#534: Meet adjoe - Exciting Adtech that Rewards Gaming for Programs and Members Alike

This episode is available in audio format on our Let’s Talk Loyalty podcast and in video format on www.Loyalty.TV.

Today, we’re featuring an innovative adtech company called adjoe, which has just joined us as a partner and sponsor of our show.

adjoe is a leading advertising and monetization platform providing loyalty programme operators with compelling content that uses the power of “rewarded gaming” to grow bottom-line loyalty revenue through everyday fun!

adjoe has already raised more than $100mn in venture capital funding and has some extra-ordinary clients on board using their proprietary technologies, creating new monetization strategies for their business while also enjoying a meaningful engagement loop with their members.

Here to share his insights around the power of gaming to connect with your members is Thomas Yannopoulos, VP of Revenue for adjoe in The Americas.

Show notes:

1) adjoe

2) Thomas Yannopoulos

3) Watch the full interview at www.Loyalty.TV

Audio Transcript

Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world. 

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Hello, and welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. Today’s episode features an innovative ad tech company called adjoe, who has just joined us as partners and sponsors of our show. adjoe is a leading advertising and monetization platform, providing loyalty program operators with compelling content that uses the power of rewarded gaming to grow your bottom line revenue through everyday fun.

adjoe has already raised more than a hundred million dollars in venture capital funding, and they have some extraordinary clients on board using their proprietary technologies, enjoying new monetization strategies for their business, while also creating a meaningful engagement loop with their members.

Here to share the story and insights around the power of gaming to connect with your members is Thomas Yannopoulos, VP of Revenue for adjoe in the Americas. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

So Tommy, welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty and to Loyalty TV. 

Thomas: It’s a absolute pleasure to be here. I appreciate y’all having me. It’s, I’m excited for this conversation. 

Paula: Amazing. And I know you are also a podcaster, Tommy, so that also puts the pressure on me to make sure you think this is awesome by the time we wrap up the conversation.

Thomas: Kind of, but it also puts the pressure on me because I haven’t been on this side of it very often, you know, and I, I know what a good guest is and I know what a not great guest is sometimes. Generally speaking, all my guests have been wonderful, right? But no I, you know, it’s a weird place to be when you’re on the other side of it so often.

Paula: I totally get it, Tommy. Well, listen, as I said to you off air, we’re here to have a great chat at the end of the day. Genuinely, I set up this show so that I would learn from cool people about cool stuff that they’re doing. So that is the single biggest and most important thing for everybody who is listening and watching.

So listen, let’s get into it. As you know, we have a standard opening question for all of our guests. Which we use to basically pick your brains about loyalty programs that you might admire either as a personal consumer or you might have seen in your own market or around the world. So just to kick us off, I’m going to ask you, Tommy, what is your favorite loyalty program?

Thomas: Yeah, I gave this question some thought. There was a bunch that came to mind, right? I think the McDonald’s, My Rewards program is one of the most impressive ones in terms of the scale of it. I think Starbucks has an incredible loyalty program. 

Paula: Yeah. 

Thomas: I think my credit card provider, American Express, has an amazing program as well. There’s so many really, really  compelling and well thought out programs. But at the day, I settled on Fetch, which is the largest rewards and shopping app in America, something like 11 million weekly active five or six million daily active users. 

Paula: Wow.

Thomas: It’s a massive program. And what I love about how fetch has approached the subject of loyalty and rewarding consumers is they’ve taken a vertical, which is more or less the cashback vertical. And I think they’ve done two things exceptionally well. One, they provide customers or consumers, a mechanism through which they can earn without interrupting their lives. Right. That’s what I think a great loyalty program can do.

It can be additive to the things that you’re already doing in your everyday life and fetches a wonderful microcosm of how do we add value at all these different journeys that a user or a person might go on in their day to day life, right? Whether it’s shopping for cereal, shopping for Tide pods, needing to get some alcohol, for example, or in our case gaming, right. Which we’ll probably get into at some point, but I think their ability to provide a comprehensive service is exceptional and one that doesn’t ask a lot of customers and gives them a lot in return.

