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INTERVIEW: Mplifyr Bringing Big Loyalty Programs to Businesses for a Small Cost

Mplifyr Bringing Big Loyalty Programs to Businesses for a Small Cost

Can you cre­ate a low cost busi­ness incen­tive pro­gram before you fin­ish your morn­ing cof­fee?  How about one that pro­vides reward points that can be used at major com­pa­nies includ­ing Unit­ed and Delta Air­lines?

Roy Weiss­man of MediaJobs.com spoke with James Duchenne from Mpli­fyr who has built a do it your­self plat­form for busi­ness­es to cre­ate their own loy­al­ty pro­gram.

James explains the need for his ser­vice: “Most com­pa­nies that do not have the funds at the moment, what they’re try­ing to do is they’re try­ing to find the cheap­est, sort of solu­tion out there, because their com­peti­tors have some sort of pro­gram active. It’s sort of work­ing, but they’re try­ing to com­pete with that and offer the same ben­e­fits to the same cus­tomer pool with­out real­ly think­ing about the con­se­quences of loy­al­ty.”

Accord­ing to Duchenne loy­al­ty pro­grams are quick­ly becom­ing an impor­tant ele­ment of most busi­ness­es and are valu­able in attract­ing and retain­ing cus­tomers.

Lis­ten in or read along as Roy Weiss­man talks with James about why he believes that Mpli­fyr will com­mand the lead in its mar­ket niche.

You can lis­ten to the inter­view as well as read it below:

 

Roy:   My name is Roy Weiss­man from MediaJobs.com and today we’re speak­ing James Duchenne from Mpli­fyr. Mpli­fyr helps busi­ness­es cus­tomize their own afford­able and pow­er­ful incen­tive pro­gram to rival large pro­grams, but at a frac­tion of the cost. So, James, how are you today?

James:          I’m very good. Thank you, Roy.

Roy:   Thank you for spend­ing some time with us. Maybe you can give us a sense of when you start­ed Mpli­fyr and why you start­ed it? What was the impe­tus here?

James:          So, Mpli­fyr, it start­ed about four years ago when I want­ed to solve a prob­lem. I think most busi­ness­es start­ing out try to solve a prob­lem out there in the mar­ket­place. And the prob­lem was I want­ed to cre­ate some­thing that had a uni­fied glob­al loy­al­ty plat­form that offered cus­tomiza­tion to busi­ness­es and increased expo­nen­tial ben­e­fits that were afford­able and that would be a no-brain­er for busi­ness­es.

Obvi­ous­ly, this was much more com­plex and time-con­sum­ing than I thought. So, I start­ed research­ing the field of gam­i­fi­ca­tion and what we called influ­enced mechan­ics in 2009. Fol­low­ing years, the con­cept was dead­locked and we got a patent for our work on the uni­ver­sal point sys­tem, the loy­al­ty plat­forms and sub­se­quent­ly raised cap­i­tal to start our ven­ture.

We start­ed Mpli­fyr in 2011. So, about two years ago. And that was after talk­ing which took me the bet­ter part of about six months. And once that was on, we raised cap­i­tal the begin­ning of last year. And we raised the sec­ond round of cap­i­tal in Feb­ru­ary of this year. So, the actu­al work start­ed on Mpli­fyr around Sep­tem­ber 2011 and we launched in Beta about a year lat­er. In fact, actu­al­ly, a year lat­er in Sep­tem­ber 2012 in Beta. We went live with a com­mer­cial prod­uct in April of this year. End of March 2013.

Roy:   Now, what is your back­ground? What got you into this busi­ness?

James:          Sure. My back­ground, I’m an engi­neer. I’m also a lawyer and a financier. I’ve owned sev­er­al busi­ness­es in the min­ing field, reverse-min­ing field as well as logis­tics. And we want­ed to cre­ate a ser­i­al entre­pre­neur. We want­ed to cre­ate some­thing that actu­al­ly incen­tivized peo­ple to come to a busi­ness as opposed to anoth­er busi­ness, which is all the whole con­cept of loy­al­ty. And that was in 2009 that we start­ed it.

