Loyalty Strategy at Kobie Marketing says "Why McDonald's would give a reward currency that could be redeemed at Burger King?"

This may be true but presents an opportunity for someone who is a supplier of third-party loyalty programs, a brand consortium or even an individual brand that just wants to try something different.

2. Managing complexity and aligning partners and suppliers

Many customer loyalty and retention programs are becoming increasingly complex as brands, in an attempt to make their programs more compelling, Add more and more partners and suppliers to their loyalty ecosystem. This, in turn, is making them increasingly difficult and expensive to manage.

This is another area where a blockchain-based solution could help. Kevin McMahon, Executive Director of Mobile and Emerging Technologies at SPR agrees and suggests that a blockchain solution could not only "improve the operation and execution of loyalty programs and reduce overall costs "but it could also" provide a simpler route to share the benefits of the loyalty program and loyalty program, without the hassle of having to reach individual agreements and integrations for each partnership ". Schneider adds that "some industries are gaining much more than others" and that "it is likely that the travel industry and possibly financial institutions or retailers will be among the first to adopt this technology on a large scale".

3. Increased protection and data protection

It seems almost every day that we hear about a new data breach involving customer data theft. This is impacting customers and how they feel about data security and privacy. Therefore, while customers want to participate in loyalty programs, almost 70% of them expresses concerns about the vulnerability of companies to cyber attacks.

According to Eric Marks, senior director of West Monroe Partners this means that "the implications of a platform of unsafe rewards are growing" and that brands should consider blockchain as a solution when they think about creating secure and future loyalty platforms.

There is no doubt that there are still a number of problems that need to be addressed with regard to the use and application of blockchain technology. These include everything from environmental concerns to the maturity of technology to the standards employed. However, I have no doubt that these concerns will be addressed and it is only a matter of time before the applications of blockchain technology give value to both companies and customers in the loyalty program space.

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The technology of the distributed ledger, commonly known as blockchain, is a technology that has received a lot of attention in recent months, in particular with the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

However, outside the crypto-currencies many entrepreneurs, large organizations, governments and technologists are exploring other applications of blockchain technology that include everything from digital voting to registration and protection of both formal and informal property.

Date & # 39; wide range of possible applications of this technology, I recently asked myself how it can be applied to the sphere of improving customer service, experience and commitment

So, I was intrigued in seeing an article, in March of this year, by Jeremiah Owyang and Jessica Groopman, industry analysts and founding members of Kaleido Insights asking compartment: Analysis: Should Blockchain enhance the customer loyalty program?

Their research had identified nearly a dozen companies around the world who announced plans to launch or loyalty programs based on blockchain or encrypted tokens to encourage customer engagement.

Speaking with Owyang and Groopman, they believe that blockchain technology, because it is a distributed and secure nature, offers a solution to many of the problems that many great customer loyalty programs are facing right now. Issues such as complexity, integration and alignment of a vast network of suppliers and partners, the calculation of budgetary responsibility as well as data protection and security issues.

As such, they see great potential with blockchain in the customer retention space but pay attention to the fact that in this space there is a lot of hype and that the tools to manage blockchain and the technology itself are still immature.

With these words of caution in mind and assuming that many of these underlying issues are addressed in the next 2-3 years, here are three areas where blockchain technology could help provide an improved customer experience: [19659001] 1. A Global Customer Loyalty Program

Research sources suggest that the average customer is a member of up to 14 loyalty programs, but is only active in a handful. In addition, many customers express frustration at not being able to redeem points earned with a brand loyalty program elsewhere. Therefore, it seems clear that a customer loyalty program that uses a universal (cryptographic) currency, based on blockchain technology, in which premiums can be earned and redeemed through many brands, is likely to be a compelling proposition for the customer.

the challenge is that it does not seem unlikely that such an initiative will be guided by any individual brand. Howard Schneider, VP of Loyalty Strategy at Kobie Marketing, says "Why would McDonald's give a reward currency that could be redeemed at Burger King?"

This might be true but offers an opportunity to someone if this is a third party loyalty program provider, a brand consortium or even an individual brand that just wants to try something different.

2. Managing complexity and aligning partners and suppliers

Many customer loyalty and retention programs are becoming increasingly complex as brands, in an attempt to make their programs more compelling, Add more and more partners and suppliers to their loyalty ecosystem. This, in turn, is making them increasingly difficult and expensive to manage.

This is another area where a blockchain-based solution could help. Kevin McMahon, executive director of SPR's mobile and emerging technologies, agrees and suggests that a blockchain solution could not only "improve the operation and execution of loyalty programs and reduce overall costs" but could also "provide a path easier to share data and loyalty program without the hassle of having to reach individual agreements and integrations for each partnership ". Schneider adds that "some industries are gaining much more than others" and that "it is likely that the travel industry and possibly financial institutions or retailers will be among the first to adopt this technology on a large scale".

3. Increased protection and data protection

It seems almost every day that we hear about a new data breach involving customer data theft. This is impacting customers and how they feel about data security and privacy. Therefore, while customers want to participate in loyalty programs, almost 70% of them express concerns about the vulnerability of companies to cyber attacks.

According to Eric Marks, senior director of West Monroe Partners, this means "the implications of a platform of unsafe rewards are growing" and brands should consider blockchain as a solution when they think about creating secure and future loyalty platforms.

There is no doubt that there are still a number of concerns that need to be addressed that surrounds the use and application of blockchain technology. These include everything from environmental concerns to technology maturity to the standards used. However, I have no doubt that these concerns will be addressed and it is only a matter of time before the applications of blockchain technology give value to both companies and customers in the loyalty program space.

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