My Team: I was in a team of 4 with, Scott Linkletter, Natalie Kuhl, and Jennifer Shintani
How can TD drive small business Engagement? The following research overview addresses, “How do we motivate small businesses to centralize finance-related tasks with TD”. This overview was conducted by evaluating third party research and programs centred around loyalty and reward incentives. The research analyzes non-financial companies to provide innovative and different solutions to customer loyalty not yet undertaken by traditional financial institutions. Specifically, the research is spread out across various industries including; grocery, retail, entertainment, fast food, and memberships to provide a wide range of creative solutions in the reward and loyalty space. This article highlights the programs and breaks them down into three distinct types of rewards:
● Appreciation Rewards
● Motivating Rewards
● Community Building Rewards
How can TD show clients their business is appreciated? A key element in driving small business engagement is expressing appreciation to small businesses that are and have been loyal TD Banking customers. Companies take a variety of strategies to show appreciation ranging from; loyalty gifts, to customized offers and free merchandise. First a variety of organizations offer customers “anniversary” gifts commemorating their time within the loyalty program. These gifts range from additional points to select free merchandise. Next a wide range of loyalty programs offer tailored and personalized offers. For instance the PC Optimum program offers weekly grocery and cosmetic deals to users based upon their shopping habits. This facilitates engagement with the user while also demonstrating appreciation for shopping through a tailored experience. Finally companies like McCafe offer complimentary items like, a free medium hot beverage at specific purchase milestones. These rewards, show appreciation to customers for interacting with their brand on a continuous basis. With relation to small business banking these insights are important to incorporate as entrepreneurs have a negative connotation of banks and their “one sided, transactional” practices. By incorporating Appreciation rewards TD Bank can change the conversation by taking the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with small business clients.
How can TD reward customers for achieving business objectives? TD Small Business Banking has an opportunity to strengthen relationships with small businesses, by rewarding them for reaching business-driven and financial goals. One strategy to motivate small businesses and reward them for their progress is a tiered reward system. Various companies across industries use a tiered loyalty program to reward their customers. Several companies that use a tiered loyalty program include Virgin Atlantic Airlines (Flying Club), Tarte Cosmetics, and Marvel Entertainment. To understand the loyalty strategies of these companies see Appendix A. TD could offer small businesses a similar tiered loyalty program, allowing them to move up tiers once they have achieved certain business/financial goals (financial planning, accounting, inventory, etc..) with TD. Each tier would include exclusive offers rewarding the businesses for their progress.
TD's Small Business Banking is interested in identifying opportunities to deepen and strengthen the relationships they have with small businesses in Waterloo Region - particularly with startups. Waterloo region has the second highest concentration of startups in the world, and poses a unique opportunity for TD to attract new business with companies positioned for growth. Within the Toronto-Waterloo corridor, there exists 15,000 technology companies, and 5,200 tech startups alone. The market for small businesses is vast.
The Design /Use Case Challenge
How might we reward small business banking customers for their ongoing business and relationship so that they are incentivized to motivate them tocentralize financial-related tasks with TD (financial planning, accounting, inventory.etc.)
Entrepreneurs and people who are engaged in a startup environment are passionate, enthusiastic, and driven by a shared feeling of independence, freedom, and wanting to make an impact. These emotional traits guide their business decision making.
Entrepreneurs tend to feel isolated from their peers, given the stress and time consuming nature of starting a business. They desire a community to knowledge share and learn with.
Historically, Entrepreneurs have negative associations with banks (stress, uncertainty.etc.), as their relationship is typically only transactional, and related to debt repayment.
Our task to solve
How do we help small businesses understand the process of starting a business? How do we help them keep on track?
Since we wanted to come up with a plan to help small businesses connect better with their TD advisor we decided to create a more interactive feature on the My business application. We wanted to create a means of interaction that will encourage small business owners to feel comfortable communicating with their advisors as well as keeping track of their business needs.
What we wanted was an easy way for for clients to receive a personalized experience with the knowledge and expertise provided by one of our advisors .
We had a short time period between brainstorming the idea and coming up with designs for the project. We decided on creating 2 pages, The first being the introduction page and the second page is the advisors biography and means of contact.
Here is the introduction page where the client selects the needs of its business. The purpose for this page is to understand what the business needs to match them with an advisor that meets their requirements.
This is the page where the client will receive all the information about their advisor. The information provided will include the advisors area of expertise concerning small businesses as well as quick and efficient means of contact. There are three buttons included under the picture and their purpose are:
Email the advisor
Call the advisor
And setting up a meeting with the advisor
What i’ve learned from a hackathon
This was my first time at a hackathon and I didn’t know what to expect, the 12 hours we had to complete this project was the most focused I have ever been> Looking back at it know I would definitely do this more often as it helped me test my skills and learn from others around me. Although we didn’t win in the end I took away a lot of lessons concerning the following:
One of the most important things when tackling a project under 12 hours is communication amongst teammates. Having everyone communicate together helps with brainstorming and conceptualizing. Our team was solid but after that experience I believe our communication and cooperation together could’ve been stronger.
Designing / Time management
Although 12 hours of time may seem sufficient, it felt very rushed at times which could of been caused by mismanaging our time. We started out slow with the process but once we got the hang of everything our momentum started to pick up and it became evident for what we needed to do in order to complete this projects. One of the areas we needed to concentrate our time more was designing the actual prototypes and mockups.
to conclude, these areas of trouble taught me what is needed in order to succeed in an environment like that. I walked in unaware of what needed to be done but i can proudly say I walked out excited to do do better at the next hackathon.