american express

Kickstarter Inspired American Express To Launch A New Program That Gives Away Money

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/american-express-funds-passionproject-2013-6

american express passion projects

In a bid to capture the “make your dreams a reality” zeitgeist of Kickstarter, American Express launched a new venture Monday that gives average people funding for their hobbies. It goes by the Twitter-friendly name: #PassionProject. Hashtag included.

For the next six months, AmEx will give 10 people $2,000 to give their side projects wings.

AmEx VP of public affairs Elizabeth Crosta said that the idea was fueled by the nagging question of how people define success. Crosta noted that after conducting its LifeTwist study, AmEx found that 75% of Americans believe “passion projects and the idea of pursuing one’s passion is necessary to help live that fulfilled life.”

But there was another motivator as well.

“What inspired it is that we love Kickstarter,” Crosta told Business Insider. Almost everyone has a friend who’s done one. “But that mechanism would be quite a challenge for us to do.”

This is not a Kickstarter equivalent. There’s no crowdfunding element or a micro-site.

Rather, #PassionProject will live in already-existing social platforms, namely YouTube and Tumblr.

Thus far, AmEx posted videos from charity:water founder Scott Harrison and “Working Class Foodies” creator Rebecca Lando on its YouTube channel explaining how they gained success from their side projects.

But right below the how-to videos — which will be updated regularly — consumers can send a message explaining what their passion project is and why it’s important. In 120 characters or less. (It isn’t 140 because the #PassionProject tag is put on the end.)

“When you hit submit, it offers three sharing buttons,” Crosta said.

The Tumblr component will launch in a few weeks and will feature bloggers explaining how Ameri! can Expr ess can help consumers pursue their passion projects.

“If your passion is to take kids on an American road trip for the summer, one thing we could offer is Starwood [hotel] points,” Crosta explained.

AmEx worked with Digitas on the YouTube experience. Ogilvy is helming the Tumblr component.

 

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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 news No Comments

Yes, Your Credit Card Company Is Selling Your Purchase Data To Online Advertisers

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/credit-cards-sell-purchase-data-to-advertisers-2013-4

steve madden shoe shopping

Depending on how you feel about online shopping, this either old news or a huge betrayal of consumer trust: Mastercard and American Express are selling your data to online advertisers who then use it to target you with ads.

As Ad Age notes, they’re not shouting very loud about it for fear of a backlash.

Here’s what we learned today from reporter Kate Kaye:

  1. Mastercard began doing this two and a half years ago.
  2. It sells data by zip code, offering areas that are more likely to make certain types of purchases, like shoes, for instance. Online advertisers can then bid on online users from those areas, and target them with ads for shoes.
  3. The data is anonymous and aggregated. They can’t identify you, in other words. All they know is that there are x-thousand shoe-buyers in a given zip code, online, at any one time.
  4. Amex sells its data as a series of models.
  5. EBay also sells its data for ad targeting.
  6. Best quote in the article: “Anybody that’s got data right now is in the business of trying to make money off of it,” said Forrester Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali. “Why not take advantage of it, especially if you can do it under the radar?”

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Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 news No Comments

American Express cardholders can now buy goods by tweeting special hashtags

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/american-express-sync-twitter-buy-products/

American Express cardholders can now buy goods by tweeting special hashtags

If driving to a store and waving your phone by a terminal puts too much sweat on your brow, American Express has launched a new way to part with your money in exchange for physical goods that’s even more effortless. Since last year, Amex Sync has let American Express cardholders earn discounts in return for posting tweets including hashtags about certain products, and now it’s letting them buy things just by tweeting special hashtags. After signing up for the service, users can send out a tweet with a hashtag such as #BuyAmexGiftCard25, reply to the @AmexSync account to confirm their purchase and wait for the package to arrive via free 2-day shipping. As of now, the outfit is offering a $25 American Express gift card for $15, but will being offering up new products, ranging from a Kindle Fire HD to an Xbox 360, with sweetened prices starting February 13 at noon EST. Not a Twitter user? According to AllThingsD, Leslie Berland, Amex’s SVP of digital partnerships and development, says the solution will head to the likes of Facebook and other platforms at some point as well.

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Comments

Via: The Verge, AllThingsD

Source: American Express (1), (2)

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 news No Comments

Hard To See How Howard Schultz Quitting Groupon’s Board Is Anything But Lousy

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/howard-schultz-quits-groupons-board-2012-5

Howard Schultz

Groupon’s stock continued its implosion yesterday, as two high-profile board members quit the board.

Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Kevin Efrusy of investor Accel Partners bolted. Groupon replaced them with financial types from American Express and Deloitte.

Although the moves were spun as “adding financial experts to the board,” the real story is the departure of Schultz, who, at best, feels he has better things to do. (At worst, he’s fleeing a sinking ship before it takes him down with it.)

Another potentially interesting data point: The first Groupon executive quoted in the press release was not CEO Andrew Mason but Chairman Eric Lefkofksy. Perhaps Lefkofsky is reasserting control over the company?

