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View Full Version : Bzzz ending Rewards?


nbodyhome
06-19-2006, 09:04 AM
A note appears to gone up this morning - they are trying to chase out "pests" who get more than one account, and it sounds like they may be ending the rewards program. Maybe they are just changing the rewards program, but it doesn't really sound like it.

To me, getting to try a product is great - so I don't mind either way, though it's nice to get a little something extra out of it too.

pansmermaidzlagoon
06-19-2006, 09:21 AM
oh no- I pretty much just started with them and was looking forward to trying out stuff (which I love) and getting the rewards!!!! Bummer!

nbodyhome
06-19-2006, 09:24 AM
oh no- I pretty much just started with them and was looking forward to trying out stuff (which I love) and getting the rewards!!!! Bummer!

I don't know for sure that they are ending it - but it sounded like that on a survey I did recently, and todays note (saying that we can keep our rewards points and such that we already accumulated).

So, we'll see - it sure sounds like it's gone to me!

mjbaby
06-19-2006, 09:48 AM
Check out the BeeLog - there's more info there.

vanyel
06-19-2006, 10:16 AM
I got the same note but when I went to look at it again, I couldn't find it. I cashed in my reward points this morning after reading it for an I-tunes gift card and a coffee spoon, just in case. Just getting the free products was/is reward enough for me but it was cool that you could also earn points and get other things.

I'll still do it (and I understand their dilemma) but doesn't it irk you that people trying to cheat and get more of something for nothing hurts those of us who are honest?

Christypl
06-19-2006, 10:49 AM
This makes me sad. I've been a bzz agent for a while and am in the top 50. I have done it honestly and now we wont get rewards. I cashed in 1500 points for a spafinder gift certificate. I was holding out for something big to use as a gift for my son for Christmas but oh well. I cant get on the beelog since I'm at work. Can anyone tell me what it says?

dustysky
06-19-2006, 11:03 AM
This makes me sad. I've been a bzz agent for a while and am in the top 50. I have done it honestly and now we wont get rewards. I cashed in 1500 points for a spafinder gift certificate. I was holding out for something big to use as a gift for my son for Christmas but oh well. I cant get on the beelog since I'm at work. Can anyone tell me what it says?

Dear BzzAgents,
I want to share with you some important news about BzzAgent.

We are preparing to make two significant modifications to our system. We intend for these changes to benefit each and every one of you.

Over the next several weeks, we will remove all known pests from our BzzAgent network. You've heard me discuss this before on the BeeLog, but the time is right to now take a more aggressive approach.

These individuals register multiple accounts and create fake profiles to occupy valuable slots in campaigns – slots that could (and should!) be occupied by you. Not to mention they also flood us with emails and phone calls, which reduces the quality of service we can provide to you. To ensure your BzzAgent experience is as active and fulfilling as possible, these folks will no longer be BzzAgents.

The second modification is being planned now. We are going to revamp our rewards system. The current rewards program, quite simply, is attracting pests. The bottom line is that it's pointless to kick-out pests only to entice them to re-join.

Of course, regardless of how we change our rewards system we plan to honor all points that good-standing BzzAgents have been awarded to date. It is important to note that we are not planning to change in any way the practice of supplying you with a product experience at the beginning of each campaign.

In closing, the goal is a system that is filled with honest and happy BzzAgents.

Christypl
06-19-2006, 11:05 AM
I saw that message. But I saw on another board that more info was in the beelog. But thanks foor helping!

dustysky
06-19-2006, 11:13 AM
hmmm ... i JUST joined yeasterday so I am not sure but I will look around for you. I didnt even know there was a reward system I was just excited to be able to get stuff in the mail to try out.
I just signed up for my first "sample"..... I dint think I have ever been so excited about something so little in my life. LOL.

azgal81
06-19-2006, 11:14 AM
I saw that message. But I saw on another board that more info was in the beelog. But thanks foor helping!

