Mobilitrix boss talks mobile rewards ahead of Net Prophet

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More and more people are opting for mobile coupons. Although vouchers are already very popular online, the overflow into mobile has now grown rapidly. This is in part due to mobile’s convenience and the global recession’s after-effects but mostly because everyone loves a bargain.

Rewarding consumers via a mobile coupons or vouchers is gradually gaining in popularity. Something Chris Rolfe the CEO of Mobilitrix, a mobile marketing company that claims to “deliver intelligent mobile marketing solutions that quite simply reward loyalty”, thinks is key.

Rolfe is a former CEO of Virgin Active South Africa, and has previous digital media experience as Commercial Director of Sportal Limited, a London-based new media company, and as Head of Business Development for Kerzner Interactive, also based in London.

Ahead of his Net Prophet talk, Rolfe chatted to Memeburn about mobile rewards, mobile vouchers and how they affect consumer behaviour. Mobilitrix was founded in 2006 and has positioned itself as a leader in intelligent mobile marketing solutions that reward loyalty.

Memeburn: What are “mobile rewards”?
Chris Rolfe: A mobile reward is any incentive delivered digitally to a mobile device that can be redeemed (or used) in a number of ways including in retail stores, online or virtually via the mobile handset.

MB: Is it using Mobile CRM relevant in deploying mobile rewards?
CR: Mobile CRM is attractive for marketers because mobile has nearly a 100% market penetration across all consumer segments in South Africa. This is, especially relevant for the FMCG and other broad retail market categories.

MB: How would marketers use your product and services?
CR: Mobile rewards can be used as a complementary marketing tool in any campaign type from product awareness, customer acquisition, customer profiling, new product launches and loyalty programmes to name but a few. Because these mobile rewards are so measurable and targeted we think they can play an important role across all forms of marketing, as marketing is becoming more a science than an art.

MB: What are the complexities around the technology
CR: Working with retailers, specifically their retail IT landscape is challenging.

MB: How do you see this technology changing in the next five years?
CR: Mobile and card-based NFC is about to become mainstream fairly shortly. This will certainly ease the redemption process. At the back of this lie mobile wallets — they will control and act as containers to rewards, and will play an important role in easing the collection, retention and management of all the digital currencies e.g. mobile money, moola, mobile coupons, vouchers, airtime in a secure environment.

MB: How can consumers access mobile rewards?
CR: Directly on their mobile of course. But the call to action may be found in advertising, at the point-of-sale, or a consumer may be targeted through a direct marketing campaign. Our clients may want to market and expose their campaigns via advertisements on pack, print, OOH or even on till slips – the possibilities are endless.

MB: What are some of the benefits to clients and consumers in general?
CR: Increasingly consumers are being inundated with unwanted marketing messages. Our technology allows brands to target and incentivise consumers with offers that appeal to them. Consumers are empowered to make a choice about when and how they want to engage with a brand, they get to choose their reward type and they are rewarded for their engagement in real-time.

It really is a win-win scenario — the brand gets to speak to the right consumer and reduces wastage through improved consumer data and targeting, while the consumer gets rewarded for their behaviour in a personalised manner. Ultimately consumers get to save money on things that they need and like, which is what all consumers really want.

MB: What are some of the challenges for Africa/
CR: With Africa, there is a technological challenge of course but there is also an educational one. These challenges exist for organisations as well as the consumers, it’s a question of strategy, looking for the best ways to implement the system and getting consumers to come on-board.

MB: What can we expect from your Net Prophet talk?
CR: The topic is “Rewarding the right behaviour in a mobile world,” so obviously it’s about mobile rewards. Organisations want to reward certain behaviour and there are different ways in which they can do that. I will look at some the ways they can do that and how some organisations are using mobile rewards.

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