Groupon’s stock crashed through $11 on the news, hitting a post-IPO low of ~$10.70. That gives it a market cap of about $7 billion, or about 3X this year’s revenue. That’s a far more reasonable valuation than the ridiculous $28 the stock hit on the morning of the IPO, but it’s still not a bargain-basement price. Given the uncertainty about what Groupon’s profit margin will eventually be, the stock could presumably trade at an even lower multiple.

We continue to think Groupon is building a real, viable business, and we expect that at some point it will move past this constantly-shooting-itself-in-the-foot phase. But Schultz’s departure is not encouraging.

SEE ALSO: No, I Still Wouldn’t Buy Groupon Stock

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Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 news No Comments

Are Daily Deal Credit Cards On The Way?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/are-daily-deal-credit-cards-on-the-way-2011-10


Groupon

With the daily deal market exploding, what’s next for sites like Groupon and LivingSocial?

Groupon Goods might be the answer on some expert’s lips, but according to CardHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou, branded credit cards look more likely. 

That’s because credit cards are easier for shoppers to use. Unlike a coupon, they work automatically and you can always store the cards in your wallet.

Credit cards would also simplify the redemption process in that consumers could easily swipe and credit 2, 3, or even 5% cash back to their account, for example. Plus the cards present a lucrative stream of revenue that only stands to be threatened by sophisticated card companies like American Express and Visa.

The demand is there, as a survey of 1,500 consumers conducted by Lightspeed Research revealed last month. More than a quarter (27%) of LivingSocial customers said they would be interested in a branded card, while more than a third (34%) of Groupon’s customers want one too.

But would daily deal credit cards be a boon to cash-strapped consumers or just passed off as a trend among the sites’ spendthrift regulars?

“Most likely it’s going to be something high end consumers who are spenders will want,” says Papadimitriou. “They won’t be making them their primary cards across the board, but people don’t usually make store-brand cards their primary cards anyway.”

This makes sense: Lightspeed found that relative to the overall U.S. credit cardholder population, Groupon and LivingSocial regulars tend to have better credit scores, are twice as likely to pay off their monthly card balances in full, and are three times as likely to make purchases with them. What’s more, about half are earning $75,000, so they can afford it. 

So while the cards wouldn’t do much to spark the economy on the whole—or soothe the millions of Americans desperate for a deal—they might do plenty to stoke spending among the credit elite. Which is exactly what Groupon or LivingSocial want, since most affinity cards are hard up to take on risky credit holders.

If you’re in the high end, however, think twice before signing up if a card is released, says Papadimitriou. 

“As with all co-branded cards, if you’re already a loyal customer and are spending a lot of money—say more than $2,000 to $3,000 a year, then get that branded card because it will likely be useful. But if you’re not a loyal customer or a frequent spender with that company, then don’t worry about it.”

 

 

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 news No Comments

lift in search due to paid TV advertising

List of 2009 Superbowl spots on AdAge.com

http://adage.com/superbowl09/article?article_id=134136

Lift in search is a great indicator of interest. Modern consumers may be inspired by TV ads, but they usually go online to do more research for themselves, to inform their own purchase decision. The following examples show the lift in search after Superbowl commercials or for launch of products like Subway Footlongs. The use of unique, made-up words makes it easier to detect lift in search (see related post: made up words are great for tracking buzz and search volume ). There is now a correlation between offline paid advertising and online behaviors of modern consumers that can be tracked and ultimately related to sales.

What is harder to do is track lift in search from smaller TV media buys or from terms which are generic — e.g. American Express OPEN, Proctor & Gamble’s TAG (men’s deoorant), etc. And furthermore, people may or may not remember the brand name itself and may type in a more general search query — e.g. “talking baby” instead of” e-Trade” or “dancing lizards” instead of “SoBe LifeWater.” And most people usually forget to type in special URLs specified in the ads. So the opportunity is to 1) use made-up words which can be used to detect lift in search and 2) search-optimize around other more generic terms that people may search for if they remembered the ad, but did not remember the brand name itself.

key learnings include:

1. only the superbowl TV ads generates enough awareness to drive lift in search volume detectable above the noise or normal levels

2. made up words are useful in correlating paid advertising and subsequent online actions (e.g. search) because most users forget or are too lazy to type special URLs

3. is is always better to have real analytics from the site to see when paid campaigns hit; site analytics will also reveal more information about users including demographic information, what they are looking for, and even whether they “convert” to a sale or a desired action — like print off a coupon, etc.

Notice the January spikes for several of the examples below — these are their Superbowl ads in action. But also notice how sharp the spikes are — most of them go back to prior levels within 1 – 3 days (see related post: the ephemerality of the Superbowl halo )

Source: Google Insights for Search

footlongs

jackinthebox

dennys

ecoimagination

godaddy1

lifewater

drinkability

etrade

cash4gold

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made up words are great for tracking blog buzz and search volume

can anyone tell when Subway launched their new ad campaign?

footlongs

and GE’s Ecoimagination brand campaign?

ecoimagination

compare this to American Express, which chose the word “Open” for their small business credit card.

open-trend

if users DID type in “american express open” it might be easier to detect.

amex-open

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Monday, January 19th, 2009 digital, marketing 2 Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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