On top of that, so many, I think they’ve done that. I wish I saw more of is leverage, mechanisms and strategies implemented in the gaming vertical into their application, right? Gamifying the experience somewhat to make it fun to earn, to make it fun, to get rewards, right? And make it not feel like a chore. Things like, you know, adding a leaderboard in there is a really cool way to create a gamified component of the application. Adding social components to it is really valuable, right? To create community around this thing that we’re all doing. And also just having a point system, a soft currency for all intents and purposes, right? That’s a strategy we see implemented everywhere in the gaming space, right? 

And when you look at mobile in particular, mobile games really dominate consumer time on their smartphones, generally speaking, right? Because mobile games have done so much to provide really fun ways of getting quick entertainment. That’s satisfying to customers. 

And I really appreciate how Fetch has taken a lot from that and put it into a kind of not analogous vertical, which is the cashback vertical. I think it’s a really impressive piece of technology and a product.

Paula: Yeah. And it it would be remiss if we did not comment that they’re also amazing partners and clients of adjoe. So well done you on working with them. 

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. And I’m, I speak clear. I’m not just saying it cause they’re a partner of ours. You know, it’s funny. Even if they weren’t, I’d probably still talk about Fetch because I think what they’re doing as a business is incredibly interesting. I think their ethos of live rewarded is really cool. Right. 

Paula: Nice.

Thomas: Again, trying to leverage that idea of don’t interrupt your life, but we can add value to your life everywhere you go. And I think that’s a really cool way to approach loyalty. 

Paula: Wow. That is a very powerful tagline. Absolutely, Tommy. So live rewarded. I think every single person listening to this show is all about rewarding people in a way that really feels meaningful. So what I love about the loyalty community is everybody has that intention. Like how can we actually take care of people? So it sounds like an incredible depth of thinking that they’ve put into building a fun proposition.

And I’ll be dying to hear how it all works. So well done Fetch and open invitation of course, to come on the podcast, cause we always love to hear from cool brands, especially ones that have a million, 11 million. I think you said a weekly active users. So incredible scale. It is. 

Thomas: Yeah. 

Paula: And it’s funny as well, Tommy, I did a panel discussion here last week in an event with two amazing airlines that are very close to my heart for different reasons. One was Aer Lingus, my national carrier back in Ireland. The other is Qantas loyalty. And one of the things that came out as we were just kind of prepping for that conversation is gamification has been talked about for so long, but still it doesn’t, I don’t think it has even remotely achieved its potential.

There’s just so much more that can be done. And I know you guys have amazing insights in terms of, as you just said, gaming is something that’s not just now, you know, the guys on the console some years ago, you know, in there, in their bedrooms. So it is a different style of engagement for people, I think it’s fair to say.

Thomas: Yeah, it’s completely different. And I think part of it is recognizing kind of what you just mentioned, right? What does it mean to be a gamer today? Right. When we think about what you just said, right. Console gaming. Yeah. That’s of course a huge industry, a huge economy in and of itself. But when we look at something like the smartphone, right, gaming is as pervasive as any industry, when it comes to the smartphone, right? It did rival social in terms of things that people do on their phones. I mean, in the world today, there’s 2. 2 billion mobile gamers. That’s an enormous number, right? 

Paula: Wow. 

Thomas: When you consider it in comparison to the total population of the globe, right?

Paula: Yeah. 

Thomas: 43 percent of time in the US is spent on smartphones playing games, right? So this is something that everyone does, not everyone, but a big enough population of people do consistently enough. Where I think it’s really important that when we think about gamification, we also change the paradigm of what it means to be a gamer today, right?

It no longer means being on your console. Now it means how do people seek out entertainment? How do people spend their time on their smartphones? And gaming is just everywhere, right? So incorporating gamification, whether it’s things like leaderboards, whether it’s things like social components. Points, currency system, all that stuff that people are really familiar with now because they’re spending so much time doing everything from Wordle to your really deep RPG games, there’s a massive scope of people who enjoy gaming. And I think incorporating it makes so much sense for every brand. 

Paula: Totally. Totally. And I don’t know that acronym actually, Tommy. What does RPG mean? 

