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Prepaid Expo: Social Media Critical to Growth of Prepaid

You are likely either a marketer or involved with the prepaid & gift card industry OR BOTH (like me). We love this video and we love how the Prepaid Expo is looking beyond traditional information sources and prepaid to bring us their take on the next generation of prepaid. Social Media Critical to Growth of Prepaid via
Prepaid Expo: Social Media Critical to Growth of Prepaid.
"In an age where 93% of all business marketing participates in social media and even brokers at financial firms are now harnessing the power and reach of social media for research, client communication, and to attract potential clients and prospects, it seems that social media is critical to the growth of Prepaid as well. While compliance guidelines and regulations continue to worry many in the Prepaid industry, they are not alone. If you speak to any social media thought leader, they will tell you that many corporations face challenges in using social media, both externally and internally. However, it is possible to walk that fine line since social media isn't going away. And when you look at its merit and power to reach and educate clients and consumers far and wide, especially the underbanked, the more it seems like a winning situation."
Just look at these 2011 social media stats released last week    

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Take-aways from Loyalty Expo: Social media, personalizing loyalty & mobile segmentation

Vice President of  Sales,
Diane Freeland,
is back from Loyalty 360’s annual Loyalty Expo & shares the top discussions that caught her attention.
Social media and customer care: Social media has altered the role of customer service in an organization, from primarily a support function to an extension of marketing. Brands can listen to what customers are saying, they can be proactive and more widely solicit product or service feedback, offer incentives like gift cards or points for sharing product information. Many of GCP’s clients are taking social media seriously,
1-800-Flowers was one of the first retailers to use Facebook's platform. For more details on social media & customer care, check out:
How to Integrate Customer Service Into Social Media Marketing. It also includes 12 Ways Social Media Enhances Customer Service and 5 Ways to Measure Social Media Customer Service.
What’s next for loyalty programs? Are traditional points based loyalty programs dead?  The consensus was NO. However, significantly different redemption options need to be brought into the mix with gift cards, merchandise, and travel rewards (e.g intrinsic rewards like virtual game currency). We heard some interesting discussion around personalizing loyalty rewards for individual participants. Traditional loyalty programs offer everyone the same reward options; when rewards are personalized it starts a dialogue and treats the customer to rewards they’ve selected versus what is offered across the program. What if customers can select or “favorite” categories of rewards like gift cards for children’s clothes, brands of merchandise like “Apple”, and travel customized to “Inns on the east coast”? The learnings from programs like this could go a long way for the development of loyalty programs that listen!
Mobile Segmentation Marketing: Another interesting way to listen and respond to loyal customers; shaping customer personas based on their mobile usage. This allows thoughtful marketers to send the right kinds of messages to the right users and reward for loyalty via the right technology. The goal is to better increase the value of customer relationships based on how customers use their mobile phones, like m-certs (mobile gift cards). Carlson Marketing gave some great examples of how they are engaging in this strategy for the Hallmark Crown Rewards loyalty program; "Interactions turned into transactions". For more insights to mobile technology and gift cards, read GCP's article:
Why Mobile & Virtual Gift Cards are Becoming a Way of Life GCP will be launching our new website in the coming week, keep a look out:
www.giftcardpartners.com Follow us on Twitter:

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Live from the Prepaid Expo - Government Update Panel Discussion

"The Commonwealth of Virginia has started using prepaid cards to help get money into the hands of the people of who needed them. One reason was cost savings, savings of up to .60 cents an item, a typical direct expense on payment mechanisms." Gift cards can help single parent families, the unemployed, the homeless and needy. The panel discussion was today @ the Prepaid Expo in Orlando. Visit
Live from the Prepaid Expo - Government Update to read the overview and learn about the challenges, the benefits to cardholders, how prepaid cards improve peoples' lives, and more.

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What's Happening @ The Prepaid Expo? We'll Blog on it all Week.

A look at mobile migration, fraud, closed- and open-loop convergence, and the technological crossroads impeding progress By Marc Dresner,
IIR USA You’ve arrived just in time for an in-flight podcast. Fasten your seatbelts! With less than a weekend standing between us and
Prepaid Expo 2011, I would like to offer some fodder for the numerous networking conversations you’re about to have.
My guarantee to you: Not only will episode four – a two-part podcast interview for IIR’s “Progress in Prepaid” series – lend a spark to many a smart, caffeinated exchange, BUT as an added bonus, you air travelers can forgo that inane in-flight movie and stimulate your brains, instead!
Episode four of “Progress in Prepaid” features a two-part interview with Jonathan Treiber, CEO of RevTrax.
Highlights: • The line between association-branded prepaid and closed-loop cards is blurring, with open-loop products increasingly resembling closed-loop • Non-swipe technologies are actually less expensive than conventional terminals and boast broader usage options for merchants, but who’s going to pay for this overhaul? Associations and banks can’t foot the bill indefinitely. When will merchants ante up? The answer rests with adoption, but is it the chicken or the egg? Visit the Prepaid for more:

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