Every so often, I come across a business with a really awesome model that I think is not only innovative, but extremely practical for businesses of all sizes. Being a small business enthusiast, I get really excited when that business is itself a startup. I recently had the good fortune of being introduced to Peter Genuardi, who is the Founder and CEO of Strength in Members. Peter and his company are less than a year old and have a team of only 5 people, but are making serious headway in the world of social media integration.
While we the marketing world is finally catching on to how important social is to reaching your audience, it’s still unfortunately thought of, and executed, in a silo. Strength in Members is helping companies integrate social marketing and direct response, to give their clients a more holistic view of their marketing presence and their audience. “We’re unique as far as helping people integrate their social with direct response,” says Peter, “social is happening in a bubble, while e-mail, direct marketing, and telemarketing are all integrated. Campaigns can produce a much stronger response if it’s all integrated together.”
Strength in Members is analyzing company’s social followings and cross-referencing it with database and sales data to deliver some very unique and interesting data:
– Develop Social Perspective– Who is your audience? This also helps to think of a constituent based on what kind of social impact that user has had, through the activity of their social network, rather than just as a single entity.
– Build Higher Performing Campaigns– There are some techniques to key in on the most effective social influencers and leverage that above and beyond your average consumer. “For example,” Peter elaborates, “you might send a 10% off coupon to only your most influential customers and say ‘Here’s a discount just for you, if you can’t use it, share it with your friends and family;’ People are driven to share by the value that it can offer their network.”
– Focus on Measurement– The goal of Strength in Members is to use a consumer’s social influence as a new, and extremely important, metric in measuring your audience. Maybe a person has only made one small purchase from your brand; but if that person is a social influencer and raves publicly about how much he/she loves that product, are they more or less valuable than a consumer who purchases frequently but also doesn’t tell anyone? These social metrics can help calculate the value of a follower, in real dollars, over the course of a year or a lifetime. It also helps to assign a real, and the ever-elusive, ROI value to your social media campaigns.
Strength in Members is really on to something here that I think is a hugely undervalued part of the overall marketing campaign. Companies spend months pouring over their ad campaigns, direct marketing pieces, and e-mail marketing appeals. The messaging in these campaigns may be carried over to a company’s social media channels, but that is really only the tip of the integration iceberg. Imagine a world where social media activity that is tracked so carefully on the respective channels can be stored in a consumer profile. Amazon wishlists, Foursquare check-ins, and Facebook page likes can all be used to create a clearer picture of who each one of your consumers is and cater an experience to their specific desires. The idea of using social to improve offline performance (and vice-verca) is one that I am sure will be talked about expanded upon significantly in the coming years and I commend Peter and his team for being the first to an extremely interesting and innovative space.
Keep an eye on the Strength in Members team by liking them on Facebook or following @strngthinmembrs. For more information on their unique approach to social media and direct response marketing, visit their website at strengthinmembers.com .