Thomas: It’s like a role player. Like it’s like an intense role player game. Yeah. 

Paula: Got it. Got it. Okay. Sorry to challenge you, but I always feel like, you know.

Thomas: No, you’re not challenging me. I actually had to double think. I was like, do I even know, I’ve said RPG so many times. Do I remember what it stands for? I’m happy I came up with what I think is the answer. 

Paula: Well done. Yeah. No, but I like the fact that you’re saying, you know, the paradigm actually has shifted because the label gamer is not something that I really identify with, but I love word games, you know, like I do have crosswords on my phone. So actually I am behaving in exactly that same kind of way. So I think as program owners listening to this show, it’s, I think, a really important shift in terms of how we do kind of think about them. Because I will never be the one playing World of Warcraft, shooting people down, anything that’s got violence related, like, it’s just not my cup of tea.

But there is so much things that I can do, whether it’s on, actually, somebody was talking about recently, the New York Times website. As a brilliant example where they’ve essentially now decided that the New York Times is a gaming business that happens to have some journalism attached to it just because of the dominance of what they’re doing. It’s incredible. 

Thomas: Yeah. I mean, I, you know, I can’t speak super well to New York Times, but my assumption there is how we consume news, for example, today’s shifted so dramatically, right? We’re now, you know, most people, I think for better or worse, everyone’s opinion is different on this matter, but I think the majority of people probably consume their news through Twitter or X, whatever you want to call it. Tik Tok is a huge source of news for a lot of people. Facebook, all of these social platforms, frankly, function as news for the vast majority of people who are engaged on their smartphones. Right. 

But gaming is something people do every day. And I think New York times recognize that. That’s why they made the acquisition of word. Oh, it’s a very natural fit for them given their predisposition to having word based games. Right. And I think they’ve recognized that a great way to keep and capture consumer interest is through gaming. And it can be additive to the core function of their business, which is news.

Paula: Totally. Totally. So we’re obviously talking about all of this with them. I suppose a very, you know, big idea that you guys are delivering in this whole world. So, I think, you know, it’s time to get into, just tell us about adjoe, Tommy. What exactly is it that you guys do to connect all of these people who are so connected to the world of fun and our audience of loyalty program managers?

Thomas: Yeah, sure. So at adjoe, we’ve developed a solution called the adjoe Arcade that allows loyalty programs to leverage consumer interest in the world’s most popular mobile games. They leverage this interest through our technology which allows them to essentially open up a games portal in their applications where consumers can go discover games that they’ve probably heard of. And I can name a few in a minute. If that’s valuable for us. Users can go there, discover games. And by playing these games and reaching certain time amounts or reaching certain milestones in the games, they’ll get awarded in that publishers in that currency, be it points, miles, cashback, whatever the case may be. Right. 

So, take like a concrete example of. I want to be clear, this isn’t a client of ours, right? But I mentioned McDonald’s before, they have the My Rewards program. They could, for all intents and purposes, leverage our technology. It would allow them to open a McDonald’s arcade in their application. People would go there. They would see games like Candy Crush, Monopoly Go, Coin Master, et cetera, et cetera. And there’s, you know, on our platform some like 1,200 games live today. And when someone plays someone, something like Monopoly Go and reaches level one or whatever the case may be, they’ll get rewarded in McDonald’s My Rewards points for that completion.

So the idea here again is to, I mentioned before a few stats around. How does the will population interact with games? Or how does the US population interact with games? The idea here is to capitalize on that consumer interest, expand your loyalty programs to include the thing that people potentially do the most on their smartphones and leverage it as a way to drive up incremental revenue to your brand. As well as incremental engagement with the core functionality of your brand. 

And the third kind of tangential piece that we’ve seen here actually more recently is a lot of loyalty programs who have leveraged this solution. That you’re able to acquire more users to their loyalty programs as a result of the solution itself. Because they’re tapping into again that consumer interest in mobile games, diversifying the manner in which people can earn their in app currency, and that ultimately drops up acquisition for them. So those are some of the core functionalities of the technology and some of the core value propositions I think we bring to the market.

