For all the technological development of the last few years, marketing is still something of a blunt instrument. Around $1 trillion is spent worldwide, yet much of this is badly targeted and scattershot. Consumers get adverts for products and services they are simply not interested in, or have already bought into.
Loyalty programs also have problems. They are frequently a logistical hassle and rewards often go unredeemed. It is a huge market, soon to be worth $500 billion annually in the US alone, yet 20% of points are unclaimed and effectively wasted.
These markets are ripe for disruption by companies offering a solution which can solve the issues facing both companies and consumers. If advertising can be better targeted, it will improve the efficiency and return on investment for sellers, while reducing frustration for consumers, who will now receive information on products they actually want, when they want them.
If loyalty programs are easier to manage and points fungible (i.e. transferrable for other assets) then they are worth collecting. Which is where the Momentum Token ICO comes in.
This Momentum Token is the brainchild of MobileBridge , a mobile app which allows companies to reach their customers at the perfect time to make their sales pitch.
The app considers a variety of data offered by the consumer, including geo-location, time and weather. MobileBridge already has an impressive list of customers, including Burger King and Danish hypermarket chain Bilka.
This planned extension to the existing business model using blockchain technology is designed to add a whole new layer of functionality to the existing platform as well as a larger client-base.
Concept and White-Paper
The project’s white-paper is well-presented and thorough. Also available is a “light-paper” offering an overview of current problems and the solutions offered by the Momentum Token.
Briefly put, MobileBridge aim to “revolutionise the world of marketing and customer loyalty by redefining the way in which companies build and manage relationships with their customers.”
Too often ICOs propose solutions for unclear problems. Sometimes the problem isn’t real, and sometimes the team is so familiar with the problem that they do not put in sufficient effort to convince the reader that there is a real issue. MobileBridge do not fall into this trap, spending considerable time explaining why their product is needed.
As outlined above, marketing is both expensive and its effectiveness hard to measure. This leads to considerable inefficiencies. The problem has been made more acute by the increasing dominance of mobile which has reduced the power of more traditional email marketing.
When modern consumers are looking for information or plan to make a purchase, “their mobile phone is the first destination.” What’s more, social influence has become a key driver of buying decisions, and “the opinion of the community and especially their friends significantly influences their thoughts and decisions.”
According to the white-paper, “companies are finding it increasingly hard to reach these customers effectively, but their tools to do so are simply inefficient and not fit for purpose.”
Those tools are “often disliked by customers” as they are “badly timed, lack in personalisation and result in spam that mainly delivers negative value to the brand.”
As far as loyalty programs are concerned, they “repeatedly fail as consumers lack a sense of value or ownership.” Points frequently expire as they either “offer no tangible value” or else are difficult to spend.
The Momentum Token Solution
All new functionality will be built onto the existing MobileBridge platform which already allows companies to engage in targeted smart marketing. MobileBridge aims to create what it calls “mobile moments”, personalised content pushed out to the consumer at the right moment. The white-paper gives various examples, such as:
When users of the Best Burger app are browsing their app and looking at the menu, they are encouraged to order their food for home delivery. Their customers roaming in town will instead be directed to the nearest restaurant in walking distance.
The Momentum ICO will build on this to create a “token-based incentive and reward system.”
Customers will be directly rewarded with tokens for activities which help the company’s brand: reviews, sharing of information and so on. The customers who are most engaged with the brand will get the greatest reward. The return on marketing investment can be more accurately tracked.
Consumers will also be incentivised to use their social capital to promote favoured brands. For example, sharing a burger app could be rewarded with tokens.
Companies will be able to either use the Momentum token or launch their own on the same platform. Crucially, loyalty rewards will be transferable from one company to another. Data will be transparent through the blockchain.
Benefits to Companies
- Companies will be able to either use the Momentum token (or launch their own) to use for incentives and rewards.
- Data capture will be much more accurate, allowing companies to build a more accurate picture of who their customers are, allowing them to make better marketing decisions.
