EngageSciences was set up to build a platform that would help social media managers deliver measurable returns for enterprise marketing departments. The EngageSciences platform enables brands to create exceptional social marketing programs that maximize the lifetime value of fans. Unlocking social data to improve the targeting and segmentation for campaigns across multiple channels, users will become the CMOs of the future.
We got the chance to sit down and talk with CMO of EngageSciences, Michael Wrigley ahead of EngageSciences' appearance at this year's Europe's Customer Festival in September.
Total Customer: What solutions will you showcase at Europe's Customer Festival this September?
Michael Wrigley: We're planning to show EngageSciences' social marketing activation platform.
TC: What differentiates your offering from others in the online and digital marketing space?
MW: What differentiates us is the number of platforms in our space focused on social media management. By management we mean community management, post moderation, listening and sentiment analysis, work-flow. Whilst that's incredibly useful for brands, we see that there's an element required that is around marketing activation. And by that we mean how to create a long-term relationship with fans and followers across a range of social networks.
We do that by tracking individual fans and their interaction with a brand over time. So, we track what campaigns they enter, what they comment on, when they invite, who they share to, and whether they get responses from their friends. We're able to understand the profile of individual fans and their long-term value to a brand. We know who are the best referrers, who are your advocates, who are recently recruited fans, who has become dormant, and then we can use that data for better targeting and segmentation.
TC: What challenges do you think your clients are face in the next 1 – 2 years?
MW: That's a tough one. I think when you look broadly at traditional loyalty programmes they work. They've been around for a long time and there's clear attributable ROI. I think the problem that brands now have is that their interaction with a customer isn't just at the point of purchase.
If brands are running loyalty programmes that reward fans for their purchases and transactional behaviours, but ignore everything that their customers are doing on social networks, on digital channels, and mobile, they're going to be missing out on a whole range of data that they should be acting upon. For brands, the challenge is how can you combine that traditional loyalty data with social data to create a holistic view of an audience member, to then improve your targeting and segmentation in the way that you reward them across those different loyalty frameworks and across different online and offlineÂ channels.
TC: If you had a tip to give your customer to help them overcome these challenges, what would it be?
MW: Our view around what brands should be doing now is at the starting point – it's all about data. If you look at traditional CRM data and combine it with social CRM data to me that's how brands are going to overcome the challenge, so looking at integrating data from a number of platforms to create that holistic view of a fan.
An example would be, say, an airline. They've got their frequent flyer programme where they reward their customers for purchasing flights and reward them differently for the length and value of flights. They'll also track what they're doing in terms of going to lounges or redeeming points – they can track a lot of what's happening in that environment.
However, what they are ignoring is if someone is writing a great review about the airline on a social network, if they're entering competitions to go to specific location, or if they're inviting friends to join campaigns on social platforms. As well as what devices they're using to do all these things, and if they engage in campaigns on websites or on social networks.
If you could combine those two aspects together, the airline would be able to say "well, we could reward the fan who's inviting his friends to participate in those social programmes with maybe miles that are part of his frequent flyer programme." They could even say: "If they write a review and it's positive, then we might reward them with a free visit to an executive lounge when they're next at the airport." It's a way to recognise and reward fans across social and traditional loyalty frameworks.
That's something that we can do now because, unlike other platforms, we track down to the individual audience member. We know the number of campaign entries, invites, shares, comments, referrals, what campaign types they interact with, etc. By doing that, what we're able to do is determine, if they’ve entered a competition on the airline's social network page for a trip to Hawaii. So, when we next send out an email communication to them, we might feature an offer to Hawaii because we know from their social profile that they might be interested.
TC: What opportunities do you see for your customers in the market next?
MW: I think the key opportunity is to connect with the audience over the lifetime of their engagement with the brand. So using social media across different devices and channels to ensure that you can punctuate the engagement between their transactions with the brand.
Again, if you're looking at a retail environment, how can we keep them engaged between store visits and also make sure that, through that engagement, you're front of mind when they’re next considering a purchase. Again, you can do that by implementing loyalty programmes that combine real and social data.
TC: Finally, what are the three main things you're looking forward to most at Europe's Customer Festival in September?
MW: For me, it's great that you've got big data, omni-channel and loyalty all under one roof because there's a lot of crossover between them. It'll be great for us to hear what vendors, providers and brands in those spaces are saying and how we can look at providing services that cross over everything.
EngageSciences has the advantage of doing a presentation on the main conference floor, where we're hoping we'll get people from big data and omni-channel to listen to what we have to say around social, because there's a lot that we can offer in those other environments.
We also believe that we're one of the first social platforms to develop a compelling loyalty proposition within our platform. As such, we've got some really great case studies that we want to show the audience. We've been working with some great brands like Nectar, Saudi Airlines, a number of hotel brands as well as retail companies. So being able to talk to quite a broad audience about how they can implement social loyalty, understand the value of individual fans and link that back to their traditional loyalty programmes, for us it's fantastic.
As with all of these events, and because we have quite a large audience going across all three sub-events, it's a great opportunity for us to network, to learn what other brands are doing in the industry, look at best practice and see how our platform can evolve to meet some of those demands.
It also helps that there are drinks in the evening…
You'll be able to meet EngageSciences at this year's Europe's Customer Festival so you can find out more about what they can offer you and your business.