With #CES2018 under way this week, we can expect to see tons of new gadgets, and products being released. I don’t know about you, but we’re super excited to see what to expect in stores in the coming months. There’s self-driving cars, augmented reality gaming consoles, smart backpacks, car to house smart connectivity, and more. Plus, there are all the new ways that Alexa is integrating with technology to innovate and grow the industry.
Now, as with every new product expected to hit the market, there is usually an extensive marketing strategy to ensure that it’s seen and engaged with by the right audience. And that’s where we come in: one strategy often overlooked in marketing plans is the consumer rebate.
But we’re not talking about traditional old rebates, where you mail in your barcode and wait 8 weeks to get a cheque in the mail. We’re talking about new ways of tackling rebates via payment cards – fast, flexible, customizable, trackable, and reloadable.
Here are 3 ways a payments-oriented consumer rebate can help launch your product using Visa and Mastercard prepaid cards:
Pay the Consumer to Buy Your Product
Pairing a consumer rebate with a new product launch incentivizes the consumer to buy while providing additional branded value that doesn’t require price discounting.
You’re essentially telling people, “Hey! Our product is so awesome that we want to pay you to buy it, because we’re that confident in it.” That, and I haven’t met a person yet that doesn’t love a good deal!
In other words, why spend tons of money on marketing, media, and third-party agencies when you can directly pay the most important player in the consumer electronics world: the consumer.
And incentivizing the consumer doesn’t always mean giving them free money in the form of Visa or Mastercard prepaid cards. On payment cards, you can restrict MCC codes by category or vendor-direct, meaning you get to choose and manage where they spend their money, which means you can always restrict the rebate to your own brand or product ecosystem to ensure marketing spend is re-couped.
Additionally, this can also be a great strategy if you’ve partnered up with another brand, or even if you’re trying to promote a specific lifestyle. Say you’re pushing a gaming product – you can restrict your rebates to only be used at EB Games or similar retailers and support gaming-only stores.
Which bring us to,
Brand the Rebate Experience from End to End
This surely comes as no surprise that a key strategy in launching a product is effective branding. But, with consumer rebate payments, you can brand beyond the initial funnel process. So your consumer has bought your product, now what?
Well, rebate portals can let you integrate surveys, data capture points, and even display ads into the online redemption process. You can customize input validations for product serial numbers, receipt scans with smartphones, and even location based data.
In addition, with a fully branded Visa or Mastercard rebate card, your consumer now carries your payment product with you in their wallet; you take up valuable wallet real-estate my friend! And you remind them of your brand every time they go to spend the money you gave them.
Not only do you leave them with a lasting impression through incentivization, but now you recapture that consumer with every purchase they make from the rebate.
Plus, with reloadable prepaid card you can incent consumers multiple times on the same card, essentially paying a captive audience to take actions in the world. Reward them for purchases, event attendance, in-store activations, time sensitive offers and more. This effectively transforms a standard rebate program into a rewards and loyalty payments program, with strong stickiness and engagement. After all, people love getting free money – particularly money that’s not tied down to a complex points based loyalty scheme.
With all of these post-purchase sales activities, you can now:
Track Spending Habits to Better Understand Consumer Behaviour
That’s right! Consumer rebate payments can offer more than just incentivization, and lasting brand experiences.
You now have the power of aggregate transactional data. With each purchase your consumer makes with your branded prepaid Visa or Mastercard card, you get data points to pull from to optimize and improve upon future marketing efforts.
You can use anonymous transactional data to see popular geographic regions, MCC spending habits, transaction amounts and more allowing you to fine tune advertising dollars, marketing collateral and brand partnerships for the future.
You’ve now created your own pool of first party data pulled directly from your own consumers (no look-alike audiences here), allowing you to refine results based on precise insights.
Marketing is an ever-evolving industry and with every new product comes a new set of challenges. But with this new evolution of rebate payments, shopper marketing experiences can be simplified to focus on giving consumers the most compelling path to purchase: get paid to do it.