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Category: Joy Boyson

The “Will it Scan?” Game:

The “Will it Scan?” Game:
Canadian Loyalty & Reward Programs on Your Mobile Phone

CodeCome play with me!  It’s been a while since we’ve played a game together.  Last time, it was spot-the-logos.  This time, it’s interactive, and inspired by the “Will It Blend?” guy.

I recently spoke with Chris Fagan, CEO of Mobestream Media (makers of the very popular Key Ring Mobile Loyalty app).  Freely available for iOS, Android and Blackberry, they’ve already had well over 3 million installs and are quickly approaching 5 million. Within the app, there are more than 1,000 loyalty and reward programs for you to choose from and if your favourite isn’t already in there, they’d be happy to have you add it. 

I’m using it now and I’m on a mission to test every major loyalty program within the Canadian marketplace.  First up, Shoppers Drug Mart’s Optimum.

Shoppers already created an iOS app for Optimum members to use, although it appears to lack some core features of Key Ring.  Key Ring offers you one app that will store ALL your membership bar codes.  And if you’re an Android user like I am, you can use it too. 

How It Works 

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CRTC Crashes While Looking Through the Rearview Window

“”… Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

This particular post started out as a rant.  It evolved.  In the process I realized that, as a media consumer, I’m a temperamental 2-year old with ADD.  I have no patience.  I want my content the way I want it, and I want it now.

No for Canadians

At Christmas I received some iTunes gift cards.  I figured I’d be an honest consumer and go buy some content. After surfing the Canadian Apple Store site, I felt discouraged… Where were the commercial-free “Prison Break” episodes that I’d gone looking for?  And why were they readily available on the American Apple Store site, where I couldn’t get them, alongside countless hours of other commercial-free entertainment.

A quick Google search brought up numerous ways to get those same episodes, but I was feeling lazy and wasn’t in the mood to forge my mailing address or buy a fresh US-based gift card on eBay. I simply wanted to redeem my existing Canadian-bought gift cards and be entertained.

Around the same time, I found that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was surprisingly relevant in how it brings new content to market. On the Canadian Apple Store site, I could buy and download “Hockey Night in Canada” games and episodes of “MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives”.

I could also watch streaming episodes of the Canadian “Dragon’s Den” on for the price of watching one or two quick Rogers commercials.  Seemed fair. 

However, I didn’t want to pay to download any commercial-free CBC content since the publicly funded broadcaster already gets my tax dollars to send me its signal and its programs for ‘free’. 

Besides, where were my “Prison Break” episodes?  I had money (the gift cards); I wanted to buy.  Another quick Google search reveals how to shield your I.P. to watch those same episodes but I wanted to stay away from the grey-market of 21st century media consumption.  Why was it so hard? 

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Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way: Why it is good to be Canadian (or Spanish) in 2008

Spain is enjoying a great summer – winning the Euro Cup in late June, then Nadal’s Wimbledon victory in early July, plus Sastre’s Tour de France win at the end of July.

Meanwhile, over here in Canada, we’ve scored a string of victories as well – telecom victories. And the fans go wild over them.

For one, it looks like we’ll have several new mobile providers by as early as next fall. And generally, wherever and whenever competition flourishes, consumers benefit (until the industry reconsolidates again… but that’s another topic).

Secondly, all the rocking and rolling at incumbent BCE (branded as Bell Canada) promises Canadians some big changes. Privatization and plans for a “massive investment in broadband” as well as a “renewed focus on customer satisfaction and service” are cause for excitement.

Thirdly, (and this won’t seem like a big deal to those of you living in countries with “unlimited” data plans), after two weeks of customer complaints, incumbent Rogers Communications succumbed to criticism and dropped its data rate plans for the new Apple 3G iPhone.

What does this all add up to? A much more promising – and 21st century – media and communications landscape for Canadians.

A recent study found that Canadians expect to keep their current mobile phone for the next 3.5 years. The study claims “consumer inertia” as the cause, rather than contract impediments or a lack of better alternatives.

Likewise, most Canadians are only on their 3rd model of mobile phone while over in Hong Kong and the UK, consumers are already on their 6th model. Yet with each generation there is more innovation, more features and more creativity in the hardware, software, networks and usage.

“Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way” is a battle cry that Canadian mobile innovators should be shouting at the top of their lungs by now – especially since we have a noble and pioneering telecommunications legacy to uphold. Research in Motion (RIM), and the global success of the Blackberry, is but one feather in our nation’s telecom cap.

With Canada’s vastly dispersed population and various geographical challenges, telecom innovation quite literally connects this nation. We’re often culturally overshadowed in the mass media arena and our various hinterlands can be somewhat underserved. We rely on solid telecommunications to build and hold this country together. The sovereignty of our nation often dictates our rules and regulations on foreign ownership as well as those for distribution, licensing and royalty agreements.

Enter: User-Generated-Content (UGC).

The axiom of this article is that “Various handheld devices will inevitably operate as the primary portable connection to a media-rich Internet”.

The premise of this article is that “User-Generated-Content, and the accessibility of it, correlates directly with 21st century Customer Service and Satisfaction”.

Today, User-Generated-Content is king.

Accessing that content – anytime, anywhere – is the expectation.

Our text messages are UGC.

And we get very testy when people try to make us pay for our own
content. But while the EU Telecoms Commissioner is working on ways to
cap the roaming charges for international text messaging, Bell and
TELUS Mobility in Canada are facing a class-action lawsuit over
charging pre-paid customers 15 cents per incoming text. What’s not
working here?

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