Paula: Incredible. And I guess I’d love to.

Thomas: We think so.

Paula: Of course, absolutely. It’s working, you know, I’ve seen some of your stats and I know we’ll be probably talking through some of those, but, you know, again, just from my perspective, hearing the pain points that loyalty managers have, you know, an awful lot of the time, the conversation is around the fact that, you know, take an airline, for example.

Even if I am a frequent flier, I might be on board an aircraft. Who knows, 12 days a year, 20 days a year, there are still, you know, 300 odd other days that those brands have all very clearly said, we want to be able to engage with our members and be part of their lifestyle. Like their absolutely repositioning themselves from frequent flyer programs to everyday rewards, everyday connections and lifestyle programs.

So given what we’ve said about gaming, that’s obviously a big opportunity, you know, alongside all of their other propositions, of course, whether it’s ancillary revenue or coalition programs, this fun element is the one that I still think hasn’t really been done in any great scale, if I’m not mistaken. 

Thomas: No, it has not been done in a great scale. And I’d argue it’s probably the most impactful opportunity that just about any brand with a loyalty program has. I genuinely believe that, right. When we think about something like the airline space I couldn’t tell you who they’re partnering with, but you mentioned like, you know, in many cases, they’re partnering with retail brands, they’re partnering with other like analogous travel brands, like Lyft or Uber or something like that. And all of those are valuable, right. 

But we have to ask ourselves. What is the frequency with which people are doing a, the core functionality of your app, which you’ve already touched on. If you’re an airline, you know, maybe a heavy users booking, whatever, 12 flights a year, I don’t know, heavy business users probably doing more like 50 to a hundred or whatever the case may be. Right. But your average user is not using your application very often. Right. If your mechanism through which you want to deliver more value to that user is by integrating with. 

Let’s say Nike, for example, then we should also ask ourselves, how often is someone buying a pair of shoes or a hat or a sweatshirt? Right. Or if you want to partner with Sephora or Uber or Lyft or any of these brands, again, it comes down to the question of frequency as well as what are we asking our consumers to do in these cases? Right. In most of these cases, the ask is actually not small. It’s Hey, go book an Uber through us. That’s asking for more money from consumers at the end of the day, right? Or go buy a pair of new shoes and you’ll get more Delta points or whatever the case may be, right? These are not small asks of the consumer in a world in which consumers are presented with a myriad of options every single day of things they can do and everyone’s asking them for money, frankly, every single day of their lives in some shape or form.

And so our reality is not only do we have something that people do. More often than anything else on their smartphones, but it’s completely free to the consumer. Right. And so the barrier of entry is so low where the engagement you’re going to see in a solution like ours is going to be naturally so very high.

The revenue impact is going to be tremendous, but the most important thing here is the points that you’ll be able to give back to your consumer. The miles or whatever currency are going to be so significant that it’s going to actually impact their future purchasing behavior. 

If you’re an airline and you’re in one of the most competitive markets in the world, and you have an opportunity to capture a user purchase five times a year. For example, you’re going to want to do everything you can to capture every single one of those purchases from that consumer. And if you can put way more points in that consumer’s hands at no cost to your business, the propensity of that user to then go and make a purchase with your airline is going to go up dramatically. And it’s what we’ve seen consistently. 

Paula: Amazing. 

Thomas: That was a long winded answer for a really straightforward point. But it’s just an interesting thing. And obviously I’m pretty passionate about it. 

Paula: I can tell.

Thomas: Cause I think it makes so much sense for so many brands

Paula: Totally. So the other really important point as well, Tommy, like every time I talk with particularly airline loyalty program owners is they often struggle to make the connection with different demographics, which I’m guessing your solution is, is incredibly powerful at doing so, you know, whether it’s Gen Z or millennials or people who are very much on the in frequent flyer level, there is this incredible opportunity, as you said, literally to take, you know, funded points, plug them into your program and start to give, I think you said like tens of millions of points back in value to members and keep them in literally a daily engagement ratio, if I’m not mistaken.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, like I think I’m of the belief that just about everyone’s a gamer. So whatever audiences it is that you’re looking to capture, this is a solution that will help capture that audience. Right. When we think females 35 plus, they’re probably going to skew towards casual games, right? And word based games. When we think males 18 to 25 they’re very likely going to skew towards more of the strategy style games, right? Or the simulation games. But there are games and there are economies of games for literally every kind of person out there. 