We’ve made sev­er­al inroads and had sev­er­al part­ners sit­ting on our boards even cur­rent­ly that have required ele­ments to actu­al­ly get a loy­al­ty pro­gram out there and pret­ty much, one of the best in the world at the moment. So, my back­ground has lots of edu­ca­tion and engi­neer­ing and soft­ware pro­gram­ming, as well as a lawyer. And most spec­tac­u­lar­ly, at the moment, it would be as an entre­pre­neur. I’ve been an entre­pre­neur for the past five to six years. Man­aged sev­er­al suc­cess­ful busi­ness­es, both online and offline.

And Mpli­fyr is real­ly our crown jew­el. Some­thing that has tak­en a long time to come togeth­er as well as be able to get the peo­ple inter­est­ed in it, as well as to get the clien­tele on the oth­er side.

Roy:   So, now, you picked the loy­al­ty mar­ket­place. What made you pick that and what would you say the size of the mar­ket is from a rev­enue over­all basis?

James:          Well, it depends where we stand. The loy­al­ty mar­ket today is very crowd­ed. We’ve got pret­ty much every busi­ness try­ing to engage their cus­tomers in one way or anoth­er. And at the moment, you can see that the loy­al­ty, depend­ing on which strand of loy­al­ty mar­ket that you look at, it can any­where between $2.5 bil­lion in the Unit­ed States. Or loy­al­ty gam­i­fi­ca­tion mar­kets to upwards of tens of bil­lions of dol­lars for the large cor­po­ra­tions, air­lines and the like.

These loy­al­ty, it’s real­ly impor­tant to under­stand loy­al­ty as a means of actu­al­ly attract­ing busi­ness. Loy­al­ty in itself is start­ed by busi­ness. It sort of works as togeth­er with a prod­uct. So, the actu­al prod­uct is one thing and loy­al­ty, which is part of sales and mar­ket­ing, is anoth­er. So, to actu­al­ly obtain a reg­u­lar clien­tele, there has to be ele­ments of loy­al­ty, here.

Ele­ments of loy­al­ty in my view, is obtained through tri­al and error. See­ing what works and what does­n’t. Because at the end of the day, loy­al­ty, what it does, is that it ends up con­sum­ing the under­ly­ing prod­uct and ser­vices that a busi­ness is offer­ing. So, you can­not dis­as­so­ci­ate loy­al­ty with the under­ly­ing prod­uct or ser­vice.

To me, it is almost like this. You’ve got a prod­uct that you need to get out there, to the real world, to your cus­tomers. This prod­uct is one thing and it can stand on its own two feet. The minute that you intro­duce loy­al­ty, a pro­gram of sorts, with­in the busi­ness, the loy­al­ty goes hand in hand with that prod­uct. And any changes or removal of that pro­gram actu­al­ly affects the under­ly­ing busi­ness that you’re try­ing to car­ry on.

So, loy­al­ty to me is an inte­gral part of every sin­gle busi­ness out there. It is the dri­ver for con­sumers to come back to you. It is the dri­ver for con­sumers to talk about your prod­uct. It is the dri­ver for growth and repeat busi­ness as well as your cus­tomers talk­ing to their friends to come to you. And while cer­tain prod­ucts can achieve that, obvi­ous­ly on their own two feet, most of the prod­ucts, because of the com­pe­ti­tion out there, they can­not do so.

So, what that means, real­ly, is, loy­al­ty, whether I’m con­duct­ing in my past busi­ness­es such as a logis­tics com­pa­ny, loy­al­ty is an inte­gral part of that. So, choos­ing loy­al­ty as a field was a no-brain­er for me, because, ulti­mate­ly, it affects every sin­gle busi­ness. It is like mar­ket­ing, it is like sales, it is like the prod­uct itself. Once it is inte­grat­ed with­in the busi­ness, it can­not be sep­a­rat­ed. Or if it is sep­a­rat­ed at any point in time, it can real­ly hurt the under­ly­ing busi­ness itself.

Roy:   Well that sounds good and bad. I think that’s basi­cal­ly say­ing once you get into a com­pa­ny, you can be involved with them for a long peri­od of time. But it would seem like before an orga­ni­za­tion would make a deci­sion to com­mit to a loy­al­ty pro­gram, they would real­ly be con­cerned that they had no oth­er way to do it. Because once they com­mit to that loy­al­ty pro­gram as you’re com­ment­ing, they can’t get out of it.

