Stick-on RFID drives mobile rewards platform

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on June 8, 2009

Stick-on RFID drives mobile rewards platform

US-based mobile loyalty solutions provider Tetherball has launched a new RFID-based mobile marketing platform that aims to help revolutionise marketing through the mobile channel, with Dairy Queen Mobile Rewards already being based on the technology.

According to Jay Highley, president and COO for Tetherball, mobile marketers have been struggling to develop systems that not only provide an easy way of delivering well-targeted offers to mobile users but also to accurately measure the return on their investment.

Mass adoption of mobile marketing using barcoded coupons just hasn't happened because, although simple in theory, it is far too complicated in practice, with a plethora of technical and user issues often being encountered at the point of redemption.

The new platform does not use mobile coupons with barcodes, or indeed any kind of mobile screen imaging, to redeem offers. This is achieved using a simple stick-on RFID (radio frequency identification) chip which allows only short-range reading at the point of redemption and identifies the customer immediately.

The RFID technology used is supplied by contactless payments technology provider ViVOtech and, because the chip cannot easily be copied or 'cloned', it also helps to combat redemption fraud and allows retailers using the system to accurately measure the performance of their campaigns with real-time validation and reporting.

The system was created to help marketers identify what their customers want and to deliver relevant mobile campaigns bearing an appropriate 'call to action' through permission-based mobile coupons, mobile rewards, mobile sweepstakes and other mobile notifications. The platform can also be integrated with other traditional marketing methods, such as in-store advertising encouraging customers to sign up for a mobile loyalty rewards programme that promotional discounts.

Upon joining the programme, customers are given a Tetherball Tag (an RFID chip that can be stuck onto a mobile phone). The retailer is then able to send offers to programme members via standard text messages (SMS). These offers can then be redeemed electronically, either using existing in-store RFID PoS terminals or using stand-alone RFID kiosks (which are provided by Tetherball).

The company's Mobiquitous real-time, web-based reporting system then provides real-time visibility and analytics into coupon redemption rates and overall programme performance, whether at a campaign level, a geographical level, or for a specific time period.

According to Jamie Guse, web site manager for International Dairy Queen, "Through its RFID-based mobile loyalty programme we have been able to provide great offers for our customers in a fun and easy way while precisely measuring the effectiveness of our Dairy Queen Mobile Rewards programme."

Dave Reasner, an International Dairy Queen franchisee, added that, during the two years he has been working with and refining the mobile system, his stores have an average of some 900 mobile loyalty scheme members, and they continue to see solid growth in both membership and redemption rates.

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