Originally Published at QSR Magazine by Mark A. DeSorbo
Geared toward Generation Y-ers and college students learning the ropes of the credit industry, Facecard, a prepaid reloadable MasterCard developed by Edo Interactive in September, is showing promise as a marketing tool for concepts look-ing to increase consumer frequency and sales.
Facecard is a combination credit card-social networking community, hence its name. For customers, creating profiles on Facecard.com gets them the money-management benefit of a prepaid reloadable debit card that also can be used at ATMs worldwide. According to Jonathan Dyke, COO of the Nashville, Tennessee-based firm, the technology allows operators to access a database of potential customers they can contact to conduct trial marketing.
Along with marketing the card as way for young adults to learn how to handle plastic sans the nuances of interest rates and maxing out, Edo also promotes Facecard as a way to reach audiences for more targeted marketing messages by using the demographic information provided by its members.
"This tool goes right along with a quick-serve's budgeting activities for radio and television spots," Dyke says. "It's a tight targeting tool for managing marketing and advertising."
Gordon Caldwell, Edo's vice president of sales and business development, says Facecard's direct marketing capabilities can drive sales and traffic at the store level or in marketing areas designated by region, city, or national levels.
"We provide merchants with a campaign report," Caldwell says, adding that Edo is updating the Facecard system to allow merchants to manage campaigns and access reports in real time with a username and password.
Dan McDonald, owner of nine Nashville Jersey Mike's Subs shops, sent store credit via text messages to 300 local high school seniors. While he was skeptical at first, the appeal yielded a 17 percent return rate and cost less than $150 ($2 for each redeemed "preward," plus a 5 percent processing fee).
"I can tell who, what, where, when, and how much they spent," McDonald says. "I don't know of another advertising medium that does that. It was remarkable. The effectiveness of my marketing dollar increased dramatically."
The rewards trial marketing is just one Facecard tool merchants can take advantage of. The other marketing tool, Edocash, will be launched during early 2009 and is aimed at driving frequency and loyalty by rewarding purchasing behaviors with in-store credit.
For a quick-serve or fast casual, Caldwell says using the Edocash marketing tool can be as simple as a cash-back reward after a set amount of purchases by a regular customer. It can also be used to encourage those same regulars to visit the restaurant at a time when traffic is slow.