James:          Absolute­ly. I mean, you can get out of it, but it costs quite a lot. And you can’t be detri­men­tal to the core busi­ness. Which is why loy­al­ty is such a spe­cial­ized field that, ulti­mate­ly, you real­ly want to make the right choic­es. And the right choic­es in any busi­ness are based upon a bit of tri­al and error. Try­ing out what works best for you. What works for best for your cus­tomers, what sort of ben­e­fits that they get at the end of the day.

But ulti­mate­ly, it could be a quite vast, dev­as­tat­ing scene for you to actu­al­ly grab and run your loy­al­ty pro­gram with one com­pa­ny. And you try to dis­as­so­ci­ate your­self with that com­pa­ny, then it could affect your busi­ness, absolute­ly. Which is why loy­al­ty pro­grams, incen­tive pro­grams and the like, must be care­ful­ly thought of before going into it. Which also leads me into some­thing else.

Most com­pa­nies that do not have the funds at the moment, what they’re try­ing to do is they’re try­ing to find the cheap­est, sort of solu­tion out there, because their com­peti­tors have some sort of pro­gram active. It’s sort of work­ing, but they’re try­ing to com­pete with that and offer the same ben­e­fits to the same cus­tomer pool with­out real­ly think­ing about the con­se­quences of loy­al­ty.

I can give you an exam­ple. There was an air­line, I think it was Jet­Blue, that start­ed out by say­ing “Hey, you know what? We’ve got the best seats in the mar­ket. Our ser­vice is excel­lent. Every­thing is beau­ti­ful. We do not need a loy­al­ty pro­gram.” That last­ed a year because most of the air­lines have a loy­al­ty pro­gram and peo­ple look up to this. And by going into it, if you try to amend it. For exam­ple, if Jet­Blue tries to amend their loy­al­ty pro­gram. You might have tried to stop their loy­al­ty pro­gram overnight. It would real­ly dam­age their core busi­ness.

I can give you anoth­er exam­ple which is Qan­tas. Qan­tas is an Aus­tralian air­line and one of the biggest air­lines in the world, as well. And they intro­duced their fre­quent-fly­er points some years ago. And it’s work­ing so well that the loy­al­ty divi­sion of the air­line is mak­ing more mon­ey than the actu­al air­line is.

Tak­ing off that loy­al­ty pro­gram will hurt the busi­ness. Which is why they need to make sure that it runs per­fect­ly. Have atten­tion enor­mous atten­tion to it, because tak­ing the top lay­er of the loy­al­ty pro­gram can sig­nif­i­cant­ly up the under­ly­ing busi­ness.

Roy:   Now, what per­cent­age of the com­pa­nies out there would you say have a loy­al­ty pro­gram?

James:          At the moment, well, we have to dif­fer­en­ti­ate. We’ve got three, main­ly three dif­fer­ent types of pro­grams. You’ve got the points, the earn and burn like the air­lines and they’re like most of the air­lines now have a loy­al­ty pro­gram. I think that’s a no-brain­er, to com­pete, they actu­al­ly need to offer the ben­e­fits to their cus­tomers. We have small­er busi­ness­es that are now, with the advent of tech­nol­o­gy, using cloud-based soft­ware to run their “Buy 10 get 1 free” or small gam­i­fi­ca­tion aspects. “Do some­thing for me and I’ll give you a free cof­fee, for exam­ple.” And that is grow­ing quite quick­ly at the moment. Because most of their com­peti­tors have a sim­i­lar sort of pro­gram out there. Whether it is card-based or not.

And the third type, real­ly, is the online mar­ket, uti­liz­ing what we call the “gam­i­fi­ca­tion aspect.” Which it is using game mechan­ics to engage audi­ences online. And what that actu­al­ly does is that entrusts to a per­son to a cer­tain site and gets them to come back to that site. To cre­ate repeat pur­chas­es and the like.

To answer your ques­tion, what is the per­cent­age of busi­ness­es that have a loy­al­ty pro­gram? I would say most of the busi­ness­es have a loy­al­ty pro­gram already as part of their busi­ness mod­el. It might not be an auto­mat­ed one. It might not be a pro­gram that’s run online. But, ulti­mate­ly, they all do have the same. They all offer a cer­tain, sort of, dis­count. They all have a per­cent­age of refer­rals.

Roy:   I was going to say, but you said before, that once peo­ple start a loy­al­ty pro­gram, it’s very hard to drop it or to change com­pa­nies. So, giv­en that and giv­en that what you just said, that a lot of com­pa­nies have some kind of pro­gram, how do you antic­i­pate being able to get this busi­ness?

