While customer loyalty is extremely important to any brand looking to build lasting relationships, Crowdtap has created a platform to help brands focus on the highest end of the loyalty spectrum – advocacy. Founded in 2009, Crowdtap’s mission is to help brands identify the most likely people to act as brand advocates, and then provide them with the tools needed to empower and motivate the advocates to, well, advocate on a large scale.
Crowdtap is based in New York and has 28 full time employees. They launched the platform publicly in March of last year and was named Mashable’s Up and Coming Social Media Service of the Year in 2011. Crowdtap raised $7M in Series A funding last year from a group of investors led by Foundry Grroup.
Crowdtap focuses on moving brands from “fan collectors” to activating advocates who have the capabilities of becoming peer influencers to an audience of tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of potential customers. As they pointed out during their demo presentation, peer recommendations are the most trusted source for product information. And their own survey of 1000 Crowdtap site members found:
- 70% said they tried a new product in the last three months because a friend or family member suggested it, or posted about it online
- 61% did so because a friend or family member suggested it to them in person/by phone
Crowdtap’s platform is built to:
- Mobilize peer influencers at scale
- Help brands identify through existing channels people interested in participating deeply with their brand
- Activate those people through a variety of actions
- Provide the tools and measurement to amplify those actions and conversations
- Track and reward members for participating with the brand
A brand start the process using Crowdtap to create an action(s) to be activated to a group (or segment of a group) of identified advocates. These actions can be:
- Dashboard that clients log into where they can launch actions
- Quick Polls to get instant feedback
- Discussions – used to gather feedback on product ideas or to test new messaging
- Web shares – special offers only the group gets before launching publicly, which they are able to share with their social network
- Challenges – sending a product sample and asking advocates to create a video of them using it in a unique way.
Once actions are created Crowdtap walks you through selecting which people will get that action pushed to them. Crowdtap uses basic and advanced targeting criteria to help segment down to the right audience:
- Basic - based on Gender and Age
Advanced - Demographic Targeting (not customizable at the moment)
- Education (highest level, student status, etc.
- Lifestyle (political views, parenting status, HHI, Pet Ownership, etc)
- Family Life (relationship status, ethnicity, parent of children in certain age group)
Previous Action Targeting
- Include people who have had certain actions launched with them in the past
- Can choose up to 5 previous actions
Once an action is created and target audience defined, it is launched to that audience:
- Posts to the Brand’s Crowdtap homepage
- Posts to each member of the target audience’s Crowdtap homepage
- Posts to Crowdtap mobile app so target audience can engage via mobile device
As soon as the actions like quick polls have been launched you will start seeing responses in realtime – at the aggregate and individual level. Also the results can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, emailed, or exported to a CSV file.
According to Crowdtap, Old Navy used their service to create more advocates from among their 5M+ social fans and followers. Additional goals included:
- Drive deeper social engagement
- Increase NPS
- Build measurable buzz
Through various sources, including Crowdtaps 250K members, and Old Navy’s following on Facebook and Twitter, as well as contacts in Old Navy’s CRM database, Crowdtap was able to surface 20K people overnight that immediately joined the Old Navy Style Council on Crowdtap. And by creating several different actions and launching them at sub-segments at the overall group, they were able to generate the following output:
- 9,213 photos
- 114K+ Facebook posts
- 1,073 blog posts written
- 75K discussion posts
- 350 videos
- 17K tweets
Old Navy also saw their NPS increase 14.2%, Purchase Intent increase 9.4%, and identified a core group of peer influencers from the millions of social fans – amounting to:
- 65K advocates
- 761K social engagements
- 11M in social reach
- 55M social impressions
Crowdtap has built a powerful, relatively easy to use platform aimed specifically at helping brands solve one of the biggest challenges they face today – how to leverage social tools to find people passionate about their products, and inspire them to help spread the word to their friends and family. The tools walk you through the process creating actions and finding the right group of people to execute those actions. And Crowdtap can bring back results in realtime, allowing brands to quickly try out new messaging and ideas to see how they are received.
They currently have around 30 customers, focusing in CPG, Retail, Entertainment and Banking. They also include five of the top ten US marketers on their client roster. Pricing for using their platform ranges from $5K/month to $40K/month – depending on the type of actions a customer has access to, and the number of actions they’re able to execute.
The more they are able to share customer stories of how their platform can identify advocates from fans, and scale their group impact, the more we think Crowdtap has the opportunity to shape the landscape in this growing area. We like their focus on advocacy marketing – and view what they do as giving brands the tools needed to identify advocates, and then provide them with the tools needed to influence advocates into action. The trust friends and family have in peer influencers is exactly what the brands want to tap into, which is why we think Crowdtap has a bright future ahead of them.
Reviewed by CRM Idol 2012 Primary Judges
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