Friday, June 24, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: CrowdTwist Activates, Drives Action, Measures Engagement, and Rewards Brand Fans

The game-i-fication of everything digital seems to be a major trend of late. You know what I am talking about – the incorporation of game mechanics into nongame activities for the purpose of stimulating desirable forms of participation.

I like it because it is a powerful way to add value to brand engagements for consumers – an extra incentive to participate in brand activities and spread the good word about something they like.

CrowdTwist is the most comprehensive platform to game-i-fy consumer-brand relationships that I have seen.

The foundation is a powerful tracking platform that enables a brand to record and measure every time a consumer interacts with a brand. Instead of the data being siloed by platform (website, email, FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc.,) CrowdTwist collects all of a consumer’s various interactions in a single place, so that brands can have a more holistic view of their supporters.

The second key element of their offering is a points system that rewards consumers for positive interactions that you define. Consumers who write a review of your product, for example, might get 1000 points. Player fans accumulate points and then redeem them on virtual goods OR real world products and services.

That real world goods option makes them a bit different from some of the other companies out there in the space. Whether that real world rewards would be a bonus for your programs - or simply an added cost - really depends on your target audience. Certainly there are some audiences that absolutely LOVE virtual goods. But more mainstream consumers may well prefer to receive tangible benefits for their efforts on behalf of a brand.

One of the most active categories in their early user base is entertainment properties like bands and musicians, whose fans want to be “closer” to the people and institutions that they love. CrowdTwist also offers participating brands the opportunity to sell additional points to fans so that they can get the valuable rewards more quickly. For certain kinds of products, this could actually provide an incremental revenue stream of some size. The company also facilitates CPA/CPC sponsorship opps for brands to establish another revenue stream.

CrowdTwist offers analytical tools that enable marketers to better understand both their entire fan bases as well as segments within the groups that are more active responders, or who are more likely to take certain kinds of response actions. Clients can see:

•The environments in which their fans spend time
•Their physical locations
•Their content interests
•The scale of their personal influence over others
The analytics control center not only provides aggregated data – it also enables you to drill down to the actions of individuals. While establishing personal relationships with every fans is probably unrealistic for most brands, this level of granularity can be powerful when a few super influencers are driving a great deal of the brand activity. By having your social media manager focus on…say…the top 25 influencers, you may be able to unlock even deeper participation on behalf of your business.

To better facilitate communication with your fans, CrowdTwist also offers a means through which to send email communications to your supporters. This, plus the opportunity to empower your communications with cross platform loyalty data, offers a great means through which to relate to your consumers.

Tools like this are going to be a big part of how we manage consumer relationships in the next months and years. By activating consumer brand actions, brands can take a more proactive role in their futures while providing greater satisfaction to their user bases. And the real world rewards twist may be just the ticket to make such a tool work harder for many brands.

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first!

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