James:          In terms with Mpli­fyr, you mean?

Roy:   In oth­er words, when we start­ed the call, you brought up a very good point. You said that com­pa­nies that start loy­al­ty pro­grams are loathe to end them because the cus­tomers get upset. So, it’s very dif­fi­cult to end a loy­al­ty pro­gram. And then I just asked you, but you said that many com­pa­nies have loy­al­ty pro­grams. And there­fore, it’s very hard to end it and you said it’s also very hard to change ven­dors because you’re chang­ing the func­tions or the ben­e­fits or what­ev­er ele­ments are in the pro­gram.

So, obvi­ous­ly, you guys are answer­ing what you, to note, as a crowd­ed field. A lot of peo­ple already have pro­grams and it’s hard to get them to switch. So, what is the secret sauce that you guys are doing that’s going to give you the abil­i­ty to get in there and make some­thing hap­pen for you guys?

James:          Sure, I under­stand. I’ll answer this ques­tion in two parts. The first part, a great thing, you know, that the fact that every­one has a loy­al­ty pro­gram and how we build on that. And the sec­ond part is to what we do offer as Mpli­fyr.

So, the first part is most busi­ness­es have said “Have some sort of loy­al­ty.” And, ulti­mate­ly, when their com­peti­tors grav­i­tate towards a ben­e­fit sys­tem for their cus­tomers, the loy­al­ty pro­gram of the one busi­ness that does not have it tries to grav­i­tate to match that loy­al­ty pro­gram of their com­peti­tor.

So, as an exam­ple, two com­pa­nies. One has a “Buy 10, Get 1 Free” loy­al­ty or for some peo­ple, a rewards pro­gram, for their cus­tomers. And the oth­er one has the same. They then try to grav­i­tate to some­thing called the points-based sys­tem. Where they can offer way more ben­e­fits to their cus­tomers, leav­ing their com­peti­tors for dead, pret­ty much. The oth­er com­peti­tor of what they’re try­ing to do, now, is try­ing to match that. Because, obvi­ous­ly, the ben­e­fits of the cus­tomer, between those two com­pa­nies, are unequal. So, that’s where we come in. And that’s where some of our com­peti­tors come in.

The main thing at Mpli­fyr is that we can offer a pro­gram to busi­ness­es that they can set up them­selves very quick­ly and try it out with­out a con­tract set­up of sub­scrip­tion fee. Which allows indi­vid­u­als to earn and redeem from any busi­ness that has built their pro­gram on Mpli­fyr. This is com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent to all the loy­al­ty pro­grams like CVS, Wal­greens and pret­ty much every oth­er loy­al­ty pro­gram, except maybe the air­line mod­el.

The sec­ond thing is, the way that we earn rev­enue to be front to any pro­gram on the mar­ket. We do not charge month­ly fees like our com­peti­tors. Busi­ness­es on Mpli­fyr only pur­chase points per month. That build reward, their cus­tomers after they com­plete earn­ing activ­i­ties in their pro­gram. When they run out, they sim­ply top up, like adding mobile phone min­utes to a plan.

So, those that got that solu­tion out there that busi­ness­es can quick­ly tap into to gen­er­ate even more val­ue to their cus­tomers. We offer some­thing that is way more than the “Buy 10 get 1 free” for exam­ple. Or, most of what our com­peti­tors are actu­al­ly in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion field. For exam­ple, “Come into my store, high-five me and I’ll get five points and I’ll use those five points with that same busi­ness.” With us, it works like this. “Come into our store, high-five us and you’ll get five points.” Use those five points for the busi­ness down the road.

The flex­i­bil­i­ty of Mpli­fyr as a plat­form is enor­mous. Because you can have sev­er­al busi­ness­es or indi­vid­u­als to earn and redeem from. There is one pool of points, so that when they log-in to their pro­file or their account, they only deal with one point. They do not deal with five CVS points, five Wal­greens points, five some oth­er points. It’s all uni­ver­sal points, which is why, at the end of the day, we call it the “uni­ver­sal points.” And we do this on a glob­al basis.

Roy:   So, let me see if I under­stand this? So, in essence, if Wal­greens, well, it might not be three com­peti­tors. I think some exam­ples, if a super­mar­ket down the street, Whole Foods and Wal­greens and Best Buy, are all in your pro­gram. And they’re all award­ing Mpli­fyr points. So, I can spend mon­ey at Best Buy and earn 1,000 Mpli­fyr points and then, go to Wal­greens and use them?

