Using a self-service, pay-per action model, Crowdtap is designed to help brand marketers and agencies tap targeted crowds of consumers for real-time research and peer-to-peer marketing actions that include sponsored house parties, sampling and online content sharing through social networks.
Infused with a generous dose of game mechanics, Crowdtap motivates consumer participation by offering to reward them with status, gifts, donations to charities and product samples when they respond to questions and participate in other activities.
The personal information and brand preferences/perspectives contributed are what’s of value to the participating brands and agencies who create the questions and other content.
Officially launched at SXSWi, Crowdtap has been in beta test since August 2010. Crowdtap members have received more than $100,000 in rewards during that period for themselves and their selected charities which include charity:water, Invisible Children, To Write Love on Her Arms and GiveBack.
Over 25 brands and agencies – such as GolinHarris, Kirshenbaum Bond and Weber Shandwick – participated in the beta, attracting 50,000 members who, according to the company, joined using Facebook Connect as assurance of registration with their true identities. Marketers can also recruit their existing brand communities on Facebook, Twitter and CRM databases to participate through integrated tools on Crowdtap.
The platform’s suite of ways for marketers to collaborate and participate with consumers are categorized by the Crowdtap into insight and influence actions.
- Insight actions, like polls and discussions, are used with targeted crowds of consumers to create, ideate and test new products and marketing programs, as well as to understand consumer trends and perceptions.
- Influence actions, such as web share, sample and sponsored parties, are used to drive quantifiable peer-to-peer marketing both online and off.
“Marketing is no longer a battle for eyeballs, it is about participation,” said Brandon Evans, CEO and founder of Crowdtap. “Crowdtap will help marketers take a big step in creating and executing marketing programs that are truly collaborative with their consumers. People today are very savvy and while they are highly adept at tuning out traditional marketing, they welcome brands that invite them into the process. Consumers can add tremendous value by providing deep insights and ideas as well as connecting brands they care about with their peer networks. Crowdtap is the first service to enable marketers to purchase this type of participation with the ease and measurability of an online ad buy.”
Crowdtap was initially funded and incubated within Mr. Youth, where Evans served as Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Partner. The company is now officially spun out.
Brands and agencies will certainly see the appeal of the rapid deployment, scaling of initiatives and cost control presented by Crowdtap. Not unlike most social platforms, one of Crowdtap’s challenges will be building and maintaining a large, diverse member base to feed data to its clients. It will be interesting to observe how well the platform retains user participation over time. Will, for example, location-based “gamed” applications – that may offer marketers similar, if not equivalent, opportunities – draw Crowdtap members away from continuous participation?
“Crowdtap has been a great way for us to quickly get feedback from targeted consumers – from testing creative to having ongoing conversations with potential customers,” commented Ted Manger, Director of Strategy for Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners.