Redefining the loyalty game for marketers, merchants and customers

TOPICS: Entrepreneurship

by Dennis Shi

Loyalty rewards are an essential part of strategic customer journey planning. Its arguably one of the most sustainable ways in ensuring continued business growth and profit from a marketing perspective. Despite traditional marketing models that incorporate the use of reliable and well-loved voucher incentives, it can be further adapted to improve inconvenient redemption processes and limited reward options that fuel loyalty disconnect as well as unreliable consumer behavior data lakes that result in impersonal marketing campaigns.

A few years ago, I received a letter from my bank thanking me for being a loyal customer, with supermarket vouchers that valued HK$800 in total. I was excited at first, but soon realized that, from having to physically redeem the vouchers at a redemption centre to being unable to choose which supermarket was most convenient for me to use them at, the process was too inconvenient and I ultimately decided the extra travel time and cost was something that I wasn’t willing to waste.

What should’ve been an exciting journey ended up a huge disappointment. The vouchers were initially intended for me to use, but because I couldn’t redeem them at my local supermarket, I couldn’t use them. Even if I had redeemed and given them to a friend to use, there’s no way to track customer behavior so the bank wouldn’t know if their marketing dollars were put to good use.

There’s no doubt that incentive and loyalty rewards are a great feat to customer journey planning, but there must be some way the whole traditional marketing model can be evolved into one where everyone involved wins. An ideal model would be one where corporate marketers can maximize their marketing budget by retrieving actual customer redemption behavior, target customers get exactly what they like without any hassle and partner merchants gain an influx of new customers outside of their target group.

It was in 2017 that I came up with the idea for Mojodomo. I wanted to create an open-loop ecosystem for all players of the loyalty marketing game – for marketers, customers, and merchants. In this ecosystem, marketers have more flexibility in creating personalized loyalty campaigns, customers are given a wider selection of reward options with a hassle-free and seamless redemption process and merchants can capture new levels of profitability with new customers at no cost of their own.

The journey to creating a better approach to loyalty marketing management began. A startup can’t go far without the right team. The key to success is putting together a team of individuals you trust, have the proper work ethic and similar mindset. I first reached out to Patrick because of his solid background in tech. I’ve known him for over 15 years when he led several complex treasuries and payments in Asia, so I knew that his reliable skill set and exceptional tech ability would bring to life the ideation of Mojodomo’s real-time data lake and complex loyalty

redemption platform. To manage the overall structure of Mojodomo, I brought Honnus on board. Her proven startup experience in Asia working as the Founding Executive for Yahoo! and Travelzoo when they just began in the region as well as her solid experience in corporate finance and strategic operations would help us develop a robust and scalable business model and maximise our efforts in replicating its success outside of Hong Kong for future global expansion. With the combination of both Patrick and Honnus’ proven entrepreneurial track record, we set to work on launching the company.

Mojodomo officially launched in 2019. We were lucky enough to partner with Citibank and Mastercard. With their support, we were able to extend our services to many client merchants and customers. Fast forward a year later, we’re now working with over 200 merchant brands in more than 900 cities across the globe to bring our insurance and banking marketer partners a better way to manage loyalty marketing campaigns for their valued customers.

But we’ve only just begun. In the future, we plan to replicate our successful business model in the Hong Kong market to other markets, first beginning with Taiwan and Singapore, the rest of the APAC region, and finally to other markets across the globe.

Follow along in our exciting journey:  
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About the Author

Dennis Shi, Founder & CEO of MOJODOMO, an entrepreneurial leader driving digital transformation & converging high tech.

- 20 years experience in the financial services, media, high tech, telecom, retail & supply chain verticals
- Expert in cross border payment solutions, systems integration, leading digital transformation projects & teams
- Senior VP, Head of IT of a HK listed Media Group.
- Senior business & product development management roles for several Fortune 500 IT & telecom groups, including NTT, T-Systems, CenturyLink and Atos Origin.
- MBA from the University of Manchester Worldwide