Friday, June 24, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Zenergo – the soc net for real life experiences

When I get together with Baby Boomer friends, the topic of virtual versus real living ALWAYS comes up. We Boomers tend to feel a little haughty about how our younger brethren seem so physically disconnected from one another. Personally I am in awe that people can feel connected in any way with people that they “see” on Facebook 99% of the time.

So I was intrigued when I learned about Zenergo, a social network specifically for people to connect in real life. Oh sure, there’s stuff like for dating, and Craigslist for horizontal jogging, but what about vertical jogging? Book clubs? Ways to connect with Foodies, or Parents, or any of the million other activities people like to, you know, actually DO.

Zenergo offers a special profiler that focuses on real world activities -- information that can be invaluable for more precise ad targeting.

It also offers special communication tools to help you manage specific groups of friends that share your interest in a particular activity. Your running group is kept separate from your macramé plant holder group, and so forth. It reminds me a bit of the old start-up eCircles, though with a more feature rich and open structure. Zenergo is about meeting and connecting with new people as much as it is about managing your existing connections.

I read recently that the number of close friends – as defined by both what we share with these individuals as well as how often we see them -- that the average person maintains has declined pretty significantly over the past two decades, especially over the past few years. Our lives seem to get ever busier, but the basic human need for in person relationships endures as something that makes us human. Zenergo’s tool set helps to meet that need in a powerful way.

But this blog is about marketing solutions, and Zenergo offers some interesting approaches to promote local as well as national brands and entities.

Zengage is a marketing solution for any budget level that helps businesses reach their consumers based upon either interest areas or demographics. Because of the physical world focus of this platform, it is particularly suited for businesses with physical locations. But it’s about a lot more than that. By connecting with a carefully defined set of people that match your product profile, you get great target comp coupled with strong ways of reaching and engaging with current customers or bona fide prospects. These include:

•Display ads
•Section sponsorships
•Newsletter sponsorship programs
•Strategic partnerships
•Self serve ad platform
Zengage Engagement Marketing Program: This is their more complete service level that offers integrated programs including all of the above tools as well as:

•Customized landing pages with multiple content options for different target segments
•Build branding and awareness across the entire Zenergo network specific demographics
•More precision interest and activity level targeting
•Measurement and analytics that can be tailored to your specific objectives
As with any social media strategy or partner, the value comes from your particular business goals and the extent to which a specific platform can accommodate your needs. And we musn’t forget the need for scale, either. What is so intriguing to me about this platform is that it holds the promise of better driving offline action.

In my view, that makes it best suited for physical products and locations. If that describes you and your business, why not surf over and take a look?

Thanks to ad:tech for publishing this first.

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