James:          Cor­rect.

Roy:   The whole con­cept is that your points are sup­port­able with­in your points net­work. Now, I saw on the site, you list­ed some oth­er point com­pa­nies. I think Amer­i­can Air­lines, some oth­er things. Does that mean that I can trans­fer my points into Amer­i­can Air­lines also?

James:          That is cor­rect. And what we actu­al­ly allow and the rea­son why we can do this and the rea­son why we’re pret­ty much the only com­pa­ny that can do this at the moment, espe­cial­ly because we mar­ket to the small to the small and medi­um busi­ness­es, is allow those busi­ness­es to issue their own points, which we call “uni­ver­sal points.” Based on our patent­ed solu­tion, those points into go indi­vid­u­als’ account. Those indi­vid­u­als now have the pow­er to use it the way that they want to use it. They can cash it out, they can wait for mys­tery redemp­tions. They can exchange it back at CVS or Wal­greens, for exam­ple. Or they can exchange it for fre­quent-fly­er miles, Best Buy points and the like.

But, cer­tain­ly, we’ve bro­ken down the bar­ri­er of the sin­gu­lar­i­ties. So, if I earn points from “X” busi­ness, I have to spend it at “X” busi­ness. And we do this on a ver­bal scale.

Roy:   Now, what’s the dif­fer­ence between what you’re doing and my points?

James:          My points are dif­fer­ent. My points, they actu­al­ly don’t build a pro­gram for the small and medi­um busi­ness­es. They allow you to, and points.com, as well, does that. They allow you to earn points from air­lines and all that and exchange it to dif­fer­ent areas such as air­line points to Best Buy and the like.

What we’re actu­al­ly doing is we’re going, with­out plat­form, allows those small busi­ness­es to say “This is my pro­gram. I will give you five uni­ver­sal points if you pur­chase from me. Or I will give you five uni­ver­sal points if you high-five me in the street.” Or what­ev­er activ­i­ty that suits that busi­ness. It’s cus­tomiz­able to that if it’s good busi­ness. Once that indi­vid­ual has that, they can obvi­ous­ly go back to that busi­ness, but the ben­e­fit is there for that busi­ness to engage with that cus­tomer.

Now, the ben­e­fit now is I can go and exchange my points through easy-mar­ket air­lines, for exam­ple, and go on points.com and exchange it from Unit­ed to Best Buy or some­thing else. Our pro­gram, that aspect of the points exchange, we’ve got that as part of our plat­form. But it is not the main dri­ver. The main dri­ver is to allow small busi­ness­es to cre­ate their own loy­al­ty-incen­tive pro­gram that rivals the big guys in the way that works for them.

Each loy­al­ty pro­gram is not going to work the same for every busi­ness. In fact, I’ve heard sev­er­al times before, that loy­al­ty pro­grams are not for a cer­tain busi­ness we can’t  agree with for the rea­sons I’ve said before. But the ben­e­fits to the indi­vid­ual is for that busi­ness to have cus­tomized a pro­gram that actu­al­ly works for them.

I’m think­ing of com­pa­nies like Pick­ett Street who already have a sys­tem to build pro­grams for busi­ness­es. What we’re doing is, instead of charg­ing the small and medi­um busi­ness­es and arm and a leg to actu­al­ly get part of that pro­gram, we’re offer­ing it for pret­ty much, free. And they start pay­ing when they start reward­ing their indi­vid­u­als. So, it’s a pay-as-you-go sys­tem.

So, the dif­fer­ence between us is we build it, it’s been done as a do-it-your­self pro­gram, but we can build it for the busi­ness, tai­lored to what they need in much less time than any oth­er com­pa­ny can do it out there. And also pro­vide, if not the same, there are much more ben­e­fits to the under­ly­ing cus­tomer that comes to that busi­ness.

Roy:   So, what would you say the top three indus­tries or ver­ti­cals that are the most poten­tial for you guys? What are the most sig­nif­i­cant ones that you should be on right in two sec­onds?

