A recent IAB report suggests that a large majority of marketers are shifting from 3rd party data processes over to 1st party data. That’s very good news for the consumer but it’s not entirely unexpected either. Customer data and data privacy issues are now top of mind with both marketers and consumers and there are untold numbers of legislative efforts to curb data mis-use around the world.
What is surprising though is just how some companies are innovating to bring deeper value into the customer relationship. Today we’re pointing the spotlight at Giving Assistant, which bills itself as mission-driven platform with a goal to transform everyday shopping into charitable actions – and they’re doing so by bringing brands and consumers closer together in the process – at scale with 1.3 million charities.
A quick side note: As of this writing, Amazon and other large online platforms are being brought before U.S. Congress to defend themselves against anti-trust practices. Amazon in particular has a history of capturing the data generated between their vendors and their vendors’ customers and using it for their own purposes, often times leaving the vendor with no material relationship with that customer. To be sure, Amazon is not alone in these practices – Google, Facebook and others are facing similar accusations. The point being, as an Amazon vendor, you are essentially handing over your customer relationships to the mothership.
DTC brands are forging direct relational bonds with their customers but how are traditional consumer brands navigating these new waters? Giving Assistant’s model provides a direct bridge between both parties.
TheCustomer’s Rafer Weigel recently spoke with Giving Assistant to better understand the mechanics of the platform and to find out how brands are leveraging technology to build goodwill and bottom lines.
What follows is the transcript of our conversation. It has been edited for grammar and length.
Hello, everybody, I’m Rafer Weigel. Brands, more than ever, are recognizing the importance of having a direct relationship with their customers, and DTC brands embracing that awareness are blossoming. But there’s another shift that’s happening right now in the wake of COVID-19. More companies and customers seem to care more about giving back. Today I’m talking with a company that has merged those two paradigms into one business model. And they’re seeing a great deal of success right out of the gate. Joining me now are Kaitlyn Rikkers and Daniel Talavera to talk more about Giving Assistant – thank you both for joining me today.
Thank you for having us.
So Caitlin, you’re the marketing director for the company. What is it like now getting this message out? How is it been received? Can you talk about the process a little bit?
Absolutely. We are very different from Amazon and our job as we sSee, it isn’t to get in the way of a brand and their consumer. Our job is to enhance that experience. And the way that we enhance that experience is make sure that not only are we giving the opportunity for consumer to save money, but we’re giving the opportunity to give all or parts of those savings to a charity of their choice.
Right now with a pandemic, a lot of charities are hurting because they can’t have their fundraising benefits. They rely on those type of galas that have been shut down. So what Giving Assistant is doing is probably more important than ever before – more timely.
Absolutely. We make everybody a philanthropist and we’re not just good deals. We also are great deeds, but every good deal you tie we tied into a great deed. And you’re right – a lot of 501c3 are suffering and because we are in the micro donation business – everybody little bit helps. If you donate eight cents, because you’ve saved eight cents for doing that with 7 million other people in one month, that’ll add up.
You talked about how you’re different than Amazon. Amazon gathers people’s data, they hoard it. They’re under fire from Congress for doing what they’ve been doing. Daniel, can you talk about how you guys are different, you have a different value proposition going on? You are doing something that I think consumers would be happy about. Can you talk about that?
Yeah, from our perspective, we like to leverage the data to be able to offer users a unique experience across the brands themselves and the nonprofit’s that we’re trying to merge together. Unlike those other competitors that you mentioned, we’re not looking to sell our data for profit or leverage it to make an additional profit. We’re really trying to bridge that gap between the brands and a nonprofit so that we can serve both functions of our business.
And that platform, I’m guessing, would build trust with your customers – your clients. Is that true?
Absolutely. I think that’s the most critical part about aggregating data at that scale – being able to leverage it and use it to show them that we’re listening to their digital signals, and to show them exactly what they’re looking for from a consumer standpoint.
Giving Assistant has partnered with 3radical – they are a company that works very hard on gathering data transparently and building trust with the consumer. Why did giving assistant feel the need for this partnership? Is that something that’s important to you guys, Daniel?
Definitely. That value prop that they offer is something that we also believe in as well. And we really hope we’re building a longer relationship with 3radical to leverage that data to build that ongoing trust.
Caitlyn, do you have anything you want to add to that?
Our goal is to be incredibly transparent with how we use that data. And how we actually plan to employ that is to use it to pique the curiosity and pique the interest of our user.
We have 1.3 million charities, it’s a hard that’s a hard list to go through. It’s a lot of schools. So we use data and to see if we can if we can take a good suggestions and make a few recommendations. But what we don’t do and what we’ll never do is turn around and break that trust.
Well, Giving Assistant seems like you guys are going to be doing some really really great things. Thank you so much to both of your both of you providing great insight in what you’re doing. It’s very, very exciting and I look forward to seeing how it grows.
Giving Assistant is a Certified B Corp, mission-driven organization with a goal to transform everyday shopping into charitable action via their shopping rewards platform making it easy for shoppers to both save money and give back for free. Based in San Francisco, CA, Giving Assistant is a for-profit company working to have a positive social impact across the globe. They provide cash-back and coupon codes for over 3,000 online brands and then give shoppers the opportunity to donate all, or a portion, of their cashback earnings to any one of 1.2 million 501(c)3 non-profit and charitable organizations in the U.S. For non-profit organizations, Giving Assistant provides a more consistent, long-term model to increase donor engagement and donations by employing the power and reliability of e-commerce. For more information, please go to www.givingassistant.org.