The CEO interview series continues with Brandon Evans of Crowdtap. If you’re not familiar with Crowdtap, they describe themselves as “the network for Brand Influencer Communities. Crowdtap allows marketers to easily collaborate with and mobilize their targeted brand crowd of influential consumers for real-time research, collaboration or powerful word-of-mouth marketing.” I’ve been playing around with it and I think the concept is interesting, and more importantly I definitely see this as a platform more and more brands will turn to.
Rick Liebling: Tell me about Crowdtap, why should brands be paying attention?
Bradon Evans: Crowdtap is the network for Brand Influencer Communities. We enable brands to easily recruit, mobilize and market with their influential consumers. As marketers find it harder and harder to reach and more importantly impact consumers with traditional media, maintaining deep relationships with their best consumers and having a direct channel to them has become increasingly important. Over the past five years, including my previous work at social media agency Mr Youth, this topic has become top of mind for many leading marketers and will only continue to increase.
Rick Liebling: What sort of consumers are you looking for to participate within the Crowdtap community?
Bradon Evans: Crowdtap has a wide variety of members across demographics. What’s most important is that they enjoy participating with brands, provide meaningful feedback, share products authentically and effectively. We have a lot of measures in place to measure the quality of a member’s participation so the members that stick and can really get something out of the system are those with high quality scores enabling them to receive more opportunities.
Rick Liebling: Crowdtap utilizes a variety of game mechanics, what do you think is the key to properly using game mechanics?
Bradon Evans: The key is to really think a lot about what behaviors you want to promote and identify the best ways to reinforce those behaviors while not recognizing those trying to just “game” the system. We’ve also done a great job with really recognizing members positive behaviors in a meaningful way and making them feel valued by Crowdtap and the brands they participate with. We have a lot of new and exciting stuff upcoming around this.
Rick Liebling: What’s the advantage of Crowdtap over, say, BzzAgent?
Bradon Evans: We don’t really compare ourselves to BzzAgent as we are really a platform that is about ongoing advocacy and participation. BzzAgent focus on a single marketing activity (sampling) and operates on a project basis. We are focused on enabling brands to leverage their influential consumers across the full marketing lifecycle from helping to co-develop products and marketing to spreading the word online and off through a variety of different ways. We offer a social sampling action that brands can leverage and is heavily integrated with social networks but our platform really allows brands to continually engage and build advocacy with their crowd of influential consumers. We feel this is a critical ongoing channel that most brands are not properly leveraging currently.
Rick Liebling: What’s next for Crowdtap? What are you secretly working on that you’ll be unveiling soon?
Bradon Evans: Well, if it is a secret, I wouldn’t be able to say, would I? [Ed. Note - touche] But, what I can tease is that we have some really big things in the works. We have a lot of improvements in the works that will put brands even more front and center in our system and really building them deeper into the game. We also are working on some really interesting things around measurement and reporting so our customers really can visualize the impact that their crowd is making for their brand.