Nudging customers to participate

by Jay Malin, AGENT511 Managing Director

We all know the challenges associated with enrolling customers in new programs. Getting customers to join requires visibility, motivation, and a frictionless experience. One utility’s wonderful low income savings program was met with lower than expected engagement, thereby mitigating the return on investment and ultimately, cancellation. Assuming the real problem is visibility and friction, how can we overcome these based upon current communications trends?

We recently posted several news stories on our LinkedIn account and I was amazed to see the number of colleagues and even strangers “like” the story and post comments.  The article had been read thousands of times both within my network and those I had tagged.  I compared these engagement metrics with a digital badge software platform we built, called BadgeCert, and noticed that badge recipients who posted their badges had received nearly 20 likes/waves and 5 comments.  We thought about the value of this viral marketing via social media and considered how they could be used to recognize customer behaviors, particularly around green programs, similar to Leed Certifications, and derived a new way to promote customer programs.

So we came up with the concept of issuing gamified, animated digital badges that could be distributed via social media.  The badge includes links to program landing pages that could be tracked for referral bonuses and further recognition.  This offers the ability to both recognize customers and employees and create visibility and engagement by friends and neighbors in their social stratosphere.  It’s incredible to me how leveraging the power of brand ambassadors and their network creates engagement with 25 friends in the neighborhood.