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Kiip exec: Passbook is only good at solving one half of the mobile redemption problem

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November 8, 2012

NEW YORK – A Kiip executive at the ad:tech 2012 conference said that while Apple’s Passbook is a great way for consumers to compile digital coupons, there is still a lack of adoption, specifically from retailers who have yet to implement compatible POS redemption systems.

During the “Mobile Marketing Executive View: Cutting-Edge Strategies to Optimize and Enhance Your Current Marketing Efforts,” session, the executive talked about steps the company is taking to ensure consumers are getting an interactive experience from brands. The session was moderated by Maarten L. ALbarda, vice president of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, New York.

“Everyone was excited about Passbook,” said Brian Wong, cofounder/CEO of Kiip, San Francisco. “However, most retailers still only have the RedLaser technology and don’t have all the point-of-sale utility they need.”

Mcommerce evolution
Although not NFC-enabled, Apple’s Passbook is still quite the innovation.

However, the service needs to grow and mature to drive high consumer adoption.

While it may be great to encourage consumers to store their favorite loyalty cards and coupons within the app, the point-of-sale redemption process is just as important.

And currently, it is lacking.

In addition to Passbook, mobile rewards are the wave of the future.

But, there is a difference between intrusive and engaging.

“Everyone plays games and when they do so, they’re happy,” Mr. Wong, said. “It’s about getting that emotional response.

“Mobile advertising doesn’t care if you’re happy,” he said. “We want to take moments of existing happiness and bring people in and reward them.

“Rewarding is a relative term – we made the rewards serendipitous because you don’t know when they’re coming, we’re not aiming for that. When companies think of rewards nowadays, they misinterpret them.”

Mobile rewards
According to Mr. Wong, it is easy to love a reward, but much harder to love an ad.

Mobile advertising has evolved over the past few months and more companies are incorporating incentives into their strategies to entice consumers to tap on the ad.

However, an effort such as this is not always effective because many consumers still find mobile advertising to not only be intrusive, but also annoying.

“We want users to love rewards,” Mr. Wong said. “You don’t ever hear someone say, ‘I love Greystripe’ or ‘I love AdMob” because they don’t like that stuff.

“People want these rewards – there’s a desire for it and we want to create something that feels like it’s reciprocal,” he said. “It’s like an entirely new relationship created between consumers and the brand.

“When we want to build human relationships with friends, it’s through reciprocity, so why can’t brands do that?”

Mobile gaming
Kiip believes that in order to bring rewards to the world, the future is around achievements and moments.

The company has partnered with several brands such as Pepsi, Pop Chips and Skittles to reward consumers not only through mobile games, but fitness applications as well.

By segmenting these niche markets, brands are able to reach consumers on a deeper level and offer them another form of mobile engagement.

“Mobile is not just a channel or medium, it’s a hub in many ways,” Mr. Wong said. “A hub that becomes a center of where things are synced into.

“Your phone will be that mobile hub and the functionality will extend to it,” he said. “That’s where it will be important.

“It’s a hub-based concept.”

Final Take

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at rimma@mobilemarketer.com.

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