- Customers can be incentivised with tokens or discounts to perform certain actions like purchasing a particular product or services, posting reviews, sharing personal information with the company, interacting with marketing materials and sharing information or promotions.
- Improve customer retention by turning loyal customers into “brand ambassadors”.
Benefits to Consumers
- Receive more relevant advertising and promotion at times when the information might be useful or desired. Less spam.
- Obtain cryptocurrency through interactions with companies rather than through purchase or mining.
- Personal data transparently stored on the blockchain and under the consumer’s control.
- Loyalty rewards are transferable and offer a real value.
With all ICOs there needs to be a compelling case for why they are using blockchain at all. For the MobileBridge platform, blockchain seems a good fit as the data transparency allows the consumer full ownership of his or her personal data. It also allows for other companies to build their own reward systems within the Momentum Platform.
Last year saw the release of the MobileBridge Loyalty module and the technology and blockchain blueprint. After the ICO development will be on two fronts, the existing platform and the blockchain.
Later this year there should be infrastructure development, the launch of an MVP and the transfer of MobileBridge’s existing customers to the Momentum token. By 2019 there will be the extending or mirroring of existing loyalty programs, then in 2020 the store promotions.
Due to the costs associated with Ethereum transactions the team has decided to take a “hybrid approach” to blockchain implementation. “User access control, token registrations, and user privacy control” will be done on-chain, while “reward related operations and user data” will be off-chain and periodically written to the blockchain.
They note that this is a compromise and they would consider running a fully decentralised platform on a future, more scalable, blockchain: either a new version of Ethereum, or another blockchain, potentially developed in-house.
One of the Momentum ICO’s strengths is its team. The management is stacked with top-level talent with years of relevant experience. There is also a good balance between engineering and marketing, essential to the success of any ICO.
CEO Kees de Vos has worked both in digital and with big brands like WalMart and Tesco, the kinds of brands that the token would want to attract. Ariel Luedi, the chairman, is a technology investor and former CEO of e-commerce software company hybris, while also on the board is Shlomo Cohen, Managing Director of Intel Netherlands.
Their line up of advisors is just as high-powered, including Brian Walker of Accenture and Lars Schlichting of KPMG, perhaps the most high profile ICO lawyer in the world.
With technology partners including Deloitte and Capgemini, and ICO consultancy companies like AmaZix and Agavon onboard, there is no shortage of expertise in this project.
Token and Token Value
The Momentum Token will be ERC-20 derived and will have a total supply of 1,000,000,000 with 50,000,000 available during the ICO at a price of €0.10.
One third of tokens will be held as a strategic capital reserve that will be frozen for three years. During that time it will only be used for enterprise customers who have not already bought tokens. Tokens will be sold to those customers at market rates.
As you might hope from an ICO aimed at disrupting the marketing business, there is solid marketing knowledge throughout the team and their experience shines through. The website and white-paper are well presented and clear, and the inclusion of a light-paper is always welcomed by potential investors trying to get a quick take.
They use all the normal channels to interact with their followers, including Reddit, Twitter, Telegram and BitcoinTalk. However, marketing is about a lot more than the way a product is presented; it is also thinking about how to position your product in the market, and knowing which customers you are aiming for.
Too often ICOs do not have a target market in mind, other than “everyone”. MobileBridge has clearly thought about how to position itself and says that its “immediate priority markets are the Retail and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) industries” with “Travel, Bank/Insurance and Automotive” as secondary targets.
On the downside there is perhaps a lack of buzz around what is a very solid offering. Twitter numbers are decent but not spectacular. However, with more than three weeks to go before the ICO we should expect interest to increase.
Loyalty programs and the blockchain feel like a natural fit. Replacing points with tokens would seem to serve both consumers and brands, so someone will make a success of this model, provided the technology can be made to work. There are other ICOs out there who are looking to create a similar product, though none has managed to put together such an experienced team with this kind of solid proposition.
That MobileBridge has experience in the industry and existing client relationships should stand it in good stead to take advantage of this opportunity. The only concern would be if it is able to mobilise sufficient community buy-in. With the partnerships it has managed to achieve, this seems likely.