Stuart Owen and Adam Kollwitz started their company in 2017 “as a bit of a side hustle from our regular jobs”, says Kollwitz, CCO of KollwitzOwen. They had first met 10 years earlier at a small ad agency that specializes in Consumer promotions before going their separate ways. While Kollwitz continued in the ad agency and TV industry as an art director, Owen continued working as a full stack developer in various software firms. When they reconnected, they reflected on the work they were each doing and thought it would be nice to mesh their worlds and skills together to focus on creating amazing consumer promotions.
Today, KollwitzOwen partners closely with advertising agencies and creative agencies. They take their creative ideas and execute on the actual build and logic behind the promotion. If, for example, an agency has built out a website for a brand’s campaign promoting a product, they can use KollwitzOwen’s technology to fill in the technology gaps.
A tech-first approach to promotions
“A promotion”, says Kollwitz, “only runs as well as the tech that supports it because there are so many variables and little things that can go wrong or be exploited.” As a result, KollwitzOwen is a tech company that focuses on executing promotions as the technical arm of large-scale campaigns. It is their attention to detail on the technical backend that has gained the trust of many globally recognized brands like Asahi, Kellogg’s, Coca-cola and Shell.
Challenge: Slow and Inaccurate Purchase Validations
Alex Tyrrell, COO of KollwitzOwen, explains how the mechanics of promotions like instant win, cash back, prize draws is at the heart of what they do. As a result, KollwitzOwen needed a solution for receipt verification. “The main part of the tech is ensuring that people actually purchase what they said they purchase when they’re entering to make sure it’s a fair competition,” says Tyrrell.
Outdated purchase validation made campaign experiences underwhelming
Logistics can significantly impact the consumer experience when it comes to providing instant winners of promotions with their prizes. Let’s examine the conventional process followed in campaigns with prize giveaways.
For brands, prioritizing instant gratification for their consumers is crucial. When someone is declared an instant winner, however, they can only be considered an instant provisional winner. It is the responsibility of the provider to verify the purchase. Validating a purchase for a winner entails the provider logging into a portal and manually reviewing receipts. Only after this step is completed can they proceed with provisioning the prize to the winner. Unfortunately, this validation process can take anywhere from days to weeks.
Rather than receiving their prize or reward immediately, instant winners are informed through a disclaimer that their purchase needs to be validated before they can claim their prize. Consequently, this creates a rather disappointing experience for them.
Poor data extraction accuracy using another vendor
Prior to implementing Veryfi, KollwitzOwen had been utilizing an alternative OCR scanning technology vendor. They soon realized, however, that the quality of the vendor’s solution was below par and did not meet their standards. They faced several challenges, including inaccurate extraction of receipt data, excessive reliance on manual validation, and incorrect auto-validation of specific elements.
A surge in fraudulent receipt purchases
The previous solution’s limitation in linking to other receipts resulted in an inability to identify duplicate receipt submissions. Furthermore, an inaccurate purchase validation process led to a higher incidence of fraudulent receipts going undetected. This compromised the integrity of the campaign and necessitated the allocation of additional time and resources for manual validation.
Solution: Providing Instant Winners With Instant Wins
“Our main business is essentially where Veryfi comes in,” explains Kollwitz. “It is the part of our tech that ensures people actually purchased what they say they purchased when they’re entering for a chance to win a promotional prize. This makes sure it’s a fair competition for everyone who participates.”
KollwitzOwen accomplished a successful integration of their technology with the Veryfi API OCR Platform and swiftly established operational functionality within a week. Following the initial set-up phase, the process of capturing receipt data became instantaneous, yielding immediate results.
Addressing fraudulent campaign entries
The initial stage in fraud detection involves verifying the authenticity of a receipt, followed by cross-referencing it against duplicate submissions. “We’re constantly striving to stay ahead and consistently update our practices to stay vigilant against fraud,” Tyrrell states. KollwitzOwen employs duplicate-checking receipt and validation methods within the Veryfi platform. Apart from automatically identifying duplicate submissions, the integrated fraud detection features are capable of flagging various fraudulent transactions based on multiple criteria.
Receipt data extraction with accurate line-item detail
Leveraging an OCR API platform that is AI-driven means correct data fields are being extracted from Day 1. Rather than dividing submissions into designated funnels for manual review, KollwitzOwen can confidently provide receipt scanning to all their clients and remove the burden of manual validation.
Results: Fair and Engaging Campaigns Are Connecting Customers to the Brands They Love
Utilizing technology that facilitates rapid and precise data extraction results in seamless campaign operations and expedited customer rewards. Moreover, it enables prompt identification of fraudulent receipt entries, swiftly eliminating individuals attempting to exploit the system. This ensures that the promotions executed by KollwitzOwen are fair, granting everyone an equal opportunity to win.
Fast and Accurate Receipt Purchase Validation
“The fact that Veryfi is so quick and so solid”, says Kollwitz, “means we can verify purchases quickly. So this ‘instant win’ idea is a lot more instant with us and that’s what the brands want.” The purchase validation process is now instant. KollwitzOwen is able to remove the burden of manually validating purchases from agencies but sending everything through Veryfi to get scanned.
Accurate Data Extraction is Helping Detect Fraud
With the capability to validate receipt purchases swiftly and accurately, KollwitzOwen can efficiently scan and process the vast number of receipts flowing through their system. This, coupled with automatic duplicate detection and other integrated fraud detection mechanisms, enables them to effectively identify and eliminate fraudulent activities on a large scale.
Less Operational Lift Means KO Can Run More Promotions
Without needing receipt entries to be constantly reviewed by a person, KollwitzOwen is able to run more promotions. The dependency on a customer service or other in-house agency is no longer a factor. As Alex explains, they can “confidently offer receipt scanning and purchase validation when we have Veryfi instead of just doing it ourselves because I don’t think anyone enjoys reading though receipts, you know?”
Adapting to Changing Customer Priorities
The unpredictable economy has made consumers even more cost-sensitive. While attention-grabbing promotions remain a constant staple, the trend is showing consumers wanting cash back over other rewards. The market is saturated with brand and product options so the customer is going to choose the one that gives them more for their money. So if there’s some kind of prize attached to that product, cash or otherwise, they are more likely to choose that option.