Many people spend more time on Facebook than they do watching TV. While getting them to “like” a store or brand is crucial, the next step is engagement and participation. It’s one thing to follow a brand: It’s quite another to play games or seek status levels that prove brand devotion.
Shoppers love feeling in control — they want to have input into the design of the next Old Navy t-shirt or Pepperidge Farm cookie variety. And being rewarded with incentives helps turn those consumers into loyalists.
Crowdtap, an on-demand consumer participation network, digs deeper into target audiences to get real-time feedback and further develop loyalty rewards. Brands like Old Navy use it for surveys, open-ended polls, discussions and product feedback.
“This is on-demand brand participation,” says Crowdtap CEO and founder Brandon Evans. “We make it easy and proactive for brands to easily reach out and market.”
Prior to the advent of social networking, marketers relied on focus groups or other methods that could require months to generate results. With Crowdtap, the feedback is instant.
That’s important, since trends change in a “tweet,” says Evans. By involving consumers at various stages of product and marketing program development, firms can drive better results.
“Understanding these motivators that reinforce engagement and loyalty can unlock deeper and more rewarding relationships for both consumers and brands,” Evans says. “We have a fashion retailer looking to build an influencer campaign with a core target of women 24 to 34. They are looking to have a group of people they can go to for research.”
From there, the retailer will get new ideas for clothing design and open up a dialogue for ongoing product development.
Crowdtap has a growing 115,000-person database integrated with social media sites and it digs down to find those who are deeply involved in a brand, offering online discussions and the ability to share content and provide couponing or sampling. An Old Navy spokeswoman says her company participated in at-home t-shirt decorating programs and encouraged shoppers to post Old Navy shopping trip videos.
Crowdtap’s gaming aspect is key, Evans notes, since it simultaneously engages customers while gathering information for companies. Crowdtap can also analyze the content of Facebook pages to determine interests and eligibility for other money-making marketing programs.
“We do a lot of measurements” for the company’s 50 brand clients, Evans says. “We know how many participated and can calculate intent to purchase and can see a lift in purchasing. The motivation we provide is not to get someone to simply post something. We motivate members to participate in a [brand’s] community and with our site in a way that’s as authentic as it can be.
“We can provide measurement that’s granular,” he says. “We factor in proximity, intensity, engagement and memory — time users spent with a brand in addition to [how many users the brand] reaches.”
Points for charity, gift cards
Crowdtap members earn redeemable points for taking “brand actions” like completing quick-hit surveys, voting in polls, participating in live online discussions or sharing brand-related content with friends via social media and the Crowdtap platform. Points can be redeemed for incentives like gift cards or cash donations to a charity chosen from the company’s list of approved organizations.
During a six-month closed beta test that concluded earlier this year, Crowdtap members helped more than 25 major brands, as well as a number of startups and non-profits. Crowdtap members received more than $100,000 in rewards for themselves and their selected charities.