SocialCentiv Hones the Art of Intent-Based Marketing

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Twitter Tool Lets Businesses Know What Shoppers Want, When They Want It

A revolution is happening in how companies market themselves to consumers. And it’s all thanks to Twitter.

SocialCentiv, whose software-based service helps businesses find new customers on Twitter, today unveiled its vision for how advertisers can use what’s known as “intent-based marketing” to increase their return on investment on outreach to potential customers.

“In its simplest form, intent-based marketing is delivering advertising to people who have expressed an intention to buy a product or service,” says Bernard Perrine, CEO and co-founder of SocialCentiv. “That intention could be explicit, such as Tweeting ‘I crave Chinese food.’ Or it could be implicit, such as a Tweet that says ‘I could eat a horse right now.’”

Until the Internet began gaining traction with the public in the early 1990s, businesses were stuck with two forms of advertising, neither of which was terribly cost-effective. One uses ads for branding trying to establish particular images in consumers’ minds, which involves spending a lot of money on ads over time to get a response that may or may not happen. The second is direct response, which seeks to get the would-be customer to buy at that moment, such as by offering a price discount.

“The issue was that companies had to initiate the conversation with the consumer,” Perrine explains. “That necessitates paying to advertise to the portion of an audience who simply aren’t of a mind to buy at the moment the ad reaches them.”

Twitter did not invent intent-based marketing, he notes. “But it helped perfect the art through the simple act of limiting people’s posts to 140 characters. By inventing a forum where consumers expressed their thoughts and feelings in real time, Twitter created a gold mine for advertisers and marketers.”

Social listening, engagement mechanisms
While marketers can find vast opportunities on Twitter, they also face potential pitfalls. The lesson: They must be smart when reaching out to consumers and soliciting their business.

The first step is monitoring what people are talking about, a process called “social listening.” Keywords, or the words and phrases that marketers look for in Tweets, should reflect how people talk to each other, because Twitter is essentially one big conversation.

On Twitter, for instance, two of the most commonly used phrases are “I want” and “I need.” A hungry individual is more likely to Tweet something akin to “I want food.” If that same individual uses a search engine, he or she would probably use different language, such as “Chinese food in Dallas.”

Simple tricks can help filter out Tweets that do not represent strong sales opportunities. Using the keywords “I want Chinese near: Dallas” shows people in that city who may be inclined to stop in at an Asian-themed restaurant.

After the marketer has identified a Twitter user who seems inclined to buy, the next step is using an “engagement mechanism” to interact with that person. That can be as simple as sending a Tweet to the consumer with a message that is relevant to what he or she is discussing.

This could take the form of Tweeting to the person, “If you’re in the mood for Chinese food, our restaurant is right around the corner.”

It’s also vital to include a strong “call to action,” Perrine adds.

“The marketer must urge the consumer to act immediately. A good method for doing this is by offering a discount on products or services, such as telling the hungry Dallas resident he or she can get 10 percent off a popular sweet and sour vegetable dish by coming in now.”

Context is everything in assessing how and when to respond to people’s Tweets, however.

“This is why marketers should never use auto-responders on Twitter,” Perrine continues. “There is a big difference between a Tweet that proclaims ‘I had some sick Chinese food’ and one that says ‘I got sick from some Chinese food.’”

Analytics, and success
Finding the best marketing opportunities on Twitter involves both art and science. To improve the process, marketers should inject as much science into it as possible by using strong analytics software to measure how successful their efforts are proving.

“One can’t manage what one can’t measure,” Perrine states. “SocialCentiv’s tools make it easy to see how marketing campaigns are performing and to find areas for improvement, no matter how much experience a marketer has using Twitter.”

While Twitter can present a learning curve for new marketers, the good news is that the potential upside is enormous. For example, SocialCentiv customers have averaged 34 percent conversion rates with the patented software. Some have done significantly better.

Papa John’s International, Inc., for instance, has achieved conversion rates of up to 600 percent using SocialCentiv tools. By responding to 5,100 Dallas-area residents in one campaign, the pizza chain generated roughly 32,000 orders.

“When consumers re-Tweet and favorite a business’s marketing messages on Twitter, the company can achieve exponential results,” Perrine says.

The bottom line, he concludes, is that marketing campaigns must generate a return on the money they consume.

“As a CEO, I can’t justify marketing efforts if I can’t measure their results. This is why our business focuses on intent-based marketing on Twitter. Simply put, this social network is where we find the best chances for advertising success – which I define as creating new revenue for a business.”

About SocialCentiv
In August 2014, HipLogiq integrated its portfolio of Twitter marketing applications under a single product line, SocialCentiv. Now, businesses can visit http://www.socialcentiv.com/ and find a user-friendly, do-it-yourself Twitter marketing tool that makes it easy to create a campaign that tracks keywords and reaches relevant consumers with greater precision by targeting local Tweets. You can be part of the most relevant Tweets as they happen, spot opportunities first, and make a name for yourself with SocialCentiv.

Since May 2013, SocialCentiv has received $12 million in two rounds of funding. For more information, go to www.SocialCentiv.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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For more information, contact Karen Carrera, TrizCom, 972-207-1935, karen@trizcom.com or @kjcarrera.