Palo Alto and Paris-based startup Ifeelgoods is betting consumers will gravitate toward personalized offers over traditional loyalty concepts like deep discounts.
The digital rewards network founded in 2010 has launched a Personalized Offers Platform for marketers and established a strategic partnership with VivaKi for an initial rollout to Publicis Groupe agencies Razorfish, Digitas and Performics.
The technology allows marketers to strategically swap an offer in real-time for one that the target consumer will care about more, said Alyson Hyder, VP and president of VivaKi Ventures. “An example I love is: It’s Valentine’s Day and 1-800-Flowers offers a free vase with a flower purchase,” she said. “My boyfriend doesn’t care about a free vase, but he cares if he gets an Amazon or iTunes gift card.”
Although Publicis Groupe agencies and its clients have altered creative dynamically and changed copyrighting, color or brand images in past campaigns, there was no real way to select diverse offers and surface them in the moment. Ifeelgoods’ platform and catalog of 1,000 rewards offers from partners ranging from Pandora to Spotify will solve that, she said.
“It’s a new layer of targeting that’s interest and promotion-centric,” said Michael Amar, ifeelgoods’ cofounder and CEO. “As a marketer, if I can give you a small token of appreciation for the time you spend looking at my ads or interacting with my site or apps, it’s a natural gesture that consumers like."
This is a long way from the company’s origins in 2011, when it initially offered Facebook credits to incent actions like subscribing to newspapers.
“We saw clients were leveraging us in their ad buys when they were on Facebook looking for people who were already buying Facebook credits, and instead of giving them the classic $5 off, they gave them 50 Facebook Credits because they knew they were interested in them,” Amar said.
Naturally, this notion of relevancy transcended Facebook and the company has since expanded its inventory to include access to 1,000 rewards in 15 countries from Starbucks credits to free Skype minutes.
The consumer, Amar said, goes through the classic user flow in which they would go to a website or app, buy, and the confirmation page loads a pixel that will display the redemption process to connect. “Of course, with CRM, when you authenticate, [marketers get] Facebook data for users and if a code is valid, it would load action credits in your account directly.”
“We help marketers take a programmatic approach by category, age, gender, where they can narrow down promotions,” he added. “The digital rewards provider – Elle magazine offering a free month subscription, for example – sees this as a new distribution channel for them.”
Early brand customers like Walmart, Coca-Cola and L’Oreal have noticed results such as 2X better click-through rates on ads and 60% lift in share rates by leveraging ifeelgoods’ technology.
This, Amar said, is what has fueled brand advertiser and agency interest in promotional offers beyond pure digital goods and Facebook credits. And to meet the demand of location-based advertising technology startups looking to bridge the gap between in-store and online offers, ifeelgoods has launched a developer program for developer access to its software development toolkit and catalog of promotions.
The company has raised a total of $11 million to date and employs 22. Amar said it’s expected 5-7 employees will be added in the year to come to support training and development around the VivaKi agency deal, as well as business development efforts.