James:          When we start­ed, we were look­ing at the retail indus­try, which, obvi­ous­ly, is real­ly sat­u­rat­ed. We were look­ing at the restau­rant indus­try, food and bev­er­ages, the hotel indus­try. We’re not talk­ing about the Inter­Con­ti­nen­tal Hotels and all that. But call the small and medi­um busi­ness­es to obvi­ous­ly engage their cus­tomers a bit more on social media and beyond that.

What we actu­al­ly found out was, out of those indus­tries, there was a large num­ber of indus­try groups that were inter­est­ed in some sort of loy­al­ty or incen­tive pro­gram, not only for their employ­ees, but also for their cus­tomers at large. For oth­er busi­ness­es in the whole­sale indus­try. So, what we found out is what we got accoun­tants on our plat­form that basi­cal­ly said “Hey, you come to me. You file your tax­es and you leave us your tax returns with us and we’ll give a flat 500 uni­ver­sal points.”

We found a lot of pro­fes­sion­al ser­vices that are try­ing to get up there to dif­fer­en­ti­ate their ser­vices. Obvi­ous­ly, where the ser­vice is of equal, sort of, val­ue to their com­peti­tors. Where there is unequal val­ue, then loy­al­ty does­n’t work. If I have an iPad, which is great and I had a 1980’s TV, these are, sort of, sim­i­lar prod­ucts in val­ues. There­fore, loy­al­ty does­n’t real­ly work.

The three main indus­tries that we’re look­ing at at the moment, is, believe it or not, the pro­fes­sion­al indus­try. The last busi­ness that we got on board was a pro­fes­sion­al recruiter, an employ­ment recruiter that want­ed to gen­er­ate refer­rals by using a loy­al­ty pro­gram. And she did­n’t want to spend $10,000 for the set­up and all that. She want­ed to try out what worked for her. And we’re actu­al­ly, in the mid­dle of going through that with her now.

So, in my mind, the most untapped mar­kets at the moment is the pro­fes­sion­al indus­try. The restau­rant indus­try, peo­ple know about it, so, peo­ple are more like­ly to inter­act with it. And the third one, for us, is the hotel indus­try.

Roy:   That’s fan­tas­tic.

James:          Leav­ing the retail out of the way, I think retail is real­ly over­crowd­ed at the moment.

Roy:   So, now, you’ve almost been launched almost a year. Sep­tem­ber of a year, a few more months. What do you think, with­in the time­frame, how have you been doing with the specs, the cus­tomer acqui­si­tions, sales. Can you pro­vide any num­bers, met­rics, any­thing, to share?

James:          I can pro­vide, briefly, an overview of what we’ve been doing. So, we’ve launched in Beta. We were build­ing the prod­uct for a year pri­or to Sep­tem­ber 2012. When we launched in Beta, it was a closed launch. And we signed up 44 or 45 busi­ness­es, I can’t remem­ber. Around the 40’s. 40 busi­ness­es that were using the plat­form. They brought on their cus­tomers to it. And since we’ve went live in April, we’ve added a fur­ther 57 busi­ness­es to this.

The main issue that we’ve been hav­ing and it’s the same with most of the busi­ness­es that we’ve been involved in, is that the ques­tion of suc­cess or the ques­tion of actu­al­ly get­ting your prod­uct out there, is real­ly a mat­ter of tim­ing. It’s a mat­ter of tim­ing, it’s a mat­ter of con­tent, it’s a mat­ter of peo­ple try­ing it out and get­ting it out there to their cus­tomers, as well.

So, what we’ve been doing as most online-based com­pa­nies are doing, is build­ing the con­tent, gen­er­at­ing the sign-ups, attract­ing peo­ple onto the plat­form and the like. So, we have been, our ana­lyt­ics have shown that we’ve been, rea­son­ably, it has­n’t been any­thing like an expo­nen­tial growth. But we’re grow­ing every sin­gle month. We’ve start­ed gen­er­at­ing rev­enues from Sep­tem­ber 2012 to Feb­ru­ary 2013. We had­n’t had any rev­enues because we were still in our Beta phase. So, those rev­enues start­ed com­ing in, in April 2013, which was a month and a half ago. And it’s build­ing and pret­ty much dou­bling in May and in June, I think we should be pret­ty much around the same lev­el as May.

Roy:   How many employ­ees do you have guys now?

