Amidst the changes COVID-19 has introduced, a primary one being the practice of social distancing, brands are more eager than ever to provide a better link between offline and online activity. Consumers with no choice but to shop online are now purely engaging with brands on platforms elevating the importance of digital interactions across marketing efforts.
According to Marketing Land, Facebook is testing a new program that connects a person’s existing brand loyalty membership with their Facebook profile. For context, in 2017 the company rolled out a “Rewards” option allowing users to apply a personalized QR code at participating stores to take advantage of discounts and rewards linked back to their profiles.
This new update, however, mark’s the company’s first true loyalty-driven advertising product advancing on the same concept, but bringing into the picture additional data sources and heightened targeting capacity.
HOW IT WORKS
At the core of the update is creating a frictionless experience for delivering personalized information including points and rewards to customers who have already shopped a particular brand. In this particular example, Sephora users can link their accounts for specialized discounts on makeup products plus bonus points for syncing.
Once connected, members will be able to track the status of their brand loyalty account via Facebook, while they’ll also be able to earn points for their on-platform activity, get member discounts on purchases, and have any points for online shopping linked back to their customer ID. From the brand perspective, this represents a window of opportunity to re-engage with past customers and incentive repeat purchases. It also enables improved ad targeting based on prior offline and in-person purchases through dynamic, personalized ads and organic promotions as well as member-exclusive events.
Making Ephemerality and Encryption a New Norm
Trust between brands and consumers has grown in power and continues to be a leading differentiator when looking to rise above the noise. As we all adjust to this new normal and more people are looking to shop online in order to comply with social distance rules, knowing who has access to our information is as imperative as ever before.
Facebook is acknowledging this by requiring users to consent to the platform’s data policy prior to linking their account. Facebook also encourages brands who are planning to be a part of this program once it opens up globally, revisit their own policies in an effort to ensure the data passing through the platform fully complies with their own privacy regulations.
More broadly, the move aligns directly with its recent shift to deliver end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging platforms. WhatsApp and Instagram are currently in the test phase of disappearing messages. Ideally, this unification will allow the platform to enable simplified cross-platform communication via messages. In-stream ads on IGTV videos are also in the works as part of this overarching push to a more personalized, intimate social media environment.
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