Times Internet announced a loyalty programme, Times Points, for users across platforms. The first phase of the programme integrates key TIL and TBSL properties and will soon extend to print, radio and television. In the lieu of cut-throat competition and dipping success of loyalty programmes, exchange4media chats with Archana Vohra, VP and Business Head, Times Internet to understand her brand’s perspective and marketing strategy.
Loyalty programmes no longer hold the same effect. How will Times Points create that difference?
This is a completely different loyalty program. It’s the only loyalty programme that's based on doing something you love – consuming media, not buying goods. And because it has started as a digital-centric play, it has an ability to customise for an individual and create real personal affinity. It's a programme that is centered on a non-transactional relationship, but simply doing more of the things you love.
Is Times Point using gamification? What are your views on it?
Absolutely. We use real-time leader boards, competitive badging, and activity charts. We also have specific event-led contests and games. For example, the ‘Fastest Finger’ programme rewards users for the best comments and most sharing on TOI and ET. We'll be rolling out similar initiatives on other Times Internet properties. Every programme is an attempt to rewards users through value and vanity.
How will the loyalty programme help the non-digital platforms?
We are intrigued by the idea of extending this programme offline, but haven't done so yet. But the goal is to reward users for being part of the Times family, and that's not medium-specific.
How are you going to market it?
We will be structuring the marketing plan in two phases. The first phase kicks-off with the launch of pre-login tracking during the end of October, where we will reach out to consumers with the brand campaign comprising the programme and how it adds value to their daily interactions. This will be largely offline/print. The second phase will be a combination of a digital campaign along with social viral, which will kick-off in November. We will also be looking at some brand integrations across key digital verticals at TIL through both phases.
What is the best way to adapt to media convergence?
Convergence is about various media being complementary. Most of our users read the newspaper in the morning, listen to Radio Mirchi in the car, consume news and music in the office on their computer, follow news on their phone through the day, and watch television in the evening. Our long-term goal will be for Times Points to connect with our users through the entire flow.