In its latest social spending salvo, American Express has launched a mobile offer engine, a “spend graph” for U.S. cardmembers that recommends and ranks local merchant offers real-time based on spending history and location.
“We developed our mobile offer engine with three key points of differentiation in mind: relevance, convenience and value,” stated Josh Silverman, president of the U.S. Consumer Services Group at American Express.
Piloted via the "My Offers" feature on the American Express iPhone app, local offer recommendations will be concentrated in Los Angeles and New York City with an overlay of nationwide merchants such as Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' Donuts.
“My Offers” leverages the Smart Offer technology that powers the company's card sync programs with Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare connecting merchants and Cardmembers.
"In an increasingly crowded marketplace, where consumers are bombarded with daily deals, we saw an opportunity to help our Cardmembers save time as well as money by curating meaningful offers for them," added Silverman.
Users can download or update the iPhone app to see "Offers Available for You," along with a dashboard that shows offers added to their card, expiration dates, and savings delivered via a statement credit within three to five days. The brand has also enhanced its Go Social entry tool for SMB’s.
American Express CMO John Hayes, in an Ad Age interview, positions his company’s use of social media as transactional, beyond merely social buzz-generating, such as the Twitter-powered Sync program that enjoyed a high-profile kick-off at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive.
“Digital is so much more measurable than the traditional space. The first step is to have clear metrics going in. Everything we do has very clear business goals. We believe what we're communicating right now is going to help perception of the brand, and there are perceptual measures we'll look at as early indicators,” says Hayes told Ad Age.
As for customer engagement, “Social platforms do so much more than communicate…With Twitter, it was about an experience: syncing your card, tweeting and saving money. On Facebook, "Link Like Love" is about experiences based on your "likes," said Hayes.
Hayes defines mobile as opportunity. “Transactions are important because you monetize them, but there's also the service experience,"he added. "The challenge will be the relationship with the customer. Those who serve the customer best will own that relationship. That's how we believe we'll succeed through this mobile transformation.”
“American Express is one of the oldest and probably one of the best-defined brands in financial services…We're clear about what the brand stands for. Trust. Security. Deep, service-based relationships are what keep us constant even as our business changes.”
Below, the current American Express TV campaign featuring the socially savvy Aziz Ansari: