CrowdTwist is a Customer Relationship and Loyalty Platform with a focus on increasing acquisition, awareness, retention, loyalty and advocacy efforts for brands across every channel.
One of the channels that they are focused on is social and so the platform is fully integrated with the top social platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare to name a few. They enable clients to incentivize members of their loyalty programs for connecting with and being active across their social sites. From likes to posts, visits and more they allow people to earn points for their social brand engagement. This drives valuable brand impressions which lead to increased engagement and new customer acquisition.
How did CrowdTwist come into being?
CrowdTwist was founded by Irving Fain, Mike Montero and Josh Bowen. Irving and Josh worked together at Clear Channel Digital where Josh was in charge of analytics and Irving ran Digital Marketing and social platforms. One of the areas of the business that they were responsible for was the loyalty platform that Clear Channel used across many of their stations.
While Irving and Josh were continuously impressed by the results and engagement that the platform drove, they also recognized how quickly the digital landscape was changing and that the platform they used no longer accounted for the way in which people engaged with brands today. They set out to design a much better and more current platform that not only solved many issues that they struggled with at Clear Channel, but was able to deliver broader results and help marketers build stronger relationships with their customers all the while accounting for today’s online and offline engagement patterns. Irving and Josh were lucky enough to meet Mike soon after who had started and sold 2 other companies successfully prior to CrowdTwist and rounded out the founding team as the company’s CTO.
How was your journey in TechStars?
CrowdTwist was honored to be chosen for the inaugural NYC TechStars program in the winter of 2011. The team spent 3 months toiling away in Union Square with 10 other great companies. Not only were we lucky enough to be surrounded by other fantastic entrepreneurs, but the network that the program has built is second to none. We were fortunate to spend time with so many amazing folks over the course of 3 months from other great founders to fantastic investors and other members of the NY community and beyond who wanted to play a part in building out the technology ecosystem in NY and this country more broadly. It was a lot of work and a busy few months juggling the demands of the Techstars program while also continuing to build out our platform and new customers, but CrowdTwist came out in a fantastic position for success!
How do you feel that the power of SaaS technology empowers marketers in user engagement?
We believe that the true power of a SaaS technology is the iterative benefits that clients gain with the ongoing deployment and advances in features and functionality without the incremental costs associated with development. This means that a SaaS platform whose focus is driving engagement will constantly be developing and deploying new ways to drive engagement across new platforms and applications.
Give us some examples of how Crowdtwist has helped brands in building user loyalty.
Loyalty has traditionally been rewarded based on an individual’s spend with a particular brand over time. In a world driven by social networks and significant social influence, marketers have lacked the ability to identify and reward individuals based on socially influenced spend. This means that the value of a particular customer can easily go completely unrecognized. In one of our programs, we were able to identify a customer who was at parity when it came to their general purchase behavior as they represented about $100 in annual spend with the brand. However, because we’re able to measure the influential spend a member drives, we identified that this particular individual represented over $1000 in additional brand spend from across their social sphere. This individual’s contribution and their value to the brand would have been completely missed. Our platform allows clients to identify the TOTAL impact of every individual who becomes a member in their loyalty program based on an impact value assigned to every member.
CrowdTwist is the global Relationship & Loyalty platform for Sony artists. Our primary goal is helping them increase fan engagement and drive direct-to-consumer sales. Fans of Sony artists are now being recognized and rewarded for all their engagement around their favorite artists far beyond what they buy. Online actions, email activity, social engagement, checking in at shows, purchasing and much more are all included in our programs. Our platform has been hugely successful and has driven unprecedented results including:
- Increased engagement of 10x+ for members vs. non-members
- A 35%+ increase in average basket size
- 10 million+ earned media impressions across social networks leading to increased awareness and new fan engagement with the program
How does CrowdTwist keep in mind the customer behaviour patterns when it comes to branding?
Our driving philosophy is at the very core of what we believe is a central theme driving the relationship change between brands and consumers and that’s the idea of getting more for the value you drive. “Give More. Get More.” is not just a tagline, it’s at the core of what we provide which is a platform that recognizes the value exchange of both dollars and data. It powers how brands show appreciation for the value of their customers and it applies equally to both companies and their customers. When you give more, you get more, that’s what we enable. A dynamic that’s mutually beneficial.
How does Crowdtwist fares against the traditional modes of marketing like TV and Print?
Traditional modes of marketing are around to stay but they are hugely limited. Channel fragmentation and new ways of engaging with brands are forcing brands to consider new engagement models. TV and print continue to represent great mass awareness channels but they do not on their own drive response or build loyalty. TV is no longer consumed at home on the couch and we are actually able to incentivize interaction with any digital content that’s watched through the web. We don’t see the world according to channels, we search for ways to measure engagement, influence and spend across and attributable to any channel.
Do you feel incentivizing the users is the best way to earn brand loyalty?
There are two several critical factors for brands to build loyalty with it’s consumer base and many of them are outside of our control. The brand itself along with the way that it responds and deliver to it’s customers are the most important factors. Incentives give more reasons for people to interact more frequently but if people don’t like the brand or aren’t excited by the rewards that they can get from the points they earn they won’t engage. Incentives are part of a much larger equation when it comes to brand loyalty. We provide the platform that helps brands and customers connect more often and across more channels.
The Crowdtwist platform provides clients with valuable data on other pages that their members are connected with as well as critical user permitted access to various information from within their social graph. The most valuable aspect of what CrowdTwist provides however is the ability to not just drive brand activity in the social channel but the ability to measure how social influence and engagement actually translates to both a customers direct spend as well as the spend they influence from within their social sphere. Tying social to spend is something that allows us to actually quantify the value of social actions in a way that no one else is able to do today.