James:          We’ve got 11 employ­ees. Most of our employ­ees are share­hold­ers of the cor­po­ra­tion. We’ve got 21 share­hold­ers at the moment through both seed cap­i­tal rais­ings. Most of the employ­ees are in the pro­gram­ming field. We’ve got lawyers, accoun­tants, mar­ket­ing exec­u­tives. I would say about half of the peo­ple are pret­ty much in the pro­gram­ming field.

Roy:   Now, you’re based in Hous­ton, right?

James:          Our head office, Mpli­fyr is owned SEi­iAN Rewards, which is a com­pa­ny I found­ed quite a long time ago. And SEi­iAN Rewards owns Mpli­fyr, LLC in the Unit­ed States. Because our busi­ness is a glob­al busi­ness, we do pret­ty much a trans­ac­tion in Aus­tralia, as well as in the States. So, our head office for both Mpli­fyr, LLC and SEi­iAN Rewards is in Aus­tralia. We do con­duct busi­ness through our com­pa­ny here in the Unit­ed States, as well.

Roy:   Well, it sounds like you’ve put a lot of work into a very sophis­ti­cat­ed busi­ness that has enor­mous poten­tial. Have you thought about where you think you’re going to be in a year or two from a rev­enue or cus­tomer-based stand­point?

James:          We’ve got quite a lot of pro­jec­tions and the like, required for our share­hold­ers and poten­tial investors, as well. Where we are at the moment, we’ve got just over 100 busi­ness­es on the plat­form. What we are look­ing at is a sort of trend. You can’t extrap­o­late a start­up from zero to a mil­lion busi­ness­es because it does­n’t work. We need actu­al data.

What we’re doing at the moment, in April and May, we’ve been build­ing the data. And we’re start­ing to see a trend and once this trend is achieved, then we can be bet­ter-assured as to where we’re going to go. But, obvi­ous­ly, our aim is to achieve, at the cur­rent growth rate that we have, is with­in a year to achieve 1,000 busi­ness­es on the plat­form.

And each busi­ness, because they enroll their own cus­tomers to Mpli­fyr, rather than those cus­tomers sign­ing up to Mpli­fyr, them­selves, it can attract quite a lot more math from the cus­tomers’ stand­point. So, in terms of rev­enue, we’re hop­ing that we can ser­vice out debts real­ly from rev­enue items, with­in the next six months or so. That’s what our pro­jec­tions are look­ing at.

And in terms of the actu­al math on the plat­form, we’re hop­ing that, as I said, about 1,000 busi­ness­es and in terms of the cus­tomers. Each busi­ness would have 2,000 peo­ple, rough­ly. So, we’re look­ing quite large with­in a year.

Roy:   Now you focus those 1,000 busi­ness­es, would they be in the U.S. or would they be all over the world?

James:          That busi­ness­es will be all over the world, but what we’ve noticed is busi­ness­es in the Unit­ed States are more read­i­ly ready, I sup­pose, to try new things. When­ev­er there is a busi­ness such as ours com­ing out, there is an ele­ment of cred­i­bil­i­ty and an ele­ment of rep­u­ta­tion that has to be built. We’ve been build­ing this for the past num­ber of months, real­ly. Even over the last year. And it only now start­ing to get into gear and start to pay off some div­i­dends. Which means that the lead-time between the time that you start at zero and the time that you’re start­ing to receive calls, rather than actu­al­ly going out and seek­ing busi­ness­es, is some­thing that we’re cur­rent­ly expe­ri­enc­ing at the moment.

Roy:   Have you thought about what your exit strat­e­gy would be?

James:          I think the exit strat­e­gy is going to be for the share­hold­ers and  direc­tors to con­sid­er; we have spo­ken quite a bit about that. And it is infor­ma­tion that at this stage I’m not privy to release, unfor­tu­nate­ly.

Roy:   Well, that’s okay. Is there any­thing that I did­n’t men­tion that you want­ed to cov­er that you thought was impor­tant to talk about?

James:          Sure, I think the most impor­tant thing is what dif­fer­en­ti­ates our busi­ness mod­el and oth­ers, real­ly. And I think that’s a crit­i­cal ele­ment. Most solu­tions in the mar­ket­place for small or medi­um busi­ness­es, they either incur a large pro­gram set­up cost and main­te­nance fees or sub­scrip­tion fees with a con­trac­tu­al term. Mpli­fyr does away with this alto­geth­er. And the busi­ness­es only pay for the points that they will reward their cus­tomers after com­plet­ing earn­ing activ­i­ties in their pro­gram. So, when they run out of points, they sim­ply top up.