And you’re right. When we think about the impact of this, it’s one of the most, I think it’s one of the most impactful solutions in the ad tech environment, right? Like I’ve spent and you didn’t ask me about myself, but I think it’s an important kind of comparison to make, right? Which is, you know, I’ve spent something like 12, 13 years in the advertising space, right? In my entire career, it was generally focused on the programmatic space. So showing ads to people in video, contacts, banners, reward video, whatever the case may be. 

But what you find in this space is that, like I said earlier, brands are generally just asking things of consumers, asking users to do something, asking ’em to buy a product. And an average consumer probably sees thousands of ads every single day, right? And so we have to ask ourselves, how do we create value exchange with customers? And I think that’s something adjoe has done beautifully in terms of how we innovate or shift how we look at advertisement. The greatest way to look at advertising today in a world in which people are filled with ads is by creating value exchange, right? And that’s exactly what this technology does. 

And when we think about the ultimate impact of it, it’s one of these, like the rare scenarios in the advertising space where you have a win-win situation, right? The publishers win in the sense that they get incremental revenue, incremental engagement. The advertisers win in the sense that they get to acquire new users and generally high quality users.

And most importantly, the consumers win, which goes to your initial point, tens of millions of points. If you’re a brand that has say, I don’t know, 5 million daily active users in your application, or even a million, we can use a smaller number, right? If you had a million daily active users in your solution, you could probably see upwards of, you know, I don’t know, eight to nine figures a year easily of incremental revenue. No problem with a solution like this that leverages mobile gaming. If you have 10 million users, you’re well over, you know, nine figures a year in incremental revenue through a solution like this. 

But what’s most valuable about that is let’s say you made a hundred million dollars in a year through a solution like ours. If you gave half of dollars that back to your consumers, ask yourselves, what is the value of giving 50 million worth of our currency to our consumers at no cost to our business, right? What is that going to do to us? And what does that do to our consumers? Right? It’s going to do the exact thing that any loyalty manager wants a point system to do, which is it’s going to drive up engagement and it’s going to drive up purchasing behavior with the core competence or function of your application.

Paula: Yeah. Yeah. And I do want to touch on that now immediately, Tommy, but you’re absolutely right. I was remiss. I was getting so excited about Fetch because we talked it off air that I didn’t ask you about yourself. So I’m really happy to know that you’re in the ad industry. And I did look on your profile, of course you know, do a bit of online stalking. I saw you’re also a musician. You were a bassist if I’m not mistaken. Yeah. 

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. I love music. I’m actually, I have a show tonight. So yeah. I that’s my passion. I, this sounds like my passion and for all intents and purposes, I’m very passionate about what it is we do. But my true love is music. 

Paula: Wow.

Thomas: And so yeah, I play quite frequently I’ve played for my whole life and yeah it’s close to everything to me next to my dog. 

Paula: Bless you. That’s incredible. Well, I joined a choir this week, would you believe Tommy? So I’m getting in there as well. 

Thomas: What range are you singing in? Are you a tenor, alto, soprano? Do you know? 

Paula: I don’t really know. I’d say on the higher end, although I don’t feel like I’m a soprano, but it was like a random group of 13 women in somebody’s apartment, just going, let’s sing some Arabic music or, you know, anyway. 

Thomas: I love that. 

Paula: A beautiful group. It was super fun, have to say. 

Thomas: That’s amazing. That’s such a cool experience.

Paula: It really is. We were very inspired, I have to say who we left. So thank you for making sure that we got a bit of insight into you as a person and a dog lover. I’m a cat lover on this side as well as the audience knows, so there you go. Alright. Brilliant. 

Thomas: My dog, he hates cats. So I’m surprised. He really hates them. 