Um what the poster posted above you is the beelog!

barbeml
06-19-2006, 11:15 AM
This makes me sad. I've been a bzz agent for a while and am in the top 50. I have done it honestly and now we wont get rewards. I cashed in 1500 points for a spafinder gift certificate. I was holding out for something big to use as a gift for my son for Christmas but oh well. I cant get on the beelog since I'm at work. Can anyone tell me what it says?

I've been with BzzAgent for years too (but not in top 50...congrats!).

It is really disappointing. I put a lot of effort into my reports so that they are accurate and useful. I don't post tons of reports, since so much Bzz is repetitive, but it is fair to be rewarded for my efforts, since it does take time to write up reports.

I've seen evidence of Bzz Agent abuse and "pests" on several boards, so I guess I should not be surprised. The greedy and dishonest people feel "entitled" to take advantage of programs and ruin it for others.

dustysky
06-19-2006, 11:16 AM
I saw that message. But I saw on another board that more info was in the beelog. But thanks foor helping!

Pests, Rewards and Hypocritical Marketers
Posted by Dave Balter
June 19th, 2006

In early 2002, we launched BzzAgent with the concept that we were going to turn the traditional loyalty model on its head, while organizing and measuring the most powerful medium on the planet: word of mouth. For years, marketers have “rewarded” consumers for a variety of spending habits. You could receive Starwood Points for staying in a Sheraton, Westin or W hotel, redeemable for upgrades to club floors or free additional stays. For using your American Express Card, you are rewarded with access to airport lounges - get enough points and you can even get a ride on a subsonic flight or cruise the Nile. Baseball fan? Get a Sports Loyalty Program membership and receive access to your favorite Dodger player – or throw out the first pitch. New Kid on the way? Get a Upromise account and start spending to save for education. We get rewarded for buying groceries [in exchange for providing the supermarket chain data, which is inherently more valuable when they sell it to product manufacturers!], for buying a car on memorial day weekend, sticking with one airline, getting your office supplies at Staples, filling your prescriptions at CVS, shopping at Banana Republic [extra socks with your shirts] or pumping gas [discounted car wash, anyone?]. We are rewarded so frequently that companies failing to reward customers are often at a serious disadvantage.

So, why not word of mouth? Why should rewards only be applied to your spending habits? Why can’t the reporting of the natural opinions you share with others – arguably more valuable than any individual spend – be rewarded as well?

The concept made quite a bit of sense [To me, at least. Not to many others in the early days.], and so we rolled out our model with the intent to make rewards a cornerstone of our process. In true affinity model fashion, the goal was to build an approach that could also drive significant revenue – not only would we design and implement word-of-mouth campaigns, but we’d sell product slots for exposure in our rewards system. For full campaigns, customers would be able to place their own brand-associated products to add value - publishers could add other Titles or beverage manufacturers could provide samples of next year’s flavors. Then, alongside client-supplied rewards, other brands could pay small incremental fees to have their products included in our rewards database, shown and then experienced by our BzzAgents. There’s the affinity: driving revenue from both sides of the model, and the consumer receives value, as well. We actually sold a few of these programs in the early days – my favorite being DVDs of Lesbian Victorian Romances [PG rated] for our program for the Lesbian Victorian romance novel, Fingersmith.

But, as with many new ideas, things don’t always turn out as planned. We succeeded wholly at developing an organized and measurable approach to word of mouth, but the rewards part of our process [at least as currently structured] has – in essence – failed. For starters, the majority of BzzAgents don’t want the rewards we offer. Almost 87% with enough points to redeem a reward never redeem a single point [an inverted model, for those who are in loyalty marketing], up from 70% just one year ago. No matter how much prodding or pushing we do, fewer BzzAgents are seeking rewards for their points. A very small subset - those in our program for freebies - continue to pursue the rewards, but the significant majority do not. We began offering rewards as donations to non-profits, and many seemed to like that, but the redemption rates didn’t change dramatically. In essence, somehow the “stuff” of our reward system doesn’t work like the “stuff” from a typical reward program.