So, there exists some real­ly sub­stan­tial advan­tages with this sort of busi­ness mod­el. And I can name, real­ly, three advan­tages on three points. These uni­ver­sal points can be earned from any busi­ness on Mpli­fyr and pooled in one cen­tral loca­tion. Which means you only need one card, which we call a uni­ver­sal card, and you’ve got one account with uni­ver­sal points. Now, these points, as we’ve touched on before, can be redeemed with any busi­ness­es on Mpli­fyr for items and cash vouch­ers from them, so they can also be con­vert­ed to gift cards, air miles, cash and the like.

The sec­ond point is, it does also mean that the busi­ness can set up their pro­gram and be up and run­ning in a mat­ter of min­utes and work out what works best for them with­out any set­up fees, con­tracts or sub­scrip­tion fees. If the cur­rent activ­i­ty they’re offered does not give them the require­ment of inter­ac­tion or engage­ment, they can quick­ly change the type of activ­i­ty until they find a one that works.

That qual­i­ty is real­ly impor­tant because you can get a stuck with a com­pa­ny that has been build­ing your loy­al­ty pro­gram. And they are inflex­i­ble as to what works best for your busi­ness. Then, that would be detri­men­tal to your busi­ness as a whole, the under­ly­ing prod­uct that you’re offer­ing. And obvi­ous­ly, we don’t try that because there’s no con­tract. If they want to leave at any point in time, they can do so with­out any penal­ties.

Now, the third part which is crit­i­cal for our busi­ness mod­el is that we do not need crit­i­cal mass, since we rely on uni­ver­sal points being pur­chased. Where a sub­scrip­tion-based mod­el would need, for exam­ple, 1,000 busi­ness­es at $10 a month to make $10,000. We can do well with only one busi­ness pur­chas­ing $10,000 worth of points. How­ev­er, obvi­ous­ly, crit­i­cal mass is impor­tant for pro­vid­ing more avenues for exchange for the cus­tomers. But, real­ly, it is not essen­tial at this point in our busi­ness mod­el.

So, unlike our com­peti­tors that need crit­i­cal mass because of their sub­scrip­tion base and the like, we’re pret­ty much after the busi­ness­es that are real­ly try­ing to engage their cus­tomers, real­ly try­ing to get it out there, cre­ate the ben­e­fits for them. And we do so by gen­er­at­ing uni­ver­sal points that is used almost as a rewards cur­ren­cy with their cus­tomers.

Roy:   So, it sounds like you built a low-cost, high-val­ue solu­tion for loy­al­ty pro­grams for small to medi­um-sized busi­ness?

James:          That’s exact­ly what we built.

Roy:   That’s fan­tas­tic. I mean, it def­i­nite­ly, again, here’s anoth­er exam­ple of a com­pa­ny that’s cre­at­ing, tak­ing the same busi­ness mod­el that’s been around for years. Just chang­ing it a lit­tle and design­ing it to appeal to a whole seg­ment of the mar­ket that real­ly is des­per­ate­ly in need of cost-effec­tive loy­al­ty pro­grams for their cus­tomers. And some­thing that has enor­mous val­ue, because if they earn mon­ey at one store, they can use it at anoth­er store.

And it’s so easy to set­up. Peo­ple can go online and set it up. Def­i­nite­ly, this is the kind of busi­ness we can see real­ly boom­ing in a few years. James, how can peo­ple reach you if they want to reach you?

James:          They can reach us. Well, we’ve got the web­site, Mplifyr.com. M‑P-L-I-F-Y‑R.com. They can reach us at our info email address which is info@mplifyr.com. And they can also call us in the Unit­ed States. Which is 1–888-414‑6651 phone num­ber. And they can pret­ty much can get through to us. I mean, we’ve got quite a lot of peo­ple just look­ing out there, cus­tomers. And in Aus­tralia they can also call 1 300 SEIIAN which is 734426.

Roy:   Well, that sounds fan­tas­tic. So, it sounds like physi­cists should be sign­ing up right away. They just have to go to your web­site and they can have a loy­al­ty pro­gram with­in min­utes.

James:          Exact­ly right, that’s right. And in a loy­al­ty pro­gram that can rival any big pro­gram, use it very well, take your time and you’ll get there.

Roy:   Well, thank you very much, James.

James:          Thank you.

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