Getting the “right” customer retention in the cookieless era of NFTs

Article by Billy Loizou, VP Go To Market APAC, Cheetah Digital

The proliferation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs, as they are commonly known) is generating heated debate and a great deal of confusion. We see people spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a piece of digital art, and brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Reebok and Gucci are making headlines with their NFT investments.

All of this begs the question: how do NFTs help drive brand engagement and customer loyalty?

NFTs: The new loyalty lever?

The movement of NFTs is a kind of digital contract. It could be art, or something like a specialty Starbucks cup. Suppose the brand releases 100 specially designed coffee cup NFT badges, and customers who are part of its loyalty program can purchase these NFTs, getting some benefits like a lifetime supply of free coffee.

Billy Loizou, Vice President, Go To Market APAC at Cheetah Digital

This is where NFTs become a smart contract between the consumer and the brand. It’s something a brand can add at any time, and more so, it has the added appeal of exclusivity. It makes people feel like they are part of a special community.

Recently at the australian open (AO), Tennis Australia has released nearly 7,000 3D NFT tennis balls that can be purchased with digital cryptocurrency at a rate of 0.067 ETH, equivalent to 310 Australian dollars. Each tennis ball was unique and had its own metadata related to a small 19cm X 19cm tennis court surface.

If the winning shot from one of over 400 AO matches landed on the plot, the NFT metadata was updated in real time to highlight match information while providing the ball owner with rewards ranging from from limited-edition clothing to access to metaverse events or future perks.

At any time, anyone who has purchased one of these tennis balls can access things they don’t even know yet. Tennis Australia could turn around tomorrow and give them a signed tennis racket from their favorite tennis player. There are no rules. NFTs are simply a contract between the consumer and the brand.

It’s diverse and complicated, but it’s also up to the most creative minds to figure out how to use this technology to build brand loyalty. We’re going to see a lot of brands start taking advantage of NFTs, and to escape the hype around NFTs, you’ll have to assign them a lifetime value to give them some form of utility.

Brands need to think about what they will unlock for the consumer. They need to think about what kind of rewards they can tie to NFTs to get people to not only buy them, but also accept them and embrace that new style of loyalty. There are a lot of opportunities to exploit here.

Loyalty is no longer an “afterthought”

Previously, loyalty was an afterthought. Marketers would talk about testing virtual reality, launching NFTs, doing big TV campaigns with a big star actor, etc. Now loyalty is going to have to be front and center as it is one of the most important things that will help position your business for the future.

Loyalty is essential to fostering this connection. If you can come up with a high-value proposition, whether it’s a membership, subscription, or punch card program, customers will give you their insights.

digital cheetah 2022 Digital Consumer Trends index revealed that 50% of consumers are comfortable sharing data about themselves if it means better service. In fact, 52% are willing to trade personal and preference data to feel part of a brand’s larger community.

Back to basics in the age of cookieless

Brands have been using cookies for years to track website visitors, improve user experience, and collect data to effectively target the right ads to the right audiences. Cookies also help determine where customers are searching online when they are not on our websites.

As we know, the death of the third-party cookie is near, with Google announcing its eradication in 2023. Google is changing its privacy laws; Apple too.

If third-party advertising is driving the most attribution to your brand’s marketing efforts, it’s time to find a new way to connect with your customers. This is where loyalty comes in – perhaps the most important tool for marketers in this new era of privacy.

With all these new privacy changes, it’s time to get back to marketing basics. Build a value proposition, find a reason to get people to engage, then acquire them. Create your own customer database from which you can get information.

Loyalty done right

True loyalty is not a points program or a rewards card. These are, of course, tactics that bring brands and customers together, but true loyalty is an outcome. This is a goal that can only be achieved by carefully nurturing each of your relationships.

The Vans family offers a perfect example of this concept in how it moved from transactions to interactions. Vans wanted to reward its customers for their commitment. This involved connecting their social accounts, referring friends, and sharing photos with the community, to name a few. For every interaction, Vans rewards its customers with points that can be used to redeem loyalty rewards, ranging from skateboard stickers to a 24-karat gold skateboard ramp.

The beauty of this engagement is that it gives Vans the ability to profile their audience, learn about them, and then leverage brand partnerships. For example, if Vans customers have a strong affinity for music, it could be a great opportunity for the company to partner with a brand like Beats. Or if Vans finds that its customers love pets, it could release limited-edition dog stickers or collars. This type of information transcends the loyalty program. We’re starting to see a big movement where brands are spending more and trying harder to connect with their consumers in new and better ways.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of this publication.

About the Author

Billy Loizou, Vice President, Go To Market APAC at Cheetah Digital

Billy Loizou has over 10 years of experience in design, technology and marketing. He has worked with some of the most renowned and respected brands in the world, helping them improve their customer experience and increase their profitability.

About Cheetah Digital

Cheetah Digital is a provider of cross-channel customer engagement solutions for the modern marketer. The Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite enables marketers to create personalized experiences, multi-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies, underpinned by an engagement data platform that can scale to meet changing consumer demands. ‘today. Many of the world’s top brands, including Starbucks, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, and Williams-Sonoma, trust Cheetah Digital to help them generate revenue, build lasting customer relationships, and deliver value exchange. unique throughout the customer life cycle. To learn more, visit

Joseph P. Harris