So, what “stuff” is working? The value of our system to BzzAgents appears to be two-fold. Access to products and services and brands is a clear driver – who wouldn’t want to join the Philips campaign and receive a Sonicare Toothbrush to experience. But additionally, getting invited into a campaign – being acknowledged as having a valuable opinion – and then being able to communicate with others about involvement, being able to share knowledge, being about to submit reports to have a dialogue with the brand – that becomes the glue that holds this fascinating marketing technique together. In short, the social currency of involvement with brands that allow the consumer to be center stage is the true driver of a word-of-mouth ecosystem.

On top of this, we’re facing the next wave of wrath from those who are – for whatever reason – seeking flaws in our model. This is something of a “pedestal” problem: since we are the most recognized, most outspoken [sometimes to a fault] company in the space, we engender the bulk of the criticism. The latest critique is about rewards. Some people see claim foul because rewards may be synonymous with compensation! “Oh no,” cry hypocritical card-carrying, reward-obtaining consumers. Somehow sharing an honest opinion - with disclosure about involvement as a volunteer - is worse than spending our time figuring out how to get the Charbroil 3-burner 40,000 BTU outdoor barbecue grill from LinensnThings for $160, and telling everyone else about it.

For example, PR celeb Larry Weber took some shots at the “snorklers,” BuzzMetrics [couldn’t have anything to do with Larry joining BM competitor Communispace’s Board? No way!] and us, claiming our rewarding people for reporting word-of-mouth activities isn’t appropriate. Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell claim that, “Points programs are inauthentic and focus action on rewards,” but love Bike Friday which, among other things, gives people cold-hard cash for selling a bike to their friends. Whether Larry, Jackie or Ben really know what they’re talking about or not is irrelevant. What’s clear is there are those that believe our rewards infrastructure actually deteriorates the value of the approach we set out to harness. Somehow, the concept of rewards has evolved from something all consumers expect for their purchases, to something that is abhorrent when it comes to sharing your opinion. A fine line that is just becoming defined.

BzzAgent prides itself on continuous innovation of its model. No one has ever before built a fully-scalable word-of-mouth media platform, so there’s no roadmap. In order for us to get there, we’re going to have to be willing to continue to evolve in real-time. We evolved our disclosure policy from the early days of anonymity into the full enforcement of disclosure – effectively setting the highest bar for everyone else in the industry. Now it’s time to evolve the reward system. It isn’t working anyway, it attracts more pests to the system, and drives resentment from hypocritical Starwood-carrying, Amex-spending, free-rental-car-upgrade-loving, extra i-Tunes downloading, bonus-shot-of-coffee marketers.

So, changes are afoot. Keep an eye out.

azgal81
06-19-2006, 11:18 AM
I wouldn't worry about them doing away with the reward system until we get more information. In no way did it say in the message that they were doing away completely with the rewards. Maybe from the survey most of us took it seemed like they were thinking about it but it hasn't been confirmed yet.

Let them weed out all the cheaters and then wait and see what they say regarding rewards!

mjbaby
06-19-2006, 11:19 AM
Um what the poster posted above you is the beelog!

I think there may be some confusion. The message posted is that which was found upon login to the BzzAgent homepage.

The message in the BeeLog is significantly longer and addresses topics related to rewards which brought the company to the conclusion that it had to make some changes, included industry pressures and punditry from various sources.

Check here (http://blog.bzzagent.com/) for the complete post.

ETA: I see that someone's posted the message. Thanks!

dustysky
06-19-2006, 11:22 AM
she said she couldnt read the log from work so I posted the whole thing instead of the link, hope that was ok.

Christypl
06-19-2006, 11:26 AM
Thanks Dustysky thats what I was looking for.
I've been an agent for about 6 months. but I've gotten a lot of campaigns. Seems I'm a good demographic, early 30's, working full time, part time student, living in Atlanta are and has kids.
I like trying new products and talking about them. But I also appreciate being rewarded for my efforts. I buzz well and to many people, then write detailed reports.