Paula: Okay. That’s super funny. Super funny. So listen, thank you for all of those insights. And just to pick up on what I think is a very important business point that you just made there. So obviously the funding, as you said, is something that you are bringing in the form of the revenues from the gaming companies who are super inspired and excited about the, I suppose, combination of the quantity and the quality of members of loyalty programs in general.

So no question about the fit, the win, win, win. Am I right in understanding what you said is that of course, there’s a decision then made by the loyalty program owner in terms of what proportion of the revenue they award back to members. And I guess maybe keep some as a program owner themselves for the bottom line.

Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. We have partners that, that span a pretty wide range of how much of the revenue they decide to keep and how much to give. Like I have partners that full on gave 100 percent of the revenue back to the consumers because they know funding that many points, really drive up so many purchases for them. And again, drive that functionality application. But I have tons of partners as well who work on more lucrative ref shares that, that impact their bottom line and their monetization in really significant ways, as I mentioned before. Right. So it is a big decision that our partners make during this process.

It’s something they can adjust and we work with them on best practices, as related to how do we reward users and what kind of percentage do we give back to them. But it is a really flexible piece of technology in that regard and one that can yield a lot of benefits for both parties, obviously.

Paula: Amazing. Yeah. And I agree. There’s a lot of diversity, even in terms of how the loyalty industry is evolving, you know, again, just to talk about airlines, it’s very topical just because of our recent conference here, you know, a lot of them are being asked to go back to driving, you know, flight behavior, you know, share of wallet in their own category. And yet other sectors are being asked very much, okay, so what is the bottom line contribution, you know, beyond retention, which of course is always extremely important. 

But then, you know, how much are we selling our points for and what other ancillary revenues do we earn as a loyalty program? owner. So I guess that’s what I liked about what you guys are doing is you’re facilitating that in a way that’s fairly easy to, I guess, plug into a loyalty program with all of that content essentially available from your side. And then it’s up to them, I guess, how they publish it. 

Thomas: Yeah it’s a beautiful solution in that regard. And obviously I’m biased, but I do believe that for me, it’s like a light switch. It’s like you could integrate our solution in a couple of days, you know, and you’d go through testing for like,  whatever, kind of irrelevant. 

But the ultimate takeaway here is you put this in and like that, you have access to a thousand, 1200 games in your application, right? And games that we then personalize for each particular user that comes into your experience to make sure that we’re talking to your users. In a way that’s impactful for them and that actually matters to them.

For example, we mentioned before, right. The profile of gamers, because it’s so broad, it can be so diverse, obviously, right. In terms of what are the things we like and don’t like. And so we do a really good job as a business. We developed algorithms, I think are quite sophisticated in identifying who’s this user? What do they have the highest propensity to enjoy? Let’s put those kinds of games in front of them so they can really get as much value out of this loyalty program as possible. So it’s somewhat, we focus quite a bit of energy and time. 

Paula: I can imagine. So it sounds like the relevance, and again, for my audience, for everyone listening here, obviously I’m here to represent them. I’m guessing it’s relevant for everyone who you know, shares our belief both you and I have talked about this appetite and interest and excitement, and I don’t want to use the word addiction, but in some cases maybe it goes that far, but the appetite for gaming, I guess any loyalty program owner that has a similar understanding that their members are either already doing that or wants to do that, then this is something they should think about. Is that fair to say? 

Thomas: Yeah, of course. Yeah. Yeah, I very strongly believe that. Right. I think like we said before, right? Like if you’re a loyal, if you’re a loyal to program, let’s take a different vertical. We’ve talked about travel a lot. If you’re in like the QSR space, right? Ask yourself how many times someone buying a hamburger, right? And the answer for, again, heavy users certainly is probably still not every day, but it’s maybe frequently, but for your average user, it’s maybe once every week or two. Right. 

The question that I pose to everyone is okay. If people are gaming every day, what would the world look like for you? If every time someone played Candy Crush, it led to them being a more loyal customer to your brand. That’s the real power here, right? It’s harnessing that thing that people do every day. Okay. And tying it back to your brand by creating that value exchange with customers, right? That’s what this solution does. And that’s why I really think it’s applicable to any loyalty program, even loyalty programs that see higher frequency of use every day, just broadening the ways in which people can earn. We see it time and time again, it yields incremental revenue and it yields incremental engagement. That’s a really core piece here as well. 

