I have about 200 or so google alerts set up to monitor the web for phrases, words, companies, ideas, whatever, to keep me informed of what's going on. I saw this the other day on Freelancer.com and I was a bit dumbstruck. Freelancer.com is a site where you can post a job and ask for bids on the job from freelancers (duh..) My alert linked me to a request from a company looking for help designing and launching a loyalty program for their distribution channel.
From their post on Freelancer.com:
I need someone to help design a loyalty and incentive program. The program is intended to support and drive sales within a complex telecoms distribution model / chain: to increase sales and improve the relationship we have with distributors, resellers and agents selling airtime and prepaid sim cards.
We are looking for a program design similar to the Boots or Tesco's point system i.e. the program sets to change behaviour and encourage collection of points which can be redeemed against a host of incentives and rewards. The scheme can be points based vai e card or coupon based.
If you are interested, or you already have a on-line loyalty card system please send us a link of your work.
Please apply only if you have knowledge and have done something similar before.
Interesting that they would go to Freelancer.com for that (instead of me) but here's the real killer in all this....
Their budget is $250 - $750.
Yup. Less than a grand. Now read that description of what they want again. Complex distribution model/chain, program like Tesco (huge btw) - linked to fulfillment engine, and oh, yeah - ecard or coupon system too. Why not ask for cold fusion as well? Heck - you got the budget right?
But the thing that got me laughing more than the paltry budget was the bids...
4 bids - Average value $588.
I'm guessing they will get one hell of program.
The Real Costs
Just to put this in perspective - if you really want a loyalty program you're gonna need to spend a lot more than $588. You can't get great business cards for that - let alone great loyalty program design. Multiply that budget by 100 at least for the strategy - and 1,000 for implementation. Nothing in this world is free or cheap.
I take that back - a lot of stuff is free or cheap... and it litters the business deadpools and consumer landfills.
I put this out there to solicit your input. "I" think this is a bad idea. But there may be folks who think this makes all the sense in the world. What do you think? $588 for loyalty program design? $588 for your employee recognition program?
Lest you think I'm making this up - below is a screen grab of the request...