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Carlson Marketing targets marketers with mobile instant rewards service

The Instant Rewards program uses the same technology that powers email certificates, which provide real-time rewards. The company is using mCert technology to give an instant redemption channel for retailers and restaurants, as well as travel and financial services companies.

“Now consumers will be able to redeem their loyalty points in real time,” said Doug Rozen, senior vice president of creative, interactive, media and mobile at Carlson Marketing, St. Paul, MN.

“Imagine that you’re in Target and you see something you want, you can go to the loyalty program Web site via your mobile device and redeem you points,” he said. “You immediately get a digital gift card on you mobile device that the cashier can scan and credit toward your purchase.”

Carlson Marketing designs and delivers loyalty and engagement programs.

Virtual gift cards
Companies can reach consumers with discounts, loyalty point credits and monetary rewards.

Loyalty program members can redeem points, miles or other currencies via a mobile eCatalog or standard browser-based eCatalog experience.

When a member selects the mCert option, they receive a text message with a link to a mobile Web page.

When the member clicks on the link they are taken to the Web page, which displays a bar code image representing the cash equivalent reward.

The bar code is then presented to a merchant scanning system to redeem the reward.

“We want to provide the consumer options by using the mobile device as a payment method and to ultimately reward consumers’ behavior in real time at the point of sale,” Mr. Rozen said. “With almost 68 percent of consumers belonging to loyalty programs, we are always seeking operational efficiencies – moving beyond the physical fulfillment to electronic fulfillment that rewards customers. 

“Mobile provides the perfect platform because it’s always with you and always on,” he said. “We technically architected the mCerts solution to reach the broadest demographic possible by  leveraging SMS with links to secure mobile Web services – versus  if we would have built an application that someone had to download to a smartphone.

“Our recent mobile segmentation research shows that roughly 25 percent of mobile users have the propensity to download applications; therefore you don’t need a smartphone.  We wanted to make sure that the mCerts solution reaches the broader mobile universe.”

The Instant Rewards offers include digital music, movies and books.

According to the company, the service gives marketers the ability to deliver loyalty program rewards that stimulate redemption activity and subsequent brand engagement.

“We are integrating this as an important part of our solution set that we provide to our Fortune 1000 client companies,” Mr. Rozen said.