Paula: Yeah. And what are they, I suppose, what, you know, when you have those initial conversations and I’m thinking, you know, when I was running loyalty programs myself, or even, you know, big websites in any vertical, you know, introducing something like this there’s always a concern about, you know, could it, for example, cannibalize our core business? So, tell us a bit about that.

Thomas: Sure.

Paula: Because I know you also wanted to make sure like that’s a strong concern that a lot of people might have if they haven’t experienced working with you guys. So, so tell us what do you see happening on that side? 

Thomas: Yeah, of course. I think it’s a legitimate concern for someone to have, right? Anytime you take someone out of your application, you run the risk that they won’t come back. That’s the reality of it. Right. What we’ve done though, is we’ve created a mechanism that will draw people back because again, we add this component of value exchange into the entire environment, right?

And so ultimately what we’ve seen is twofold. It’s non cannibalizing because generally speaking, consumers don’t make the decision between playing a game, and buying tickets for their, for a trip. Right. They don’t make the decision or they’re independent decisions. Whether you, again. Want to eat a hamburger today or you want to play Monopoly Go today, right? These things exist in kind of different worlds. And to that end, we see that it doesn’t cannibalize core functionality of app. 

But most importantly, actually, what we’ve seen, for example, with Fetch, this is a solution, like I mentioned at the beginning of this conversation, right? Historically, they focus on CPG partnerships. That’s been their bread and butter for a really long time, right? And they’ve obviously diversified over the course of time. What we’ve found with them was people that engage with the play solution are powered solution within their application. 85 percent of those people executed weekly receipt scanning, which was 10 percent higher than their baseline.

And they saw that people who engage with our solution had an increase in app open of around 5.2%. Right. And so not only did this solution not cannibalize their existing efforts, but it actually drove incremental growth of engagement against the core functionality of the application. Again, because of my belief that they added more value to consumers’ lives in more diverse ways. And anytime you give someone more value to a consumer, you start to be seen as more of a hub for things as opposed to a place to go for a specific thing. Right. Which I think is really valuable when we think about loyalty. 

Paula: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve often described myself, Tommy, as a points junkie, and I can totally see this feeding into all of that. It’s hilarious. 

Thomas: Yeah. No, it is. It’s, I don’t know. A points junkie. That’s a really funny thing to call yourself.

Paula: Totally. That’s how I feel.

Thomas: It’s so funny.

Paula: I can feel myself. And I’ll give you a real life example, Tommy, again, it’s back in travel, but with the hotel in this instance, we took both myself and my husband co brand cards here with the Marriott Bonvoy Group, actually. So again, global brand already aware of it. But the acquisition offer was so strong that like, I’m supervising my husband’s spending behavior to make sure he reaches that threshold so we could go and have our two nights away that I’ve been promised. So it works. 

Thomas: It’s amazing.

Paula: It really is like what we’re doing. Yeah. 

Thomas: Sorry. I didn’t mean to cut you off, Paul, but like what we’re doing is very, is like not dissimilar from what you just described, right? Like it’s very analogous. You have to reach a certain milestone in Marriott points to get some kind of reward. We’re taking that exact same concept and just applying it to the mobile gaming space, right? A space where people spend so much time and that’s, again, a lot of the powers. None of this is alien to consumers, right? It’s all stuff they’re doing every day already in terms of A, gaming, but B, familiarity with having to reach milestones or having to do certain things to prove some value back. Right. And we’ve just applied to the gaming space.

Paula: Totally. Yeah. And bringing it closer, as you said, to their existing brands. So there is that reason to engage every day. So my, my, my final example actually is just talking again with them, with the guys last week at the conference. We were asking same question, you know, what’s your favorite loyalty program?

And with a fabulous girl from a Qantas loyalty in Australia. And she gave the example of you already talked about it. My McDonald’s, which down in Australia is called MyMacca’s, which I thought was hilarious, totally cool. 

Thomas: I love that  so much. Yeah, it’s an amazing name. 

Paula: But that’s what she’s saying is like, okay, he’s not the one with the card out buying the burgers. He’s the one engaging at 14 years old, he’s the one engaging with the game that McDonald’s has made available. So I thought that was incredible. And it was a bit of a light bulb moment for me to go actually, you know, at 14 years old, well, there’s a life ahead. You know, when we talk about lifetime value, that’s an amazing potential customer for McDonald’s because of their gaming strategy. I just thought it was brilliant. 

Thomas: Yeah, no, it’s an amazing strategy. They’re obviously tapping into so much of what I’ve mentioned, right which is that pervasive interest in games. I see that strategy leveraged not frequently, but I see it coming to bear more, which is, I think what you’re describing here is probably McDonald’s created their own game that lives within their application.

Paula: Yes. Exactly.

Thomas: Correct. Right. I think it’s an amazing strategy to implement to deliver that form of gamification. We’ve done is a little different in the sense that we argued the loyalty brands that you don’t in some ways have to rewrite the wheel and try to develop your own game, which is, it’s not easy, right?

Paula: That’s true.

Thomas: Developing that people really like is a really cumbersome, hard significant investment to make. Right. And our argument is games are already there, right? There’s already like, you know, thousands and thousands of games in the stores and Google play stores that people know and love. Right. And you can leverage this existing infrastructure while again, getting incremental revenue, giving points back to users, driving incremental engagement. I keep hammering these value props, but that’s really the massive trade off here is you don’t have to go and build something  on your own. There’s a whole economy and a whole landscape that you can just tap into again, just look at the switch.

Paula: Amazing. Well, clearly I’ve drunk the Kool Aid and we’re super happy to be working with you guys just to bring this kind of solution to the attention of our audience. So definitely it makes sense, as you said so I don’t get enthusiastic about things. I don’t understand this. I totally get. So thank you for explaining it so clearly, Tommy.

So listen, I don’t think. Yeah. It’s genuinely cool. So, yeah, I don’t have any more questions for you today. Do you have any other parting words of wisdom that you want to share with our audience before we wrap up? 

Thomas: Yeah I talk a lot, so I’m always happy to talk more, I think, but, no, I mean my parting words is just consider, this consider what this can mean for your brand, right? Consider the possibility that while your brand, you might feel it doesn’t align with gaming, your consumers align with gaming, right?

And they’re probably gaming quite a bit. Ask yourself the question, is there an opportunity for us to take advantage of this consumer interest in gaming? We’re likely taking advantage of consumer interest in so many other things, whether it’s retail, whether it’s travel, et cetera, et cetera. If someone’s doing a specific action around 40 plus percent of their time on their smartphone, is that worth considering as a piece of your loyalty strategy, right?

My argument would be yes, because you’re hard pressed to find many other things that people do over 40 percent of their time on their smartphones, right? And there is a significant opportunity to tap into that consumer interest while deriving sizable incremental revenue while producing or ingesting scalable points into your ecosystem at no cost to your brand, which obviously will drive up engagement, revenue, et cetera. So that’s, I just say, consider it, right. Consider the opportunity within gaming. 

Paula: Amazing. Absolutely. Well, wise words indeed, consider it. It’s definitely something I know everybody listening to this is definitely going to be at least doing the consideration piece, Tommy. So thank you for doing such an incredible job and sharing that with us.

So I’ll use your formal full name just to, to sign off. So Thomas Yannopoulos, VP of Revenue for the Americas for adjoe. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty and Loyalty TV. 

Thomas: Thanks so much, Paula.

Paula: This show is sponsored by Wise Marketer Group, Publisher of The Wise Marketer, the premier digital customer loyalty marketing resource for industry relevant news insights and research. Wise Marketeer Group also offers loyalty education and training globally through its Loyalty Academy, which has certified nearly 900 marketers and executives in 49 countries as certified loyalty marketing professionals.

For global coverage of customer engagement and loyalty, check out thewisemarketer.com and become a wiser marketer or subscriber. Learn more about global loyalty education for individuals or corporate training programs at loyaltyacademy.org.

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